Monday, June 25, 2007

Family Vacation

Yesterday I returned from Ocean City, MD where I spent several days with my parents, brothers and sister, and their families at a large condo on the beach.

On Wednesday, our first full day together (my parents, sister and one brother had been there since the 16th - another brother and I arrived on the 20th), the weather was not so cooperative. It rained. And it rained during the 115th Annual Maryland State Volunteer Firemen's Convention and it's 3.5-hour long parade. Three and a half hours of firetrucks. That's a long time to be looking at the same thing over and over. When we were kids, this was thrilling. And there still was a little excitement, I guess, but it didn't have the thrill it once did. Certainly in this case, length is not important.

The next day was beautiful, so Dad wanted all of us to go to Frontier Town, another place we used to go as kids. This time, the third generation would be the ones getting their faces painted by American Indians and being robbed on the train and witnessing a gunfight at the O.K. Corral. We arrived around 10AM and within about two hours, I started feeling horribly nauseous. Not sure if it was a flu bug or food poisoning, but somewhere between Billy Wilks Outlaw and the Can-Can Show, I was projectiling in the men's room. My brother Matt drove me back to the condo and I basically just sat for the rest of the day, completely drained of energy.

Friday arrived and I felt much better. The entire gang spent the day at the beach and in the ocean. Later, all the men (my dad, two brothers, me and three nephews) went to Hooters. I'd never been to one before - truthfully never thought I ever would. But it was fun nonetheless, and the waitress was very friendly. My nephews are really growing up fast.

Saturday was the drive back to my folks place. But on the way, I detoured to Bel Air, MD to see the boyhood home of my historical fascination, John Wilkes Booth. Dubbed Tudor Hall by his British father, Booth's home still sits back in a quiet wooded area, isolated from the world around it. There were no occupants so I took my time walking around and just feeling the history of the house. It was a place I've wanted to visit for a few years, and it took me a while to find it. But it was worth the efforts and the wait.

I returned to Chicago Monday morning. The BF is just one week and a bit over 500 miles into his 1,000-mile cycling journey to DC. Be sure to follow his progress.
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