August 13th, 2011
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Photo By Emily Noonan

My son and I vacation at Bethany Beach, the same beach we have been enjoying since he was a toddler.  It’s also the same beach where I vacationed as a child.  This conjures up all sorts of memories for both of us and it gives my son a sense of stability.  We can’t imagine going anywhere else.

The first time we vacationed in Bethany after my husband’s death, it was jarring, but we stayed positive and survived.  I had some meltdowns but they were in private.  More importantly, keeping up the vacation tradition gave us confidence to know that we could go to a special place on our own and then get on the other side of the experience and be okay.  It wasn’t the way it used to be, but it wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be either.

The beach is also a time to catch up with old friends because we always plan to be at the beach when our friends and their children are also vacationing.  Of course we see our friends when we’re home but there are less distractions at the beach and conversations are uninterrupted.  All of the children are mostly around my son’s age and they all have a great time when they are together.  The group of us have been vacationing in Bethany for so many years it’s hard to count.  Everybody gives each other a lot of room so it’s not as though we always do everything as a group and it is definitely understood that people are on vacation time.

We love Bethany Beach and tend to do the same things each year.  We just can’t resist that magical formula of sun, sand and salt water that continuously mixes together and becomes some kind of relaxation elixir.  There is something heavenly about sitting in your beach chair (under the umbrella, of course) reading a book, listening to the waves hit the beach over and over that is relaxing, refreshing and soothing to the soul.

Photo By Emily Noonan


All of us like to do the same things so it works out very well.  Basically, we hang out on the beach all day (even if it’s overcast), read books (trashy and brainy), eat vacation food (think french fries, steamed crabs, pizza, steak and cheese and ice cream), go to FunLand (Paratrooper, The Sea Dragon), play putt-putt (Golf Down Under, Lost Treasure) and shop (anywhere within walking distance).  These activities never get boring to us because we don’t do a lot of them when we’re home.

Photo By Emily Noonan

This year a new restaurant opened called Matt’s Fish Camp.  It’s located in an old steak and cheese carry-out place near Indian River Inlet.  It doesn’t look like the old place at all which was a typical beach carryout place where most of your customers drive up in bathing suits or carry fishing poles and order food that’s really great for elevating your blood pressure and raising your cholesterol levels.

We all tried it for lunch and dinner and loved it!  The new place is very nice, has great service and really tasty food.  The decor is simple with tables, booths, white walls and simple ocean photographs.  Plus the prices are reasonable which is a big help in these tight economic times.

Photo By About My Beaches

But all of this talk about Matt’s cracked me up because I think of the old place where Matt’s is now located as an inside joke between my husband and I which was known as “white cheese, yellow cheese.”  Every time my husband and I would drive by it, the first one who would see it would say, “white cheese, yellow cheese.”  This quirky phrase came about because one afternoon we drove up for steak and cheese subs.  When my turn came, I gave my order to a young girl chewing a big wad of gum behind the counter.  Without missing a beat she said, “Do ya want white cheese or yellah cheese?”  I started laughing and said, “What do you mean?”  With a straight face, she repeated, “Whadda you whant white cheese or yellah cheese on your sub?”

I thought about it for a minute and said “Do you mean Provolone or American cheese?  Then she looked at me and made a weird face.  “No, I mean do ya want white cheese or yellah cheese?”  This is probably one of the reasons I stopped eating steak and cheese subs shortly after this episode.  I decided to answer her in her language and said, “Two with white cheese, please.”

Later when my husband was eating his sub, I asked him if he liked his sub with white cheese.  “What are you talking about?  he asked.  I told him about the counter girl inside and he laughed for a really long time.  This “white cheese, yellow cheese” phrase became part of our beach code, one of those unspoken things that you just say to each other and you both get it right away.

Photo By Emily Noonan

This is not to take anything away from Matt’s.  It’s definitely a great place and we would recommend it.  This story is more to explain that this summer we discovered a truth which is that places change and people leave us but through it all we find continuity in life’s experiences and the sweet memories of those special times.

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One Response to “One Hilarious Beach Memory”

  1. Nico Dodd

    Loved this post, Mary Kate. Beach getaways often have the best stories about the people you run into. See you guys when we get back.


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