Not every side attraction was a complete disaster. The ride to them, yes. The destination, not always. For example, we decided to take a ride to "North Ocean City" to see the Discoversea Shipwreck Museum (which is free!). Joey was not fooled. He knew we were driving, and it was longer than ten minutes. Chaos reigned all the way to Fenwick Island.
When we arrived, the museum is actually on the second floor of a schlock shop. We got a little nervous, and Joey's anxiety was almost overwhelming, as the shop was crammed with... schlock.
Then we managed to get upstairs, with much coaxing and promises of pirate gold. It's a darling little museum of items found in the area from shipwrecks. The labeling convinced me that the curators are either bad at labeling, or are not really sure what they have, but the objects are actually pretty decent. They also had quite a bit of information about actually collecting items and how underwater archaeology is done, including a really cool model showing what a shipwreck looks like compared to the boat exploring the wreck above. That kind of caught Joey's attention, enough to keep him in the room. Andy was fascinated (he's discovered a love for Time Team, too. That's my boy!)
Andy spent a lot of time looking at the objects, including this "mermaid" (which he knew right away wasn't real, smart boy). He liked all the sparklies (I did mention this child is my son, right? Like there was any doubt now...) and the pirate stuff, since he had been on something of a pirate kick and even on a pirate adventure (to be blogged about later). He wasn't quite as interested in the china and pots as I was, but the coins and jewelry rocked his world.
As I prefaced this, the trip was not a complete loss. Although mildly distracted by the shipwreck model, what really caught Joey's eye was the baby blue crab and fish in a small, floor-level tank, He plopped himself down in front of that sucker and stayed there happily for half an hour, while Andy explored the museum. Then he happily went downstairs and picked out toys and a bag of tumbled stones with his brother, and complained about the ride all the way back to the hotel.
He liked that tank so much, when some of the stones got broken on the hard tile floor and the boys were antsy in gray weather, we actually drove back and went again!
We also had a much-anticipated yearly visit to Hooper's Crabhouse. This is just across the bridge, so no long ride to complain about; and JOey had been talking about wanting to go from the time we announced the date we would be arriving at Ocean City. Strangely, neither of them ate much. Andy staunchly refused to eat crab (wait, did I say this was my child? How can any child of mine not eat crab?), except the legs, since he could smash them with the hammer (ok, I'll still claim him). Joey got too frustrated to pick one. However, he did not refuse any crab meat offered him until he got too full to eat anything at all. That didn't actually take that long; anxiety slows Joey's stomach way down.
So crabby boy because something of a theme through the trip, to the chorus of "Let's go back to the hotel!" (said in a sing-song, "Let's go to camp now!" sort of voice). Oh, and those morning trips to the surf? The first morning we went out and the sun hit his eyes, and he he had to walk all the way back to the hotel room to use the restroom almost immediately after reaching the waves, that was the end of those.
So how did we manage to get him out of the hotel room? Stay tuned...