My Vacation Review

Well I hate to say it but I don’t think I’ll be going back to Ocean City, Maryland.

After a 7+ hour drive, we arrived at our hotel early Saturday afternoon. We were all pretty excited to get settled in and start exploring. Our hotel was rather disappointing. I’ve paid half as much for places twice as nice in other popular destinations, but it seemed like all the area hotels were outdated and poorly maintained. I’m guessing this is due to the fact that it’s a tourist only area and the locals don’t really have to deal with it.

We went for a walk to check out the area and grabbed some menus from nearby restaurants so we could plan dinner ahead of time. We also checked online for other restaurant ideas but found that every place was pretty overpriced. Most of the restaurants I’ve gone to on other vacations, like in Cape Cod, were in the $15-20 range, unless you were getting something extra special. The prices in Ocean City were in the $25+ range. I’m sure other people have found better prices, but most of the more affordable places had scary reviews.

The sounds of kids racing their modified and extremely noisy cars was constant, no matter where we were. It was like a big college kid party town. Sure I didn’t go there for “tranquil”, but just a little bit less wild would have been nice.

Now even putting all that aside, there was really nothing to do besides lie on the beach, eat, and buy things. There really weren’t any Ocean City attractions, like museums, historical sites, unique geography, etc. Nothing that makes Ocean City stand out. I had done some research into things to do before we went, and although I didn’t find much, I figured a lot of stuff probably wasn’t mentioned since most people like to spend their days on the beach.

The best part of the trip was going to Assateague Island. And that’s not even in Ocean City. I realized that when we went 9 years ago, we had gone to the Chincoteague side and since they fence their ponies, we didn’t see any. As soon as we crossed the bridge into Assateague there were ponies milling about in the roads! It was so neat! It was a unique experience, sort of like going on a safari, but with only ponies! We also did some of the nature walks, one of which was a boardwalk through a salt marsh, and saw some turtles and tons of crabs and birds. Another nice thing about Assateague Island is that it only costs $15 to get in, and the pass is good for a whole week! It includes access to the beaches too, which makes it an extra good deal!

All in all, Ocean City might be a fun spot for a young group of people looking to hang on the beach during the day and party at night, but I don’t think it’s a good spot for a family vacation or a couple’s romantic getaway. I would suggest the Assateague/Chincoteague area instead, but even then, probably only for a weekend unless you wanted to make a few day trips to other areas.

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Planning For Vacation

Tomorrow I leave on a vacation to Ocean City, Maryland. This is the first vacation to somewhere new, that I’m doing all the planning for by myself. Our other vacations have been to places we’ve been before, like Cape Cod- I’ve been going there every year for about 15 years, so planning that trip wasn’t particularly stressful. I hope this one goes just as smoothly. 
I found the perfect hotel, reasonably priced, right on the beach and about two blocks past the end of the boardwalk (hopefully that’ll make it a bit less crowded). It’s across the street from an amusement park and a couple of seafood restaurants. Seems like an ideal location but I’ll keep my fingers crossed! 
I did some research and planned an outing to Assateague Island for a day. I went there with my family when I was 15, on the way back from Virginia Beach, but we never saw any of the wild horses. I hope this time we have better luck. 
I also want to check out the Fenwick Island Lighthouse and the nearby Mason-Dixon Line marker. On the way home from vacation, I want to swing by Rehoboth Beach, Delaware to check out a few unique stores. 
Other than that I want to leave the plan open to hanging on the beach, strolling the boardwalk, and visiting any attractions we might happen upon. 

To prepare for this fun and relaxing vacation, I’ve made like a million lists, googled activities and restaurant reviews, and made or purchased some supplies. 
I went to my local Christmas Tree Shop and purchased a large green tote bag with a zippered top for $3.99. I figured that would make an excellent and cheap beach bag but it seemed to be missing something. My monogram! Rather than hand embroidering something so large (it would take forever!), I decided to design it out of a festive fabric. I found some green, yellow and orange citrus printed fabric that was perfect for the job. I traced my monogram on the fabric, cut out the letters, ironed them, sewed them on, and voilà! 

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I tied a strip of the fabric to the zipper to bring it all together and complete the look. 
Since the fabric was something I already had on hand, the total project cost was only $3.99 plus tax! Quite a good deal for a totally customized bag!

Another great find was a beach cabana/sun hut from the Christmas Tree Shop. For $16.99 you get a space big enough for two beach chairs, three adults just sitting on beach towels, or four or five small children. It creates a breeze-free area to enjoy a picnic on the sand, and a place to take a break from the sun. 

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We probably won’t spend all day on the beach, but at that price, it’s worth grabbing just in case. I saw ones at other stores that had a front flap that zipped up to create a changing area for an extra $20 or so, but we’ll be only a short walk from our hotel room so I can’t imagine we’d actually use it. 

I’m also making sure we have all the basics. Sunblock. I got two kinds- 50 spf lotion and 30 spf spray. Plus an aloe cream for the inevitable sunburn. Two bathing suits per person. No one wants to wear a wet bathing suit if they don’t dry before the next swim, and you never know if you might tear it or something. Two beach towels- same reason. Water proof containers and pouches for cell phones, keys, etc. At least two pairs of flip flops per person for the beach. I have the worst luck and it seems I always break a pair, so this time I’m bringing a brand new, super durable pair, and a couple others, plus some brand new sandals. A first aid kit just in case. Sleepwear that is appropriate in case someone needs to get something from the car or go to the hotel office, etc. Everyone’s regular medicines, and extra just in case. I plan to bring a few extra migraine pills because I’d rather take an extra pill than miss out on enjoying my vacation.
In my opinion, you should plan as if everyone is going to need a lot of everything. Not one band aid in case someone gets a cut, but several because you might get the misfortune of several scrapes. Not just a couple tums in case you get a sour stomach, but a bottle of them in case it lasts for days or you’re not the only one. 
I know that most things you could just run out to a store for, but if you plan that way, you could end up spending a lot of your vacation time shopping for supplies, and you’ll most likely end up spending more money than you would have if you’d planned ahead. 

Anyway, I’m super excited! I have most of my packing done and just have to pack the car and make a quick trip to the store. I’m going to try to get myself to bed early so I can hopefully head out by 5:00am tomorrow morning. I’ll try to make time to post some pictures and an update about my trip so you can share in the fun! 

Back And Better Than Ever!

It’s been quite a long time since I’ve written a post but I want to get back to it. It’s been a busy past few months for me, between quitting smoking (almost 4 months tobacco free!), getting a new job, and putting some serious effort into getting into better shape, it seems like this blog got left behind. Now that I’ve had time to get myself together this blog is coming back!