Last week started off with an easy drive down to Ocean City, MD. We arrived in about six and a half hours with three rest stops along the way, which wasn’t too bad for four healthy adults, a toddler, and a disabled retiree. Upon arriving and checking into the hotel, we discovered that my mom’s mobility scooter was not there as had been promised by the rental company. Further investigation revealed that my mom had ordered it from Surf Buggy Rentals in Ocean City, NJ—yeah, New Jersey—and not Ocean City, MD. She had found the company on the Internet, and I’m sure others have made the same mistake, but what we couldn’t understand is why this place said they knew where our hotel was, which seemingly was only a few blocks from their business (8th St vs. 14th St). They charged my mom’s credit card and said they’d have the scooter there waiting, but when she called them from the lobby, they said they’d never heard of the place. When we finally figured out what happened, my mom called back and cancelled, and they were very nasty with her. The lady even said, “We’ll refund all of your money as a courtesy, but next time get your cities straight. Now we are stuck with a scooter for a week.” Seriously? As if they wouldn’t just turn around and rent it back out to someone else? And refunding money is a courtesy?? Uh, hello? Maybe if your people didn’t say they knew exactly where our hotel was, we wouldn’t have gotten into this mix-up in the first place! Anyway, I immediately called Scooters-4-Rent in Ocean City, MD, and in a little over an hour we had a nice Pride mobility scooter for her to use for the week. And just as an FYI, if you are older or just lazy I suppose and have $125 to spend, I’d strongly suggest getting one if you intend to walk the boardwalk frequently. There were times there that we wished we had one!
So the week went by pretty quickly. On day one we went to the beach and played in the water. This was the first time to the beach for my son, and he absolutely loved the waves. I’d take him out up to my waist, and the waves would hit us and he’d squeal and shout, “Here comes another one, Daddy! Here comes another one!” I’ve always thought sand castles were kinda cliché, and so instead I built Spider-man’s villain Sandman in the sand for my son. What do you think? It’s a bad angle, because I have his window’s peak and everything! People were coming up and admiring my work, and a couple of people thought someone was actually buried underneath all the sand.
I also made a foot another day. Yeah, a foot. I don’t know what possessed me to make a foot, but it’s not bad, right? Again, sand castles are everywhere there. Why not be a little more creative?
One morning we rented a surrey and rode the entire length of the boardwalk. It was a two-seater with enough room for our son in the middle, which was pretty cool. My wife had a steering wheel, although only mine actually steered it, and so I was driving her nuts a little with some erratic turns. I think once she actually thought we were tipping! Good times! One thing I gotta say, though, is that it really stinks when you are the only one peddling. A couple of times I caught my wife just drifting, and once I even slapped her on the leg. We had a good laugh about it though.
We ate a good bit of boardwalk food, which is probably why I gained like 5 lbs while we were there. We also ate at Hall’s Buffet uptown, and I have to say that was a waste of money. We paid close to $30 per person, and yet they had less food than Old Country Buffet (or Prime Sirloin for all of you Altoona, PA folks). We also ate seafood at Harrison’s at the south end of the boardwalk, and that was much better. Still pricey, but the food was four-star rather than two if you get my drift, and we also had a fantastic view of the Ocean City Inlet to the Isle of Wight Bay.
We played lots of games, including the crane machines where you drop the crane to pick up stuffed toys. I’m apparently a master at these devices, because I won my son eight Marvel characters with less than $15. I even somehow managed to grab three eight inch toys in one grab! He was thrilled to death, and of course we were happy because you can’t beat getting eight toys for $15!
On the 4th we sat on the beach and watched fireworks. The fireworks themselves were nothing special, but I was amazed at the throng of people there. The beach and boardwalk was filled as far as the eye could see, and I’m guessing there were at least 25,000 people there. Here’s one of my better shots:
I can’t say I cared much for the hotel we stayed in. The Sea Scape Motel was the one we stayed in quite a bit fifteen to twenty years ago, but we hadn’t been back there since, and it appeared the hotel hadn’t had any remodeling or maintenance since then either! The clientele there was awful as well. The Sea Scape was the only motel I saw where people hung their wet towels and bathing suits (YES BATHING SUITS) out on the rails and benches outside to dry. They had a swimming pool that went from 4’ to 8’ deep in four foot increments, and of course everyone crowded around the 4’ end where they could stand, and so we didn’t have a chance at swimming in there. At 3:30 one morning, someone walked down the hallway/breezeway pounding on all of the windows (yeah, thanks buddy!), and during our last morning there someone had apparently decided to drink a case of Coors Light and toss the cans around the exterior randomly. Needless to say, we won’t be staying there when we go back, BUT we didn’t let it get us down. Here we are, a happy family!
And we finally left Saturday morning. I snapped a picture of the sunrise, although it was cloudy that morning, and my photography skills are a little lacking.
From there we were off to my brother-in-law’s Muslim marriage in Harrisburg Saturday afternoon, which was nice, short, and indoors thankfully as it was a hundred degrees outside. My mom and sister and her husband decided to stay in Ocean City until around noon on Saturday, and they ended up getting stuck in two hours of traffic at the Bay Bridge only to arrive home and discover that a bad storm had knocked out power at both the houses. They stayed in a hotel in Altoona that night, and so they weren’t very happy.
But for the most part we all had a good time. We may wait a few years to get back to Ocean City, MD—thinking we’ll try out Rehoboth or Seaside Heights or even Ocean City, NJ, where we know NOT to rent a mobility scooter. I’d really like to get to Niagara Falls again too, so that may be our next vacation stop.
Anyhoo, I’m sure you’re bored to death by now of our little vacation adventure, but I’ll be back in a day or two with something a little more thought-provoking. Until then, adieu!