Autumn On The Eastern Shore

*Before I start this post, I want to give a HUGE thank you to Toyota for lending us your Toyota Sienna for this trip! We were traveling with a ton of cargo and people this trip and without the space that the Sienna provides, we would have been in a lot of trouble scrambling to find a car that could hold us all. The Sienna was such a huge help on this trip, and of course the drop down TV was a dream feature for the kids during our 3 hour drives to and from the airport. Toyota, you saved the day, thank you!


I’ve had people ask, “what’s your obsession with Maryland?” Well, the answer is my Grandparents. My Grandparents moved to Ocean City when I was about 8 or so. My Grandma and “Boompa” (our version of Grandpa) are the rock of our family, they’re amazing in every aspect of the word. On October 23rd they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary (goals I know)! This was our chance to do something for them, they’re always the ones doing things for us so it was a nice change being able to do something like this for them. So we planned a surprise trip to Maryland and a surprise party with all of their best friends and family to shower them with love and huge congrats! Well, my sister blew the surprise that we were going out there, oops, but the party was still a shock to them and they loved it and felt so special.

So, although Maryland is such an amazing place and I love the ocean, the beach, chasing baby G in the sand, walking the boardwalk, etc. the main reason we find ourselves in Maryland so often is because of my adorable Grandparents and the rest of our family that lives out there. We really just got lucky that they moved to such a stunning state. We typically visit in the summer, for the warm beach days of course, but it was a nice change to get to experience Maryland and Ocean City in the fall. Fall is one of my favorite seasons, so to get to go on an autumn adventure was a ton of fun. Although, I will say we went a few weeks too early to see the fall foliage in full effect. You can see from the photo below that the leaves were starting to change but they were in the early stages.

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Warm sand or cold sand, we love the beach! Some days I think Giulian was born to be a beach baby, the way his eyes light up and he sprints to the waves. He loves it. The distance between the boardwalk and the ocean is long (I tried to google it for an exact distance but no luck), and baby G and those short, chubby little legs of his sprint from the boardwalk to the beach the moment he spots the water. I mean fast too, I really have to keep my eye on him 100% of the time otherwise he’d run straight into the water. I suppose he’s the male, baby version of Moana. Watch this adorable IGTV video of him in the water this summer, you’ll see the joy I’m talking about. He just squeals with excitement, and gets super mad at mommy for not letting him jump right into the ocean all by himself. He doesn’t understand why I hold him back from doing so, sweet little one year old has no clue those waves would suck him right in. Not gonna lie it gives me massive anxiety, but watching him have so much fun is worth it all. Like I said, he loves it.

My personal favorite is when we play in the sand up by the boardwalk, there’s way less worry. Even on cold days we’d both take our shoes off and enjoy our toes in the sand. Sand just feels amazing on toes no matter its temperature. Ocean City has fun things in the sand near the boardwalk for you to let the kiddos play on, playgrounds and big sea creatures emerge from the sand they can climb all over. Even in the fall, there’s plenty of fun to be had!

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Warm sand or cold sand, we love the beach.
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Thanks so much for following along on our #GrecoFamilyTravels! This is not my first Ocean City, Maryland post and it most definitely won’t be my last. I love it so much there, maybe one day I’ll do a post on our move there (haha a girl can dream right, Nick wouldn’t move there until we’re old and grey). Again, thank you Toyota for lending us the Sienna for our trip!

 
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Exploring The Eastern Shore With Mitsubishi. Ocean City Maryland, Assateague Island, and Rehoboth Delaware.

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Growing up we would always visit my family in Ocean City, Maryland. It’s one of my “happy places”, I love it there in the summer. The east coast has such cute beach towns you can explore, all not too far away and each has different special things to offer. Last week we did something I’ve been excited to do for years, we took our baby boy there on vacation! Baby G is a true beach baby, he could have played with the sand and stomped his chubby little baby feet in the waves all day everyday. We could definitely say it’s his happy place now, too.  

I want to give a shout out to Mitsubishi for lending us their 2018 Outlander for our trip. It was such a blessing to have that much space for our luggage, beach chairs, and of course all the baby stuff! We didn’t feel cramped for one second on the trip and it was so helpful to have a reliable, extremely safe car to explore the beach towns with. Not gonna lie, trading in our BMW for one of these for sure crossed my mind during the trip. 

During our exploring we went to three beaches: Ocean City Maryland, Assateague Island and Rehoboth Beach Delaware. I’m going to break this post down by beach town and share our experiences with y’all! 

OCEAN CITY, MARYLAND

I am very very biased when it comes to Ocean City, but it is my favorite beach town that I'll talk about in this post. When I was a little girl we'd always take a family vacation to Ocean City. When I was maybe 8 years old my grandparents decided to retire and move there, and basically every summer since then I've gone out there to see my family (we have cousins and great Aunt and Uncle out there too). I have countless memories of the Ocean City beaches and boardwalk. It really is one of my "happy places", I love being there. 

I feel like I must share a few of our favorite Ocean City food spots, because that truly is a big part of the experience! Warning, none of the foods I'm about to mention are healthy. In fact, they are the opposite of that, they're sugary, greasy, delicious board walk food. The type of food that you totally don't want to eat all the time unless you'd like to go into cardiac arrest. With that being said, I think everything in moderation is best, and trying these foods is totally part of the boardwalk experience in Ocean City.  

First off, don't you dare walk with OC boardwalk without popping into Dolle's Candyland. Whether you go there for the salt water taffy, their chocolates (that's my fav), or just because it's the most darling candy store you'll ever see, you just don't want to miss it. The store is a 4th generation family owned shop that opened in 1910. I'm proud to call them my relatives, and the store is currently owned by my cousins and they're doing amazing things with the brand while keeping those tasty original recipes the same. Plus, calories don't count while you're on vacation right?... 

Another must try is Thrasher's French Fries. All this place sells is french fries, in three different sizes. I'm a malt vinegar kind of girl so we drench the fries with vinegar and gosh it's delicious. These fries were featured on the travel channel for a reason! (Maybe because they're so tasty that you end up  happily standing in line multiple times to get them)

My last OC junk food recommendation is Dumser's Dairyland. We live close to Little Man Ice Cream in Denver (basically the most popular place in Denver for ice cream) and we must say Dumser's and Little Man are some of the best ice cream we've ever had (we can't decide which is better so I guess you'll have to try both and decide for yourself).  At Dumser's we love their banana flavor, and we love the cherry dip (only available on the boardwalk location during the summer).

Okay, now that you all think we are total fatties... let's move onto the next beach town! 

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REHOBOTH BEACH, DELAWARE

Rehoboth is such a cute beach town, in fact it's one of my favorites! They have a great beach, a fun boardwalk and the most adorable boutique type shops along the main street in town. If you want to do a bit more shopping and skip the beach for a day, Rehoboth has a great outlet mall. We love shopping there because Delaware has no sales tax! 

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ASSATEAGUE ISLAND

Assateague Island is a 37-mile long island located off the eastern coast of the Delmarva peninsula, right across from Ocean City, Maryland. Growing up our family would always visit Assateague because of the wild horses and the great beach. We think it's so neat to see the horses walk along the beach and they even hang out in the parking lots.  I've don't think I've ever gone to Assateague without spotting a few ponies. If you are looking for a less crowded beach in this area, this might be a great option. It's definitely less crowded than Ocean City and Rehoboth from my experience. It's a great spot to pack a picknic and spend the day at the beach. 

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 Assateague Island Surf Shop

Assateague Island Surf Shop

If you can't already tell, I love eastern shore beach towns. They really are the perfect place to vacation with your family. There is so much to do, see and a ton of cute towns to explore. Pin the photo below to save this post and help you plan your eastern shore family vacation. 

Thanks again Mitsubishi for making our trip easy and seamless with your 2018 Outlander. Having a spacious vehicle that was safe and reliable made our trip stress free. 

 
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Staycation | Glenwood Springs CO

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It was totally time for a staycation for the Grecos! With a baby, a staycation is way less stress, less planning and easier to do on a whim. Nick and I decided it was time for a weekend away so our minds could be in "vacation mode" for a few days. We are so blessed to live in a state where just a few hour drive and we can be in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, the Rocky Mountains. Nick grew up going to Glenwood Springs every summer with his family and he has the most pleasent memories from that so he's been dying to take baby G up there. We stayed up there for two nights, visited the Hot Springs pool and explored the town with our little guy. It was the perfect spur of the moment getaway and we are so glad we went up there. 

Glenwood Springs is about a three hour drive from Denver, we stopped in Silverthorne CO to break up the drive which seemed to help Giulian. Warning, if you have a baby and are doing any traveling through the mountains, remember that the altitude change can hurt their ears and since they don't know how to pop their ears they can get extremely upset and frustrated. Trying to get them to drink a bottle or take a pacifier is a smart idea to try and loosen the pressure from their ears. It was super sad, on the drive home Giulian was in a lot of pain from the altitude change and ear pressure. We just took a few extra stops and tried to get him to take a bottle.

There are so many fun things to do in Glenwood, the Hot Springs pool, hiking, wandering around the adorable town, the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is a blast, or you could even take a drive up to Aspen (just an hour away). 

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Like I said before, our absolute favorite thing to do in Glenwood Springs is go to the Hot Springs pool. Really, you can't visit Glenwood without it!!   It's the largest Hot Springs pool in the entire world you guys, how amazing is that!  And because it is so large, it isn't overcrowded. Not to say that a ton of people don't go there every day, but there is just a lot of space to hold all of us tourists.  They have slides, multiple pools at different temperatures, spa like jets in the warmer pool, there is a kiddie pool, a diving board...it's basically the best place ever! The pool is surrounded with beautiful red mountains, and if you go in the spring they are covered in lush greenery which gives a jungle/forest feel and is absolutely stunning.  

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We are not experts when it comes to every place to eat, drink and everything to do in Glenwood Springs. But we've been there several times and I thought it'd be fun to share a few of our favorite eateries with you. There are a few spots to eat in Glenwood that we would recommend. For ice cream, check out Kaleidoscoops. They have dozens of flavors, hand dipped cones and we've loved that spot for years. For breakfast make sure and go to Sweet Coloradough. Health nuts, this place is not for you, the donuts at this place are the best! If you're looking for a real treat, try their "11-Layer Croughnut" (holy calories) but it is delicious. They also have tasty coffee and breakfast sandwiches. For lunch or dinner try The Pullman. They have one of my favorite salads of all time, the handmade gnocchi salad. Shoot now I'm gonna crave that all day! Anyways, those are our go to "yummy" spots when we visit Glenwood Springs. I'm sure there are so many other delicious places we still need to try!  

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That's all I've got for ya! I just wanted to share a bit of our Staycation with you. It was a wonderful reminder to us that we can have a great time as a family and go in vacation mode without even hopping on an airplane. Our own backyard has so many amazing adventures, towns to explore and sights to see. Plus, Baby G is new to Colorado and has yet to see it all, so it's our job to show him around his home state! 

 

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