I’m sure that after my five-year anniversary celebration, you were all anxious for another post. Unfortunately, I took a vacation, and had to abandon the blog for a week. (This was unfortunate for you, not for me. I was on vacation!)
But don’t worry, ’cause I’m back, and ready to bring you all the exciting details of the vacation!
My parents rented a beach house in Bethany Beach and invited the entire family. We’d be staying there with my sister, brother-in-law, two nephews, and a dog.
Beach Mix and Royal Farms
On Saturday morning, we loaded up the car, and set off on the road. I had compiled a super special playlist for the trip. This was about the most random mix of happy, feel-good songs ever placed together. We went from “Vacation” by the Go-Gos to “It Takes Two” by Rob Base, to “Love Touch” by Rod Stewart to “Private Eyes” by Hall and Oates.
The good times lasted until the Cutlet began whining too much about wanting to hear “her music.” After an unsuccessful attempt to convince her that she loved these songs too, we relented and allowed her to watch Monsters, Inc. on the iPad.
We hit a little bit of traffic around the Bay Bridge, but for the most part, the roads were clear. Unfortunately, we learned that once you clear the Bay Bridge, the area becomes extremely rural. We hoped to find a Wawa to stop at, but after miles of searching in vain, we were forced to settle for the far inferior Royal Farms.
The turkey sub sandwich I had there was decent, but the roll was lacking. On the plus side, Royal Farms did offer pornography in its magazine selection. Sadly, Mrs. Cutter talked me out of purchasing any.
Many people picture trips to the beach as relaxing experiences. You might sit on a chair, watch the waves, and perhaps sip a refreshing drink.
You know what they don’t show in those commercials? Two year old children with short attention spans.
The Cutlet enjoys the beach…in small doses. She’ll play in the sand for a little bit, she’ll sit and color in a coloring book for a little bit, and she’ll stand in the water for a little bit. The key words there? “A little bit.”
She won’t stick with any given activity for too long. For instance, she liked to stand in the water with us, but would get frightened if she stepped on a shell, or if the undertow got too strong, or if a wave splashed her in the eyes.
We also learned that if she is frightened by something, she doesn’t want her mother doing it either. We tried to leave her at the blanket while we went for a swim. This was fun for a few minutes until she noticed us in the water. She began to cry and wouldn’t calm down until Mrs. Cutter came out.
As a result, sessions at the beach generally lasted about an hour and a half. After that, she was ready to leave. On the bright side, the sun and sand tired her out and made her receptive to taking an afternoon nap.
This offered a chance for her parents to nap as well. This was very welcome because of…
Early Wake Up Calls
We learned a problem with staying in a house with three children under ten years of age: They wake up early.
Normally, the Cutlet is a late sleeper. (A fact for which we are eternally grateful) But when there are three kids in one room, it seems like once one of them is up, they’re all going to get up.
The wake-up process was taking place at 6:30 in the morning. Our slumber was distubred by the sound of three sets of footsteps coming down the stairs. Once downstairs, they seemed to busy themselves by running laps on the hardwood floor.
Being a light sleeper, there was no way I was going to sleep through that, so I would usually get up and get them breakfast.
The Big Night Out
One evening, the kids were left in the care of their grandparents, while everyone else went out to dinner. After dinner, we headed to Mango’s for some fruity drinks.
I ordered a rum drink served in a souvenir parrot glass, while Mrs. Cutter ordered a “Mangorita.” For some reason, once she was finished, Mrs. Cutter thought it was a wise idea to order a second one. She got about a tenth of the way through it before giving up, leaving me the option of either finishing it myself or letting it go to waste.
I’m sure you can figure out what I did. It should be noted that I hate the taste of tequila, but I found that with enough ice added, it becomes tolerable.
The sugary drinks made the 6:30 wake up call seem especially unpleasant the next day.
One night, the entire family ventured down to Ocean City, MD for dinner and a visit to an amusement park.
Our dinner destination was Macky’s, a restaurant that featured its own beach by the Bay. It is probably a fun place to drink, but as a restaurant, it was lacking. Nothing on the menu really appealed to me, so despite my previous disappointment with macaroni-based meals, I settled on macaroni and cheese mixed with crab meat.
The crab itself was fine, but the mac and cheese tasted awful. I think I’m done with ordering mac and cheese in restaurants.
After dinner, we went to the Jolly Roger amusement park. As a child, I loved going to these amusement parks. Back then, I never realized what a money drain these places are. You have to pre-purchase a number of “ride points” on a card which gets swiped every time you go on a ride. The problem comes when your child is too young to ride unaccompanied, so you have to pay double to ride it with her.
Somewhat to our surprise, the Cutlet really enjoyed the rides. We wouldn’t have been shocked if she freaked out and started bawling as soon as they began to move, but she was laughing and smiling. After the first couple of rides, we didn’t even have to accompany her, and she was fine going on with just her cousins.
Later in the evening, we all squared off in a carnival game where you had to shoot water guns at a target. To just about everyone’s surprise, the winner of the game was Mrs. Cutter. Her prize was a Yo Gabba Gabba Foofa doll, which the Cutlet was quite happy to receive.
Sadly, due to my limited available vacation time, we had to cut the vacation short, and come back on Tuesday night.
Part of me wasn’t that upset. When it comes down to it, I’m not really a beach person. I enjoy going in the water, but I don’t like getting sand stuck on me afterwards. I’m also not a big fan of just sitting in the sun, as I’ll wrap myself up in towels to avoid exposure.
After four days, I think I had absorbed all the UV rays that I needed. Remarkably, I actually have a pseudo-tan. My chest is now more of an off-white instead of my usual pastiness.
It was still sad to leave. It’s never fun to have vacation end, especially when it was theoretically possible to stay longer. But it just means that now I get to look forward to my next vacation!
I should probably start getting to work on the playlist now!