August 2017

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Bobby and I typically refer to Golden puppies as loaves of bread because they are roughly the size of a decently proportioned homemade loaf and similar in color. Since Guinevere is 11 weeks old--Alex and Lance were both 9 weeks when we brought them home--then she's quite a bit bigger than a loaf. We were adrift for a few days, not knowing what to call her. We'd sort of gesture her proportions with our hands like we'd do for the loaf of bread but bigger. But we didn't have a word to go with it. Eventually, I started calling her the miche, after the extra-large loaves one can buy at Panera Bread.

Well, we picked up the miche after work today. More! Including pictures, of course!! Of the miche. )
Bobby and I and my parents decided a few weeks ago that we wanted to go to Ocean City for the holiday weekend. It was a short trip--we left Friday around noon and came home today--but was very, very nice; I wish I was still there. Friday morning, Bobby left for Liberty Mountain to get first chair on their opening day of the season, which was--like last year--unusually early. (The Western resorts like Jackson Hole and Vale also opened this weekend.) He returned ecstatic, having spent the morning on snow that he said was more like January snow than November.

While he was gone, I rushed around getting things ready so that we could leave as soon as he came home. The Goldens knew that something was up as soon as the suitcase came out. As soon as their leashes and seatbelts followed, I had Alex on my heels for the rest of the morning. Despite having been thoroughly exhausted by the Thanksgiving festivities the day before, they managed to ratchet up some excitement for what they knew was an impending trip. Phil went to sleep in the car but Alex stayed awake for the whole three-hour ride.

We arrived in OC at around 3:30, only a couple minutes after my parents arrived. We were staying at the Fenwick Inn, which allows dogs in the wintertime. I took the Goldens to pee; they were both acting like wild animals and drove me crazy in just the short walk to the grassy spot where we take them and back to the hotel. We dropped them off in the room, knowing they were thoroughly exhausted enough to go right to sleep, and headed off to get a late lunch.

More and pictures below the cut! Including the tale of the old creaky hinge ... )
I've been in Ocean City all this week (hence I'm quieter than usual, i.e., pretty much silent except for handling site-related stuff), home last night. It was a beautiful week for the beach and, all in all, pretty nondescript, which is sometimes exactly what a vacation needs to be.

My parents came down with us for the first half of the week. I woke up Sunday morning, post-beestung nose, with diffuse facial swelling that made me look rather like a non-cute Avatar character: non-cute because, unfortunately, the swelling didn't also come with large luminous eyes and blue skin; I just looked puffy and weird. We left on Sunday and got into town around 1:30 and had the traditional arrival lunch at Piezano's, then headed for the beach. The temperatures this week were in the low 80s (~27C), sunny, but with a breeze off the ocean that kept the beach cool. Actually, at times, it was almost chilly.

A breeze off the sea is not good for surfing, though, as it flattens the waves. Poor Bobby has had awful surfing all week. More and pictures below the cut! )
Well, I'm back. We got home about an hour ago. Bobby is putting the air-conditioning units in because it was hot and sticky (aaah ... Maryland summers!), and it is presently pouring rain, though no thunder yet.

I spoke too soon when I said summer had arrived because, yesterday on the beach, the sun went in and the wind kicked up, and it was quite chilly actually. Then it was a cool evening; Bobby went out in just a T-shirt and was cold at various points in the evening. Bobby did get some decent surfing in after the lifeguards went in when the wind very briefly died down. (Wind off the sea flattens the waves and makes for poor surfing. I didn't know that!) I was hoping that he'd finally taken up a hobby that I could support him in without freezing my ass off (as with hockey and snowboarding), but it seems I have to wait till later in the summer for that to be the case.

We went to supper at Shenanigan's Irish Pub last night on 4th Street, then walked down the Boardwalk to the Inlet. We rode the Freak-Out, which is a smaller and therefore much more intense version of The Claw in Hershey Park. Because it is smaller, it swings higher and faster and spins faster.

Freak Out! )

I am not a publicly demonstrative person when it comes to emotion. I do not tend to show fear or sadness when others can see. Nor do I show a lot of noisy joy, so I'm not a whooper or a cheerer or anything like that. If I were to win a large sum of money at, say, a casino, I would be a disappointing person to feature as a winner. But on this ride? I shriek and cackle like a madwoman. Which in turn cracks Bobby up. But the ride is intense, and I say that as a person who has never met a ride she won't try. I reached a point last night where I wasn't sure which direction was up. I think I come by it honestly, as my mom--also not particularly emotionally demonstrative in public--used to be hilarious on thrill rides, to the point that a ride operator once kept us on the Tilt-a-Whirl for about ten minutes because he was cracking up at my mom.

After Freak-Out, we went out on the fishing pier, but it was too chilly to stay out for long, then walked up the Boardwalk. We wanted to try the new microbrewery that opened, the Backshore Brewing Company. I ordered the stout and Bobby the brown ale. Oh my, the stout was divine, with a strong taste of coffee and milky smooth. I have had allergic reactions twice to craft beers--once the oatmeal stout at Mountain State Brewing Company in Deep Creek and once to a chocolate stout from a microbrewery in Colorado--so especially with stouts, I have developed the habit of taking a good swig and meditating for a minute on the deliciousness as I wait to see if I start to itch. I did this with my stout last night and nothing happened, so I drank it slowly to make it last while Bobby finished his brown ale and went back to try the black IPA.

I also tried his brown ale (we are very much a take-one-down-pass-it-around family and will try whatever the other one orders), which was tasty, and so I also tried the black IPA. And started to itch. Cut for Possible TMI Involving Allergies and Belching! )
I think this weekend can be said to finally usher in summer, for reals yo (as my students would say), at least in the House of Felagund. We had the first day of cultural summer (Memorial Day) and the first day of meteorological summer (June 1), but the chilliness lingered back home, and it just didn't feel like summer yet.

Thursday, Bobby and I went to see Jack Johnson in concert in the evening at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia. This is one of our favorite venues: outdoors; nice, vast, soft lawn; doesn't take forever and a day to get in or out. (DC venues could take a page out of there playbook there.) We stopped for supper at our favorite restaurant from when we lived in Ellicott City, the Trolley Stop; our usual server was still there and still remembered us. We arrived at Merriweather when the gates opened at 6, and the line was already massive, and we ended up near the back of the lawn. Read more... )
Bobby and I went to Ocean City for a long weekend, having taken off work on Friday. (So tomorrow I get to see what the person who covered for me actually did with the work I left for my students, since Ms. Karen was also off yesterday.) The reason for going was multi-faceted. It was the Maryland International Kite Expo, which we were interested in checking out. Bobby wanted to take the surfboard he got for his birthday out for a spin. And we just felt like going.

No Goldens this time; this was the last weekend they would have been allowed on the beach and boardwalk, but we were unable to find pet-friendly accommodations at the somewhat last-minute. It turned out to be just as well since Alex--who is doing very well and hasn't limped in almost two weeks--isn't supposed to do more than 5 or 10 minutes of mild activity at a time until the vet clears his ACL injury on Thursday, so he would've been basically stuck in the room all weekend. As it was, he and Lance stayed with our friend Dawn, who certainly lavished them with attention.

We were supposed to have gorgeous weather, and we did ... sort of. We left Friday morning with Bobby's surfboard securely strapped to the car. Me being me, I was a little nervous about that, but it didn't budge either way, even going over the Bay Bridge with its wicked crosswinds. Friday was the worst weather day of the weekend; in the 50s F (~10C) with rain at night as the warm front rolled in. After arriving in town, we stopped for pizza at Piezano's--our first of the year! Bobby called the day before to see if they were open, and we rejoiced that they were. It is tradition that we stop at Piezano's on our way in. We were staying at a new hotel, the Coconut Malorie, which was a bit fancier than where we usually stay. We were a bit early but were allowed to check in and, after that, headed for the beach.

The breeze was brisk and coming off of the sea, i.e. cold. But the sun was shining, so I wrapped up in the beach blanket and was comfortable. Bobby donned his wetsuit and off he went. Read more... )
Bobby and I went to Ocean City again this weekend. We took the Goldens again and also met my parents this time. We had a great time. We took a half-day from work on Friday and made really good time getting there; the traffic over the Bay Bridge can be hell. We arrived 15 minutes after my parents and, after getting unpacked, headed to the beach. The shelling was really good again this time, and we found several sand dollars as well as a number of pretty shells.

Like last time, it was cold and windy when we arrived. Aside from the late-afternoon beach walk (which my parents skipped), we stuck indoors on Friday: went to dinner at Adolfo's, a lovely Italian restaurant on the Boardwalk, and went back to the hotel to hang around the pool. Saturday, though, the weather was gorgeous: 68F/20C, sunny, no wind, and not a cloud in the sky. Bobby and I took the Goldens down to the beach at about noon; within a few minutes, we had stripped down to summertime clothing and removed our shoes, the weather was so perfect. Not surprisingly, we were among the only people on the beach. I told Bobby that I thought it was fitting that we were probably among the first people of 2014 to sit on the OC beach in beach chairs! :D

We ended up staying for close to three hours and both of us ended up getting a little sun: not enough to hurt (and it's already faded, except for a very stark stripe across my right bicep) but enough to remind us that summer is coming. We went next to the Boardwalk. Poor Lance becomes frightened by too much excitement and noise, and this was the busiest we've ever had him on the Boardwalk. He is particularly frightened of people on skateboards, especially since, when we were there in February, there was a guy dressed in a blue Grateful Dead bear outfit that kept skateboarding past and terrified poor Lance. We had dinner reservations at 7 and so decided to have a snack while on the Boardwalk, so I held the Goldens on a bench, and Lance jumped up next to me and curled into a little ball as much behind my body as he could manage. People kept coming by, seeing Alex and exclaiming over him, followed immediately by, "Aww, there's another one!" when they saw Lance wedged in beside me.

Read more... )
We didn't think that we were going to make it to Ocean City this weekend. We got dug out from the big snow just fine (one of the good things about living in town limits: that we don't have to wait for county plows to make it to the side streets!), but the "snow showers" that were supposed to leave us with a dusting on Friday night got bumped up to a "winter weather advisory" with the possibility of another 6 inches/15 cm through Saturday afternoon. *headwall* Then, to add injury to insult, Bobby came down with this weird 24-hour virus that has been going around the school and had chills and fever for much of Friday. We didn't want to trust that it would run its course in 24 hours with him, so we held off on making reservations.

But Saturday morning, we woke up and Bobby was not only feeling better but the winter weather was actually downgraded for probably the first time this winter. (The winter weather advisory was cancelled everywhere but ... Carroll and northern Baltimore Counties. *sigh*) So Bobby made us a reservation, we grabbed some leftovers for lunch, and packed ourselves and the Goldens into the car. It started snowing lightly in the early afternoon and snowed the entire way down, until we were within a few miles of Ocean City, but the temperatures were several degrees above freezing, so it didn't stick to the roads. I had some final revisions to do on my paper, so these were done at 60 mph, while cruising down the highway. (Bobby was driving, not me. I can read and write just about anywhere, but not while driving!)

When we arrived, the weather was awful. It was raining with a fierce wind and about 38F/3C. We ended up staying at the Fenwick Inn because it was the only place Bobby could get a pet accommodation at the last minute. (The last time we stayed here, someone died in the pool, among other horrors!) We swore we wouldn't stay here again but such is the desperation to get away from the almost three feet of snow we have at home and see the ocean. And it's been nice; they've put a literal and figurative coat of paint on the place.

We went for a delicious and HUGE supper at Tequila Mockingbird, then headed back to the hotel to hang out in the pool and hot tub (which no one has died in this time, to the best of my knowledge). We went to bed ridiculously early; we were both exhausted. We woke in the small hours of the morning to Phil sitting on the other bed and barking at the air, then again a short while later when something went rolling across the floor overhead. (The restaurant is above us, so for all I know, someone dropped a cantaloupe.)

As miserable as was yesterday's weather was as beautiful as was today's. The skies were clear and the sun was beaming; it was a balmy 40F/4.5C but felt more like 50F/10C in the sun. Bliss. And there is no snow down here. It's like being on another planet.

We had lunch at The Shark on the Habor, which is an incredible restaurant in West OC set alongside the commercial harbor. They serve all local foods. I had southwestern sweet potato soup and a cauliflower "steak"; Bobby had the fisherman's stew and a crabcake sandwich. We stopped at the inlet on the way back and blew $10 in quarters in Marty's Playland, playing pinball and the two-player Deadstorm Pirates game that includes such lovely English translations as "Shoot that burly monster!" (Not as good as the infamous--but turned off this time--Ocean Hunters game, in which one is encouraged to "Aim the throat!" and "Aim the eye!" whilst fighting various monsters.) Then, back to the room to get the Goldens and take them for a turn on the Boardwalk.

At this point, we started taking pictures, so the rest goes below the cut. More and Pictures below the Cut! )
... than Ocean City, Maryland, on a sunny day, in the low 80s F, with a brisk breeze blowing off the sea.

We arrived yesterday, having left Manchester at about 8 in the morning. We dropped the Goldens off at Bobby's parents' house the night before, so all we had to do was pack the car and hit the road.

It rained sporadically the whole way down, until we got about a half-hour out of OC--it takes us about three-and-a-half hours from Manchester--and then it was bright and sunny and beautiful. We got into town at about noon, stopped at Piezano's for lunch--they have the best pizza in the world, with the sauce on top of the cheese, as weird as that sounds--and then strolled around the Dew Tour, which was this weekend. The room wasn't ready, so we sat on the beach until evening.

It is hot in the sun but there is a strong breeze coming off the ocean that actually makes it a little chilly to sit in the shade of an umbrella on the beach. In other words, perfect beach weather. As I told Bobby, if I can moderate my temperature just by sticking a leg out into the sun, versus having to go out into the ocean, which is the only way to cool off later in the season, then that's perfect in my mind!

We drove across the bridge to West Ocean City for dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant in OC, La Hacienda. There used to be a La Hacienda in Ocean City, but it closed; thankfully, it has a sister restaurant in Ocean Pines. They have an outdoor deck-bar, and there was a bona fide bar fight. We were sitting by the window overlooking the pond and the deck and so got to see the whole thing. It felt like being at work! The male server, who was about 18 years old, and the busboy, who was about 16, broke it up, so just like at work, it was probably more of a show put on in a safe place where the fighters knew they wouldn't actually be hurt before someone broke it up. (Our students are fond of waiting to fight until there are about a half-dozen of the biggest male staff in the room.) The manager told us that these people come in and cause drama frequently. She said she never saw the kind of drama at the OC restaurant that she sees since moving to the sleepy Ocean Pines' restaurant!

Last night, we walked about two miles on the Boardwalk, got on the ferris wheel, and went out on the pier (rebuilt since Hurricane Sandy took about a third of it) and watched a fishing boat come in and people catch various things off the pier. It is amusing and sad to go out onto the OC pier when people are actually catching things because their "knowledge" of sea life is so wrongheaded that it'd be comic if that ignorance didn't lead to people doing dumb things. The waters around OC are full of skates, which become stingrays--and therefore dangerous--in the minds of most people. Oh, and horseshoe crabs have a stinger as well. I was surprised to learn this, as was the horseshoe crab that got hooked on the pier last night.

Today we did lunch at Brass Balls and a long day on the beach. I am almost finished A Feast for Crows by GRRM. It's the usual GRRM: entertaining as all get-out at times, not very well written (if I read the phrase "fearsomely strong cider" one more time or if some overweight character "puffs" one more time, I might chuck the book into the sea), and punctuated by long dissertations on the various movements and goings-on of minor lords. GRRM really is an artist when it comes to random interval positive reinforcement. Just when you think you can't bear to read another account of how various minor characters are related to each other or another heraldic description, then he'll come out with something truly shocking and keep those pages turning.

Off to supper at a new restaurant now and back to the Boards for arcade games tonight!
This week was midterms. This is good because it means the semester is halfway over and *checks pulse* yep, I am still living. And I am well done over half the work in both of my classes, so the latter half should be significantly less intense than the first half. I have around a 98% in both classes, so I am floating buoyantly with my head and upper chest above the water at this point. I had two midterm essays to write this week for my Renaissance class that were like pulling teeth to write; neither topic was very interesting (I had to choose two of three and the third was even less interesting), and the one book I had to discuss, Gargantua and Pantagruel, however ... intriguing ... and sometimes entertaining it was, was not a book I found easy to write about. I just finished both essays, and they are posted, and I am caught up on other work for the week.

So I am rewarding myself by writing in my journal. \0/

Bobby and I went to Ocean City last weekend so that we could take the Goldens. Dogs are not allowed on the beach or Boardwalk May through September, so it was one of the last weekends we could go. We had a good time. We left Friday after school, sat in horrendous traffic to cross the Bay Bridge, and were in OC by 8 PM. There are very few pet-friendly hotels in OC, but we have stayed at the Barefoot Mailman before and liked it, plus it is rated #7 in all of OC on Trip Advisor, which is saying something! It keeps company with the Hilton and Princess Bayside and other luxury hotels that, in season, cost several hundred dollars a night to say in. It is a humble little motel that doesn't even back up on the ocean, but it is very clean. ("Pet-friendly," unfortunately, tends to equate with "slightly skeevy" in my mind; I had a former coworker who stayed at a pet-friendly hotel once where the chair had fleas!)

The Goldens were good. This was Lance's first trip to the ocean. We took Alex when he was still a baby, before we had Lance, when he was afraid of the ocean and ate sand that he later shat out on the Boardwalk. (I just looked back at those pictures. Alex looks so young! I look so skinny! Bobby looks so beardless!) Alex is still afraid of the ocean, as is Lance, but no sand was consumed or shatted out on this trip, although Alex did poop once on the beach, right on the edge of the ocean, and got washed over by a wave in mid-poop, which he did not like, Bobby said. (This was early morning. I wasn't there.) The weather was decent but not great; the Goldens behaved better than the weather. It was chilly and so windy on Monday, the day we left, that we decided to skip a final walk on the Boardwalk and just go home instead.

More about Our Trip with Pictures below the Cut )
Our trip may have only lasted about 30 hours, but Dad still took some pictures ... lots of us eating in restaurants, for some reason. None of the beach. That's Dad for ya.

30 Hours Apparently Spent Mostly Eating )
We've Been Kicked out of Better Places! )
It Was Awesome! )
In other words, I will be leaving for Ocean City soon.

Yes, for any who have wondered, "Whence came Dawn's dancing beer!wine!beer! icon??" It is a sign on a liquor store in OC. I remember it from when I was a kid and always loved it and looked out for it. Photography and GIF animation by moi.

Tomorrow, Bobby and I are heading up to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire grounds for Celtic Fling. We will be seeing Scythian again. squeeeeeee! Then, Sunday morning, we are leaving for Ocean City. We will be back on Tuesday.

So I will be gone for a couple of days. I'm going to try to check in every day just to make sure my websites are doing okay and might post pictures and stuff if I'm so inspired but, more likely, probably won't be around--or at least visible--till next Wednesday.

Of course, I'm all behind in comments right now. Wednesday night, my brain decided to do one of it's wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-to-play things, so on Thursday, I was so exhausted that after I finished my six articles for the day (which barely happened), I wobbled down into the basement (because it was the only part of the house that felt decent, it having been insanely hot this week, even up here) and proceeded to fall asleep on the couch for two hours. Those two hours are my daily playtime, so now I'm all behind and stuff. Alas. Stoopid brain.

Today is exactly the one year anniversary of our trip to Ireland. Let's see ... this time a year ago, we were flying above the Atlantic and descending to land in Dublin. I didn't sleep but a half-hour that night because our flight route took us over the North Atlantic and, it being so soon after Solstice, the sun never fully set, and I was enthralled by that and kept checking every few minutes to "see what it looks like now!!1!" In just a few hours, Bobby and I would find ourselves on a nearly deserted O'Connell Street at about 7 AM with no clue where we were, fumbling with a map to find our B&B. Later, we'd walk down to the tourist center to meet [ profile] hrymfaxe, who spent the first few days with us. We would go to the Beatty Museum and I would be so tired that I literally fell asleep on my feet while looking at illuminations. Bad apprentice. Shame. But it was so worth it.

I'm glad we're going away this weekend so that I don't spend the whole weekend going, "This time last year, we were ..."
Bobby and I are leaving tomorrow evening for Ocean City and won't be back until Sunday afternoon/night. So my online presence will be even less than usual ... as in absent.

Anyone want a postcard? It's late notice with less than 24 hours for a request, but I'm happy to oblige if you can leave a comment here before 4 p.m. tomorrow EST. ;) I'm screening comments, so leave your address in a comment. If I have your address already (as in I've sent you postcards, candy, and whatnot before), you don't need to leave it again.

And this might be the shortest LJ post I've ever made. Eegads!
Massive quantities of Alex-and-sand-related pictures ... dial-up beware!

Alex in the Sand )
Well, we're back ...

Did I even mention that we were going? I don't think that I did. Anyway, we went to Ocean City for three days for Bobby's birthday and also so that Alex could go before the in-season bans on dogs go into effect. Beginning in May, there are restrictions for dogs on the beach and Boardwalk, and we wanted to take Alex to both.

Crazily enough, the weather when we went with Sharon and Kirsty for Thanksgiving weekend at the end of November was warmer than it was Easter weekend, in April. It still wasn't completely bad, though ... just a little chilly.

Ocean City in April )

Ocean City!

Nov. 29th, 2006 11:58 pm
dawn_felagund: Skeleton embracing young girl (Default)
Bobby and I have a long-standing tradition of going to Ocean City in the winter months. Not only is it dirt-cheap during the off-season, but it's also one of the most relaxing vacations that we ever have. Anyone who has been on my LJ long enough to experience a handful of our vacations knows that we rarely sit still. Because there's not much to do in OC in the winter, we can lounge by the pool or idle in the arcade without feeling like we're missing out on other things.

This weekend was absolutely fantastic. It was really what I needed, what with having some Life Stress (tm) at the moment. Sharon had asked me a few months ago if we might schedule our annual winter OC trip so that she and Kirsty could go along, so that was our Christmas gift to them. We left Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Traffic was horrible because it's Maryland and traffic is always horrible, but this was the first and only hitch on the whole trip. (Well, except for on the way home, but let's get to OC first!)

Ocean City! )

Tomorrow, we will be heading out again, staying with my parents for a night, then driving up to Hershey for the weekend, and coming back in time to leave again for New York City on Monday. *whew* Gotta love the holiday hubbub! So I won't be around much (understandably) in the next couple of days.

Ocean City

Aug. 29th, 2006 10:21 pm
dawn_felagund: Skeleton embracing young girl (Default)
For those who don't want to read the synopsis and look at the pictures, here's the long-n-short of it:

Ocean City is much more fun when it does not feel as though your ribs are being ripped from your body. Or when your back does not spasm from sitting down, lying down, or standing up. Or when your lungs don't feel like sponges.

Or when it isn't foggy/overcast/drizzling the whole time.

In other words, this time was much nicer than last time.

Ocean City )
Following is an account of our weekend holiday to Ocean City, Maryland last week. Dial-up beware: I'm including a lot of pictures! Some of the pictures were taken last weekend; others were taken last August, and I never got around to posting them. Because the weather was more favorable last year, I am posting some of them now, particularly those that I took of famous OC landmarks.

Ocean City! )

For the Tolkien Fans on my Flist...Are You Interested in Real Estate in Rivendell? )

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