kid-friendly ocean city getaway

Sunday, July 4, 2010

"A change is as good as a rest"- Stephen King

I do agree with that saying, but a change and a rest are even better. On the spur of the moment, we decided to decamp to the beach for a quick vacation this past week. After all, we live in Delaware and beaches are only two hours away. We usually bum a room off relatives for our vacations, but it was time we did a real vacation, just our own little fambly.
No, we did not stay in this lovely house. This is my fantasy beach house located on Martha's Vinyard in walking distance to town. It's for sale for $2,395,000. It doesn't say how far from the beach it is in the ad, but that's what those charming bikes with wicker baskets on the front are for.
This is where we stayed in concretey Ocean City, MD. Sure, it's a far cry from my fantasy house, but the price was right and we could get a 2 bedroom condo at the last minute through Coldwell Banker. A lot of these high rises have the option of renting for a "mini week" which means you can rent from Monday through Friday like we did or Friday through Monday for a long weekend. It's a considerable savings if you opt out of the weekend which I find unpleasant traffic-wise and crowded beach-wise anyway. Just a heads up if you do rent through these guys: about $200 in taxes and multiple fees are added on to the rental "price".
When we were DINKs, we would never stay someplace like this. We used to go to remote dive resorts in the Caribbean every year where we'd have our own private hut right on the beach, but now that we have kids, it's a whole new world. The little buggars were absolutely thrilled with the aggressively thematic decor, the fact that we rode an elevator every day to get to the beach, and every other aspect of this vacation. If the kids are happy, then I'm satisfied!
The over-the-top beach decor is actually necessary to remind guests that they are still at the beach when inside the condo. This was the view if you go out on the balcony and crane your neck. Note the uncrowded beach though! It was remarkably uncrowded during the week.
And this was the view at night. Not unlike Vegas, agree? Again, the kids were thrilled with it.
We indulged in some mini golf at a dinosaur-themed course. Each of us got at least one hole-in-one. Absolutely too thrilling once more!
I have nothing good to say about the food options along the strip there in Ocean City. It's "all you can eat" fried stuff everywhere you turn. It's been just completely uninspired fare and poor ambiance in every restaurant we've been to along there. Our favorite place to go is Sneaky Pete's in West Ocean City just over the southern bridge on Ocean Gateway. It's part of the wildly popular Hooper's Crab House and occupies a large gazebo and a couple of boats at the end of a dock. We discovered it a few years back when we tried to go to Hooper's and the wait was going to be excruciatingly long. They sent us out back to this more casual version of Hooper's that never seems to have a wait and is completely charming in a Key West kind of way.
We needed to have that boardwalk experience too. We've been to the Ocean City boardwalk many times, but this time we went to the one in Rehoboth, DE. Oh, it is so much more clean and manageable than the down-on-it's-luck-feeling OC one! You still have your Thrasher's Fries, your soft serve ice cream,
your disgusting cotton candy that looks like a bag of fiberglass insulation,
and your tame kiddie rides (which incidentally are partially powered here by solar panels on the roof). There is even real food available on the streets leading up to the boardwalk. I had an excellent sandwich with fresh local tomatoes on it at Green Man on Wilmington Avenue.
The beach in Rehoboth as seen from the boardwalk.

Now we're home and refreshed and feeling some creativity coming on...

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