Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ocean City 2010

I love Stamping by the Sea. This is one of my favorite events to attend. You may have heard me mention this before - but it's true so it bears mentioning again.

The stamping convention is held the same weekend of May every year. This allows for some good pre-season deals on accommodations and yet, if you're lucky, some great time on the beach. Even when the weather isn't quite as cooperative as I'd like, I'd rather spend an overcast, cool day near the beach than here in northeast Ohio!

This year I arrived on Thursday night in time for dinner and a walk along the beach. I honestly don't remember where I ate that night, but I'm sure it was good. :-) I awoke early the next morning and made my way to the Boardwalk for the Cruisers parade. The weekend that this convention is held also happens to be during the Cruisers event. While I'm not a hot-rod or vintage car enthusiast, I do enjoy the boardwalk parades. They do these parades at 7 am Thursday through Saturday.

(For more information on the Cruisin' Ocean City event)

After the parade I headed to the Carousel Resort which was the host hotel for the convention. I taught two classes there on Friday morning. It was so nice to see familiar faces...some of my students have been taking classes from me all five years that I've attended. It made me feel quite good to have a few of them tell me they signed up for ALL of my classes that weekend.

It was a GORGEOUS day that Friday, so after cleaning up from my second class I grabbed my beach bag and chair and headed to the beach. I came prepared with my bathing suit under my clothes for precisely this purpose! I went down the beach where I ate my lunch and enjoyed the sun. After indulging in a little sun worship, I finally gathered myself up and went to set the booth up - grateful for the reprieve.

The Friday night dessert/make-and-take event is not to be missed...if you are an attendee. As an instructor, it is non-stop and incredibly tiring. I did it four years in a row and took a break this year. I may do it again next year as I do enjoy talking to all the people for the time they are seated in front of me. As an attendee, you get five tickets to create five different projects and enjoy the desserts. While you may have to wait in line for the most popular projects, it is relaxing and enjoyable evening for you. Seriously, you don't want to skip it - it is well worth the price.

Saturday morning I got up early and enjoyed the car parade again. I walked down the boardwalk and ate breakfast in a hotel where I could watch the cars while I ate. Wonderful! After breakfast it was back to the Carousel for a full day of vending fun. This was the 10th year for Stamping by the Sea and boy was it eventful! On Saturday, near noon, the fire alarm went off and everyone had to evacuate the hotel. Apparently there was smoke from a grill in the kitchen that set off the alarm.

Awaiting the "all-clear" from the fire department

If you are thinking of going to this event next year, let me just say that it has something for everyone! The host hotel is a beautiful resort complete with an indoor (and outdoor) pool, a fitness room, restaurant AND ice-skating rink! Your kids will love it. I brought my whole family the first two years I attended and we stayed at the Carousel. My kids thought they had died and gone to heaven! Additionally, the aforementioned Cruiser event will have your husband happy and content while you enjoy the convention. If you are an artsy husband - this should be like Mecca for you!

Before I left to attend the event I got my class counts and prepared my class kits. I always prepare extra for people who my choose to sign up once they arrive and see the class sample in person. I brought double the supplies for the Niches, Drawers and Doors Light class and filled that class AND squeezed in an additional person. What a fun class (if I do say so myself). I love sharing all of these neat altered book features with eager students.

I had a great show day on Sunday. Sunday is usually a slower-paced, relaxed day and it's nice after a busy Saturday. My neighbor vendor was Cindy Ward, the Art Director for a Maryland newspaper, an artist and author. What an interesting lady! She sells a line of rubber stamps, her own designs, based on all of her various kitty cats. Each stamp has a story. On this last day, Cindy presented me with a copy of a children's book that she wrote and published through Scholastic. What an honor. Meeting such creative and interesting people is just one of the many reasons I love the craft industry.

I make a point of planning some time for "me" into every day and every event. I planned to stay an extra day after the show for some me time on the beach. The foggy weather didn't exactly cooperate with my beach aspirations, but I enjoyed myself nonetheless. I got up early, as usual, grabbed breakfast, rented a bike for an hour, shopped up and down the boardwalk, ate some boardwalk fries, took advantage of the one hour the sun did pop out, and enjoyed a nice dinner and a movie. Note the goosebumps on my leg...I tried to stick it out on the beach.

Guess what greeted me the morning I left? SUN. It was going to be a beautiful day. If I could have, I would have stayed an extra day. I did stay a little longer than I had originally planned so I could take a walk on the boardwalk and grab a little breakfast at a restaurant overlooking the ocean.

Make plans to join us in 2011. Go to: and sign up for their email newsletter so you get all the information when it becomes available

Places I visited this year in Ocean City:

Harrison's Harbor Watch Restaurant
on the boardwalk at the inlet

*I liked this restaurant. I had Tilapia with redskin potatoes and a FREE shrimp cocktail (from a coupon booklet).

Davinci's by the Sea
beneath the Harrison Hall hotel at 15th St. and the boardwalk

*Unlimited bread and salad. The salad is great, albeit not so healthy. The garlic spread for the bread is delish. Every entree I've had here has been very good. This is the restaurant where I spoke with Cindy Williams (Laverne & Shirley) in 2009.

Fausto's Bistro
12th St and the boardwalk

*Great happy hour deal: 1/2 cheese pizza and a glass of wine for $5.95. That said, I wasn't terribly impressed with this place. The pizza was good, but their menu was very limited. If you want pizza, try them. If you hope to find something else to eat, go somewhere else.

Galaxy 66 Bar & Grille
66th St Bayside.

*Eat at the bar during happy hour and get 20% off your food and drink purchase! I had their tomato soup and a salad. It was okay, but nothing to write home about. But, to be truthful, I may have been jaded by the fact that my waitress was over-attentive and made me a little nutso. They have an extensive drink list, but I think their wines are overpriced. I think a glass of White Zinfandel was $8 or something like that.

The Dough Roller
There are several locations throughout Ocean City, but I ate breakfast at the one on 3rd St and the boardwalk. This is the original location.

*It is from this restaurant that I watched the morning parade of Cruisers while enjoying my breakfast. They have an AWESOME fresh fruit cup here.

The Captain's Table
Inside the Courtyard by Marriott 15th St. and the Boardwalk

*Lovely restaurant. No view of the ocean, but the food is really good. I had a salad here that was VERY yummy. This is a more elegant restaurant than some of the others I went to and the prices reflet that.

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