Of Beaches and Bunkers: A Week By the Ocean

*returns from the dead*

Well hello, my lovelies! I’ve been gone for… *counts on fingers*

Yeah, let’s not figure out how long I’ve been gone.

Last week, my internet became so incredibly slow that WordPress decided to throw in the towel and stop cooperating. The week before that… Well, while you guys were waiting patiently for a blog post that never came, I was chasing seagulls and pretending to fall off balconies.

Yes, I abandoned you. But in my defense, THIS was right outside my window.


We all have priorities.

This is the time of year when my aunts and uncles and 30+ cousins venture forth from their numerous caves and hidey-holes and congregate for a week-long stay by the ocean. Having just moved, it was a little ill-timed for us, but who are we to upset tradition? And anyway, it was nice.



Anna certainly thought so.

Dad thought so too, until he walked through the balcony door saying, “God is good!” and promptly tripped.

He may or may not have considered revising his opinion after that.

Because so many of our extended family came this year, five condos had to be rented in order to house everybody — two on one floor and three on the floor below. This made for a lot of stair climbing as the week progressed, which normally would have been annoying, but… well…


The hotel stairwell was so cool, I promptly forgave it.



It inevitably turned into an epic photo shoot. Because who wants to take pictures by the ocean if you can take them in a creepy dark stairwell instead?!

No brainer.



Here we observe a classic installment in the Baran Family Photo Bomb series. Poor Anna. She was nailing the “Harrowed Dystopian Female” look until dad came along.


Now she’s nailing the “Weird Older Sister” look. She has a lot of experience with that one.

Back in our condo, life progressed at a somewhat normal pace. We listened to an episode of Adventures in Odyssey. Mom fell asleep half-way through. I made a tactical error and…


Don’t ask.

The next day was spent playing games with my cousin and her children. She brought a pair of those motion-sensitive wii-style TV consul thingies (you can tell how technologically savvy I am…), so we played some group games and watched Anna’s extremely competitive nature unwind. Being a technological dinosaur, I wasn’t much into it–

Except for the Western-style duel game.


I may have been a little too into that.

(I also won. If that wasn’t already clear in the picture. Very few things bring out my  competitive Baran gene, but my entire life had been training me for that moment.)



Sarah doing what Sarahs do.



Anna doing what Annas…






I make this face a lot.

We spent a lovely evening eating dinner on the city-facing balcony and watching the traffic go by. (Read: Making fun of everyone’s driving skills.) That is, until Anna discovered that the opposite wall made a great place for shadow theater, and dad pitched in to help her create the best performance her INFP soul could dream of.



Um. Yeah.

Nights were spent with aunts and cousins playing games deep into the darkest reaches of the night. Rummikub was the fan favorite, though having only played it once (and that was a year ago), I may or may not have broken every rule known to mankind. Anna didn’t break any, though she disputed most of them.

And thus it was that I had an epiphany: If we were book characters, we would most likely be the kind to overthrow some government somewhere.



Near the end of the week, the city started filling up with what we unaffectionately dubbed “the reh-reh cars”, on account of the unnaturally loud reh-reh noise they made. During previous years, there used to be a convention for them in the city, but since they were so loud (and their owners are the definition of troublemakers), the convention was banned from the area.

Being the anarchists that they are, they came anyway.

This resulted in late night street racing and more police cars than I’ve ever seen in my life, not to mention a car flipping over the median one day and landing (upside down) right in front of our hotel. No one died, but it was still rather frightening.

But despite the overpopulation of creepy people and fast cars, we weren’t deterred from our annual game of mini-golf, where mom was more interested in the french-fries her sister smuggled in than the actual game.


Look at them. Absolutely shameless.



I was just proud of my big-kid golf club. (Mom had the audacity to tell me I ought to use a smaller one since I’m a shorty. I took offense.)



Though really, height is subjective. The big-kid golf club clearly didn’t help her any.



Aw, and there we are. My itty-bitty Polish family, featuring Granny and my epic skirt.

This was the first game of mini-golf that I’ve EVER not come in last. (Probably a result of the big-kid golf club…) I was extremely proud. And I’m sure it will surprise no one when I say that my dear mother took my place in earning that spot of prestige. She was very… not proud.

Our last day was a whirl of painting rocks (because everyone needs a beach craft, am I right? Mine turned out looking more like a clod of pretty mud, but whatever) and eating cheese-its (vacation necessity). And then suddenly, long before any of us were ready for it, the dawn of our departure had arrived and mom was hauling me out of bed at some unholy hour in the morning

We all know what happens when a rogue Sarah is tired.

*:puke! puke


It was an… um… interesting(?) trip home.

So anyway, there’s my excuse for being MIA these last few weeks. In the extremely quotable words of some person at some point in time, “I’VE BEEN BUSY.”

Deal with it.

And if, for some strange reason, you happen to be making a trip to Ocean City, MD, please take my advice: Don’t go during the last week of September.

The reh-reh cars will swallow you whole.



13 thoughts on “Of Beaches and Bunkers: A Week By the Ocean

  1. A really GREAT week…I would say. Even the weather was pretty decent and you actually got on the beach and sort of in the ocean…lol Can’t wait till next year!


  2. To all the people wondering if I was dropped on my head as a child: I’m not COMPLETELY crazy. 😉 (right MOP?) I can be normal …on occasion…if there is an emergency. Normal is a word those of the Baran clan rarely use.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I was actually thinking of how much fun it looks like you were having and how relieving it is to know there’s someone else out there of the same ilk as myself… 😀


  3. You are absolved from the egregious error of abandoning your faithful followers whose sole existence is dependent upon your timely posting…. this time.

    Looks like y’all had tons of fun! We went to Ocean City once, a long time ago. I got stung by a jellyfish and my brother nearly drowned, but we did see some dolphins so that made up for it.


  4. Looks like you had a lot of fun! The photo shoot looks AMAZING. Also the ocean… the shadow theater… the mini golf… yeah. You people are awesome. 😀


  5. LOL looks like you guys had a very fun- and interesting- vacation! WHAT A COOL STAIRWELL, BY THE WAY… but also slightly creepy. >.<


  6. Looks like you had another fun trip. For a while my family took trips to the coast (Georgia’s Golden Isles), but not since we’ve moved (maybe we shall go again some time). But it was always just four of us… Cool stair case!
    “We all know what happens when a rogue Sarah is tired.” *blankly stares at the stubborn little picture of a cloud over a hill aka the image glitch image* The picture doesn’t work?
    *reads attempted footnote* oooooh… *laughs*


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