The parents reserved a suite at the supposedly renovated Princess Royale hotel. Ten years ago my family visited Ocean City and stayed at the same hotel. It was an important trip for the family because halfway through our week there, we drove all of my crap for college over to College Park. This was also our last summer family trip together. Anyway, ten years ago the hotel was quite luxurious with great rooms and easy access to the beach from its indoor pool.
I have fond memories of the arcade room where I beat the Simpsons game on one credit. Some kid ran out of quarters with one hit to go on the final boss. I had no shame entering my initials.
In the ten years since our visit, the hotel didn’t change and was showing its age. Despite promises of a renovated hotel, I saw none. The only changes I saw were the countertops in the suite, a new mattresses for the main bedroom, and the arcade games were moved to the indoor pool area. So much for a modern update. I even noticed old signs directing you to things that weren’t around anymore. Plus, the elevators had outdated inspection cards.
We tried spending time in the indoor pool, but it looked like it had not been cleaned in the same ten years. After watching one father flip his kids in the water that was all of 3 feet deep and another boy airball one too many basketballs into people’s heads, we went to the beach for a walk. In my father’s famous manner, I’d ask how much farther and he’d say, “just to that brown hotel up there.” Upon reaching that hotel another distance goal would be set.
We ate lunch at a typical Ocean City restaurant, replete with the required slow/lazy summer teenage wait staff, but we survived. Saturday night we had a tremendous crab meal, splitting 18 jumbo crabs that had tons of meat. Dare I say, but I think I got full from a crab meal. After stuffing ourselves, we walked the boardwalk.
After I slept on a Seinfeld parents pullout mattress special, we went for breakfast at the House of Pancakes. We enjoyed awful and rude service that, combined with Saturday’s lunch, and the trashiness of the boardwalk last night, made us realize we were better off in Rehoboth for the day. We cruised up the Coastal Highway and reminisced about places we had stayed and visits with my mom’s parents.
According to the Princess Royale hotel, sleeping on what amounts to a blanket on springs constitutes a renovation.
Of course we walked the boardwalk and drenched a bucket of Thrasher’s fries with salt and vinegar. It was a good time. I controlled myself from playing Guitar Hero 3 in the arcade. 13 years ago I would have been all over that. Not only do I own the game, but also some kid had just played Through the Fire and the Flames on Expert. Showoff.
By 4:30 we returned to the hotel, packed up our things, and headed to Sonic. My parents left on Wednesday, most assuredly spending the remainder of their time in Rehoboth and Dewey Beach. It's a nicer scene there. I had a great time just being with them, proving it’s not where you stay or what you do, but who you’re with.