Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ocean City, You're So Pretty

When I was a kid, my family would go on vacation at the end of June/beginning of July to Ocean City, Maryland. It was a tradition that all of us kids looked forward to. Early on the morning that we'd leave, we'd all pile into the station wagon, and Dad would drive down through Connecticut to New York and then on to the Garden State Parkway, where we'd stop at a rest stop to grab breakfast. (Usually a Roy Rogers, remember those?) Then we would rushrushrush (ie. speed and hope for no traffic) to make it on time to get on the one o'clock Cape May,NJ/Lewes,DE ferry, which was a great opportunity for all of us to stretch our legs after a long morning in the car. Once we disembarked in Delaware, the anticipation would really kick in, and we'd watch the rural countryside for landmarks to indicate that we were getting closer to the city.

Once we were finally in Ocean City and checked into the place where we stayed year after year, it was a week of fun in the sun. Many of the years, the Aunties would come down in their own car and join us, teaching us to dig for sand crabs by day and babysitting us at night when our parents would go out to dinner. There was so much to do: building sandcastles, swimming in the pool, jumping the waves in the ocean, and flying kites. But one of the most fun things to do in Ocean City was a visit to the Candy Kitchen.

Candy Kitchen, for those of you who have not vacationed at the Delaware or Maryland shore, is regional a chain of candy shoppes that sells homemade fudge, saltwater taffy, ice cream, and other assorted sugary goodness. To us, it was HEAVEN. We would leave there with pounds and pounds of Swedish fish and the store's special fudge. Even now, the names cause me to salivate. Those of us "in the know" recognized that King Tut, Heavenly Hash, and Delmonico were code words for the best chocolate EVER. Try as we would, I don't think that any of this candy ever made it back across the Delaware border, despite our mother's best efforts.

This past week, the Aunties went on vacation to Rehoboth Beach, DE, which isn't too far from Ocean City. I called Aunt E up the night before they were leaving and asked her if she wouldn't mind picking me up some King Tut. (Actually, I gave her a list. Apparently so did my mom and Sister K.) She said she'd try, but she couldn't guarantee that it would survive the car trip. When I was down in CT this weekend for Father's Day, I got my Candy Kitchen. And it was delicious. I tried to make it last from Connecticut into Massachusetts, and it actually survived the trip!! (Although since it arrived here, the quantity has been vastly depleted! That's the now "Hellacious" Hash in the photo.)

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