I always like reading other’s reports and wish more folks took the time to write these. Also I like looking back at past years so I can remember year to year. So with that we just got back from our annual trip to OCMD. This year we went one week earlier to our oldest being a high school freshman and the fall sports schedule. Do to this change we were not able to hook up with my buddy in Delaware. So we stayed two nights at the Carousel in OC. We last stayed at the Carousel in November of 2009 for a short weekend trip. They have a lot of amenities there so we did it again.

The Carousel has hotel rooms and condos. We stayed in one of the hotel rooms with a view of the coastal highway since we booked so late. My wife was not happy with the overall cleanliness of the room and the maid service was severely poor. The maid picked up the tip, but didn’t clean the bathroom. The rest of the Carousel impressed me. They have a nice outside bar with lots of food options. Our children are getting older, but for a family with little ones this is an ideal place. Outdoor and indoor pools, ice skating rink, free beach chairs and an ice cream shop inside that my kids loved. We will look into staying here in the future, but possibly a condo instead of the hotel room.

We went to the boardwalk two nights and I am happy to report we witnessed no problems. We didn’t really see any drunks or bad behavior. I don’t know if OC gave up on the no smoking thing or not. We did see a police officer having a conversation with a woman as she casually enjoyed her cigarette. The officer didn’t seem fazed one bit. I did notice more folks smoking on the beach than last year as well. I did not smoke any cigars on the beach this year however.

On Saturday we checked into the Plaza as it is our usual place. Both my parents did make it down again, but my dad did admit that this was his last trip. The Plaza is the same as always. The bar outside has live music nightly that you can sit on your balcony and listen to. The staff is very friendly and even helped my mother bring her luggage in. There was an incident early in the week in which a woman with a knife was chased by the police and ended up being arrested in the parking lot. My mother saw the tail end of it.

As for the food we hit some of our regular places. More and more we are eating in Delaware. I am surprised more people don’t do it. It took almost an hour for us to get to the Shrimp Boat in west OC and one night we made it to Ocean View in Delaware in 20 minutes.

Thursday when we drove down we hit Jimmy’s kitchen in Fenwick. I had been wanting to try the place. It was a good 30 minute wait to be seated. The food wasn’t bad. The service was hurting. I had one cup of coffee as the waitress kept forgetting us. The other waitresses would only bring coffee to their tables and then scamper away. The other disappointing thing regarding Jimmy’s was the hash browns. Their Facebook page has lots of photos of them. These were not crispy and rather limp and lifeless. The scrapple was very good and the eggs were perfect.
Thursday night we went to Big Eye Jacks (formerly Ropewalk Fenwick) in Fenwick. The reviews online have been mixed. I heard that they still have the oysters so we gave it a shot. We really enjoyed our meal here. The menu is different so check it out before you go. I ended up with the crab and tuna stack and a dozen oysters. The kids had pork tacos that I had as leftovers and they were very good as well. The oysters were as good as last year.

Friday we went to Just Hooked in Fenwick. This is always one of my favorites and it did not disappoint. The crab jalapeno soup is good as always and they usually have good specials as well. I had a tuna special that was very nice and fresh.

Saturday we went to Blu crab house. Last year we had a very long wait this year it was 5 minutes. We were told it would be an hour but we didn’t complain. We were seated upstairs and inside which we did not enjoy as much as sitting outside by the water like in past years. I once again enjoyed the blue crab steamer pot, but there is so much food and it takes so long to eat I may change it up next year. The crabs were very good and they were big. Usually you expect smaller crabs in a steamer pot as they sell the larger ones for by the dozen. These were good sized. The kids had ravioli that they finished before I was through my first crab. My mom had a crab cake and bought one for my dad who didn’t make it out this night. They both were disappointed in the crab cake, no large lumps and mushy. I was surprised to hear this as the food has always been good here.

Sunday we went back to big eyed Jacks this time with my parents. We got pretty much the same exact things. More oysters this time as my dad enjoys them as well. I forgot to mention the star of the show both nights was the crab dip topped tater tots. Not fancy just good.

Monday Harborside: We haven’t been here in a long time. The last time I asked at least three different employees and never received silverware. We were not impressed with the food last time either. But lots of folks here like the place and Dean had been talking for years about the calamari so we gave it another shot.

Right off the bat we are met by a “gentlemen” with a huge wad of snuff in his lip asking for ID’s so he could put wrist bracelets on us. Instant flash back to De lazy Lizard. I strongly considered leaving at that moment and wish we would have. The food was very subpar once again. We had a seafood pizza as an appetizer that was soggy and poorly cooked, in fact it was the worst dish I have been served in OC in my life. I had tuna that was fishy and of poor quality that I couldn’t eat. The calamari was however excellent just as Dean had described. The cheese and the peppers were a good touch. The women liked their crushes and the kids ate the kid’s food. The adult food save for the calamari are not worth the drive.

Tuesday Liquid Assets: This is our date night as the kids eat Lombardi’s pizza and stay with my parents and my wife and I head to LA. The wait is getting longer and longer for a seat at the bar and sadly the food is not as good as past years. They are really busy and I hope it was just a bad night. But all the things I liked about the place are changing as they are so busy.

Wednesday Shrimp Boat: We have been going here for whole crabs for a few years now. This year was probably the best. I asked the server what is the biggest size crabs they have. They only had XL no
jumbos. She did say they “looked big though”. They were. I liked the crabs at Blu, these were way better. They were fresh and sweet. The steamed shrimp were good as always.

Thursday Big Fish Grill Ocean View: We met my father’s cousin and his wife who were staying in Bethany here. There is another Big Fish Grill in Rehoboth that they go to and like so we split the difference and ended up here. It is just west of Bethany and little bit residential. The food and service were very good and being in Delaware once again you save money by not paying the MD taxes. This was the only night we had oysters Rockefeller and they were very good. They have a private room for larger parties that we booked. They do charge around 30$ for its use however. I didn’t get to drink at the bar, but it looked like a place I will in the future. The drive to the Plaza took only 18 minutes that night.

Friday Just Hooked our last meal for the trip and back to Fenwick and one of my favorite places. This time I had the crab cakes and they weren’t the best. My wife had the scallops and they like always were great. I just love the crab jalapeno soup here. This bowl had lots of large chunks. Even bigger chunks than were in the crab cake.

Saturday on the way out we hit Crabcake Factory again for breakfast. Just like the previous week we were seated immediately. The only problem was service was bad. The first visit we had a woman who did great. The second time a younger guy that was out of it. The food was very good once again and the coffee gave me the strength for the long haul home.

Overall it was another good trip. The kids blew lots of their money on OCMD paraphernalia and it mostly looked to be of good quality. We will miss traveling with my parents but we have good memories. We started looking at some other properties other than the Plaza. My wife also just pointed out the total cost for one week in the Plaza without meals is over $4k. She just booked a Caribbean cruise for five of us in February with 3 meals a day for each of us and 2 cabins for less. I can see why all my aunts, uncles and cousins that traveled with us to OC in the 80’s go elsewhere now. We lessen the blow by eating more in Delaware and yes we could save more by eating in. But we don’t cook on cruises or an all-inclusive in Mexico either.

Well thanks for reading. Hopefully more folks will do the same. Maybe Dean will resurface.