There’s A Place I Can Go.

I wrote this several years ago after spending time in my one of my favorite places. I’m sort of there right now, but not. I wrote this about Cape Cod – my favorite way and place to relax – but now I’m with my same in-laws by the beach. We’re in St. Augustine today, and not Cape Cod, but so much is the same and so much feels right. I think I’ll relax and stay for a bit..

This is written, in part, in memory of George Landers. A true friend.

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Every year of my mid-childhood contained a perfectly memorable summer vacation. My family usually revolved our vacations around my older sister’s dance competitions so we’d go wherever the dancers went. For several years it was two weeks in Myrtle Beach. We’d spend a few days doing dance competition whatever and then settle into our home away from home – a HIGHLY air-conditioned condo, thanks to my dad. These condos changed annually. One was two stories with a spiral staircase separating the floors. That was pretty epic. Often as big as the condos were, there were five of us kids and we’d ultimately all huddle into two shared bedrooms. Sometimes my uncle came. Sometimes my cousin. And sometimes a babysitter. It was a home base for two weeks, and after vigorous fun at the beach, the arcade, the amusement parks, the mini golf courses and the restaurants, we’d have a great place to eat and sleep and soothe our sunburned skin. It was memorable.

When we were a bit older, the dance competitions moved a bit north – Ocean City, Maryland. This meant a shorter drive, rather than the 12 hour overnight we’d endure down to South Carolina, but we’d still get a bit squirrelly. Seven people and their luggage in one GMC Truck. I remember making “HONK IF YOU LOVE DELAWARE” signs and putting them up against the back windows. Oddly, no one ever honked. We also quoted Wayne’s World by shrugging our shoulders blankly and saying:

“We’re in Delaware.” Yay?

It’s the little things you remember. Like our condo that we shared with another family – very close friends. There were about 17 air fresheners scattered throughout the two story condo. One smelled like orange barf and wore a female clown costume. If you can believe that. A cone air freshener dressed like a clown. We called her Mrs. Odorifica. She made our day.

Imagine our surprise, a year later during our second Ocean City vacation, that we had the same exact condo. And imagine our surprise to find Mrs. Odorifica just as we left her, no worse for the wear. She was, in fact, worse for the wear for the next renters after we hung her by her clown cone neck from the kitchen ceiling fan – for the condo’s one early riser (our dear friend, George) to find her the next morning. I was so happy that second year. I loved the fact that we were in the same condo again. That made it feel like home. My first year in our new vacation place had been disorienting and homesick.

The second year was familiar. I wanted a place I could go, nearly whenever, to get away from reality for awhile. A place that didn’t change much, even if I did. A home away from home. I’m finding that in Cassidy’s family’s home in Truro.

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We’ve been there before together, sometimes even to get away, to be romantic together or to fight morning sickness in a remote, beachy place. Even to stay for a Cape Cod wedding. However, this was our second year staying, at the house that Cassidy’s dad built decades ago, for a summer vacation with other family members. It is the perfect beach house. Gravel road, hammock, wraparound deck, outdoor shower, junk food, cool breezes, swimsuits hung everywhere, people coming and going all day long. From home to beach to home to market or dinner and then back home again. A true vacation.

And we sure needed it, after the stresses of spring and summer. Our vacation was very concentrated into two days but those two days held everything we needed – rest and relaxation, seafood, ice cream, sunset, and beach, beach, beach.

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I’ve been trying to imagine what it’s like to be three-year-olds on a beach vacation with your family and someone offers you a giant inflatable swan to glide on in the middle of a calm bay. I think about it a lot. It’s a happy place in my mind.

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Des slept through most of it.

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Eyes open for five minutes, and then asleep again.

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These are some of my favorites.

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Des clearly was comfortable, happy, dreamy, baby.

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And that’s how we spent our two day summer vacation. It might have well have been two weeks, with all of the simultaneous joy and relaxation. Made me think of summer vacations past in Ocean City, Maryland. Made me think of familiarity and closeness. Laughter and love. The merging of families, all becoming one family. Sunburns and sandy towels. Seafood and ice cream. Made me think of the family we spent two weeks with for two summers.

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We all miss you, George.

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “My favorite way to relax is..” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin on any of the matters: HERE.

About Tamara

Tamara is a professional photographer, a mama of two, a Lifestyle Blogger/Social Media Influencer/Brand Ambassador, and a nearly professional cookie taster. She has been known to be all four of those things at all hours of the day and night. She is a very proud contributor to the book, The Mother Of All Meltdowns, the Stigma Fighters Anthology (volume 1), and The HerStories Project: So Glad They Told Me. She is also a proud Community Lead and a regular contributor to the SoFab Food blog, and the Target Made Me Do It blog. After two cross country moves, due to her intense Bi-Coastal Disorder, she lives with her husband, daughter, son, dog, cat, and 11 chickens in glorious western Massachusetts.

Comments

There’s A Place I Can Go. — 22 Comments

  1. I spent some summers in Ocean City Maryland too, but there are too many other great places to see with my kids. I wasn't following you last summer, Tamara, so I've never seen photos of Des so little. How both of them have grown!

  2. You take beautiful pictures (gorgeous)! Love that one of her being held up in the air :o)I'm stopping by from the Blog Hop! Just wanted to let you know I'm following you via all your social networks! I also Iiked your Facebook page :o) Hope you'll get a chance to check me out!Blog urlhttp://www.croppedstories.blogspot.comBloglovin'http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/3718883Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Cropped-Stories/615495055132216Twitterhttps://twitter.com/croppedstoriesGoogle+https://plus.google.com/u/0/102758509830977850235/postsPinteresthttp://pinterest.com/croppedstories/

  3. If I were a 3 year old girl and someone I trusted approached with a giant swan, I would be jumping in for sure. I am loving looking at these bitty pictures of Des and Scarlet, and I haven’t even met you guys face to face. Isn’t that crazy? I have many happy beach memories from summers past as well. I used to go to Ocean City, but not Maryland, New Jersey. Love it there.

    • Not crazy at all! In a way, you’ve watched them grow – but this was even before that time. I started blogging with community when Des was almost one.
      I love Ocean City, NJ too!

  4. Aw, love the photos of the kids! I love that you are creating many happy memories with your kids. If only we knew then how fast time would go by! People tried to tell us, but it is hard to comprehend until we are adults. The beach is my happy place!

  5. My favorite way to relax is doing some light and leisurely activity in an artsy or scienic nature setting surrounded by light and airy music. What wonderful memories all these photos must bring back to you Tamara. Have fun making even more memories from your family vacation this year!

  6. I loved being transported through all your vacation passages through the years via words and feelings, and of course your photos.

    Mrs. Odorifica made me laugh, although her smelling like orange barf is definitely a good reason to leave her hanging from very high up.

  7. Such fun memories of beach vacations throughout the year. We’ve gone to the beach every year (pretty much) for Tucker’s birthday and I love it. Fireworks on the beach… we’ve done Ocean City MD and Ocean City NJ, and also Outer Banks NC a lot. And Florida in the fall. Gah, I want to be at the beach. I love the photos of Des and Scarlet being so little too.

    • I remember you doing Ocean City, NJ! Ahh.. I’ve never gone to Outer Banks but my sister’s in-laws moved there and now that’s her special place, the way Cape Cod is ours! l love that.

  8. These pictures are so beautiful, Tamara. Sandy toes and bathing suits and still waters and sunsets: it’s the stuff of dreams ❤️ Omg, would you look at tiny Scarket and Baby Des!! My heart melts. Also loved the story of the air freshener you named 😊

    I hope you had the most delicious and relaxing vacation ever, my sweet.

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