It’s Day 6 of our beach vacation, and I’m still trying to master this relaxation thing. Bethany Beach, DE was, apparently, designed for this because I have horrible cell phone service. That means I can’t talk to anyone, text anyone, or check my email without standing on the bed and holding my phone toward the balcony window to get a signal. The girls can’t even watch The Fresh Beat Band, since the condo we’re staying in only has basic cable. It’s like we’re supposed to sit around and talk to each other or something.
After getting over the initial shock, I managed to come up with ways to fill the time. I figure a lot of you will be taking vacations this summer and may need some suggestions, so here you go:
- Drink cocktails instead of lattes. You know how you like to stop by Starbucks on your way to work or playgroup in the morning? Scratch that. The best thing to do in these scenarios is grab a mangorita. If you’re staying in Bethany, you can do that at Mangos. Your whole day will instantly become brighter (or maybe hazier).
- Shop for things you don’t need. Ever been to Disneyworld? If so, you know how hard it is to fight the urge to buy character-embossed clothing. When you’re at Disney, you truly believe that Minnie Mouse shirts are the hottest new fashion trend. And when you’re at the beach, it’s fluorescent tank tops and hoodies with your beach-of-choice’s name on it. You’ll need at least 5 of these.
- Risk your lives at the amusement park. Trimpers, in Ocean City, is is filled with vintage (think industrial revolution-era) rides that will make your kids squeal with joy while you cringe in fear. The gears are squeaky, the carnies who run the rides look like they’re on supervised work release from the local prison, and the height “requirements” are merely a suggestion. It’s awesome. We stayed here way past bedtime, and the only meltdown happened when we wouldn’t let Zana ride the Merry Mixer. You have to put your foot down at some point.
- Eat ice cream at least once a day.When you’re bored at home, you go to the fridge and munch on last night’s pizza. Here, you go downstairs and eat ice cream. And then you do it again. And again. There are 10 ice cream shops in a 2-block radius of our condo building… and those are just the ones I can see from our window. The current winning shop/flavor is Maureen’s Butter Pecan.
- Watch spy movies. Hooray for Redbox! There’s nothing like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy to put you to sleep (if you’re me), or keep you up all night (if you’re Dave). We also watched Smurfs, Muppets, Young Adult and War Horse.
- Find the delicate balance between tanning and burning. Some use baby oil; others use Water Babies SPF 70. Pick your poison, but prepare to pay the consequences, Either way, you’ll spend the entire week asking yourself “do I look like I’m burning? how about now? do I look tan?”
- Go to the chiropractor. Since relaxing stresses me out so much, I managed to have a horrible first night’s sleep here and snap my neck out of place. Who drives 45 minutes for a chiropractic adjustment while they’re on vacation? This girl. I do feel much better now, though.
- Watch teen ballerinas perform. At the beach (or at least at Bethany Beach), there are nightly performances in the town center. Our favorite one to date… a dance troupe of young girls from Westchester, PA. Lira and Zana couldn’t take their eyes off of the Disney princess-themed program and stood at the foot of the stage for the best view. The show was very entertaining… minus the creepy old MC who also danced in a few of the numbers. The bonus performance of Whitney’s “I Will Always Love You” was a little too sexy for my taste, but I’ve seen Toddlers and Tiarasso I’m prepared for anything.
- Develop and overcome new fears. When we got here, Lira was afraid of nothing. Ten foot waves couldn’t scare her… and there’s no way a silly ol’ elevator could. But somewhere along the way, Lira turned panic-stricken every time she’d come near the elevator. I’m not really sure what caused that, but I do know why the waves suddenly scared her. After an hour-long session out in the ocean, we headed back to the shore together and got pummeled by huge wave, leaving us both face down in the sand. Then, another one hit us. I lost my grip on Lira, and we were both terrified… me for a brief moment, her for a couple of days. It took time, but the scraped knees and fears are now gone. We are here for a couple more days, though, so who knows what other phobias could develop. I’m personally becoming deathly afraid of half shirts.
- Enjoy some heavy reading… like People and US Weekly. I had big plans to catch up on reading during this vacation, packing heavy hitters like 50 Shades of Grey and the final book of The Hunger Games. Maybe it was the fact that Dave kept offering to buy me a Penthouse magazine whenever I’d even look at 50 Shades… but I didn’t crack a book once. I did, however, learn a lot about Tom and Katie’s failed marriage and Kourtney Kardashian’s new baby. Also, Britney Spears looks great these days.