Sunday, September 03, 2006

Beach getaway

My sweetheart's older brother & sister-in-law live near Ocean City Maryland, and he was taking his son to see them, his dad (in North Carolina), and Washington D.C., so I got to go along for a couple of what were intended to be relaxing days on the beach. It was fun because we had both gone to Ocean City a lot when we were kids, and even younger adults - we figured neither of us had been there for about 15 years - but the weather, my kids, and my job just did not cooperate.

The weather was a little problem called Tropical Storm Ernesto, that has generally been wreaking minor havoc on the mid-Atlantic states - people without power, roads flooded, electrical poles down. We drove to Ocean City in the rain on Wednesday night. Our first day at the beach, Thursday, looked about like this live Boardwalk cam from today, cloudy, windy, too cold to swim, but you could have a satisfying walk on the beach:

to get nice and hungry for crab cakes for dinner:

My younger son had a party in my absence, and somehow got some of the other kids riled up enough to dump several neighbors' recycle bins and garbage cans in our front yard. I raked the last of the fossilized banana peels and other actual garbage out of the grass, and swept up the shredded newspaper packing material that had been liberally sprinkled on our front steps this a.m. after retrieving the Sunday papers - no pix of this, take my word for it ...

And finally, I had a good Internet connection at Mark's brother's house, so of course I kept tabs on work, where I am trying to help two instructors get their courses online in time for the beginning of classes Tuesday, and deal with various other problems that the 42 students who I am supposed to be advising were running into.

We whizzed through D.C on the way home, and managed to get to see the competition portrait show at the National Portrait Gallery. I think I liked the Second Prize Winner, From Red Hook by Yugi Wang the best. We hooked up with Suzanne (who's a librarian at the Smithsonian Libraries) and her husband, who took us to a place to get a little lunch, but even here, bad luck followed - I swear I ordered the "two-egg breakfast" but to everyone else at the table, and the waiter, it came out as "eggs benedict" which is what I got, a Southwest version, with a Canadian bacon & cheese quesadilla on the bottom, and the poached eggs on top with a chile hollandaise (which was speckled with paprika-colored spots, but no appreciable chile taste).

I think this is one of those times when I need a vacation from my vacation.

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