Thursday, August 4, 2011

Days Eight Through Twelve

We had a fun, relaxing, and eventful stay with our friends Chris and Kelly and their kids in the Philadelphia area.  We toured the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, where James and Chris were students (and roommates for a year).  We walked through the mint, and saw the Liberty Bell.  Of course we also ate a cheese steak or two.  All of the kids got along great and they didn’t want to leave.  They caught frogs, swam in the neighbor’s pool, partook of the chocolate fountain, and really we all just enjoyed their home, company, and home cooking. It was exactly what we needed.  Thank you Chris and Kelly. 

The Rothey and Helfrich kids on Penn Campus

Hunting for frogs

They became pets for the next several days.  This one got a boat.

Tuesday we took a day trip to Ocean City, NJ.  The weather was perfect for the beach and we enjoyed a day filled with sand and sun.  We escaped without sunburn, but not without incident.  The lifeguard periodically had to move the crowds of people in the water back over to the safe area.  On one of these occasions, I lost sight of the kids in the shuffle of people.  Gradually, I located everyone except Wendy.  After scanning the water and beach for some time, I went to find James, who was out in the deep water with Christine and Amber.  I told him I had lost Wendy and we started searching for her.  I told the lifeguard, who notified the other lifeguards.  We continued our search for about 30 minutes.  It was horrible.  I felt like I was going to throw up, and imagined every possible scenario, even though I was pretty sure she was OK.  Searching a beach of about 5 million people, looking for a little five year-old in a pink swimming suit is no easy feat.  After searching for a very long 30 minutes, I checked in  with the lifeguards again and a radio call came in.  They said they were holding Wendy at station 13, which was about half a mile away.  I ran down there and she was hanging out with another nice lifeguard.  She told me she got lost when all of the people were moving down the beach.  She couldn’t find our umbrella so she just kept walking.  She said she wasn’t scared but she said two prayers and started crying.  She said that a nice lady with a child asked her what was wrong and she told her she was lost then gave the child a handful of shells from her bucket and the nice lady took her to the lifeguard.  What a relief that was!  In spite of that incident, we had a great time and found two excellent restaurants for lunch and dinner.  One was the Hula Restaurant and Sauce Company.  We ordered the crab cakes and teriyaki salmon and teriyaki chicken.  They came with salads topped with an incredible dressing.  Everything was fresh and delicious.  The second was a greek joint where the dad was the cook and daughters were waitresses.  The hummus and babaganoosh (I’m not sure how you spell it, but it is an eggplant dip) were to die for, as were the sausages and greek salad.  It was a pleasant surprise to find delicious, high quality food in a place I assumed would be packed with fast food, greasy grossness (which I was prepared to eat).
Wendy, just before she got lost

Tip of the day(s):  If you go to a beach with about 5 million other people, take a moment to point out the lifeguard stands to your children and tell them to go directly there if they get lost.

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