It has been about three years now since we last visited Ocean City, Maryland. We used to go there all the time when my mother-in-law still had her beach house just outside of the town itself. She and her late husband built it in the hopes of having a winter retreat from the colder Pennsylvania winters. That dream was dashed when he died suddenly three weeks before our wedding.

His passing was a huge shock, so much so we almost cancelled our wedding. The beach house became a sad reminder of the emptiness his absence left in my mother-in-law’s life. She kept up with maintaining the house, but in our minds, it was really a matter of time before she decided to sell it.

Sure enough, a few years ago, she became increasingly dissatisfied with her job and being a few years away from retirement, decided to sell it to bolster her savings. In spite of our sadness to see it go, since we used it a lot and really enjoyed going there, we understood this was not our decision. And, with its quick sale, so too ended our weekend trips to the beach house.

After the last disastrous vacation we took, we wanted to get away for a quick vacation some place we knew would be predictable. My husband had racked up a lot of Hilton points from his work travels, so we decided to cash some of them in for a weekend trip to their Ocean City resort. The resort was gorgeous, boasting ocean view suites and a very nice facility. We were not disappointed.

The room was very nice, comfortable with a beautiful view of the ocean. We took a trip to see our old haunts, our favorite crab house, the boardwalk and famous fries, and checked out all the new developments since the last time we’d been there. It was so nice to be back in the places we remembered, and a bit sad because we didn’t get there very often anymore.

The trip was just enough of a taste to enjoy ourselves, and close enough to home that we could be home in less than two hours. The area wasn’t as crowded as we had expected it to be. We wondered if it had been the economy or the wacky storm that crushed most of the eastern seaboard that caused such a drop in attendance. Either way, we had a great time, and are hoping to get back again in the fall for another weekend getaway.