That's right...crabs...and lots of them. Now get your head out of the gutter...not those kinds of crabs. The campground we stayed at just outside of Ocean City, Maryland had a crabbing pier and we must have caught over 100 crabs throughout the week. The kids would get up every morning and run to the crabbing pier with their traps to catch as many as they could before we headed out for the day. When we got back, they would race down again and start it all over again until dinner. They also caught quite a few starfish in the traps, which was a highlight. We also saw some kids catch a flounder, a puffer fish, and a giant hermit crab...the size of your fist! You would think with this industrious work each day, they would be dying to try them. Not so much. They would just throw them back or give them to other kids who were going to eat them.
The trip was great - took about 9 hours each way with gas and food stops. The campground has a caribbean theme with all the buildings painted in Key West pastel shades. Besides the crabbing pier, they had a bayside beach, a pool, kids activities, free shuttles to Ocean City and Assateague Island...and the best part was that we were 3 sites away from their new addition...a tiki bar. They had great live entertainment each night, although I could have done without karaoke night and the very tall, thin teen, complete with braces and glasses, who sang one opera song after another. Holy Bloody Ears.
I won't bore you with our day by day details but instead I'll share some highlights. Within 45 minute of arriving, we had set up and we headed to the Tiki Bar. Turns out kids aren't allowed in.....although they are just separated by a few tropical plants and a knee high caribbean blue fence, Jack & Mimi looked like puppies in the window hoping someone would take them home. The kids were dying to go to the beach and crabbing but instead they stood there in their bathing suits looking like orphans. C'mon....after a nine hour drive (and we left at 3 am) we needed some tropical drinks to dull the pain. Rather than go to the crabbing pier or make a sandcastle on the beach together, which were within an arm's length from the tiki bar, they just stood there silently staring at us, wondering "When will they come out?" I think we lasted 8 minutes. So much for couple time.
We went to Assateague Island on our second day and it is pretty amazing. If you aren't familiar, there are wild ponies that live and roam on the National Seashore. The beaches are like talcum powder and the waves were fantastic. When we arrived, there was a herd of 4 horses in the parking lot just hanging out. They have amazing campsites right on the beach and we saw a couple eating outside their pop up at a picnic table, and 3 horses were eating grass right next to them. If we go back to visit we will spend at least one night there just to experience it up close and personal. We even saw a little baby horse on the side of the road. I should mention these aren't domesticated horses...they are truly wild..and the visitor center does a good job showing the effects of getting too close to the horses...many people with horse bites that looked very painful. If you get the chance to go, I wouldn't pass it up but remember to keep your distance.
Mimi lost three teeth in 4 days. When we started the vacation she had one loose tooth...and it was very wiggly but just didn't want to come out. One day while we were eating lunch, she said it hurt, and the next thing we knew, it was in her hand. The next day she said "the tooth next to that one is wiggly now" and by the end of that night when we were waiting in line for ice cream, we were all surprised to see the tooth fall into her hand. She looked like a crazy old lady with all that space on the side of her mouth. The next day she mentioned the molar on the other side was wiggly and on day 4 she was complaining that it hurt. She went to wiggle it and it just came out in her hand. It was a little unnerving, I have to admit. It was as if all her teeth were just falling out of her head. That left the rest of the vacation for her to gum all her food or chew like a gopher with her front teeth. We have been tap dancing around the tooth fairy thing for some time. She has been in the space between knowing there is no tooth fairy but not wanting to admit that it has been us all those years. Well, this past week took care of that. I told her to put her tooth under her pillow and she put her hand on my shoulder and said in a very mature little voice "Mom, why don't you just hand over the money now..." Nuff said. In hindsight, maybe it was me that had the issue, not her....
We went to a great restaurant literally on the beach called Macky's. I don't understand why there aren't any places like that on the Cape. Our table was literally ONE step away from the water's edge. They sold nets in the lobby so the kids could troll in the water looking for critters. The sun was just setting when we got there and the temperature was about 83 degrees at 7:30...it was a perfect setting. That is until a lady a few tables away decided she wanted her picture taken IN the water. She kept lifting her dress up so it wouldn't get wet but she was basically providing a peep show. She was also very inebriated and had trouble standing up. Timmy and I caught ourselves silently praying she would go over...who wouldn't love some entertainment like that?? Unfortunately, we didn't get the show we were hoping for but nonetheless, it was a great spot!
We met some really nice people this time around. Not sure if it is us starting to open up to other people when we camp, or if the people we ran into were just super friendly but it really paid off. They gave us crabbing tips, restaurant recommendations, area information, and even some great future campground recommendations. For the most part, this campground was made up The Rest of Us, with only a small handful of Sweats.
We also noticed the kids really got along well on this trip. I'm not sure if the summer togetherness has finally worn them down or they just had so much fun on this trip that they realized playing together was more fun than fighting. Or it could have been that they really bonded while standing dejectedly outside the fence of the tiki bar and realized they might have pushed us so far over the edge with their bickering that we wouldn't come back. My guess is it is the latter. Whatever the reason, it was really pleasant.
Instead Timmy and I decided to fight tho. He couldn't hear a thing I was saying for about two days and when I asked him if there was a problem, he accused me of mumbling. Then phrases like "You're like an old man!" and "Why don't you speak up?!" started flying. We finally realized it was a combination of constantly having the ac on in the camper and the car, the constant sound of the waves, and the music from the tiki bar at night. The kids got a kick out of it and spend the rest of the vacation putting on old people faces and saying "What? I can't hear you!" It was a frightening glimpse into our Edith & Archie days.
The most unfortunate highlight happened 3 days before we left. Randy Quaid's twin brother and his unruly brood showed up at the pool. I am not kidding you...this guy was a dead ringer for Cousin Eddie....looked like him...and boy did he sound like him. I really paid attention to him when he stood over the pool with his Natty Light in hand, yelling "Someone let a deuce go in the pool!" He couldn't stop laughing and yelling "Check out the Baby Ruth!" I looked around and didn't see anything so I thought he might just be trying to clear the pool for fun. I got the kids out of the pool anyways just in case. And sure enough, there it was taking a ride in the fountain in the pool....giving us all a Big Pooh Wave. Please tell me, who poohs in the pool?? My guess is that it isn't a kid in a swim diaper but more like a 7 or 8 year old boy who just didn't want to take the time to get out of the pool and take care of his business. Even though the pool opened up a mere few hours later, we never went back to The Poohl for the rest of the trip.
Another great camping trip! Next week I am off for my second solo camping trip on the Cape, at a different place in Falmouth. Am I getting sick of camping? Not yet! The kids would like to be home more, especially with school just a few weeks away, but I'm hoping this will a great last camping trip with the kids for the summer. Wish me luck!