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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

We Made It, Hon!

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet




"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

We Made It, Hon!

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We didn't think that we were going to make it to Ocean City this weekend. We got dug out from the big snow just fine (one of the good things about living in town limits: that we don't have to wait for county plows to make it to the side streets!), but the "snow showers" that were supposed to leave us with a dusting on Friday night got bumped up to a "winter weather advisory" with the possibility of another 6 inches/15 cm through Saturday afternoon. *headwall* Then, to add injury to insult, Bobby came down with this weird 24-hour virus that has been going around the school and had chills and fever for much of Friday. We didn't want to trust that it would run its course in 24 hours with him, so we held off on making reservations.

But Saturday morning, we woke up and Bobby was not only feeling better but the winter weather was actually downgraded for probably the first time this winter. (The winter weather advisory was cancelled everywhere but ... Carroll and northern Baltimore Counties. *sigh*) So Bobby made us a reservation, we grabbed some leftovers for lunch, and packed ourselves and the Goldens into the car. It started snowing lightly in the early afternoon and snowed the entire way down, until we were within a few miles of Ocean City, but the temperatures were several degrees above freezing, so it didn't stick to the roads. I had some final revisions to do on my paper, so these were done at 60 mph, while cruising down the highway. (Bobby was driving, not me. I can read and write just about anywhere, but not while driving!)

When we arrived, the weather was awful. It was raining with a fierce wind and about 38F/3C. We ended up staying at the Fenwick Inn because it was the only place Bobby could get a pet accommodation at the last minute. (The last time we stayed here, someone died in the pool, among other horrors!) We swore we wouldn't stay here again but such is the desperation to get away from the almost three feet of snow we have at home and see the ocean. And it's been nice; they've put a literal and figurative coat of paint on the place.

We went for a delicious and HUGE supper at Tequila Mockingbird, then headed back to the hotel to hang out in the pool and hot tub (which no one has died in this time, to the best of my knowledge). We went to bed ridiculously early; we were both exhausted. We woke in the small hours of the morning to Phil sitting on the other bed and barking at the air, then again a short while later when something went rolling across the floor overhead. (The restaurant is above us, so for all I know, someone dropped a cantaloupe.)

As miserable as was yesterday's weather was as beautiful as was today's. The skies were clear and the sun was beaming; it was a balmy 40F/4.5C but felt more like 50F/10C in the sun. Bliss. And there is no snow down here. It's like being on another planet.

We had lunch at The Shark on the Habor, which is an incredible restaurant in West OC set alongside the commercial harbor. They serve all local foods. I had southwestern sweet potato soup and a cauliflower "steak"; Bobby had the fisherman's stew and a crabcake sandwich. We stopped at the inlet on the way back and blew $10 in quarters in Marty's Playland, playing pinball and the two-player Deadstorm Pirates game that includes such lovely English translations as "Shoot that burly monster!" (Not as good as the infamous--but turned off this time--Ocean Hunters game, in which one is encouraged to "Aim the throat!" and "Aim the eye!" whilst fighting various monsters.) Then, back to the room to get the Goldens and take them for a turn on the Boardwalk.

At this point, we started taking pictures, so the rest goes below the cut. We walked about 2 miles/3 km on the Boardwalk. The poor Goldens (especially Phil) were exhausted at the end of it. (But that is, of course, the plan: tire them out to where we can spend some time out at night without feeling bad about leaving them in the room.) It was beautiful and sunny and warm. Ha! Who would have thought we'd see the day when I would call a day that was 40F/4.5C "beautiful and sunny and warm"?

At about 11th Street, we took a rest before turning back.

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The gentlemen don't really understand that they're not people and help themselves right up on the benches. They always get a lot of smiles and laughs.

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These seagulls looked boss.

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Doesn't the water look inviting? (I would soon discover it is not.)

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Looking south down the Boardwalk, toward the inlet and pier. During the most recent winter storm, the poor fishing pier was damaged again. About one-third of it was washed away during Hurricane Sandy. This time wasn't so bad, but you can see that the end of it is slumped because it is missing pilings.

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We were going to take the Goldens for a stroll on the beach, but after our schlep up and down the Boardwalk, they were honestly too tired, so we dropped them off at the room and went by ourselves. The sun was just starting to go down, which is my favorite time of day on the Atlantic Ocean, as the sea becomes iridescent. It was also low tide, so the beautiful sky reflected in the wet sand.

I loved how you could see the clouds reflected here in the sand.

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To everyone still stuck in snow and misery, these are for you!

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Because of the storms, the beach was littered with shells. (It was even better this morning; when Bobby took the Goldens for a morning walk, he found two good-sized conch shells.) We were poking around at the tide line, finding pieces of blue crabs, horseshoe crabs, jackknife clams, and other goodies. Then I spied this guy, stuck at the edge of the surf on his back.

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At first, I wasn't sure if he was dead or alive, but when I picked him up, he curled his legs feebly in response. (Let me indulge in a wee PSA for those who don't know: Horseshoe crabs are harmless. The thing on the back is a tail, not a stinger. People sound like utter idiots when they screech and squeal at the sight of one on the beach like it is going to take their legs off at the knee of they get within a yard.)



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After picking him up so that I could take the picture above, Bobby chucked him back into the water. We walked a bit further down the beach, and when we came back, he'd washed ashore again. I had on my waterproof snow boots, so I did the smart thing that anyone would do and waded out into the water up to my ankles to try to get him past the surf. Of course, a wave came that sloshed over the tops of my boots, sending cold water down into my boots. It wasn't Titanic!cold, but it was pretty effing cold.

I leave you with my favorite of the pictures I took today. We are now getting ready to go out for a dinner that will totally undo the healthy, vegan, local lunch I had today: pizza at Grotto's! Hey, it is not subtitled "The Legendary Taste" for naught ...

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The Goldens are completely prostrate on the floor right now and look like they need a chalk outline drawn around them.



This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

http://dawn-felagund.dreamwidth.org/332583.html
  • I well remember the dead guy in the pool. Well, never say never. Glad they spruced the place up. The goldens look like they are having a great time. I am so glad you had a chance to get out of the snow for a short while. forty degrees sounds like heaven to me right now. (We might get some of that mid- to late next week.)
    • We're supposed to warm up into the 60s by the end of next week, I think. And I hate to be one of those people who takes good news and makes the worst of it (I think they call them pessimists?? :^P), but we have close to 3 feet of snow on the ground at home right now. If that melts all at once, it's going to be a big fucking mess. (I remember getting a big snowstorm when I was in the 9th grade and getting sent home early one day not because of the snow but because the weather warmed rapidly, and the feet of snow on the ground melted in one day, and everything flooded.)

      This hotel has many classic memories for my family! Most of them from the past ten years not good. The dead guy in the pool, the headboard that fell off of the wall, an incident involving an ice bucket that's gross and I'm not going to repeat but that still makes me laugh ...
      • The dead guy in the pool, the headboard that fell off of the wall, an incident involving an ice bucket that's gross and I'm not going to repeat but that still makes me laugh ...

        I am dying here! Too funny for words. Such is the stuff of memories!
  • Those are beautiful ocean pictures. The goldens are very cute, as always.
  • Those are gorgeous photos. I'm glad you were able to get away from the snow for a little while!
    • Thank you! And me too. :) As much as I usually fiend for snow, I feel a bit of a hypocrite to say how nice it is to look outside and not see it. Although, we went out for ice cream tonight, and coming out of the ice cream restaurant, what was it doing? Snowing. :^|
  • Lovely pictures! I really miss the beach and the sea.

    I cannot complain about my weather though; actually sunny and warm (67)! Beautiful.
    • Thank you. I have been craving to see the ocean for a while now. I think it's all the snow and the crazy winter we've had.

      Sunny and 67! A heat wave! We're supposed to get into the 60s by the end of the week, I think, but to look a gift horse in the mouth, I'm not so sure that's a good thing, considering that we have close to three feet of snow on the ground and maybe more on the way ...
  • Oh, those photos are gorgeous!! Sounds like a fabulous weekend!
  • Bravo! So glad you were able to make it to the shore after all. We'll start to call you the 'crab whisperer' - LOL. I would be terrified of the poor critter, not being someone familiar with the shore and its assorted life.

    - Erulisse (one L)
    • Yes, horseshoe crabs look intimidating for the uninitiated! :) They're totally harmless. It's not even people who exercise caution around them because they don't know (always a good approach with a strange animal) but those who screech and carry on about a nonexistent danger and, in turn, make their kids terrified of a benevolent species, which in turn makes people not care when that species becomes near threatened. It's the same with the skates, also ubiquitous near Ocean City, and also subject to the same screechy, "IT'S A STINGRAY OMG!!!1!" People who grow up near this stuff and never bother to learn a bit about it perplex me.
  • How great for you you managed the trip, and it was such a nice one! :o) Thank you for sharing those awesome pics. That seagull pic is particularly awesome. Probably not intentional, but the way the birds go from being under the horizion, crossing it to being "on top" is cool!

    I had some final revisions to do on my paper, so these were done at 60 mph, while cruising down the highway. (Bobby was driving, not me. I can read and write just about anywhere, but not while driving!)
    *lol* I can just picture that! My fondness of driving has much lessened since I have a netbook and can write in the car, which I'm now doing most of the time while Siljan is driving.

    Cauliflower steak sounds interesting, do you know how it was made?

    (But that is, of course, the plan: tire them out to where we can spend some time out at night without feeling bad about leaving them in the room.)
    *g*

    The water DOES look extremely inviting! I used to dip in even at these temperatures when we were winter holidaying in Denmark, but only when teh sauna was already on and just 5min away. Much sympathies to the water in the boots, though; that must be much more uncomfortable than just dipping in once and getting back into dry shoes.

    People sound like utter idiots when they screech and squeal at the sight of one on the beach like it is going to take their legs off at the knee of they get within a yard.)
    *ggg* I have never seen a Horseshoe Crab before. Intriguing!
    • The seagulls were as intentional as I could make them! :) Bobby and I were sitting on a bench with the dogs, watching the sea. The seagulls started to line up on those poles until they looked too perfect, and I had to take a picture. I tried to compose it as best I could to show off the symmetry. And it's a good thing I took it when I did because, the moment after I snapped the second picture, one of them flew off. (It's usually the other way around for me: One flies off right before I snap the picture! :)

      Cauliflower steak sounds interesting, do you know how it was made?

      I have no idea! It seems like they use some kind of rub and then grill it. It has the carbony taste of grilled meat. It's the second time I've had it, and I can't figure out how they make it taste so good.

      I used to dip in even at these temperatures when we were winter holidaying in Denmark

      Omg. I am a total baby when it comes to cold water. You should see me inching my way into the pool in the summer ... and it's heated!

      We have something in Maryland called the Polar Bear Plunge. It happens every January and is a charity event where people swim in the Chesapeake Bay. Lol no. :D

      This year's Polar Bear Plunge was cancelled because it is so cold here and the Bay has partly frozen! As we were crossing the Bay Bridge on Saturday, there were chunks of ice floating in the water like it's the North Atlantic or something.

      Now what I do love is to sit in a hot tub in the freezing winter. But that's a bit different. ;)

      Much sympathies to the water in the boots, though

      My boots actually did so much better in the experience than I thought they would, given that they're just dumb old farm boots from the Tractor Supply Company. They didn't leak around the laces, and most of the water that went in soaked into my socks, so it didn't even get to the bottom of the boot. They were easily dried in front of the heater--I'm actually wearing them right now! :)

      I have never seen a Horseshoe Crab before. Intriguing!

      They're fascinating animals. They're near threatened, which is part of why I get a little touchy about people making them scarier than they are because people finding them dangerous is part of the reason they don't give a damn about the population decline of what is an essential species to our local marine ecosystem. The species is at least 300 million years old. They famously have blue blood that has invaluable uses in human medicine. <3
      • Thank you for the info and link about the Horseshoe crabs. I found I know them after all, but didn't bring your images and the size of the animal together with what I knew about this living fossil. Its German name translates into "arrow tail crab", that mislead me as well, and I never paid attention to the size, believing it to be about half the size max. Now I'm even more fascinated!

        Omg. I am a total baby when it comes to cold water. You should see me inching my way into the pool in the summer ... and it's heated!
        *g* I've always loved cold water and am called "The Viking" among family and some friends. But these winter dips were literally dips - strip, dip as in submerge once untill the neck, jump out again and get dry and dressed as fast as possible, heading straigth for the sauna. I don't think I have the courage to try such a plunge! We have similar ones along the coast, but in our inland area (we live in the part of Germany farthest away from any sea all around), but I don't think it would be the same in sweet water either.
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