Monday, November 27, 2006

Many years ago, Joyce and I started a Thanksgiving tradition. We would go to Ocean City, Maryland and spend Thanksgiving at the ocean. We would leave the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving and return home Sunday afternoon. The first year we stayed at one of the many hotels on the boardwalk (at a much reduced winter rate) and spend our time strolling it and the beach. We discovered a hotel that year with a beautiful Victorian lobby and restaurant, which turned out to be one of the oldest hotels on the boardwalk, Phillips Beach Plaza Hotel (<>). The thing that caught our fancy was the lobby and piano bar Christmas decorations. They were awesome. A huge 10-foot tree and dozens of antiquish Christmas decorations. From the next year on, we stayed in the same beach front room at Phillips.

This past year we knew this would be the last time we would spend time at Phillips over a Thanksgiving holiday. We made reservations for “our” room early and departed at the usual time arriving around 9 PM on Wednesday evening. Typically on Thanksgiving Day we would spend the morning reading either in the lobby or on the hotel’s front porch in one of their many rockers gazing out over the ocean. Weather permitting, and it usually did, there would be throngs of people on the boardwalk all day long. We usually would partake our Thanksgiving meal at one of the many local restaurants. Early on we found the best meal in town at Bruxy’s Salty Dog Saloon ( For a mere $9.95 each person would get a full plate of turkey, mashed potatoes, string beans, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and dessert. Plus, we could watch the football games on their multiple big screen TVs. What a deal!!!!

This year, however, we decided to try the hotel dining room’s Thanksgiving buffet. We did so because we were in the middle of another Nor' Easter. Sound familiar? Glad we did, though. More than two-dozen items and excellent service. A bit more expensive, but since it was our last time here, what the heck! We finished out the evening walking off our meal on the boardwalk. A pleasant ending to a beautiful day.

The next few days were spent, primarily, reading, watching the removal of sand from the storm, walking, relaxing on our room’s patio with an adult beverage, and listening to the entertainers in the hotel’s piano bar. The duo playing each night was Rhonda Apple and Dale Britt: she a beautiful singer and he a fantastic pianist (<>).

Going home time comes quickly when you enjoy yourself. These long weekends always are enjoyable. We are sad that this tradition will be broken, but we will find a new one in a different place. That is what it is all about for us. Seeing new places, meeting new people, and enjoying our retirement. Photos are posted under Thanksgiving 2006.