A few hours ago, we returned home from a week at OC MD. When we went last year, we stayed only four nights, and I honestly thought we would not be back for years. But one year later, there we were, and staying longer to boot.
Yet during the last couple of days, which would be more days than we had last year, I found myself almost panicking. I felt as if I had to grab a hold of the final days and fill them with as much beach and ocean as I could. I kept worrying that we were not doing enough things or that I was going to regret doing nothing.
Thursday was the first bad weather day we had. Before the storm came, I managed to get a run in on the beach around 8 a.m. (something that is on my mental list of must-do things). But within an hour, rain came like crazy and kept going for hours. A little after 1 p.m., when the rain had finally stopped, I decided to head out into the gray skies. I did not care that weather.com said there was a 100 percent chance of rain at 2 p.m. I was going crazy in the house just watching TV.
I first headed to get a milkshake (I had gone several days without sweets at that point; it was amazing I was not going through some kind of withdrawal). Then I sloshed through some flooded streets (where I, of course, took pictures), and I found myself at a park. I spent some time wandering around that and taking a bunch of pictures of the waterways and ducks, before I eventually headed back to the place. By then weather.com decided there was now only a 20 percent chance of rain, and by the time I got home, the rain seemed to be gone for the day. I managed to beg my child, who by that time was almost sick of the beach, to go to the ocean with me (our place was on the bayside and about a 7-minute walk to the ocean). We ended up being only 2 of about 10 people there. It was quite chilly, very overcast, and we lasted only about 15 minutes. But I just had to make it to the beach. And I just had to take some pictures.
The next day, even though I had gone running the previous day, I figured I would get another one in, this time, by the bay. Soon after that, a friend from college/high school came down, and we spent about 3.5 hours at the beach. I was getting burnt and hot, but knowing that was our last full day, I soldiered on. We ate a late lunch at a restaurant on the bay, where I had a crab cake sandwich (two more things I could "check off" from my must-do list) and where I preceded to get more burnt. Then she and her son dropped me back to our place, and I hung out with my family. Where I proceeded to go stir crazy watching TV for almost two hours.
I once again managed to convince the kid to go back to beach, because this was our last night. It turned out to be a good decision. We ended up catching the end of a beach wedding, where, of course, I cried for two complete strangers. Then we walked around the edge of the ocean, I took a bunch of pictures, and after an hour, I sadly walked away, continuing to snap just one more picture. Which turned into way more than one. Of course.
I cannot fully explain why I get this way. Maybe I was this way last year, fully believing that I would not get back to the beach for years. Then again, maybe I was just so grateful to be on our first vacation in 5 years, that I was actually able to enjoy it.
I am happy/relieved to say that after listening to the people above us party until 3 a.m. last night/this morning, I was ready to come home. And the thought of sleeping in my own bed, and not the world's most lumpy mattress and squeaky bed, makes me happy.
While I was writing this post, I downloaded the 200-plus pics I took this past week. Some of the best "moments" follow.
I think I am okay now. :-)
|My first glimpse of the ocean, last Saturday|
|Bloody Mary with crab|
|The kid looking at the ocean one evening|
|The sun setting on the bay (I do remember regretting not seeing this last year, so I made sure to do it the second night)|
|The lagoon/bay during my run around Northside Park|
|Just a cool pic of the foamy ocean|
|J and I at the top of a lifeguard chair/stand the last night|
|Our last minute in the water Friday night (I was trying to capture our pedicures, but, man, do my feet look pale and rather hideous|
|The final beach/ocean pic I took, as we headed back to our condo|