Ocean City: Mecca for (mid-Atlantic) Crackers!

Posted: May 17, 2010 in Awesome, Humans, The Funny

Ocean City!

So, I have returned triumphant, victorious (sunburned) from Ocean City! I have also now found a place where I am convinced myself and various others of my friends could have a seriously good time and not feel…odd. We (we being me and Vlad) headed out long about 10:30 Thursday morning. We took the scenic route up through VA, MD, and why yes, even Delaware to get there rather than the Rte. 50 way which involves, ahem, driving over a 5 mile bridge and probably a lot more traffic. We had good tunes, Red Bull, and sunglasses, what more did we need, really? I am also fairly certain we saw, if my Scary Southerners have relatives in Delaware, the house in which they live. It was a thing of terror and beauty. We also saw the outside of the state police headquarters, which looks like a bed and breakfast…we pondered going in and asking for tea and scones, but decided against it.

We made it to our hotel around 3 pm ish and checked in. This was an interesting experience. Not enough people working check in for the amount of people actually checking in, but hey, shit happens, right? Also, it is now proven fact if you are gal in camo’s, boots, with a big ass scar on and a .44 round hanging off your neck and holding a big ass black bag, standing next to a 6’1″ dude in camos, a black Team Ireland jacket, and a couple of big ass black bags, people will stare at/step away from you….

So, we put our shit in the room, busted out some Jack Daniels, then decided to go eat. First stop of vacation eating: Kirby’s pub. Small, nice little place, where we found out that the actual boardwalk part of the beach started around 7th street…our hotel (while on the beach of course) was at like, oh, 120th street. So we ate, grabbed some Red Stripe, then headed back to the hotel, and figured out how the buses worked…two dollar fare for all day- good deal IMHO.

We found Jesus!

So then we headed out to conquer the boardwalk, only to learn that on a Thursday night, when it was damn ass cold and windy and still sorta the off season- not much going on. We hit a bar or two, I got a sweat shirt, we found Jesus, were annoyed by people from Philly, took some pictures, then ate at Denny’s before going back to the hotel. Had more Jack…bad move on my part.

Went to bed, woke up the next morning aware of the fact that Jack had in fact decided to make me his prison bitch and when he is of that mind, the last thing one should do is eat greasy gross food from Denny’s. Once I stopped being sick and felt human again, I noted that the weather was awesome, so back we went via bus to the boardwalk…right around noonish- it was a gorgeous day for it: we strolled the boardwalk, Vlad got a funnel cake, I had fun people watching- because just like with most non-super snotty

Um, nope, salt water don't kill it...

 beach towns- there is an interesting mix of folk to watch- from the beer-enjoying red necks in the camo shorts and gun hats to the families to the college kids and everything else you can imagine. We went down on the beach and into the water (which was cold, let me tell you). Down at the end of the boardwalk we stopped in at a little bar, and I mean little, with a great view and had a beer…the place was called “The Frog Bar” and well, there were frogs everywhere, including Kermit, who appeared to be doing bad things to a surf board. Then we headed back up, stopped in an arcade to play some Ski Ball and Video poker (for tokens, alas)- Vlad proved to be the champion of ski ball. Poker was my domain. We wandered around a bit longer, then went over to main street and had an early dinner, then back onto the bus and to the hotel.

There had been talk about hitting the One Big Club in OC, a place called Secrets, but we decided we did not want to do that. Instead, we took up the mantel and went out to play the sport

Ocean Lanes, Here we will summon the Devil!

 of Kings: Bowling. Which turned out to be a good idea and a lot of fun. Vlad who is not a bowler held his own against the Renegade, who was on her high school bowling team, for 3 out of five games, winning two of them, but then I came back big in the last game. Much fun was had bowling- it was quiet, kinda low key, and full of awesome…and the people working there cracked us up- turns out they too are Supernatural fans and well, play catch with bowling balls.

After bowling ,went back to the hotel, had a beer, walked down the beach at night, which was nice, then watched Viking movies until it was sleep time.

Saturday morning, we were up early and headed back down to the boardwalk, still fun though we’d already seen it. We wandered around for a bit- I had to get new sunglasses, having broke mine the previous day, then long about 11:30 we decided to have a beer in a bar that had been closed the previous day: The Parrot bar, 1.50 drafts. In we went. This place was cool…in that awesome Tiki-Tacky way that I dig, but lacking on the tacky, actually- hardwood bar and stools, brass rail, decent sized tables for dining in the back, nice staff. We had a laugh thou, it was not yet noon when we went in, and we were the only ones there, but minutes later the place filled up…it was like no one else out there who wanted a beer before noon wanted to be the first drinker in the bar…but once the seal was broken and all…game on! We hung out there for a bit, then back out on the boardwalk…Vlad had decided he wanted a frozen drink with an umbrella in it, so we made it so…hit a little outside bar up on a hotel- nice view of the ocean and boardwalk, and ordered frozen drinks (alas, no umbrella’s)…where we had a Ren and Vlad hahahahah at the stupidity of the universe moment…the people next to us were a story as old as time itself: the late 40’s business man being self important and rude to the bartender, macking on the early 20-something blonde girl in the tiny bikini who was workin’ it hard enough I think I could actually hear it! Eh, I guess she got free drinks outta the whole deal and he got to be seen with a cute young blonde, but damn did they so deserve each other! After that, I found myself in need of cigarettes (which are too damn expensive in MD), so we, er, went to a head shop that was run by two nice older hippy ladies. Smokes as well as pins for hats were purchased. (Hey, sometimes you need those things!) Then we wandered a bit more before heading back to the hotel.

Then it was down to the beach…which was both windy and sandy. True enough, the sand on the beach was that nice, soft kind, but when it is pelting you at 15 mph it stings a little. Also,

view of the beach...and some concrete.

 seeing as sanity is not a trait Vlad and I always possess…we went in the water. And I am not talkin’ stick the toes in the 50 degree surf kinda thing, but one of those charge down the beach dive into the waves kinda went in the water. Dude, it was cold y’all. And then the wind with the sand in it was even worse! We hung out down there for a bit, Vlad built a strange recreation of the Coliseum or some such thing in the sand, avoiding the horseshoe crabs who disliked him renovating in their neighborhood, then we went upstairs. Where, alas, I did have to wash my hair- greasy I can deal with, ocean and sand, not so much. So, we cleaned up, then it was back on the bus.

Big Peckers...the burger was good thou...

In our previous wanderings, we had seen a sketchy little place called Booty’s House of Crabs. Sure, it had a Pirate theme, but that is one of those names that is just unfortunate. Despite the bad name and sketchy appearance however, Vlad had noted an important thing about the place, and that was the sign which read “Dollar Beer all weekend”. It was decided we must look it to this! So, first we went to dinner, and another place with a sketchy name- “Big Peckers”- their sign had Foghorn Leghorn on it…and damn, did they have good burgers, then we headed down towards Booty’s, seeking dollar beer.

The bus ride to Booty’s was, ahem, a little surreal and tense. Why, you might ask? Well, one, in our various bus rides, we had come to the conclusion that we were really happy we had not gone to Secrets, because just about everyone we had seen on the bus coming from or going to there had been an ass and the sort of person I generally would like to beat with a tire iron…and two…

We get on the bus. We look, er, well, like we lost our way to the militia meeting because generally, well, that’s how we look. Next to us, there is a family with a little girl, trying to do the family vacation thing. Across from the family are three women- terms- like them or not- such as “cougar” or “milf” might apply. Dressed up and in to be seen, obviously have some money, married, doing that “girls vacation sans the men” thing…loud, and drunk, headed to Secrets. Across from us is a couple. She’s dressed up, looks nice, he is neatly dressed, clean cut, but one would have had to be blind not to notice his ink. Which there was a lot of. The kind a person gets in prison. Including 4 certain numbers discussed here a lot in blog land recently, right on his neck. He is chatting quietly with his lady, minding his own business, all that. The bus stops at Secrets, the drunk loud married women get off, to be replaced by six or so drunk loud college boys- the frat looking type, from Virginia Tech. Two are so wasted they pretty much pass out the second they sit down. Two are drunk but sober enough to try to ride herd over their friends. They are making comments about the Married Women when they get on the bus…some stop when they see the family with the kid sitting there, others do not. They are loud, drunk obnoxious loud, swearing, and dude with the Ink is sorta glaring at them (he had shades on, but you could tell), and sure enough, one of the college boys, the one non-white one of the bunch, steps on the Lady of Ink Man’s foot. Hard. Like honestly hard enough that she shouted. He apologized, but really over did it on the apology. More like he was daring ink man to get up and start something (on the middle of a crowded bus) than he was actually sorry. Bus ride continues, College Boys still loud, Ink Man and his Lady depart, once they do, guy who stepped on Lady’s foot starts going off on how he would have kicked Inked Man’s ass…blah blah blah, until one of his friends tells him he really needs to shut up. Why am I telling you this? Meh, it will play into More Observations from The Bus which will come later…

Booty's House of Crabs!

Anyway, we get to Booty’s House of Crabs, and we have found our Destiny! Dollar beer, all kinds, from Guinness to Coors- no beer over a dollar, and dollar Red

Sam Axe, is that you???

 Bull, and good music on the Juke Box, and the staff are all cool as hell. The place had just been bought out, and they needed to get rid of all the previous owners booze… it was a thing of beauty. Though I do note, even on vacation, even when all beer is a dollar, Vlad and I drink cheap beer. Sure, there was the occasional drunk idiot, but for dollar beer and red bull, these things can be tolerated! The place was a little hole in the wall, but one with serious character- the owner/manager of the joint (“Call me Chief!”) bought us shots, decided that I had invented a new sobriety test (I was heading back from the ladies room, passing a table set up for…I shit you not…beer pong…and caught a rouge beer pong ball left handed with zero hesitation or difficulty), and well, while there were tourists like us in there, and the occasional group of college kids, it seemed to be more popular with the locals. We were on first name bases with Chief and his bartenders (Jessie and Lindsey) early on, they were serving grill food (dogs and burgers, 2$/3$ a piece) and Vlad and I were bemoaning the fact we had not come to Booty’s earlier. If we ever set up a Meet & Greet for our CoX buddies, it WILL be at Booty’s Crab House, Ocean City MD.

We headed home later than planned, and went to bed, because we were headed home the next morning. Obviously, we made it. I kinda dig that place.. A lot.

Now Then…

Ren blends with the other Cripsy Crackers!

Observations about OC: Whilst OC might be a Mecca for crackers, it is pretty dang diverse. A ton, and I mean a ton, of the people who work there in the stores and bars and such are from the Former Soviet Union. The tourists are a huge mix of black, white and Hispanic. The age range is wild- lots of college aged folk, lots of 30/40’s, lots of retired folk. Lots of people with kids, and lots without. There is stuff for families to do, and stuff for adults to do…I think I saw both more liquor stores and mini golf places in OC than I have ever seen, anywhere, ever, in my life. Our hotel was nice, but I think a good way to do an OC trip-depending on funds- would be to rent out a condo, and there are TONS of them. Also, there was a wide range of social strata going on there- from people who obviously had a lot of money to people on family vacation budgets to blue collar sorts. The boardwalk was one of those places you could find shops with a Confederate Flag Shirt in one window and a Kenyan Flag Shirt in the other…and people both working and shopping there might be likely to buy and wear either, and no one seemed to care. I grinned whilst standing outside one ice cream place because well, there was a group of sunburned white dudes in camo’s & hunting caps with thick good ol boy accents next to four or so African American women who I am guessing were family (sisters and mother), all chatting about how nice the weather was and how ice cream was good idea. It reminded me of VA Beach, Myrtle Beach, and even Daytona in many ways, but honestly seemed a bit more low key than any of those.

Observations about the Origins of Crackers who go to OC: Okay, not just the crackers even- but I think (and yeah, I ask people this shit- esp over dollar beers) most of the tourists who end up in OC come from Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland itself, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.

Food: Heh, neither Vlad nor I eat sea food, especially shell fish. In OC (and Maryland in general) crab is popular. However, you can get beef and chicken that tastes good in OC.

And now, More Observations from the Bus: First, the bus is pure genius- 2 dollars a day to ride all day? Genius. They have air condition! But what I noted most on the bus was this: regardless of race, gender, age, or language spoken, or any of that other shit, the people who were the biggest assholes on the bus- the ones who were drunk, loud, rude, inconsiderate, pains in the ass were…the people with money. It wasn’t the Russian gals heading home from their shift at wherever, it wasn’t the younger Uzbek guys heading out for a beer, it wasn’t the older Harley people going down to the boardwalk, it wasn’t even the guy with the racist prison tattoo. It was the people with money- the drunk college boys, the drunk married women, the group of sorority girls who we witnessed on Saturday afternoon…it was people like the Barbie and the Older Skeevy Dude we saw in the outside beach bar. That seemed more than anything to be the driving factor behind the who was an asshole factor….and this was plainly evident while riding on the bus.

Overall- I liked Ocean City and would certainly go back. Oh, and FYI, booze is illegal on the beach- Thongs aren’t.

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Comments
  1. dead_vladimir says:

    weird to read about what i experienced

    I was impressed by the politenes of the locals the uzbekis getting up so the hispanic women could have seats on the bus

    id also guess the skeey old guy was 50s not 40s and was angling for more than to be seen with the girl

    also impressed with the fact with more liquor stores than bars

    • Ren says:

      i am sure he was angling too, but I doubt his rod got a nibble…

      i am sure the bar scene warms up when the weather does!

      I thought the hippy ladies in the head shop were awesome, but yeah, the locals over all- very nice.

      alas my camera ate the photo of jessie and lindsey.

      all i know is booty’s is now a legend in my mind!

  2. Lisa KS says:

    I’m so jealous. I NEED the beach. I need…a tan!

  3. Damn, that brings back some – not quite memories, but memories-of-feelings, if you catch my drift – of holidays.

    Sounds like a great time and suddenly I want to get a passport and lie at immigration control that I’ve never ever (not in a million years) been a Communist 😉

    Just one thing though: I’m still struggling to figure out what “cracker” means in this context?

  4. ginmar says:

    But..but…Booty’s House of Crabs is a genius name! I love that shit. Also, camo is fun to mix with really cute feminine stuff.

    Next time you come….Hey, when are you coming?

  5. Amber Rhea says:

    Love the pictures! Looks like it was a great time.

  6. dead_vladimir says:

    also for the record
    1) the bowling was enver close, ren kicked my ass except the token games she let me win
    2)
    golf is the sport of kings

  7. Carson D Carson says:

    Sounds like you guys had a great time.

  8. rootietoot says:

    What’s more fun than a beach with sketchy bars? NOT MUCH!
    It sounds GREAT!

  9. Roy Kay says:

    Sounds fun, but …..

    …. DIVING into 50 degree water? Are you nuts? In the Labrador current? I love the ocean, but the Atlantic from September through May is what everything south of Hatteras was invented for.

  10. Erik says:

    Ren, you have joined the ranks of famed adventurers and travel writers like Isabella Bird and Mary Kingsley. Okay, they ranged a bit farther afield, into territory like the unexplored Congo of the 19th century, but they shared some of your interests and views: fine-grained social observation, a sympathy for native populations, unquenchable independence and the ability to make places come alive on the page. Speaking of the 19th century, you also seem to have a bit of Jane Austen in you: her entire ouevre is an illustration of your apercu that people with money behave badly.

    Thank you for bringing back childhood memories of the OC. My family invariably stayed at smaller, quieter towns like Rehobeth and Bethany in nearby Delaware, but we made outings to OC to eat at Phillip’s and play on the boardwalk. the place you describe accords with my recollection, excepting the burgeoning population of Eastern Europeans, which lends a pleasant air, I suppose, of Brighton Beach or Sochi on the Black Sea. Booty’s House of Crabs – ginmar is quite right about the genius of the name – is after my time but alone seems worth a trip back “downy ocean.”

    • rootietoot says:

      HAHAHAHA!! Ren got compared to Jane Austen! HAHAHAHAHA!

      • Erik says:

        Quite certain they are sisters under the skin, or under the camo if you prefer. Jane is more generally pissed off, perhaps because there were no video games in the Regency Era and she had to content herself with archery to hlow off steam. There was bowling, though it was often done on lawns.

  11. Ha! Totally looks like Sam Axe there! I’ve never been to Ocean City but it must be nice. I mean, it’s on the water, right?

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