Friday, July 12, 2013

Delaware and Ocean City

On our way south in 2011 we bypassed Delaware due to the severe cold so on this trip we were really focused on visiting in order to allow us finally affix the tiny State of Delaware sticker to our map on the side of the RV.

Traveling up Highway 1/Coastal Highway from Ocean City towards the RV Park we just had to laugh on learning that we were a mere 100 yards into Delaware. We did want to stay near Ocean City (more later) but we also wanted to stay and sleep in Delaware so this was definitely the killing of two birds with one stone. Did we mention that we were lucky to get a reservation at the RV Park? This was July 4th week! Busy, busy!
We thoroughly enjoyed our week in Ocean City…the RV Park was the largest we have been in -over 1,000 sites; it was very clean and well run, with lots of walking to get from place to place – surprisingly no golf carts as they’re not allowed. It had a large supervised activity center where Adele was able to leave her jigsaw on a table for the week; there were activities for children every day. The Park had 2 pools, both with lifeguards; one pool was for under 21’s - the other adults only. We wondered why the adult pool needed a lifeguard as most of the bathers would not drown even if they wanted to.

Ocean City is 6 miles long on a strip of sand/land with water visible on both sides; really a sand barrier. The Atlantic beach side is lined with hotels, apartments, shops and restaurants; the intercostal is lined with residential areas and Trailer Parks (manufactured homes) all set out nicely but obviously there a long time. We walked the 3 miles, each way along boardwalk on south Ocean Beach – due to the high heat and humidity we did it over two days. One morning we had breakfast in the restaurant where our daughter Jennifer worked as a waitress on a J1 student Visa during a summer vacation from Trinity, Dublin many, many moons ago. We enjoyed the shops, the beach and the excited, eclectic crowds. As this was the 4th of July week the place was buzzing and fun; we watched a firework display with thousands of others in the North Side Park, in fact, we watched several displays at the same time there were so many around the general area.
On the Saturday we spent the day at Bethany Beach which is in Delaware; this is a smaller version of Ocean City with a much smaller boardwalk lined with shops and hotels. We bought a beach umbrella, which will get much use in Saint Augustine. We sat on the beach and swam in the ocean; it was welcomingly refreshing as the day was extremely hot and humid, the beach and ocean were crowded which brought back memories of family vacations on the west coast of France in the 80’s.

We did not have cable TV so this year Adele did not manage to watch the early rounds of Wimbledon. As happenstance would have it Tom wanted to watch the British & Irish Lions Rugby Tests from Australia so, innovator that she is Jennifer set up her iPad in front of the TV in her home in England and voila Tom was in seventh heaven. Later on Jennifer repeated the process for the Ladies Final and again on Sunday for the Gentlemen’s Final. So we watched rugby and tennis on the iPad in the good old US of A. Technology! What would we do without it?
At times we scratch our heads at what passes for news on TV here. At the moment we have wall-to-wall reporting (if one can call it reporting) and talking heads on the Zimmerman trial in Florida with scant attention to either the Arizona fire, Asiana airplane crash in San Francisco or the tragic train crash in Quebec province. For us that a train crash like the one in Canada does not occur more frequently is surprising; these are accidents waiting to happen. As we drove across the northern states we were fascinated at the number of mile(s) long trains transporting dangerous chemicals and flammable liquids; the highways frequently run parallel to the railway lines and we could read the warnings on the containers and tanks. The cargo trains run day and night – one of the criteria we use in selecting RV Parks is to be as far away from the railroad as possible because of both the noise and the dangerous cargos. One imagines that these trains go through villages, towns and big cities which causes us to marvel at the safety record of the train operators.

Accidents will happen but why the almost total lack of news coverage? Zimmerman and Snowden appear to be the only hot “news” topics de jour…every jour!

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