Wednesday, July 7, 2010
July 4 at the beach
Once a year we try to get to the seashore so I thought this year I'd try something different: going to Rehoboth over the Fourth of July weekend. I'm glad we went but a lot of collateral damage came with going at such a time.
First, we chose to be there during a heat burst that struck the Washington area with 106-degree temps. Come to think of it, maybe we did well to be on the beach at that time. Back at home the local water authority decided to levy water restrictions on 2 Maryland counties, including mine, meaning that when I got home tonight, some of the nearly $500 I planted in landscaping this spring is in danger of dying. Yes, there are water restrictions in place during a HEAT WAVE. Someone wasn't thinking when they decided that one. I am sure some folks are quietly hosing down their back yards but mine looks very peaked right now.
Anyway, Miss Veeka and I left Friday for Rehoboth to spend a few days at the Drift Inn, a child-friendly B&B that's about 100 yards from the beach and which is neat and clean and very cheap! We did all the usual stuff: Amusement park rides, lots of beach time, swims in the very cold surf, watching the jellyfish wash in with the tide, lots of ice cream consumed and plenty of restaurants sampled. The night of the 4th, the fireworks were on the beach just down the street from our lodging so we all parked our lawn chairs on the sidewalk and watched. Well, almost all of us. Veeka dashed inside and I found her curled up under the sheets in our bed.
The folks at the B&B loved Veeka and the shot of her in the bike thingy is with Judy - a nice woman from Pennsylvania who took a liking to the tyke - and spoiled her rotten. Veeka didn't pull too many of her let's-run-down-the-beach-and-see-if-mommy-can-catch-me routines mainly because my left foot is still not so great and I yelled at her if she wandered off. She loved being her little princess self - see her pose beneath the umbrella - in the sands.
By Tuesday morning, we were ready to pull out which is when I discovered my car would not start. I spent all day - dripping with sweat - trying to figure out what was wrong as the battery was new. Waited for HOURS for the tow truck from my insurance company, which never arrived. Finally broke down and ordered a tow from elsewhere, but the car didn't get to a garage until late in the afternoon. By then I and several helpful folks from the B&B had discovered even more problems with car, ie it was leaking anti-freeze everywhere. Great.
So Veeka and I arrived on the beach at 5 pm. which is a lovely time of day; the air turns bluey in the late afternoon sun, the crowds have left and the water had finally warmed up to being swimmable. But to my surprise, Veeka had no interest in the water and just sat on the beach and pouted. Or sang and danced. A friend of mine told me later that her kids basically get bored with the beach after the third day which amazes me in that I used to spend weeks at the shore as a kid. But the novelty had worn off with Veeka who basically wanted to either watch TV or her videos. The fact she had no one to play with was a factor.
So we sat around the B&B all day waiting for the garage to call me back. When they didn't by 4 p.m., one of the angels at the B&B - name's Kelly and she's the owners' daughter - called the cell phone of the garage owner to find out what was what. Then she drove us to the garage with all our luggage. Yes, the car could run, they told me. Problem was, the cooling fans were not working. Just turn off the AC and drive over 35 mph, they told me. Do not under any circumstances idle in traffic more than 5 minutes or the engine will overheat.
WELL, I about collapsed in terror - the thought of a car breakdown on the Bay Bridge uppermost in my mind. Plus I knew the insurance company was none too quick with furnishing tow trucks. Apparently tow companies all over the Delaware peninsula were busier than one-armed paper hangers all weekend long because everyone's cars were breaking down. Kelly, who had not struck me as a particularly devout person on first impression, lectured me on trusting God to get home. My knees quaked. Put me to shame, she did. So we piled in with the windows down and I flew home in 2 1/2 hours through Delaware and eastern Maryland with no problems. Veeka didn't even complain about the windows being down or about being hot, even when her DVD player shut down in the middle of "Finding Nemo."
Thursday morning, el carro heads for the Subaru dealer.