Balderramas Back East – Phase 3: Ocean City, MD

After getting our fill of mountain and full family time in Jim Thorpe, PA, we ventured further east to Ocean City, Maryland. Earlier this year, when our family was trying to find a gathering point, a sizable segment of the family wanted a beach getaway, resulting my mom traveling with my sister, Christina, her family, and mine to get our beach fix at Ocean City.

Traveling from Jim Thorpe to Ocean City on a Friday presented some challenges with traffic, turning our 4-hour trip into a 6.5-hour trip. Our accommodations for the next few days was a 3-bedroom condo, which luckily didn’t feel too cramped for the nine of us. We finally pulled in after 6 pm, too late to spend any meaningful time at the beach. That didn’t stop us from unpacking as quickly as we could so that we could put our feet into the ocean.

I captured this video of everyone talking on the beach for the first time.

With kids, of course, “putting feet” into the ocean quickly turns into getting your clothes soaked. They enjoyed their little taste of the ocean, anxious for spending the rest of the weekend on the beach.

After a restful Friday night, we ventured to the Ocean City Boardwalk, which embodied the stereotypical image that I formed in my head as we were planning. It was complete with tourist shops, fried food stands, along with an amusement park (which luckily wasn’t yet open for the day).

We did a little shopping, loading up on some stickers and magnets, then took a walk to the pier to get a full view of the ocean. We opted to go earlier in the morning so that we could devote as much of Saturday to beaching. Everyone was anxious to get back to our condo, however, so that we could quickly hit the beach.

We spent the rest of the day playing in the ocean and on the beach, getting our fill of waves, sun, sand, and games. The last time we had been to the ocean, in 2018, we had a more secluded experience in North Carolina. At Ocean City, the beach was much more crowded, but we managed to carve out our little space for a beautiful afternoon. Right when we were packing up, we saw some fins from dolphins that were swimming out in the ocean.

We did learn, the hard way, that the limit for the kids being on the ocean was about 4 hours. Many of the kids were melting down by the time dinner time rolled around. We fed the kids some mac and cheese, while the adult got a seafood boil that was probably too spicy for them anyway. After 2018 though, I learned my lesson and stayed away from drinking too much of the broth.

After the kids went to bed, Christina, Tony, and I ventured back onto a beach for a moonlit walk to see what we could find on the beach. We found a cool surfing toy, as well as a baby seagull that was looking for his parents.

Recognizing our time limits, we shifted our Sunday schedule to include two separate times at the beach. We went immediately after breakfast for a two-hour stretch, with another trip planned for the early evening. In between beaching, Tony and I went to go pick up my rental car for Phase 4, while everyone else went back to the Boardwalk before we met back up for an early dinner.

Mariana had enough of the beach and was ready to get cleaned up, but while we were up in the room, a horseshoe crap washed up on the shore. After checking it out, it was returned back into the ocean.

We ended our time at the beach by writing “SOB ’23” (Summer of Balderramas) in the sand – a tradition that we started back in Daytona that we’ll continue as we venture to other beaches.

Sadly, with the conclusion of Phase 3, we also ended our team with our extended family. The girls and I packed up on Monday morning and made our way towards Washington, DC – the final phase of Balderramas Back East.