Ocean City Maryland: Always My Happy Place

imageDo you have a favorite childhood memory of a place you and your family visited on summer vacation?

I think most of us do.

For me, there were two places.

My grandmother’s house in West Virginia,

and

imageOcean City, Maryland.

My parents didn’t have a lot of extra money when we were growing up, but we had everything we needed.  My Mom stayed home with us until I started 9th grade.  Spending even one night at the beach wasn’t in our family’s budget.

However, one day every summer, my Mom would wake us up really early in the morning.  She had already packed a cooler with sandwiches, drinks, snacks, beach toys, towels, blankets, sunscreen and anything else we might need for the day.  We would pile into the car, and drive the 3+ hours to the beach to spend the day.

We usually got to the beach around 9:00 a.m.

Mom rented an umbrella, and spread a blanket under it, so we could get out of the sun if we wanted to.

My brother and sisters and I ran and played and had a great time.  I know Mom did too.  However, she also kept a sharp eye on all of us, even though Ocean City is a life guarded beach.  For someone who was born and raised in the mountains, my Mom sure has a love of the beach and the water.  I am glad she shared that love with us.

imageIn the late afternoon/early evening, we would pack up all of our stuff, and put it in the car, and walk on the boardwalk for awhile.  Sometimes we got to ride some rides, or play some games.

At dusk, Mom would load us all into the car, and she would drive home.  I think all of us kids were asleep within five minutes of leaving Ocean City.

After high school graduation, I went to Ocean City with some friends for a few days.

Ocean City has always been my “go to” beach.  Some other beaches close by in Delaware, like Fenwick Island,  Rehoboth, Dewey, and Bethany are quiet and really nice, but I am always drawn back to the boardwalk in Ocean City.  However, with tax free shopping in Delaware, it’s always nice to visit these other resort towns for some good deals, especially at the end of the season.

imageI love going to Marty’s Playland, and the old fashioned skee ball machines that are still in operation today.
imageThe attendant, adding tickets to the skee ball machine.imageThese old fashioned wooden game cabinets are so old school.  I love that they are still being used today.  I am such a sucker for nostalgia.imageNo trip to Ocean City for me would be complete without my food stops:  a hamburger at the Atlantic Stand (used to be the Alaska Stand for many, many years, and is now located on 9th Street).  The only reason I don’t go up there is because of this:image image imageThrasher’s French Fries is right near the Atlantic Stand.  Place your order at the Atlantic Stand, and then go to Thrasher’s and get your french fries.  It all works out perfectly.

After lunch, finish up with a frozen custard from Kohr Bros.imageBurn off lunch with a walk up the boards.  On the way back, stop here:image imageLove Fisher’s Popcorn with peanuts.

Then on another day, go and get pizza at Lombardi’s on 94th Street:imageTo help burn off all of these calories, make sure you stop and play putt putt golf, anyplace at the beach, it’s always a great time.
imageimagePracticing my short game :).  I made two holes in one on my second game.

My favorite time to come to the beach is in September, while the weather is still nice and the water still warm.  The crowds are gone for the most part (except on the weekends), and the pace begins to slow down.

My favorite beach to visit is Assateague National Seashore.  There is something about those horses that keeps drawing me back there every chance I get.

You can take a deep breath, and exhale.

All of the photos for this post were taken within the past couple of days with my iPhone 5.  I did no editing.  I wanted to get a post on the books for today.

Hope everyone enjoys a wonderful weekend.

I’ll be sharing a travel journal on Monday.

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