By Maddy Vitale
Just listening to reports that temperatures would soar into the high 90s over the weekend was the perfect reason for families to head to Ocean City for a quick getaway to escape the heat and get in the water.
Beachgoers, surfers and ocean kayakers enjoyed the mild water temperatures on Saturday.
Others strolled along the Boardwalk, ate ice cream and pizza and checked out some shops and eateries.
Everyone seemed to have one of three things in mind — air conditioning, ocean breezes and dips in the water. Relief by any one of those ways seemed to please the throngs of visitors who headed down for the weekend, a day trip or for a pre-planned weeklong vacation.
Dana DeFillipps, of Morris Plains, N.J., her husband, John, and their children, John, 5, and Carmen, 4, headed down to Ocean City for the day with the plan of going anywhere that meant they would stay cool.
“We will take the boys for ice cream, maybe get a cold lemonade. Just keep cool,” Dana said.
They began with an arcade, where the boys kept themselves amused. Their next stop would be Gillian’s Wonderland Pier.
“The kids love the rides,” Dana said. “We love to come down. We’ve made a lot of memories here.”
And if they were home on the scorcher of a day, John remarked that they would likely be in a pool.
While John and Dana sipped on smoothies, the kids played “Ice Man,” a game where the players squirt water to “freeze” zombies.
Dana joked that she wouldn’t mind getting squirted with the water guns. “It is hot out,” she said with a laugh.
Jill Wermuth, of Folsom, Pa., and her husband, Paul, brought their 3-year-old daughter, Elaina, for a day at the beach.
“We’ll probably go swimming in a little bit,” Jill said. “It’s really the only way to keep cool.”
Elaina giggled as she played in the sand at the water’s edge alongside her parents and her grandmother, Connie Wermuth, of Philadelphia.
Paul, who grew up vacationing in Ocean City, said he wants to make Ocean City their family tradition as well.
Families such as the Frosts took time out from lounging on the beach to make some sand art.
Melanie Frost and her husband, Eric, of Bucks County, Pa., brought their children, Kayla, 4, and 11-month-old son, Nicholas, down for the weekend to stay at Eric’s parents’ home.
“We always come down on the weekends,” Melanie said. “Kayla really likes it down here.”
The only problem was the air conditioning broke sometime overnight.
“It gives us a great reason to get out of the house and have a fun beach day,” Eric noted, as he carved out a hole in the sand for Kayla to create a masterpiece.
The family, who came down Friday night, planned on heading up to the Boardwalk later for some amusements.
“Kayla loves the little roller coaster,” Eric said.
While no one would argue that the ocean is a top refresher, there is just something about taking a lick of an ice cream that chills the body, even on a steamy day.
Stephanie Shick, of Bethlehem, Pa., her mom, Diane Sames, of Quakertown, Pa., and Shick’s friend, Dale Brown, also of Bethlehem, had a perfect idea after a walk on the Boardwalk during their weeklong vacation.
“We’ve been coming here for 20 years,” Sames said of her and her family. “This was definitely a good week to come down.”
Before their ice cream melted, the three women sat on a bench and began to indulge in their vanilla-chocolate twists.
It was just another way that people in Ocean City were able to beat the heat on the sweltering Saturday.