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Tradition

Was it cruel of me to dangle that Sheet Swap carrot in front of your nose like that, and then disappear for almost a week? Oh! I had such good intentions, I promise you! I was going to write up one or two posts about selecting vintage sheets, and making beautiful things from them, schedule the posts to be published sometime over the weekend, and spend four days in Ocean City, knowing you were well taken-care of.

I’m afraid it didn’t happen. As usual, I left packing to the last minute, and there was very little time for bloggy thoughts.

Actually, let me rephrase that. There was plenty of time for bloggy thoughts, but very little time to do anything about them.

Last Thursday after school, we hopped in the van and took off down the Garden State Parkway without so much as a tootaloo in your direction (my apologies for that), and spent four nights and days basking in blissful beachitude.  We’ve been back home since Monday night, and I spent my birthday on Tuesday processing photos… It’s not the worst way to turn 41.

Ocean City in May is a tradition for us. The first “Ocean City in May” was actually “Ocean City in March” five years ago, and it was born out of a need to confront and to escape, all in one paradoxical breath, our sadness over a loss we had suffered a few weeks before.

To be honest, I remember very little of that weekend, and we hardly took any photos for me to look back on. What I do remember was how peaceful it felt to be near the ocean, surrounded by the people I love. It was a feeling Neil and I agreed was worth repeating every year. But maybe not in March. March is exceptionally chilly at the shore, and there’s not a whole lot to do, either. And maybe we could stay for more than two days. A single weekend just didn’t feel like enough time.

And so it was that our two-day early-Spring escape from reality evolved into a four-day late-Spring family getaway, now on it’s sixth iteration.

It’s getting harder to take the kids out of school for this, I’ll admit. I’ve always felt a little weird about it, but when we started we had a 1st-grader and a preschooler, and really, what were they going to miss?

Now that the oldest is in 6th grade, there is more at stake when he misses a couple of days. There is more work to make up, and there are schoolwork situations that follow us to the beach, and encroach on our family time.  It’s become less than ideal in that regard.

Despite the extra expense, and the bigger crowds, we may just have to move our vacation to the end of June, after school gets out. It’s an experiment worth considering for next year.

During this trip, the weather was uncharacteristically cooperative, and we had sun and warmth like we couldn’t believe. It didn’t get broody-looking or drizzly until the day we were leaving – such a nice change of pace! We’ve pretty much become experts at getting cold and wet on the boardwalk, but it sure was nice to spend most of the time dry and comfortable.

We look forward to this so much every year, but it’s over in the blink of an eye. At least these days I know to take plenty of photos!

Can you believe it’s almost Memorial Day Weekend? One of my favorite 3-day weekends, ever. Birthdays, Ocean City, Memorial Day… Oh, I just love May!

P.S. There’s still time to sign up for the Vintage Sheet Swap. Click here!

 

8 thoughts on “Tradition

  1. Looks like a lovely trip!! I love the pictures!!

    1. Thank you! It really was a nice time 🙂

  2. I went to Ocean City w/ dh in the 80’s. It was sooo cool! And I’m a great lakes gal! Seeing the ocean for the first time was spectacular! And Phillips on the Beach was scrumptious! How I long to go back…one of these days! Now it’s def a plane ride & rental car away…he was working in Balto at the time.

    1. We just love it so much, especially at the time of year when we go. It’s not too hot yet, and not too crowded. It is such a family-friendly place. It’s only a 2.5-hour ride for us, which is great. I feel lucky to live within a few hours of several nice beaches. I wasn’t much of a beach-goer before, but the last few years I’ve felt the pull more and more!

      I’ve never been to the Great Lakes. Do they have areas with a similar boardwalkey touristey focus?

      1. Great lakes are not like Ocean City with board walks & miles of hotels. The tourist season is SOOOO short! There are lots more homes & stuff on the shorelines. Completely different…I just LOVE the water..& miss it living in Indiana currently….although we have a lakehouse in Michigan still that is work! (just at the start & finish.
        Only imported blue crab & imported lobster at the great lakes…not the same at all…but the whitefish…yum! (especially smoked!)

        1. We are not seafood people at all, so that doesn’t factor into it for us. I love the busy OC boardwalk once a year, but most of the time for our summer day trips, we like to go to a town that is much closer to us, and has no commercial boardwalk at all. It’s full of victorian houses, and a lovely beach. Nice and relaxing! It sounds like the Great Lakes are probably a slower paced place like that.

  3. […] talk with Neil about all of this one night last month, as we walked together down the quiet end of the Ocean City boardwalk after dark, and he helped me see reason. I am nearly in a position of being able to pay down my […]

  4. […] come to expect rain and cold on these trips. (Remember season 3? Brrrr.) Last year we were spoiled with the most amazing weather, so I guess we  shouldn’t have been surprised to see things return to normal: the loveliest […]

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