Another Baran Vacation, Part 1— Featuring Photogenic Pigeons and a Hurricane

A Baran Vacation

Well hello, all you lovelies. You may (or may not, depending on how devoted you are) have noticed that I didn’t do a post last Thursday. The reason (yes, there is a reason) behind this is…

I was lazy.

I was going to say “Bet ya didn’t see that one coming!” until I realized that actually, if you know anything about me, you probably did see it coming.

So much for plot twists.

The reason behind my laziness is that last week, my family and I were on vacation, along with most of my aunts, some of my cousins, and grandmother. At the ocean, to be precise. And while I love you guys, I don’t love you enough to spend my vacation time writing you blog posts. Sorry.

But hey, there’s a silver lining to my startling lack of follower-appreciation: Now, you get an insanely detailed and possibly boring run-through of the entire week! Unlike if I’d posted on Thursday, when I was only halfway through the trip. And, even more silver lining-y, you get PICTURES!

IMG_3199 (2)

*gasp* Imagine that.


Day 1

My very first morning in Ocean City started when Anna and some of my aunts went down the beach but NEGLECTED TO TELL ME.

My first day at the beach.

And I didn’t go to the beach.

I could see it from the balcony though.


Would you believe it if I told you that my family spent most of this day sleeping? You’d better believe it, because it’s true.


I had a glorious time in their slumbering absence, though. I READ, and I SCHEMED, and I PLOTTED, and I GRINNED (manically, of course), and, in general, had a lovely time brainstorming for my new book.

Here’s my writing setup. Much K.M., as my friend puts it. In my defense, that woman is a writing genius.

Don’t try and read what’s on my computer screen. Greater minds than yours have tried.


I was all by myself, writing in blissful silence and the solitude of the ocean.

Then everyone woke up. And it all ended.



Aaaaand here’s the obligatory sunset photo that every one has to take every year. This one happens to be crooked. So there you go.

Day 2

Still no beach.

Anna discovered an intense passion for the game Rummy Cube. Which really shouldn’t surprise anyone, considering EVERYTHING about my sister is intense.




Dad is protesting something. I’m not sure what.

Later that day, mom decided she needed to wash the sheets in our condo, which resulted in dad and I speeding across the street to a Food Lion to buy detergent. I say ‘speeding’ because dad saw an opportune red light and proceeded to RUN, full-speed, with me trailing behind, arms and legs flailing.

I would like to mention that neither of us are very good at running. It was not a pretty sight.

Then, on the way back to the condo after the detergent had been procured, my dear father reverted back to a twelve year old. You know those crosswalk thingies, where you push the button and it says “Wait for the green light,” and then you wait for the green light? Dad decided to do an experiment. (All in the name of science, mind you.) He went up to the button and started pushing it, rapid fire.

The result was epic.


It was glorious.

Day 3

I’m starting to wonder if the beach even exists…

Oh, and by the way, this little thing called hurricane Maria decided to show up.



But, despite the fact that it was cold, rainy, and we had (what seemed like) gale sized winds, Maria didn’t keep us from the consumption of…


Because we’re Barans and we need it. Except for Anna, who chose not to go. Because she’s a party pooper. So it was just dad, mom, and my good self.



This place is an old beach tradition and has been affectionately nicknamed “Dumpsters”. In our defense, the name Dumsers is just waiting for something to happen to it.

We were seated next to a window with the most beautiful view I’ve ever had at a restaurant. Behold:



This was the view I preferred:

It was 90% whipped cream, in case you’re wondering.


This is my mother and father, locked in an intense discussion about the two-dollar price raise of a sundae.



As we waited for our order to come out, we started coloring our menus, for whatever reason. (Apparently, dad isn’t he only twelve year old in the family.) However, the result was a surprisingly deep reflection upon our individual personalities.

Mine is the first one. Very straightforward. Very in the lines. Very serious and sharp. Mom’s is the second one. Adding a bit more color in the mix. A bit of craziness and coloring outside the lines.



Here is dad’s.


I’m not even going to offer a comment.


Day 4


It was epic.

First off, all I had to do the entire time was take the elevator down to the lobby with one of my extraneous extended family members and head out the back door. It was right there.

But no.

It took all four of us (dad, mom, Anna, me) getting in the car and driving ALL THE STINKIN’ WAY TO THE END OF OCEAN CITY to see the ocean.

Still. It was worth it.

See, mom wanted to go to the end of the boardwalk to get french fries from a place called Thrashers, which, apparently, is really good. I wouldn’t know because I’ve never had them. I don’t like fries. Unless they’re in poutine. Which is Canadian, and therefore, I don’t get very often.

Anyway, here is dad, looking like… I don’t even know what he looks like, but he DEFINITELY looks it.

Please note my mother, carrying on the tradition of the Baran Family Photo-Bomb.

Believe it or not, I took quite a few pictures of him, and they all turned out just as bad.



Then there’s this pigeon.


The pigeon is more photogenic than my father.

ANYWAY, since the ocean is near the end of the boardwalk, we went down there to walk around and observe the hurricane.


The tide was incredibly high, pretty much up to the rail. Waves kept crashing up against it and spraying everywhere. In my lifetime of annual beach trips, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the ocean so wild.

Anna, being Anna, decided that we NEEDED to take a picture of mom and I. So she shoved us up against the railing and made us smile cheesily while she got the camera into position.

Now, there’s something you must understand: Our backs were to the ocean. As such, we couldn’t see what was going on behind us.

At all.

This is the picture Anna got.


For your information, the water was freezing.

I would also like to point out that this is actually a very insightful look into our personalities. I’m in action practically the second the wave hit, jumping out of the way and trying to keep myself and my mother from falling over.

Mom stood there and wailed.

Dad, meanwhile, was at the other side of the beach, quietly eating all the french fries.

Once we were properly soaked by unannounced waves, and the rest of the parking lot had heard about it in the form of our wild and half-crazed laughter, we went back to the condos we were sharing with the rest of our extended family, only to realize that in our absence, they had all gone go-carting and locked the doors behind them—as any intelligent person should.

The only problem was that dad didn’t have a key card.


These are the faces of people who are slowly realizing they did something really, really stupid.

Meanwhile, as they were having a low-key panic attack, I was in the background, quietly laughing my head off.

Why does no one see the humor in these things?



And on that epic note, I shall leave you. This is getting long. Come Thursday, you will get Part 2 of our vacation.

Stay tuned.



12 thoughts on “Another Baran Vacation, Part 1— Featuring Photogenic Pigeons and a Hurricane

  1. Oh my…only you could make a basic vacation look like a trip into the Australian outback. πŸ˜‚
    Can’t wait for part two!!!


  2. THE MENUS. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Looks like the difference between two Judgers and a Perceiver all right. Or it could just be your dad. But nevertheless, his menu is the greatest thing I’ve seen all day.

    …why did you happen to have coloring materials on hand?
    And I WAS wondering about the whipped cream. Sheesh. Did you eat the cherry? Me doesn’t like marashino cherries. Though it’s been ages since I had one…

    Oh, and that pigeon is very pretty. Very photogenic.


    1. HA! That’s honestly the best explanation of J vs. P I’ll probably ever get. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
      (And Dumsers always has a little cup full of crayons on each table… probably to accommodate their younger patrons. *shrug* We fall into the “young of mind” category, therefore, we were eligible for them.)

      I hate marashino cherries too. Yuck. Anything that color red is not only inedible, but an abomination to… to everything. *decisive nod*


  3. Ice cream is important. *nodes wisely* Very important. On the other hand, swimming is also important, and it doesn’t seem like you did any of that. That’s sad.


    1. Ice > Swimming. Sorry. Though come to think of it… Ice cream > Everything. *smirks knowingly*

      In all seriousness though, we couldn’t have done any swimming anyway, due to rip tides from the hurricane. *scowls* Dumb hurricane.


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