There Are Worse Places to Be ...
We arrived yesterday, having left Manchester at about 8 in the morning. We dropped the Goldens off at Bobby's parents' house the night before, so all we had to do was pack the car and hit the road.
It rained sporadically the whole way down, until we got about a half-hour out of OC--it takes us about three-and-a-half hours from Manchester--and then it was bright and sunny and beautiful. We got into town at about noon, stopped at Piezano's for lunch--they have the best pizza in the world, with the sauce on top of the cheese, as weird as that sounds--and then strolled around the Dew Tour, which was this weekend. The room wasn't ready, so we sat on the beach until evening.
It is hot in the sun but there is a strong breeze coming off the ocean that actually makes it a little chilly to sit in the shade of an umbrella on the beach. In other words, perfect beach weather. As I told Bobby, if I can moderate my temperature just by sticking a leg out into the sun, versus having to go out into the ocean, which is the only way to cool off later in the season, then that's perfect in my mind!
We drove across the bridge to West Ocean City for dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant in OC, La Hacienda. There used to be a La Hacienda in Ocean City, but it closed; thankfully, it has a sister restaurant in Ocean Pines. They have an outdoor deck-bar, and there was a bona fide bar fight. We were sitting by the window overlooking the pond and the deck and so got to see the whole thing. It felt like being at work! The male server, who was about 18 years old, and the busboy, who was about 16, broke it up, so just like at work, it was probably more of a show put on in a safe place where the fighters knew they wouldn't actually be hurt before someone broke it up. (Our students are fond of waiting to fight until there are about a half-dozen of the biggest male staff in the room.) The manager told us that these people come in and cause drama frequently. She said she never saw the kind of drama at the OC restaurant that she sees since moving to the sleepy Ocean Pines' restaurant!
Last night, we walked about two miles on the Boardwalk, got on the ferris wheel, and went out on the pier (rebuilt since Hurricane Sandy took about a third of it) and watched a fishing boat come in and people catch various things off the pier. It is amusing and sad to go out onto the OC pier when people are actually catching things because their "knowledge" of sea life is so wrongheaded that it'd be comic if that ignorance didn't lead to people doing dumb things. The waters around OC are full of skates, which become stingrays--and therefore dangerous--in the minds of most people. Oh, and horseshoe crabs have a stinger as well. I was surprised to learn this, as was the horseshoe crab that got hooked on the pier last night.
Today we did lunch at Brass Balls and a long day on the beach. I am almost finished A Feast for Crows by GRRM. It's the usual GRRM: entertaining as all get-out at times, not very well written (if I read the phrase "fearsomely strong cider" one more time or if some overweight character "puffs" one more time, I might chuck the book into the sea), and punctuated by long dissertations on the various movements and goings-on of minor lords. GRRM really is an artist when it comes to random interval positive reinforcement. Just when you think you can't bear to read another account of how various minor characters are related to each other or another heraldic description, then he'll come out with something truly shocking and keep those pages turning.
Off to supper at a new restaurant now and back to the Boards for arcade games tonight!
This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!