Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Summer Memories with Helena of SweeterCPA

Today's guest post is from a gal that I enjoy geeking out with about accounting ;) When she's not saving the world one tax return at a time, you can find her sharing stories about her trips across the US and life in Chicago with her husband and cats.

Hi, Fiscally Chic readers! I'm Helena from SweeterCPA and I'm excited to share my summer memories with you!

Ocean City, Maryland, will forever mean summer for me. While I've spent most of my life in Chicago, both sides of my family live on the east coast and I've been swimming in the Atlantic every August since I was four months old.

Well, there probably wasn't much swimming that summer.

Ocean City was a place of traditions. My grandmother would rent the same condo each summer and my sister and I would spend months ahead of time arguing over who would get to sleep on the top bunk in the room we always shared. (Spoiler alert: I generally won. I am older, after all.)

From the condo, we were steps from the beach where we spent most of our days. My grandmother would watch the horizon for dolphins as my sister and I dug in the shallow surf for sand crabs to trap in our yellow, plastic bucket. As a fair skinned child, I spent a lot of time under an umbrella, coated with Bullfrog sunblock. When I was allowed out in the sun, it was always with a t-shirt over my swim suit.

We could also walk from the condo to a putt-putt golf course where we'd take turns trying to hit our brightly-colored balls hard enough that they'd fly into the parking lot (potential damage to cars in said parking lot never seemed to be a concern).

Also in walking distance was the waterslide park where we'd ignore the lifeguards and attempt to connect all of our mats to make long trains down the man-made hill.

Food was also subject to strict tradition. We had to make at least one trip to Candy Kitchen where we would gorge on the largest sundae bar I'd ever seen. While there, we'd pick out boxes of salt water taffy for our friends back home.

We also had to have dinner at Phillip's where the family would eat our weight in crabs from the Chesapeake so covered in Old Bay that the corners of your mouth would start to burn.

Most importantly, Ocean City is where the family would converge.

My family is very heavily female and the condo (and, later, the Holiday Inn after our party grew too large) would erupt with aunts and cousins. With my immediate family moving frequently in those years and our oldest cousin living in Houston, this time at the beach was the one time a year we were guaranteed to see one another. We cousins smooshed into bed together and stayed up all night watching movies rented from the place across the street. Later, we did one anothers' make-up and made googly eyes at boys at the hotel pool over virgin strawberry daiquiris.

Ocean City is the setting of so many of the stories my family tells when we gather. We talk about the summer my sister discovered purple eyeshadow. We talk about renting (and crashing) bikes on the Boardwalk. We talk about jellyfish and their single-minded determination to sting no one but my youngest cousin.

Ocean City has an almost mystic, golden tinge. As someone with a deep appreciation of traditions, I hope my own children one day have an Ocean City of their own.

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  1. Love this... great storytelling. The pictures are awesome too!


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