We Made It, Hon!
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.
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.
These seagulls looked boss.
Doesn't the water look inviting? (I would soon discover it is not.)
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.
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.
To everyone still stuck in snow and misery, these are for you!
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.
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.)
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 ...
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!