Thursday, August 22, 2013

Somewhere, Beyond the Sea

It's far beyond the stars
It's near beyond the moon
I know beyond a doubt
My heart will lead me there soon

I had that song and La Mer stuck in my head the entire trip. Bobby Darin was easier to deal with though as at least I know some of those lyrics whereas the French eludes me. 

The girls had never been to the beach. Nope, not once. Neither James nor I are really beach people, so it isn't a place we would generally gravitate towards, but everyone should see the shore at some point, so we decided to make a 2 day jaunt to the coast. Having lived in Maryland 9 years now and never been, we decided to hop on over to Ocean City. 

After checking into our hotel (I'll say more about the hotel later), we went for dinner on the boardwalk. Dinner was okay but Teresa was pretty tired. I managed to snag this shot before we headed back to get the girls to bed. 

The next morning, we went to the Route 50 Diner. The girls loved the classic bumper cars on display and decided to make it a true 50s moment by climbing all of them into one. I don't recommend the diner. The iced tea, coffee and OJ were watered down and most of the food cold by the time we got it. Loved the decor though. 

After breakfast, we made for the beach. The waves are on the strong side, so when in the water, we made sure one of us was with the girls at all times. 

Felicity, ever my daredevil, wanted to venture out the farthest. We wouldn't let her go out beyond her knees though. The water was very strong (as in the adults lost their balance when the waves went back out) and I didn't have any floatation devices with me.

Teresa despised the sand. I mean she didn't want to sit in it. She didn't want to walk in it. She didn't want it anywhere near her and certainly not on her. She was scared of the waves too. Clearly not a beach girl. My mom tried to help her out but she had the nerve to permit the existence of sand within 5 feet of Teresa, so Teresa continued her mission to rid her presence of sand. 

Elizabeth stood in the waves a bit but mostly liked playing the sand. She loved digging in it and building castles with it and looking for shells in it. 

Cecilia and her sisters like writing the sand and watching the waves wash it away. You can see Elizabeth digging in the sand in the background and Teresa protesting to the far left.

Felicity, making a run for it from a bigger wave.

Elizabeth holding on to my hand as we braved the waves. Honestly, I was most stable when I let my feet get buried in the sand up to my ankles. Otherwise, I had trouble keeping my balance, so I had to hand it to the girls when they'd brave the waves considering how strong they were. 

Felicity holding onto James.

At one point I actually got Teresa, with her crocs on, to walk a bit of the more solid sand with me. She found a couple of sea shells she was very partial to. 

I completely accidentally caught a couple 1 second video clips on the beach. I didn't realize my phone had switched from camera to video. They are worth saving though.

Brigid was due for a nap, so I just brought her car seat, set her in the shade of an umbrella and she fell asleep. Incidentally, the umbrella, which is permanently affixed in that location in the sand, was apparently owned by some rental service. Even though there were not many people there and no one was asking to rent the umbrella, just before we were to leave the attendant came over and asked if we wanted to rent it. When I told him we wouldn't be there much longer, he still insisted I move the baby. The rest of us and our stuff were not under the umbrella, just her. Seems like a bit of a sham to claim pieces of a public beach with your umbrellas but then to be so unkind as to ask a baby be removed from it when there were so few people there... let's just say it didn't impress upon me a very welcoming attitude along the boardwalk and the businesses along the beach.

When we got back to the hotel, the Francis Scott Key Family Resort, we went on their pirate ship spray ground to rinse off. Cecilia going down the slide.

Felicity in the water jets. 

Cecilia under the water umbrella.

Teresa putting her toes in the slide drain.

Cecilia, Elizabeth and Teresa in the water jets with my dad giving Brigid a tour. Elizabeth fell getting out of one of the slides and skinned her knee. It wasn't bad, but it was bleeding and she was really upset about it. The attendant brought her a bandaid but she just kept wailing and wouldn't even let me look at it much less put the bandaid on. To try and cheer her up, the attendant even brought her a snow cone, which calmed her down a bit but we had to take her back to the room and change her and calm her down before we could get the bandaid on. After that, we thought lunch was in order.

We found a pizza place called J & J's. It was just a bit west and in a small, mostly empty row of stores/restaurants but the pizza was delicious. The cheesy garlic bread was very good too. It was almost like having NY pizza. Mmmmmmm.

Anyway, after lunch, we went to the hotel's miniature golf course. It was pretty run down and on the dull side. It really needs a bit of an upgrade but as my kids had never played miniature golf before, they were none the wiser and had fun. My dad tried to teach them the proper way to hold a golf club. 

She forgot how to hold the club halfway through, but my dad kept reminding them. The oldest three had a good time trying their best. 

Each girl got to pick their own ball. Of course Cecilia picked red, Felicity picked pink, and Elizabeth picked green. I don't think they were thrilled when that last hole didn't give them the ball back.

James helped Teresa with a purple ball, but she didn't quite get the gist of the game. She just wanted to pick up the ball and throw it. Or pick up anyone's ball and throw it. This was a playground, don't cha know!

After the mini golf, we sat on a picnic bench while my dad and Elizabeth finished. We turned around and Teresa was gone. We couldn't imagine she could have gone far, but we began looking in every direction. I spotted her past the outdoor pool and a parking lot heading up the steps of another building of rooms. I ran for her and fortunately no cars were coming, but it was lucky I caught her at the top of the stairs as she seemed to think we had begun a game of tag. Oh that girl! 

We then got back in to our bathing suits and went to the indoor pool and what an indoor pool it is! It is 6 inches deep at one end and 4 feet at the other. In the 6 inch - 1 foot section there is a turtle that shoots water the kids can sit on. 

The 2 foot section has a waterfall, demonstrated by my dad, as well as 

These 5 cones that gradually fill with water and then spill over dumping the water below into the pool.

Cecilia and my dad liked trying to throw the beach balls into the cones to see them fall when the cones spilled over.

She was quite determined.

Felicity in front of the cones.

The center of the pool held a long snake float. Here is my dad and Elizabeth in front of it but they didn't just swim around it. 

She rode the thing.

And was proud of it too.

James showed Teresa the snake and I even brought Brigid into the pool for a while. 

It was actually Brigid's first time in a pool. She loved hitting the water and splashing.

James held Teresa most of the time. I always hold her when I take her to the Y, so it was nice she got some pool time with Daddy. 

She loves the pool, but only if you are holding her. Asking her to stand on her own is a bit of a challenge and even walking in she insists on being carried. She loves being in the water though. 

Down by the 4 foot end is the slide. The three oldest went down this slide so many times, I don't even know which girl this is.

Okay, this one is Cecilia going down the slide. There was also a volleyball net (visible to the left) but none of the girls played by that. I think it was just a bit too deep for them to be hitting a ball over a net.

All those swimming lessons really paid off on this trip. Elizabeth wore her vest in the pool but swam confidently by herself the whole time. Felicity and Cecilia opted for vests sometimes and other times not but had a ball swimming carefree on their own. Down the slide, under the waterfalls, on the snake... they weren't afraid and had so much fun. 

We managed, courtesy of my mom, to get one shot of James and I together, hanging out with the littles in the shallow end. Awesome, awesome indoor pool. 

So, if you happen to be heading to Ocean City and have young or small children, I do recommend the Francis Scott Key Family Resort. The rooms are in great need of a make over as there is some peeling paint and the windows need to be cleaned and the A/C provides ample white noise from the unit. But they do have Disney Channel, the awesome sprayground, and that amazing indoor pool. I do wish the room had curtains as the first night Felicity had trouble going to sleep due to the light coming through the blinds but the location is good as well as you are just before the bridge so not far from the beach but also spared the noise and busyness of the boardwalk. There is a shuttle to take you to and from the beach and the prices were much better than the boardwalk hotels. 

Now, as I said, James and I are not beach people, so we don't go to the beach often, but this resort made a world of difference in our trip for all the enjoyment it provided the kids.

And, as they say...
That's all folks!


  1. What cute stuff that hotel has! So glad your family had a little beach vacay. This might be weird, but we stayed in a hotel at the beach that sounded like the one you're talking about (minus the cool kid stuff) but it was mom & pop type place and we want to go back so badly. Apparently I find charm in slightly run down ;).

  2. Oh my gosh!!! What fun!!!! That hotel looks AMAZING!

    I can't believe the umbrella incident, though. How terrible! That's just... it's just beyond me that they'd persist in you moving the baby because it was "taking up shade."

    Are you kidding me? Ugh. People... *shakes head*

    But I'm so glad the kids had such a good time. I'm so glad you got a fun family shot out of the experience, too! I can't believe you two don't like the beach so much, though. Then again, my husband's the same way. I, on the other hand, could live there happily. Ha ha ha.

    <3 As always, thanks for sharing all the pictures. Your girls are just beautiful.

  3. Gina, thanks. Yeah, neither of us are beach goers but we will jump at any chance to get to the mountains! Ironic as I lived in South Florida for 12 years, huh? LOL