Monday, August 20, 2012

Now and Then

When our girls were little we spent several summers sharing a beach house with another family. They have two daughters the same age as ours so it worked out well. Those were the days of mini vans, and loading them up for a week at the beach was a bit like working a jigsaw puzzle. The dads turned it into an art form and beach chairs and shovels, umbrellas and sand pails, coolers and suitcases, were squeezed into every nook and cranny before we could begin the two hour trek from Annapolis to Bethany Beach Delaware.

The excitement in the car was almost palpable and to this day my girls will say those weeks spent at Bethany are some of their fondest childhood memories.

Bethany is known as 'the quiet resort' I guess because it lacks the nightclubs and carnival rides you'll find in the neighboring towns of Ocean City and Rehobeth. There are still plenty of people, a small boardwalk, and a little town center where you can buy ice cream, skim boards, t-shirts, and 'chotchkies'. Oh, how little girls love them some chotchkies.

Fast forward twelve years and those same friends now own a home in a neighborhood near that very same beach. We spent the weekend revisiting old favorites and exploring new. The town itself hadn't changed a whole lot and we were glad. It's still small, still mostly families relaxing on the beach and kids playing in the surf. The smell of sunscreen and boardwalk fries, salt water taffy and sea air all greet us on the familiar breeze of some long ago summer.

We're minus the mini vans and the 8 and 10- year old pony tailed darlings, but I still love the feel of my toes in the sand.

Hubs and his pal kayaked and golfed, and we all enjoyed a leisurely lunch beside the bay. Lobster Bloody Mary anyone?

Rest assured, it tasted every bit as good as it looks.

The view wasn't too shabby either.

We picked crabs on the screened in porch Friday night and had a grown up dinner in a nice restaurant on Saturday. When we had little girls in tow, we didn't do a lot of grown up dinners in nice restaurants. We did pizza on the beach and that was fun too.

For everything there is a season.

Ice cream of course, is always in season. Hubs was, and is, slightly obsessed with Dickey's soft serve. It's the thickest, richest, most delicious frozen custard I've ever eaten, so thick in fact you almost need a fork.

Just so you know, a weekend requires at least two.

It was fun to be back in Bethany.
Fun to remember beach days spent with little girls.
Fun to know they've grown into the lovely young women we could only imagine back then.

Fun to be back where a kite and a memory are caught up in the same gush of salty sea air.

Where time is marked by the ebb and flow of the ocean tide...

...and the golden days of summers old and new we spent beside her.


  1. Bethany is our FAVE beach! We haven't gotten there this year yet, but we prefer off season anyway. Maybe late Sept or Oct. The backside pictures of the girls remind me of so many I've taken over the year!

    Thanks for sharing your weekend!

  2. What lovely memories, made even more special by going back there now with friends made forever.

  3. Summer days, summer fun. My memories also linger in my mind.

  4. How fun to go back to a place where you went when the girls were little. I'm sure there were memories everywhere.....and it looks like you made some great new ones.

  5. This place is as beautiful as the memories it holds. I'm so glad you all were able to revisit a favorite spot.

  6. You explained perfectly why we loved raising the lovelies at the coast and also why we hope to never leave. The memories, the smells, the food, the friends, the's all here. Year 'round!

  7. Such a sweet post... I miss pig tailed girls on the beach too, but it is so nice that you have these life long friends to get together with... Wouldn't it be cool if all four girls vacation together someday with their families?
    Also, I really want a lobster bloody mary now!

  8. Beautiful pictures Joyce, especially the one of the 4 girls all grown up now! All the pics were fun to see. Good job! Looks like you had a lovely vacation.

  9. There's just something about the beach, right?

    And your lobster bloody mary was the envy of the girls at my table at the winery! (We saw it on Twitter!)

  10. All I can think now is I want some of that frozen custard!! Hmmmmmmmmmm that looks good!!

  11. you've gotta have ice cream/frozen custard at the beach! Looks like y'all had a great time!

  12. What great memories! Yes, to everything there is a season and life rocks right along. We enjoyed several beach trips with our kiddos and maybe we'll take the kiddos and their families one year soon. Just so hard to co ordinate now with everyone's work schedules. Happy week!

  13. We went to Ocean City last month -and on the way home drove through Bethany Beach nd Dewey beach .... and said "Wow we need to come here!" - Sounds like a nice time and exactly what we thought it would be! Nice fun pictures!

  14. What wonderful memories ... of times long ago and times just a few days ago. But then wonderful memories are always made at the beach. ;-)

    And now I'm officially hungry for some frozen custard.

  15. Fun memories, especially the part about packing the mini vans! I can totally relate to that :)

    I'm glad to hear that you got your toes in the sand :) and those cones look simply delicious!

  16. wonderful memories and lovely pics--and you are so right about those "seasons" and ice-cream :)

  17. Looks like a perfect vacation spot. I can relate to the traditional ice cream cone :) :)

    Loved the pictures!

  18. oh my gosh! what crazy similarities I have with you! My best friend had 3 girls in less than 3 years and so did I ...we spent our summer vacation at the Bethany beach with them! it was so fun!! and yes, now all the girls have grown up and there are only one from each family with one yr left in college. bittersweet ...I miss those days...kind of...cause I like my days now too....
    you guys looked like you had a great time....good for you!!

  19. Joyce, it sounds like the perfect weekend and your memories from the past sound like they were beautiful ones for you, your husband and the girls. The cones look delicious and I could always go for one of those Bloody Mary's!

  20. We used to vacation in Bethany when our two were young. Some great memories!

    So happy you shared yours!