Ahhh, love. ‘Tis the season for it. Love is so very important in the world we live in. Without love, humanity simply would not exist, it is a fundamental part of being who we are and why we are here. Just the other day there was a big debate between Ken Ham and the ever popular Bill Nye the Science guy. They debated on the age old question/controversy of ‘why are we here and where did we come from?’ They both cordially argued their points and presented visual aids to support them but they neglected to see how simple it really is. The answer is LOVE. Before you, or me, or even Bill Nye The Science Guy was a twinkle in a father’s eye there was love shared between two people. It’s that simple. Love is the reason we are all here. It is where we all came from and like all things of uttermost importance should be celebrated. Now, let’s be realistic, where this love stuff comes from is still up for debate. Personally, i’m skeptical of the ‘cupid’ fella. It’s hard for me to believe this guy just floats around all day, with no pants on, shooting people with arrows. He’s bound to catch a cold that way.
All year we wait for the big day. For whatever the reason may be. Wishes and hopes and planning and shopping and tradition. Wishes that it be white, wishes to see loved ones, hopes that, even though we’re late, we can still find a seat in church. Planning that Santa visits and we finally receive that go-cart that we’ve circled in the Sears & Roebuck catalogue since we were five. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year and Christmas receives all the attention that it deserves. With all the focus and attention paid towards the birth of Jesus, we tend to forget a little about the start of the New Year.
Two Thousand Fourteen is upon us people! No kidding. Another year flew by, and while we were busy watching the top 374 internet videos that went viral we forgot to make plans for the New Year’s. By the way, the scary gorilla video was cool but the video of the crooning mother and crying baby made me feel guilty for watching. So if you’re like most of us and forgot, don’t worry, Ocean City, Maryland has you covered. Of course there is fireworks on New Year’s Eve on the Northside of town and tradition tells us that crazy people will be jumping in the chilly grips of the Atlantic Ocean on January 1st , (for a good cause of course) and the Winterfest of Lights is still happening. But if you’re really looking for a great way to bring in twenty fourteen, the Harrison Group & Holiday Inn Oceanfront has got you covered.
A wise man (Mr. Bob Dylan) once said, ‘these times they are a changin.’ Yet! Even in these a changin times there are a few rules that you can still count on. Such as; what goes up, must come down, all good things must come to an end, and, most importantly, people love photographs.
Indeed, the good that was our 2013 season is coming to an end and you can chalk it up as another great year for the Harrison Group and Ocean City, Maryland. With that said, we would like to thank all of our guests, the town and all of our employees.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since the behemoth storm known as Hurricane Sandy pummeled our Atlantic coast. In a sense, this is when our season began. After a good two or three days of bunkering down, drying out our basements and dark and stormies, the skies cleared and we saw the task at hand. Which was basically, a lot of hard work. And it was all worth it! So please, take a few minutes and sort through our 2013 photo recap. Enjoy!
With a weather forecast that has this weekend in the 80’s and showing next weekend to be sunny and mid 70’s one could say that Ocean City, Maryland is experiencing quite the ‘Indian Summer.’ Simply the best way to describe it is ‘ahhhh.’ You would be surprised at the amount of opinions and message boards that discuss what an Indian Summer actually is, so to be clear, we here at the Harrison Group will be applying the Webster’s Dictionary definition to our Fall season. A pleasant, peaceful, or flourishing period occurring at the end of something, is how Noah Webster describes it. Noah and his defining expertise will never fail you. One might say, ‘How did he Noah it would be so nice?’ or ‘Noah way! He is so smart.’ or ‘Noah you didn’t just question Mr. Webster hisself!?.’ In short, Noah is right. Always. Summer, indeed, came and went and mother nature is still blessing us with something that is quite pleasant. Just like everywhere else on Earth, OCMD is subject to the four seasons, and each one brings it’s own offerings to the table. Winter is preparation, Spring has the promise of ‘what’s to come,’ Summer has all the attention and excitement, but Fall gives Ocean City, Maryland and it’s visitors something that no other season offers. It gives us beautiful warm weather with a warm Ocean to enjoy. Couple that with plenty of room to move around and it could be OCMD’s best season. Just walk out on the beach and boardwalk and you’ll notice a few things. Gone are the crowds, humidity, high heat, burning soles of your feet, the fight for a parking spot… And in it’s place is crisp fresh air, your own personal shoreline and a sky so blue it’ll have you whistling a Sinatra tune. By God, you can even catch a horse and carriage ride on the boardwalk!
‘That’s cool.’ or ‘Hey man, cool.’ or ‘Whoa, over there, now that is wicked cool!’ People recognize cool, and for different reasons. Cool can be applied to a wall paper pattern or even to a flying frog being hurled by a rocket (look up Wallops NASA Frog). Everyone is different, and so is their cool perception. Take for instance smart phones. Smart phone companies spend a ton of money making sure their gadget looks cool. You can’t sit through a commercial break without seeing some company telling you about how cool you’ll feel or how your life will be forever changed by owning it’s phone. And people love it, they get excited over it, spending good money and a lot of their day with their phone. They even come up with special jargon to make it appear even cooler. But does someone telling you something’s cool make it wicked cool or does wicked cool sell itself? Sure, there’s a lot of insurance, investment and even pharmaceutical companies that borrow motorcycles to add cool for their own benefit but how many actual motorcycle commercials on T.V. are there?
There is a very big, 17th century Spanish ship docked bayside on 3rd Street in Ocean City, Maryland. It is amazing. El Galeon Andalucia is her name and she is magnificent. ‘Galleons’ are Spanish trade ships built and used from 1500 to the mid 1700’s. Consider the Andalucia a ‘newer body style’ to the boats Ferdinand Magellan used to first circumnavigate the planet. To describe it to someone that has not seen it is a little hard. She has six decks, 12 guns, 3 masts, seven sails, 170 feet in length, a top speed of 6.7 knots, a gross tonnage of 496 and the top mast at over 10 stories tall. There is a crew of 25 that run the ship and the research alone to prepare for its 2010 completion took 6 years! Just considering the amount of skilled, hard labor to construct the vessel to a seaworthy condition is hard to fathom, let alone to keep it afloat and pointed in the proper direction. In laymen’s terms ‘She’s magnificent!’ And powerful. A little perspective here, Spain occupied land on 5 of the 7 continents back then, excluding Antarctica and Australia. The powerful Galeon’s they built had a lot to do with that.
ROADTRIPPING IS THE BEST. It’s been around for a long time. Before the T-Model Ford, Chevy Corvette, the ‘Oregon Trail,’ and even before hippies started tricking out their air-cooled VW Vanagons, road trips have been an American favorite. Countless movies, songs and books have been based on it. Look up Kerouac’s ‘On The Road.’ Arguably one of the most famous road trips in American History is when Sacagawea led those two other guys (what’s their names again?) across North America in search of a waterway to the Pacific. They failed, but the actual act of them roadtripping made them famous. If your reading this, chances are, your planning a trip to the Atlantic Ocean. In doing so, we would like to offer a few tips and suggestions before you hop in the car.
Tip #1: Look out the window (and if it’s nice out, open that window!). Cars are basically moving windows, they’ve got a three hundred and sixty degree panoramic view. That’s panoramic to the max! It’s ok to look around as you drive down the road. The Eastern Shore of Maryland is, for the most part, flat. But it’s home to some of the most beautiful countryside this side of the Mississippi. Old run down barns and farm houses are such a joy to look at and they can remind us how life used to be and to some degree, how it still is. There’s a lot of small towns with old brick buildings and narrow streets with old fire halls. Through these towns are small rivers and creeks that if followed could lead you right to the Atlantic Ocean, which is where you were going anyways… But in-between your home and the beaches of Ocean City are vast fields of greens and yellows and reds that if peered upon could show you deer and wild turkey and woodchucks scurrying across the ground. If riding on Rt. 50 make sure not to miss looking out over the Vienna Bridge. This is where the Nanticoke River runs along the Blackwater Refuge. It’s beautiful. There’s a very good chance to spot a Bald Eagle, Osprey or Great Blue Heron while heading over this bridge.
This upcoming Monday, is, THE BIG ONE. Before the sun begins to peak it’s rays above the horizon, before the rooster crows or the hound howls, and most likely, even before your first cup of coffee, anglers will have set out from Harbour Island, Ocean City on an adventure. An adventure for treasure. For these adventurers, like it has been for many years, the treasure they seek lies beneath the sea. But it is not gold or relics of old, it’s the creatures that live within it. The White Marlin. Known to be a rare and solitary species, it has been coveted by watermen since the Atlantic was the Atlantic. In the ol’ days this beautiful creature was known as Skilligalee (say that word out loud and you’ll want one too). People have always sought after this sailfish, for it’s meat, for the story, the adventure, and now they will come to Ocean City, MD for the riches that it could bring. Last year’s lone Skilligalee brought it’s capturer over $1,400,000.
OCMD is historically a fishing town. Back then, men would simply drag boats to the water’s edge and navigate through the surf. Imagine these salty fellas yelling ‘SKILLIGALEE!’ over pounding wind and rain. In 1933 a hurricane tore a hole in the land creating a passable inlet, thus bettering life and fishing chances in Ocean City, MD.
You might be surprised to learn that the leading causes of death for children globally are hygiene-related illnesses, which claim more than 2.4 million lives each year. That’s nearly one-third of all child deaths. Handwashing with soap is the single most effective way to prevent those deaths. In fact, soap is more effective than vaccines, medications, or clean water initiatives alone. Research has shown that soap can reduce the morbidity rates by more than 47% — meaning that millions of children could be saved each year if they had soap and understood how to properly wash their hands.
While this need for soap exists, hotels throw away millions of partially used bars of soap. Hotels in the United States alone discard an estimated 2.6 million bars daily. The Global Soap Project is working at the intersection of both of these issues to reduce waste and save lives.
RAMPS. In roughly two weeks the Ocean City beaches will be full of these things. Concrete ramps, wooden ramps, steel ramps, vert ramps, kicker ramps, spine ramps, natural moving water ramps (waves) and every other kinda ramp in between. We can rest assure that Evel Knievel will be smiling down on Ocean City during Dew Tour weekend. No, Evel didn’t invent the ramp, or the wheel, but he was the first to cast the spell of RADICAL upon these simple machines. What he did was true magic and kids caught on. Fast forward 40 years to modern day skateboarding, bmxing, surfing, etc… and its the same idea applied - have ramp, get radical. Sure, there’s a lot more flipping & spinning and fancy grabs involved but when it’s all said and done it comes down to getting rad on a ramp, period. But a ramp is nothing without a daredevil and his maneuvers. Take for instance the oversized Dew Tour ‘pool’ that skate legend Chris Miller designed and skatepark builders Spohn Ranch constructed. The deep end is a good 13 feet deep! Nearly two stories tall! Now factor in a thin piece of pine wood, 4 urethane wheels and the lunatics that race around this ‘pool.’ With spectacular overhead airs and graceful coping dances that resemble kung fu masters doing ballet (or is it ballet dancers doing kung fu?) propelled by nothing but their own will to defy gravity. And a lot of these guys have no pads or helmets! Confused? Intrigued? Bart Simpson summed it up nicely by once saying ‘Bones heal, chicks dig scars, and the United States of America has the best doctor-to-daredevil ratio in the world.’