There Must Be Magic

By GirlWithACamera

Morning at the Beach

Part 1: Morning Snapshot

My sister and I awake early at our hotel in Atlantic City. We grab a coffee at one of the shops and head to the boardwalk and beach.

The boardwalk is deserted. The shops and vendor carts are mostly closed. A bit of fog has rolled in off the ocean. I can smell the sea air, taste it on my tongue, feel it - greasy, salty - on my skin.

A few cats appear at the edges of things, sneak furtively under the boardwalk for a morning snack. A sign nearby cautions visitors not to feed them, as the colony is already being managed by Alley Cat Allies volunteers through their Boardwalk Cats Project. The cats finish their snack, slink into the shadows, slide away in silence, disappear.

We spy a pair of young lovers, motionless, their arms wrapped around one another, lying near the edge of the ocean under the circle of the Ferris wheel on the Steel Pier. They are about to be rousted by three guys in a truck who have come to empty the big trash barrels nearby and do some clean-up on the beach.

We stroll down to the ocean. My barefoot sister can't leave without sticking her toes in the surf. And so she rolls up her jeans and takes off her sneakers and in she goes! A passing wave catches her unaware, soaks the bottom part of her pant legs; they always do, don't they. Sneaky little waves.

A pair of Cinderellas have the same idea. We spy two sets of unbelievably high heels cast aside, a sparkly purse beside them. Nearby two young women run, laughing, into the surf.

A surfer in a black wetsuit appears, jogs down the beach, very business-like. He has a Monday morning appointment with the waves; he is taking it quite seriously. He startles the seagulls, pushes them, squawking, before him up the beach. We watch him swim out, stand up on the board, take a tumble into the surf.

A lone seagull flies up before us, looking down. I wonder at all of the things this bird has seen on this beach, briefly wish it had a seagull-cam so we could watch too. And we know that now we are part of what it has seen.

We two, who have come to the beach, have become part of its landscape, and will take our happy memories with us when we leave.

These are good times.

Part 2: Our Atlantic City Adventures (continued from yesterday)

In Sunday's blip, I shared a list of some of our favorite activities at the beach: the Irish Pub, the wooden walkways to the beach, the little shops, people watching, the slot machines at the casinos, the amusements, the lighthouse, pizza on the boardwalk, the mermaid table, the restaurant/pub with its wallpaper of dollar bills, the sparkly chandeliers, the endless mysteries of mist and fog.

Let me round out the list of favorite Atlantic City activities with some of our Monday activities:

Having Starbucks coffee and a sunrise beach stroll with my sister

Eating some of the best shrimp cocktail and crab bisque soup in the whole world at Phillips Seafood at the Pier Shops at Caesars

Enjoying an IMAX movie, To the Arctic, in 3-D at the Tropicana

We played the slots a bit more (neither winning big nor losing, mostly coming out even), shopped on the boardwalk some more, dodged a few rain showers, and finally caught the bus in late afternoon for the long ride home.

Farewell to the beach! Farewell to the ocean!

Good-bye, good-bye, we've had such fun!

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