Thursday, September 30, 2010

OCMD Vacation Day 4

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Sunny, 88 degrees, breezy

When I woke up on this day, I thought I'd be really anxious and nervous, but I wasn't.

Today was the day I was going to get over my fear of heights and go Parasailing!!!  But first, breakfast at my very favorite, in the whole world restaurant in Ocean City!

My friend, Fran, turned me on to this place the first year I rented her Housita.  And now I'm going to turn you on to it!  If you are ever in Ocean City, MD, you MUST go to The Bayside Skillet for breakfast.  Bring money, though, because it isn't a cheap meal but oh! So worth every penny!  You can't miss this place.  It's at 77th Street on the bay, and the building is completely PINK!

We come to this place every year.  We usually only go once because our bill is usually around $45.  We treat ourselves and you'll see why.

This is Maryland.  You can buy an alcoholic drink for breakfast here.  Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.  This day I did not because I was planning to do the Parasailing thing and I didn't want them to prevent me because I'd been drinking.

Did I mention that we said screw the fat,calories and carbs this trip?  We were on vacation.  I start back on Nutrisystem this Friday, October 1.

We started off with  Potatoes Tara.  Pan-fried potatoes sauteed with bacon, onions and mushrooms, topped with melted cheddar cheese.  We shared this dish.  It's yummiful!!!!!

For my main course, I had the House Specialty, the Strawberry Blintz Omelette.  This omelet is stuffed with fresh strawberries, cream cheese and brown sugar.  It's topped with fresh strawberries and dusted with powdered sugar.  You can get other fruits in season, but I usually stick with strawberries.  OMG!!  This dish is almost better than sex!!  These pictures were taken with my camera, not the professional photos on the menu. (see my notebook beside the plate? )

John chose to have the Strawberry Crepes.   Three crepes, with fresh strawberries and Chantilly cream.  You can also choose other fruits, in season, but he likes the strawberries.  Oh and he got  a side of bacon.  The man has to have his meat.

Here's a close-up of the crepes.  YUM!!!

So, now that we were properly stuffed, it was time to head over to the parasailing place, and hope I don't lose this wonderful brunch I just had!

We made a quick stop at Walmart (Hi Garret!) on the way to buy rubber bands because John wanted to make something to keep our glasses on.  This was a trick he learned in the Army when he was a paratrooper.  He made straps to attach to our glasses so we didn't have to worry about losing them in the ocean (and at $500, I was NOT about to lose these glasses, even if I do need a new pair!).  Of course, I didn't think to take a picture of them, but they worked beautifully!

OK, so we head on over to Paradise Watersports in Ocean City.

We signed up for parasailing.  We have a choice to go up 400 ft., 600 ft., or 800 ft.  We decide what the hell, if we go up 400 ft., we may as well go 800 ft.   So that's what we did!!  There were 5 groups of 2 on the boat.  The ocean was still rather rough from Hurricane Igor, so we stayed in the bay.  Even that wasn't as calm as it should have been!

John and I were the 2nd couple to go up.  I was only a little bit nervous and anxious.  Frankly I was surprised I wasn't shaking in my swimsuit!!!  The first mate took a ton of pics of us!  They had a deal where they'd put a memory card in the camera and take lots of pics.  When we got back in the boat, he gave us the memory card to take with us (for a price of course). The memory card had 76 pictures on it, but don't worry!  I only posted 8 or 9 of them!  I did get somewhat nervous when it got gusty up there.  BUT I didn't scream, faint, throw up or shit my pants (sorry)!  I was really proud of myself!   So here's my adventure!!

NOTE:  Click on the pictures to get a better look, especially the ones that are not close ups.

Slight concern on my face

Here we go!!!

Oh my!!

Hey!!  This is cool!!

Up we go!!

This gives you an idea just how high up we were!

Splash down!

And back up again!

Coming in for our landing

Oh boy!  That was fun!!!   I'd do that again!!!

After we changed back into regular clothes, we headed into Ocean City and the boardwalk.

We decided to have dinner at Shenanigan's Irish Pub and Grille, on the boardwalk.  

Our server, Louise, was a pretty girl with a lovely lilting Irish accent.  I wish I had gotten her picture.  She recommended that I try a Shellelagh,  which was sort of a frozen daquiri made with kiwi, lime and banana and rum.  It was good!!

We started off with the Chili Cheesy Fries, waffle fries made with cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese and a crock of chili for dipping.   I did mention that  we weren't worrying about what we ate this week and that I was starting Nutrisystem again this Friday?    OK, I thought so.

They were quite good!!  For the record, I didn't really eat a lot of the potatoes on this day.  I just realized I did this twice on the same day.

For our dinner, I had Sugar Ray's Panini, roast beef, mozzarella, mixed baby greens, tomatoes and onion, drizzled with a balsamic reduction, and grilled, panini-style.  The chips that came with it were a bit soggy.  Not sure if they were like that or if it was because we were eating outside and the night was getting damp.  This sandwich was OK.  I probably wouldn't get it again.  I think I've decided I'm not crazy about paninis.

John chose a Reuben Clancy, hot corned beef, sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing on grilled marbled rye bread.  He really enjoyed it!

After walking off some of that meal, we headed home and got to see the season premiere of CSI: Crime Scene Investigators.  And The Mentalist.  Good shows!

So what's up for tomorrow?  A trip to Chincoteague Island, VA!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

OCMD Vacation Day 3

**Note: The events of my vacation took place last week, including celebrating my birthday.
 I didn't want anyone to think I was posting these in real time. Thanks. PSA is over. **

Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Sunny, 83 degrees  breezy

This was the only day we had to set the alarm.  This was my 55th birthday and we were planning to spend the day in Cape May, NJ.

We woke bright and early.  I made coffee to take along on the ride.  John had birthday cards strategically placed around the house for me, which of course, I missed because I was so not awake!  It was a fun surprise!

Now, if you drive from Ocean City, MD to Cape May, NJ, it would take 4.5 hours and you'd travel over 300 miles.  We didn't do this, of course.  We drove about an hour to the Cape May-Lewes Ferry in Lewes, DE instead.  Once there, it's a 16 mile journey across the Delaware Bay and it take 80 minutes. 

We left our car parked in Delaware and went over as foot passengers. Mucho expensive to take the car over.  If we were going for several days it would be worth it, but this was a day trip.

 I was surprised how breezy it was on the ferry!  We had a little breakfast on the ferry ride to Cape May.  It turned out to be a beautful sunny day!  I was so happy!!

As we were leaving Lewes, DE, I saw this tall ship.  I thought it was cool!  

 Once in New Jersey, we took a  shuttle bus into town.  It dropped us off at the Washington Street Mall, a quaint outdoor mall that was closed to traffic and all cobblestones.  Lots of neat little shops and places to eat.

We took a Cape May Trolley Tour  (the Welcome to Cape May Tour), but it was a little bit disappointing.  It mostly showed us where to shop (drug store, supermarket, liquor store, etc), but also neat old hotels, Victorian houses, historic sites etc.  They had other tours that might have suited our needs better, but that was OK.  I still enjoyed the ride around town!

Here are some of the things we saw on our tour:

This is the wreckage of the SS Atlantus.  It was an experimental concrete ship.  There was a placard that tells all about it, so you can read that.

We saw really cool  Victorian houses that were actually Bed and Breakfast Inns.

Before we took the trolley tour, we had some time to kill, so we had an early lunch at The Ugly Mug.  They had tables and chairs outside, so it was nice to sit outside and enjoy our lunch!

We started off with a half pound of peel and eat shrimp.  They were yummy!!

 I had a crabcake with fries and applesauce.  I love crabcakes and this one was good!  Not a lot of filler like so many restaurants have.  

John had the half a lobster with shrimp salad and cole slaw.  He LOVES lobster!!!  

We took a quick walk down to the beach, but we had to head back to the shuttle terminal to catch the bus back to the ferry terminal.  

The ferry ride back to Lewes was REALLY breezy!!!  We took the last ferry back, so we were on board for sunset, and yes, I got a few pictures!  I was glad I bought a sweatshirt in Cape May!!  I needed it for the ride home! It was so windy, my hair was standing on end, but I was a happy lady!   We bought John a zip-up hoodie at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Gift Shop!

It was a long, fun day!  We arrived back in Lewes around 7:30 pm.  We drove home, watched a little TV and hit the sack!  We were bushed!!!

Tomorrow's post?  My favorite place for breakfast in Ocean City, getting over my fear of heights with parasailing and an Irish pub for dinner with a real Irish waitress!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

OCMD Vacation Day 2

Monday, September 20, 2010
Sunny, 82 degrees, light breezes

Monday was a beach day.  On Assateague Island.  Where the wild horses roam freely.

We started off with breakfast at home.  Multigrain Cheerios and watermelon.  And coffee.  Always start my day with nice black coffee, no sugar.  John doesn't do coffee.  Ever.  He had Ruby red grapefruit juice.

I packed a picnic lunch to take to the beach.  Ham and provolone sandwiches on whole wheat bread with mustard and  turkey and provolone on whole wheat with mayo.  Grapes, some Nacho Cheese Doritos, water for me, green tea for John.

A few years ago,we bought this cabana thingy.  It's a pain in the rear to put up.  John insisted I pack it.  It was quite windy on the beach.  We didn't have much luck.  I was getting pissed. I wanted to just forget it and toss the stupid cabana in the trash.  John was getting more determined than ever to put the damned thing up so he could be out of the sun.  Then, one of the tabs that is used to help anchor it to the ground tore off.  It was all I could do not to roll on the ground laughing!   I wish I had my camera out to get pictures of this, but I was supposed to be helping John put the cabana up.

So we set up our chairs and enjoyed the sun.  There were no lifeguards on the beach.  Swim at your own risk.  The riptides from Hurricane Igor made the surf so rough, only surfers were in the water.

That was ok, though.  I don't swim in the ocean any more because fish f*** in it  I have a healthy fear and respect for the ocean.  Plus the lifeguards had to fish me out when I was 15.   I normally don't go past my waist any more.  Now I get my feet wet and that's about it.  The water was certainly warm enough to swim!

We didn't see any dolphins this year.  I think the riptides kept them too far out for anyone to see them.  I was disappointed.

We hung out for a couple of hours, people watching.  I forgot to put sumblock on my legs.  They got burnt.  John didn't.  He wore long pants.  He refuses to wear shorts, ever.  He's stubborn like that.  Still, it was nice to sit and read and watch the people go by.   This picture of me is awful, but there are very few taken of me.  It's also my inspiration to get my ass back on Nutrisystem and stay there!

Once we packed up our stuff, we rode around the island in hopes of seeing some wild horses.  We didn't see any in the State Park, but we drove to the National Park.  We didn't go in because they wanted $15 for the week, and we knew we could hang out at the State Park for $3 a day.  So we turned around.  On the way back, we saw a LOT of wild horses!  Look for yourself!  They were awesome!

 There was also a LOT of herons!  We usually would see one or two, but that day, we found a flock!

We headed on back to the house, took a nap and then went out for dinner.  I asked my friend, Fran some suggestions for dinner.  We were trying to avoid the chain restaurants and wanted to stick with privately owned places.  I'm glad we did!

We ate dinner at a place called The Shark On The Harbor in West Ocean City (aka the mainland).   We really liked this place!  Lots of windows, so you can see the boats in the marina and boats on the water.  It was dark when we went  so you really can't see anything. 

We didn't get an appetizer or salad before dinner, but I might have had room for dessert afterwards.

I had the Granny Smith's Bleu Cheese Topped Filet, a filet
mignon topped with a walnut and bleu cheese pate and 
caramelized Granny Smith apples and red onions.It came with lobster mashed potatoes and zucchini and squash.

I treated myself to a Raspberry Mojito.  It was pretty good.  I bet a margarita would have been better thoughh.

John had one of the Specials of the night, a Voodoo Surf and Turf, which was crab and filet mignon with andoullie sausage in a creamy Creole Alfredo.  It also came with zucchini and squash. 

 Both dishes were excellent (and not inexpensive), but what the heck!  We were on vacation and it was the day before my birthday!

I finished off with a marble cheesecake with a chocolate crumb crust.  Oddly, I didn't take a picture of the dessert.    It was yummiful, though!

So far, each night, we've hit the sheets by 10:30 pm.  That fresh air just kicked our butts!!

OH!  I forgot to add that John tossed a grape to a sea gull who seemed to hang out with us on the beach.  I said, "NO!!!  They'll come from miles around as soon as you give one some food!"  Sure enough, within seconds, there were FIFTY (I counted) seagulls hovering over our heads, calling for food!  Sheesh.  Men.

Tomorrow??  My birthday and a trip to Cape May!

Monday, September 27, 2010

OCMD Vacation Day 1

Sunday, September 19, 2010
Sunny, 80 degrees, light breezes

John and I left for Ocean City around midnight, Saturday night.  Why, you ask?  Because John had to work from 11:30 am to 11:30 pm that Saturday. (Hey! He grabs as many overtime Saturdays as he can!! ).  So as soon as he got home, he changed clothes, threw his stuff in my car and off we went!!!  Vacation time, baby!!

We stopped at an all-night diner on the way.  The food was OK, the price was reasonable.  I had scrambled eggs, scrapple, wheat toast, home fries, orange juice.  I left some potatoes on the plate.  John had a gyro, I think.  The man LOVES gyros.  Everything was fine until I went into the bathroom.  I'll never go back there again.   The toilet was moved so it sat facing the corner because the bolts were missing.  And the lid on the back of the tank was missing.  It was not exactly clean.  

Enough about THAT!!

So we continue on our journey.   The trip is approximately 160 miles, and should take us a little over 3 hours (not counting the food stop), and it did.  The rest of the ride was fairly uneventful and we arrived at the house a little after 4 am.

We checked in with the guard at the entrance (it's a gated community) and went to the house.   The house is in a development called Assateague Pointe.  It's on the mainland of Ocean City (aka West Ocean City) and it's not far from Assateague Island (where the wild ponies live and roam freely).

Fran (my friend and one week a year landlady) swapped out the double bed for a queen size bed and she had the bed all made up for us (I had full sheets packed)  I was SO happy that we didn't have to do all that before going to sleep!!!  All we brought in was the refrigerated stuff.  We unloaded after we got some sleep.

We woke up late Sunday morning to sunny skies and 80 degrees with a light breeze off the ocean.  AH!!!  My kind of day!!  Sunday was the last day of Bike Week in Ocean City, so there was an abundance of Harleys roaring all over town!  Some of those bikes were beauties!!

Breakfast was at The Breakfast Cafe in West Ocean City.  We usually eat there once or twice when we're in town.  Food is good, but it seemed a little pricier than the last time we were there, 2 years ago.

Then we did our grocery shopping for the week.  I'm proud to say we were able to use up just about everything we bought by the time we were going home.  

After we put the groceries away, we made a quick trip to Walmart because John forgot to pack socks.  (I thought of you, Garret and Jim when we did our Walmart run!)

Next up was a trip to the boardwalk in Ocean City.  We wandered up and down the boards, people watching and window shopping.  John bought me a new swimsuit in one of the shops (50% off!) for my birthday because I thought my swimsuit was at John's place but it was at home.  And no, there are no pictures of me wearing it!  John also purchased a game and some movies at an old book shop just off the boards.

While we were on the boardwalk, we saw this sand sculpture.  I think the man who does this makes a new one each summer.  It's amazing that it stays in such good shape for such a long time!  It was so long, it took 3 photos to get all of it.

We finished up our first day at Salvatore's, an Italian Restaurant that we went to a few years ago and really liked.  We'll never go there again.  The food was pretty good, when it finally arrived.  I didn't think to bring my camera the first day.  Our waiter was Chip, a Russian fellow (there are a lot of Russian students working in Ocean City).  He was a nice enough guy, and I don't think he was the problem.   We ordered an Antipasto and a Shrimp Cocktail as appetizers.  It took 45 minutes to arrive.  The only dressings they had available were Ranch and Oil and Vinegar.  No Italian dressing at an Italian restaurant.  Hmmm......

For our meals, John ordered Veal Marsala (which he said was good) and I got Stuffed Shells because they were out of Lasagna.  I also ordered meatballs but they didn't arrive because good old Chip told me I didn't order them.  John started shouting that I did, indeed, order meatballs!  I got my meatballs AND a small plate of spaghetti.  

There were only 4 tables in the restaurant occupied and it too forever for everyone's food to come out!  Honestly, I don't know how this place stays open.

We went back to the house and tried to watch the latest Harry Potter movie (in preparation for the 7th movie coming out in November), but I couldn't keep my eyes open.  It took the better part of the week to finally finish watching it!

Lots more to come this week!