Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Independence Day

Happy (belated) 4th of July! I hope everyone had a fun and safe holiday, celebrating our great country's independence!

We had a fantastic holiday. Chet was off Thursday (and obviously Friday). We were  invited to go to both Ocean City, MD and Salisbury, MD (approximately 30 minutes from each other), so we did both! 

We left for Salisbury at 6:30 a.m. on Friday (we wanted to avoid Thursday afternoon/evening holiday weekend traffic), and it was smooth sailing all the way. We stopped in Easton, MD (a little further than halfway to Salisbury) and had breakfast at Panera Bread.  It was the perfect place to stop, and Hurricane Arthur was keeping the July temperatures very low -- a nice surprise!

Us leaving early, all decked out in their 4th of July garb:

We arrived in Salisbury at 10 a.m., and had a fantastic, relaxing day (we also spent the night).  (The people we stayed with are the parents of Chet's good friend James -- an Academy roommate.)  The girls played with new-to-them toys (we literally brought two toys from home with us -- a stuffed dog and a stuffed horse) that our hosts had on hand for their own grandchildren.  We also ate a ton of amazing food.

(Bubby wasn't feeling well Friday or Saturday, but he rallied on Sunday morning.  Hence the reason there are hardly any pictures of him from this trip.)

The weather cleared up early Friday afternoon and we spent the rest of the day outdoors, mostly fishing:
(See that cat in the background?  Sydney loved it so much it scratched her -- lesson learned!  Maybe...)

Chet dipping Syd in the lake:

Post-bath and pooped:

Saturday morning, before we headed to Ocean City, Chet and I took the girls on the paddle boat:

L's Permahawk

Pre-Ocean City hair braiding:

It should have only taken us 30 minutes to get to Ocean City from Salisbury, but it took us over two hours, due to holiday/weekend traffic.  The kids were troopers though.

The sponsor family I was assigned at the Academy owns a condo on the beach in Ocean City, and they were who invited us down.  I went to two of their three daughters' weddings last year (in Baltimore with Sydney) and the year before (in San Diego with Lorelei).  They are so much fun, and they really do feel like family.  When we finally arrived in Ocean City we changed into our bathing suits and spent the rest of the day on the beach (from 2 p.m. until after 7 p.m.).  You'd think the girls had died and gone to heaven.  And we had so many extra (adult) hands to help us that Chet and I weren't even a tiny bit stressed out.  Bubby mostly napped; the warm (but not too hot) weather and roar of the ocean waves kept lulling him in and out of sleep.

Our original plan was to head home after the beach, to avoid Sunday traffic, but we were convinced to stay.  We ate crabs and chicken wings for dinner, and watched the 4th of July fireworks show from the condo's balcony (the show was moved from Friday to Saturday due to Hurricane Arthur).  Adding our family to the mix meant there were 12 people staying in the two-bedroom condo, but we all made it work (and we were generously given the master bedroom).  Bubby slept in the Pack 'n' Play, and the rest of us slept in the king-sized bed.

Bubby feeling better
We left Ocean City at 10 a.m., and ran into plenty of traffic on the way home (I'm SO glad we left when we did -- I can't imagine how bad traffic got as the day progressed).  We stopped at the same Panera Bread on the way home, and arrived in Alexandria around 3 p.m.

It truly was the perfect weekend.  Chet and I couldn't get over how happy and well-behaved the girls were.  It seems we were all in desperate need of a change of scenery.  (The girls reminded me on Monday though that they are human -- not angels -- so don't be gettin' jealous.)  :-)

In case you think your eyes might be failing you because you didn't see a single beach picture, rest assured that your eyes are fine. We left our phones in the condo, so we had nothing to document the occasion.  It was nice to "unplug" for a while.  Here are our beach babes (soon after we returned home), and Syd's tan line:

I hope you're 4th was great!  On to Labor Day!

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