First vacation!

July 17, 2010 at 11:37 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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It was a day of firsts. Liam’s first beach vacation. And Liam’s first earthquake. Yes, our day started bright and early at 5 AM when James and I awoke to find our bedroom vibrating. We sort of squinted at each other, then I said, “Earthquake?”, and James, who spent a good deal of his youth in California, said, “Couldn’t be.” Liam didn’t mind the shaking, thankfully. So then I spent the next couple of hours wondering what could make our room shake like that –- abnormally-low flying aircraft? –- in a futile attempt to go back to sleep. And sure enough, we turned on the news and there was an earthquake in Gaithersburg, just 15 or so miles from our house. I knew it!

The earthquake seemed to set the tone for the day, scrambling my brain so we kept going back to the house to get something I forgot, or make sure all the doors were locked. It wasn’t until we were halfway to Baltimore before we noticed the GPS was taking us the wrong way, which would have turned a two-and-a-half-hour trip into four-and-a-half hours. Toll road avoidance, bad! Thankfully we corrected it before it added too much time to our trip.

We arrived at Bethany Beach just in time for lunch, and according to my research, the crabs at Mickey’s Family Crab House were some of the best in town. James ordered the all-you-can-eat blue crabs, and I ordered the “famous” crab cake sandwich. I practically licked my plate, it was so scrumptious. But James didn’t enjoy the crabs as much as he thought he would – too much work for too little meat. And Liam was getting antsy, so he couldn’t stay and finish his second batch.

We checked into our hotel, conveniently next door and conveniently free with our hotel points (otherwise a whopping $289/night, yowza!), and headed three blocks to the beach. Mmmm, I love the smell of the ocean. Liam was a bit timid at first, but we coaxed out some giggles and splashing in the surf. He and James played in the sand a bit while I rented us a beach umbrella to save Mr. Whitey’s delicate complexion. (That would be James. We’re fairly certain after this trip that Liam has inherited my ability to tan easily.) We took turns taking Liam down to the surf, and each time he seemed to enjoy it more and more. At one point he took off running down the beach, and we got pretty far before I could turn him around. Then it was all I could do to keep him from running headlong into the surf. A couple of planes with banner ads flew by, which warranted enthusiastic points.

After a quick rinse at the hotel, we headed to the boardwalk for another highly-recommended restaurant, Bethany Blues BBQ Pit. Right as we walked in the front door we saw a sign advertising their 5th place win at the American Royal in Kansas City. So we had high hopes. My crab cake and beach fries gorgefest left me a bit full, so I ordered a local brew called Dogfish IPA, and an appetizer of sliders filled with pulled chicken, pulled pork, and brisket. For me, the BBQ is all about he sauce, so I slathered a bit of their sweet and tangy on one, sank my teeth in, and somehow teleported to Kansas City. Damn, that’s good! The spicy sauce was even better, giving my fav Oklahoma Joe’s a run for its money. James ordered pulled pork and pork ribs, which he said made up for his lack-luster lunch. I’m not usually a fan of ribs, but a taste of one from James’ plate, and I picked it clean in no time. Liam loved the corn bread, but just as I was about to enjoy my third slider, he’d run out of patience. We scarfed the rest of our meal and headed outside to enjoy the boardwalk.

Just for fun we stopped in this little pet boutique, and Liam went bananas barking, pointing, saying, “Baaa”, and downright molesting a dog statue. Moving right along, we picked him up some beachwear and our usual fridge magnet, then headed back to our hotel to get Mr. Fussibutt to bed.

We were a little nervous about how this was going to go. Along with his first beach vacation and first earthquake, this was also Liam’s first time staying in a hotel room. They provided a crib, but it was pretty small and metal, and I knew there was no way Liam would sleep quietly in it. So I got his blanket and his puppy, and we cuddled up in the bed and watched TV. He nodded off around 8:30, and I transferred him seamlessly into the crib. All was well…until inexplicably our alarm clock went off at midnight. Desperate to switch it off before Liam woke up, James hit every button on the damn thing to no avail. I had to unplug it. But the damage was done. I took him back to my bed (we ended up with two queens, so James slept separately from us. Lucky.), where he tossed, turned, slept sideways, jabbed me in the ribs, woke up crying, cuddled, jabbed, woke up crying, and so on until I finally turned on the light and turned on the TV again. Normally we’d give him a dose of Tylenol for that last stubborn tooth that I suspect was bothering him, but like so many other things we forgot on this trip, we forgot that, too. I flipped through channels, desperate for a cartoon. But even Tom and Jerry didn’t do the trick. Then, suddenly, I stopped on Puppy Superbowl on Animal Planet. Liam was quiet. And then he was barking, and pointing, and barking! And not crying! And I could lay down behind him and rest my eyes for a bit. Until a commercial. No dogs, no dice, apparently.

I waited an agonizing 45 minutes until breakfast, then took a very wide-eyed toddler down for eggs, cereal, and yogurt. Then he walked and I slept-walked around the hotel while James packed our things up. So many people stopped and remarked how cute Liam was. Obviously they didn’t sleep next door to us. We had initially planned to take a dip in the pool before our 11 AM checkout, then hit another seafood restaurant for lunch. But by 8 AM we knew we were too exhausted to enjoy any of that. I had been afraid that one night at the beach wouldn’t be enough time, but it turns out it was just enough. We’ll likely do this again next year, maybe trying out Virginia Beach or Atlantic City, and we’re hoping Liam will rest easier. Maybe we’ll bring some benedryl.   

Anyhow, while we rest up Sunday on our vacation from our vacation, check out photos from our trip here. And if YouTube gives you trouble, you can also watch the video here.


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  1. So cute! How fun! I wanna go to the beach with the Fletcher’s! Does Liam hate getting sunblock put on? It’s torture to Chance’s kids. And they’re white as can be so she slathers them up good. LOL!

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