August is traditionally the time when Mom's family converges on Ocean City.  Timing is everything when it comes to the big drive, which may last as few as three hours or as many as six.  This year we took refuge briefly under the big sail down in Cambridge:




Last year my parents wouldn't let me play on the beach out of fear that I'd eat the sand. This year my orthopedist wouldn't let me play on the beach to prevent the sand from getting in my cast. This meant that sometimes I rode around on Mom's back:




Otherwise, my leg had to be wrapped tighter than a sausage casing before Mom would let me cavort on the beach - a small price to pay for access to the sea and sand:




The food at the beach was consistently excellent, particularly the Cincinnati chili:




And a week at the beach wouldn't be complete without a stroll on the boardwalk:




The big story in the local papers is that the family that owns Trimper's rides -
the oldest continuously owned amusement park in the country - is not getting enough revenue to pay the property taxes on a chunk of land that is increasingly in demand. Our fear is that this might be the last year to enjoy the coolest part of Ocean City:




Will there still be dodge 'em cars when I get big enough to ride them?




Hey, I thought we had a deal:  no clowns!




The word on the street is that eighteen months is the new "terrible twos."
One minute I'm sweetness and light and the next I'm all up in your business:




Speaking of America's vanishing heritage, my folks took me to my first drive-in movie.  I have no idea what we saw because I never stopped moving the entire time.  I came away from the experience convinced that every movie theater should have a swingset:




For the first time that I can recall, Mom spent the entire week at home.  No work!  We did our level best trying to make use of that free time.  Like taking me to the county fair for the first time.  It was a visual feast:




Actually, the fair was a feast for all the senses - particularly the olfactory.
We were especially impressed with all the fanciful plumage in the poultry barn:




The fair was also a place where I could indulge my passion for large, shiny machinery.  I'm beginning now to rethink my career in broadcasting and instead am seriously considering a job that involves any tractor-based vehicle:




On a related note, I also had the opportunity to drive a county bus while at the fair:





As it turns out, cows can be rather terrifying when you meet them up close in person:




This week with my Mom still on vacation, we went to the local conservatory to see butterflies live and in the flesh:





Dad even tried to take one home:




But the butterfly police will have none of it - everyone gets searched at the exit
to prevent hitchhikers from ever escaping:




The summer vacation continued this week with a visit to the local YMCA - as our neighbor's guest - so that we could go swimming and play on the jungle gym:




I love the water.          It makes me happy.         I don't know why:




My life coach will soon be leaving her job in Silver Spring to go work for the National Geographic Society.  We decided to have one more local lunch before the big move:






<- - - - - - August Bonus Pix! - - - - - ->




I like to rock:




I also like to drive in excess of 55 mph:




Of course, when you're shopping for a new car, kicking the tire is always the best
way to convince the salesman you really know your stuff when it comes to cars:




The penguin is the mascot of my hometown  -  and yet we live in the Mid-Atlantic:




Toying with a new look  -  not sure if it's a good fit  -  under further review:




I'd rather not be photographed while in the midst of bathing, if you don't mind:




Do as I say, or risk the consequences of the Claw turning against you:




I'm afraid bread is about the only thing I can carry when we're at the grocery:




Sometimes it's the simple things - like eating chips with my Mom:




Or the thrill of meeting new people at the park:





At first I laughed uproariously at the comic possibilities but then quickly
stifled myself, once I realized the serious of the situation before me:




I was mere inches from a bear one late August afternoon ... at the zoo:




At one point I was brought in to speak up in support of the zoo's panda:




Oryx or ibex - which one is it?   I forget:




Whenever people ask me the color of my hair, I always say birch:




I'm afraid this might be the last time my favorite pair of fruit-striped pants will fit:




It's not what it looks like: