A couple of random things came together providentially for our little family to join the rest of my immediate family down in Berlin, Maryland last weekend. I shouldn't say "the rest of my immediate family", as my littlest sister had to work and couldn't be with us. (That was very sad.) It wasn't often that we were able to go on vacations when I still lived at home with my parents, and it's been about 10 years since I've been able to get away with any number of my family. My sister, Christen, and her husband (along with my nephew) hosted us; my parents, and sister Bethany and her husband were also with us. Needless to say, this was super nice!
We were about 15 minutes from Ocean City, Maryland, and also Assateague Island. Now, it's Maryland so it's not terribly warm this time of year. Saturday we had some freakish weather in this part of the country, but we were south of all the crazy snow and it simply rained for most of Saturday. We did manage to sneak in an hour or so of beach/boardwalk time in between the rain.
While it was cold and the there was a good "breeze" coming off the water I still rather enjoy the beach when it's nice and quiet like this, as opposed to when the sun is beating down on me and I'm being buffeted by strangers. It was the kids' first time seeing the ocean, and they loved it when we were able to actually get down on the sand on Sunday at Assateague!
They carried their buckets around collecting shells and other treasures brought in by the waves. The biggest find was a horseshoe crab shell! (Don't ask me why I haven't any pictures because I really don't know.)
My son spent quite a bit of time digging up sand and tossing it into the waves. It was also great fun to stand as close as possible to the incoming tide without getting your shoes wet.
Sean found a butterfly that kept getting caught in the surf. Every time the poor creature would try to flap its wings he would spiral back to the ground. He had sand all over his wee face. Sean found a little twig sticking up out of the ground that the butterfly could cling to and dry off.
Of course no trip to Assateague Island would be complete without finding some wild ponies! While I would love to see them running along the shoreline, these ponies seemed to prefer being near the warmth of the parking lot blacktop.
We found ourselves in the position of needing to move out of their way as they moseyed toward us nibbling on grass and other plants. It's hard to be close to such a beautiful animal and not be allowed to touch it! (They are wild after all.)
"Hi, horse! Hi, horse!"
It was a lovely trip even though we were in the car for four hours both Saturday and Sunday. The record-breaking weather we were having back home also distracted from it a little. There were stories of downed limbs every where, small trees split in half, and loads of people were without power. As we drove home on Sunday, we kept wondering if we would find any one of the tall trees on the side of our home leaning on the roof or plunged through a window, or if Sean's car would be crushed underneath the weight of a huge limb.
As we got closer and closer there were areas of complete darkness on parts of the highway where the street lamps were dead, and the snow was getting deeper. When we turned onto our street we saw our home was standing there unharmed, and our porch light blazed out to welcome us. Thank God for that.