The first place we visited was Rehoboth Beach. Everyone wanted to go on the beachy part, but as you probably know, I don't like sand. In the words of Anakin Skywalker, "I don't like sand. It's coarse and rough and it gets everywhere." So while the others went out on the beach, I sat on the boardwalk and read.
We walked around a while, exploring the shops on the street near the beach, including a weird ice cream place, a skate shop, and one of those weird shady shops that sells bootleg Bob-Marley-esque t-shirts, all sorts of plastic body jewelry, and bongs for smoking tobacco. Not really my kind of place, you can imagine, but it seems these places are pretty common around the beaches. For the novelty of it, my friend Caleb bought a garment called a baja poncho, more commonly known as a "drug rug" because of a certain lifestyle they are associated with. Apparently, they're actually pretty comfy.
After we left the shady shop, we came across a hugely oversized chess set laid out on the ground. Meloney, who was on the trip too, and I, played a game, but we bored quickly of it, and quit at the first sign of check. We walked over to a toy store, where I marveled at a selection of NES, SNES, and N64 game cartridges.
We went back, and found the right way to the beach. I decided not to go on the actual beach part, for the same reason of my revulsion towards sand. I sat on the path for a bit, listening to the sounds of the shore-forest and the ocean, and then walked back to the campsite with a couple of underclassmen, Maggie and Jasmine.
When I got back to the campsite, I probably spent most of the time trying to replace my tent, which had become dislodged from the ground for the bajillionth time and landed in the thankfully unlit fire pit. Then I just snuggled in there in my sleeping bag. A bit later, some friends and I went on the hunt to find some power outlets to charge our phones. We saw a long-defunct vending machine, and I thought, If there was a vending machine there, there mush have been a power source. So we pushed aside the vending machine, and lo and behold, there was a working outlet. I left my battery pack there to charge, and when I got back, it was full. Later on, we started a fire and cooked some hot dogs and hamburgers for dinner. After we finished dinner, we got out some marshmallows, and I got to show off my awesome marshmallow-roasting skills again. None of the marshmallows turned out exactly right, I'm not sure why, but it was still pretty good.
At some point, we got to talking about what our theme songs would be if our lives were a TV show and... well, this song is basically the theme song for my life. It just is, and it's great. Check it out.
And then I woke up at, like, five in the morning and couldn't get back to sleep because it was really cold. It wasn't just me either, one camper wore three layers and was still cold.
We stopped at Ocean City, for lunch and exploring. Jordan, a friend of mine on the trip, met up with an old friend in the area, and he tagged along while we walked down the boardwalk. We explored a bunch of more shady shops, where a couple more kids got baja ponchos.
As we walked, I got to pet a bunch of dogs, which was awesome. Petting dogs increases your happiness level; it's been proven by this science dog.
We went to a place called the Dough Roller for lunch. This place combines two of my favorite things: pizza and pancakes! I got delicious mozzarella sticks and pigs in blankets, which I ate as I exchanged bad jokes with my friends. And then, we went back to the bus, and took the last leg of our journey.
Then I ran into some friends on the trip who were also out on a walk, and hung out with them on the dock. Meloney was standing on a bench, with her arms outstretched, facing towards the wind; and I walked up to her and asked her what she was doing. She said she was imagining being a bird, flying through the sky. I decided to try it myself. And it's really cool. Just closing your eyes, imagining yourself soaring miles above the ocean, it's a feeling unlike anything else... it's like... like...
After I got off the phone, Kyra, another student, had made cookies. Chocolate chip. They were some of the most delicious cookies I had ever had. Kyra put them on a plate and we ate them as several of us played Apples to Apples. By the time the game ended, it was somewhere around ten or eleven o'clock.
A while after we finished playing Apples to Apples, we decided to have another game of Cards Against Humanity, with more people. It was a long, fun game, full of laughs. And when it was all done, I went to bed.
After I had thoroughly settled into the waking world, we went over in the bus to this mini-golf place, which I thought would be fun, as I enjoy mini-golf. But other people just decided that mini-golf might as well just consist of whacking balls into holes with no apparent structure or records, and darn it, they could make that happen. I ended up just playing my own round by myself to preserve some semblance of order in my mini-golf. When we got back to the house, I went out with Jordan and another kid, Wyatt, to go grocery shopping for dinner that night. I helped find a lot of stuff, and I grabbed some mozzarella cheese for the grilled cheeses we were making and a roll of Pillsbury cinnamon roll dough for desserts. When we got the groceries back to the house, I headed back out again to go check out some of the stuff around the town, specifically the library. The first thing I looked at was a statue of a horse, called "Misty of Chincoteague," in the historic center of town. The way the story goes, as best as I can recall, is this:
A children's writer came to Chincoteague to look at the horses, and saw this one filly named Misty. She liked it so much that she took it home with her and wrote a fictional children's book based on her horse called "Misty of Chincoteague." This book is one of the town's biggest claims to fame, so all around you can see commemorations of this horse. They even have a block of sidewalk cement with Misty's hoof prints in front of the theater. The whole situation reminded me vaguely of Lil Sebastian from Parks & Recreation.
So anyway, I went into the library and found some Far Side collections to read, and sat down in a chair on the second floor, right next to a window with a great view of the water. Halfway into my second Far Side book, I saw a couple of my friends outside, so I went to go say hi. We went out onto the pier, then left the pier, then found a riskier, edgier way to sit on the pier, namely, under it. Afterwards, they recalled a fireworks place near where we had played mini-golf, and, fueled by the teenage primeval urge to make stuff blow up, decided to make an hour-long walk there to buy some fireworks. I'm far too lazy for that, so I opted to head back to the house instead.
When I got back to the house, I was greeted by Domino. I hung out with some of the underclassmen on the trip for a while, and then I saw that a bunch of people were in the hot tub. I've never really been in a hot tub with other people before, but they invited me to join, so I did. There were five or six people in the hot tub, so you were always touching someone else's feet. Even so, it was pretty nice. The water was warm, the jets were on, and we almost forgot that we were supposed to be making dinner.
So, after someone found towels, we hauled our frozen butts upstairs to change, and then we got down and started making some grilled cheeses.
I was assigned to making the salad, which may have been less than ideal, as salad is one of the things I am not good at making. I've never even eaten salad, except for those tiny slices of meat they have on the side. I ended up getting some pointers from John, who's a vegetarian.
We sat down and ate dinner, which was delicious, mainly thanks to the efforts of Jordan, who made most of the grilled cheeses. But before we could make the cinnamon buns for dessert, Patrick came back from the grocery store with all sorts of ice creamy treats. We all enjoyed it, and afterwards, we decided to go out and set off the fireworks that John and Caleb had gotten. We found a good empty field, and the first thing we did was light sparklers.
The first few fireworks we lit ignited, and they basically spun around on the ground in a fiery multicolored corona, and I couldn't help thinking, Is that all it's supposed to do?
Then Caleb produced a large, cylindrical object. It was actually a big firework. Caleb tried to light it, but knocked it over in the process, so when it was going off, it looked like it was puking sparks on the pavement.
It was really cool at night, you could see light reflecting off of things, and everything was really calm and peaceful.
And then they decided to light a spinny firework off the pier.
The plan was simple enough; set the firework on the railing, and the explosive would propel it off into the water, still lit. But when we did it, it propelled the wrong way, towards us. And we ran like heck.
When we got home, I got an ice cream cone, and I showed John one of my favorite songs, a soundtrack from Sonic Generations called Boss Battle: Big Arm.
We found some of the other kids sitting in the living room, nearly napping, but soon after we got there, it became an area of buzzing conversation. I wrapped myself in part of this really soft blanket, and made several analogies as to its comfiness. I also found the WiFi, which we hadn't had before then, which was a miracle to us kids with iPhones and stuff. We stayed down there talking for a long time before we went to bed.
I spent some time looking on my iPod after breakfast, and then we drove out to this NASA military base around there. Obviously, we couldn't go in the actual base; we just looked in the museum they had. It was all neat stuff, but nothing I hadn't seen before.
When we got back, I sat and chilled for a bit in the living room, and then suddenly I heard we were going to bike to the beach. I freaked out, because I was in no way prepared to go to the beach. I grabbed a couple of things, stuffed them in my backpack, and ran to the bus.
We got back on our bikes, and somehow this time I was the first one back. It probably had something to do with the race I was having with another kid on the trip.
Later I left the shop, and we walked over to a field, where we were going to set off some more fireworks. Before we got started with that, Caleb showed me the basics of a couple of parkour moves, a kind of jumping over things, and a roll. I'm just starting, but it seems like a really fun thing. I don't do a lot of exercise, but this seems like a physical activity I could really enjoy.
Then they started lighting the fireworks. The first few were obviously supposed to launch, but we kept burying them too deep in the ground, and they just showered sparks at the ground. They weren't labeled as bottle rockets, but they sure seemed like ones, so we put one in a glass bottle, and boy, it flew!
Eventually, Caleb and John decided to approach him, and asked him if he was calling the cops, and he started laughing. He wasn't.
When they got back, they pulled out this big, cylindrical firework, twice the size of the big firework from before, and lit the fuse. And boy, it was a heck of a show. It shot fireworks super high, and there were three phases too it, and the whole thing lasted quite a while. We launched off the rest of our fireworks with gusto, and then one kid lost her nose stud, so we were all searching for it for a while. but it was really dark, and it became clear that we weren't going to find it that night. So we started to walk home, and then Patrick's car stopped right next to us. He told us he was going to go find ingredients for the next day's breakfast, and so we hopped in to tag along. On the way there, John played some music by this band called 3OH!3, which I hadn't heard of since 2008, but actually had some pretty catchy tunes, most notably Don't Trust Me. When we got there, Jordan and I picked out some fruits for the fruit salad, while Meloney tried to find the "cubes of dough" (misspelled "tubes"). When we got to the checkout, Patrick bought Jordan a plush hedgehog, just for the heck of it. On the way back, we stopped at Royal Farms, and got some slushies and some of their amazing potatoes. I'm not kidding. The slushies were delicious, but the potatoes were out of this world.
We got back to the house, and we sat around for a bit. We talked for a bit, Caleb went out to get a Monster energy drink, and I went to bed.
After that, the morning was a bit rushed, as we had to pack up to leave. I found the bag for my tent, and folded it up properly. The rest of the packing was a bit of a blur. We hopped in the bus and started off, so of course, we needed some music. I had prepared a playlist, but all I could think of was all the Sonic soundtracks I owned, and how obnoxious everyone would find them. But Christina, being the great person she is, engouraged me to give it a shot. So I plugged in my iPod. And as it turned out, people loved my music. Focusing on all the Sonic music I had, I had forgotten all about the Coldplay and the Final Countdown and Holding on to You I had. I have a philosophy, in which I don't buy a song unless I'm completely positive that I love it. And that served me well.
And then, before I knew it... I was home.
It was a great trip, and I loved every second of it. I loved the food, the activities, but what made all that great was the people I got to share them with. I made some new friends on this trip, and I'm looking forward to saying hi to them tomorrow, when school starts again.