It’s that time of year again: the bittersweet end of the off-season. You can feel the change in mid-April: Traffic is heavier at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, closed signs on restaurant doors are turned to open, and the Boardwalk begins to sparkle with activity.

And with this change comes many mixed emotions!

I love seeing Ocean City come to life as winter releases its grip and spring finally arrives. I’m happy to see business pick up for the restaurants and shops that have been struggling since the beginning of covid and I take pride in knowing how many tourists can’t wait to visit my happy place.

But a part of me already misses the off-season and those gorgeous moments when the town only belonged to those who could see its beauty year-round. When you feel a deep sense of intimacy while walking or biking down a near-empty boardwalk. When the streets seemed deserted and restaurants vacant until you come to a place like Mother’s Cantina that’s crowded with locals and off-season tourists.

Ocean City was such a comfort during the past chaotic year with the pandemic. Thanks to contactless grocery pick-up at Walmart and restaurant take-out, our beach house became our sanctuary, where we’d sit out on the back deck bundled in blankets, breathing fresh air and dreaming about calmer times.

Now we are beginning to see the light at the end of the very long Covid tunnel. As more people are being vaccinated, (myself included… so grateful,) restrictions are being lifted. No, we’re not out of the woods yet but maybe, just maybe, some sense of normalcy will return to Ocean City this summer!

So welcome, all who visit, we’re so happy you’re here! Have fun, be safe, wear your sunscreen, and enjoy our beautiful town!

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