This past week we went on vacation. As vacations go, it was good but very short and somewhat rushed.
We traveled north to southern Delaware and what is known as the Delmarva Coast. Jeff parents own a home there and Jeff had taken the boys last summer to visit and after visiting felt better about Shelby being there this year.
We drove up on Tuesday. I have been through central and Northern Virginia and even lived in Charlottesville but had never been on the eastern shore of Virginia. While we weren’t able to go to any islands (Chincoteague is on our must visit list now), it was a very interesting drive. We also counted four churches that looked like castles on our way up.
And we got to go through this:
The Chesapeake Tunnel and Bridge is pretty fun for the kids and I admit, I think engineering feats like bridges and tunnels are cool too.
We made it to Delaware late in the evening Tuesday. It’s about an eight hour drive and we got a late start thanks to Joey having kindergarten screening and Shelby having her school that morning.
Wednesday morning, we decided to go to the pool at my in-laws neighborhood. The temps were unseasonably cool and it was windy and cloudy, so I stayed out of the water, but Jeff and the kids really enjoyed it that morning. After lunch, we decided to head to Rehoboth Beach up the coast a little.
Rehoboth is both Boardwalk fabulous and family friendly. We took the kids to Fun Land Amusements. They had a great time and since it wasn’t too hot, even lines were wait-able.
Shelby even got to ride some rides and staff was super accommodating about letting Jeff strap her in. I rode the Tea Cups with Shelby which was a blast for her but my stomach was not pleased with me. Joey rode the Gravitron by himself and loved it. Will got a special tea cup ride with Jeff and after Joey got off the Gravitron he made Jeff take him on the tea cups too. The boys also rode a couple of other rides. Shelby did well with the crowds and short lines she waited in. Next year, hopefully Will will have grown a couple of inches and we can ride more rides with him.
We had dinner on the boardwalk at, of all places, Hooters. The food was good. I got a Big Fish sandwich that I swear was two fish. The kids liked their wings and we got to watch some pre-season football.
Thursday morning we were up early. It was Shelby’s best day ever. We joined the crew in Ocean City, MD for Surfers Healing. Our local chapter of Surfers Healing holds their event tomorrow which Jeff can’t attend because he has to report back to school so we decided to try Ocean City this year. The air was chilly. Shelby surfed at 9 AM and it was barely 60 degrees out and the water was colder. But we drove the short drive and met outside the Castle in the Sand hotel that morning for prayer circle to bless the children and surfers and off we went. As always, it was an emotional and beautiful experience. We were joined this year by Jeff’s dad and step-mother as well as his step-mother’s brother and his wife. It was the first time Jeff and I had seen them since our wedding ten years ago and the first time they met our children. They are long time Ocean City residents and were deeply moved by the event.
Surfers Healing co-founder Israel “Izzy” Paskowitz introducing himself and his crew
One of Izzy’s seven brothers, Adam, who traveled to document the event and surf with kids with autism. The eight Paskowitz brothers, their sister and their parents, Doc and Juliette, are known internationally as the “First Family of Surfing”
The awesome guys who donate their time and talent to surf with children with autism, coast to coast and in Hawaii
Shelby and her surfer CJ braving the lack of waves and cold temps to make it “One Perfect Day”
Shelby and CJ…she was cold but upset she was done surfing!
Shelby and “Uncle Izzy” negotiating, “Just one picture!” (this was actually one of two)
At Surfers Healing we were also blessed to meet a family of twin girls on the autism spectrum and exchange information. Because autism disproportionately affects boys, we rarely encounter girls on the spectrum so it was an extra special blessing to meet a family with two who share many of struggles.
After Surfers Healing we were ready to eat and at the suggestion of Jeff’s Uncle Ken and Aunt Cheryl, we headed to Dumser’s Dairyland restaurant up on 120th St in Ocean City. They serve breakfast til the afternoon but we were hungry for lunch (except Will, who got pancakes) and being that I was on the coast of Maryland, I had to get a crab cake with my meal which I split with Jeff.
After lunch we said good-bye to Ken and Cheryl and headed back to Delaware. Shelby was content to chill out in the house and watch videos while Jeff took the boys back to the pool and playground. While they were there, my in-laws and I watched a blue heron fish for his dinner in the water outside their home.
I was also able to capture some pics of the boys on the doc from the balcony of the house.
After a yummy dinner of steak and local corn on the cob and salad with local tomatoes, we watched the DVR recording of Duck Dynasty’s season premiere. The Robertsons did not disappoint. We laughed, we cried and we felt the love for sure.
We left early on Friday for home. We decided to stop for lunch at the Chesapeake Grill which is at the Chesapeake Bridge Tunnel along with the store Virginia Originals. The restaurant is small but there is also a lunch counter and larger dining area that most families of small kids would find family friendly. We enjoyed our lunch and are trying to recreate at home an awesome pasta salad I had as a side item there. The gift shop area is kinda touristy but you can get some items from Viriginia artists and craftsmen there. We also walked out on the pier at the tunnel. Shockingly, no one tried to jump in the water.
After an over one hour detour we hadn’t planned to make through downtown Norfolk, we got on the right track and made it home. We were exhausted and wished we had had more time for, well, everything, but we definitely have an excuse to go back again.
We also made a pit stop before leaving Delaware for a local family run farm’s produce stand, primarily for tomatoes and corn. This was our bounty.
Those are tomatoes, Ginger-gold apples, heirloom tomatoes, a cantaloupe, cucumbers and corn. And there was more I wanted to get while there for sure. Tomatoes and corn from that corner of the country are ah-mazing!
We can’t wait to hopefully spend more time next summer exploring the area and enjoying it.