Ocean City Days

Thoughts from a family beach trip last week:

Mid-September. Few people play on the beach. We’ve rented the same condo for two years now, and it feels familiar and comfortable. Five of us stay in this place that sleeps twelve (maximum), so we usually congregate in the kitchen or living room. Most days we wake by 8:00am. Grandma usually sleeps in later. She’s on her own schedule, while for the rest of us working folks, “sleeping in” is 7:45am. The first person downstairs starts coffee. This place has four levels: a foyer with a laundry room and door to a deck that leads to the sand and the water, a living room/kitchen/dining room level with decks on the front and back of the house, and two levels with two bedrooms each.

Breakfast is every man for himself. If someone has eggs everyone might share. As everyone finishes, someone will suggest a walk down the beach. Most days we go three miles. This time of year, other beach-goers are few and far between. This weekend is Bike Weekend, and I don’t mean bicycles. Motorcyclists started rolling in on Wednesday. Hundreds of them fill parking lots by the boardwalk, and huge areas are roped off for the convention and concerts. Lynyrd Skynyrd play tonight, so this will surely be the peak of the weekend.

Time passed quickly, so it goes. It’s funny how in the middle of the week, once you’re unpacked and comfortable in the space, it feels like you have all the time in the world, but before you know it you’re back in the airport heading home. Reality hit once we arrived in Des Moines, and I had to do laundry, pack, and take care of last minute errands before leaving again. Mom, Sam, Dad, Arielle, and Ken threw me an amazing Bridal BBQ Bash at Raccoon River (complete with a detailed and realistic cake and a visit from a risqué park ranger).

All of a sudden it was September 24, and I hopped on the Megabus and rode to Chicago. Now the first step of my trip is complete. I spent the night with a sweet college Froomie (friend + roomie) and her husband. Tonight I fly to Dublin, then a short flight to London, and then I’ll be reunited with Jason! Onward to a new phase of life!

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