Atlantic City: Sun, Sand, and Sisters!

In which Lazarus and her sister return to the beach!

Last summer, my oldest sister and I missed our annual beach trip because she was very, very sick. In fact, she had multiple organ failures, and the doctors told us she'd be dead by Christmas. She spent the summer in various hospitals and then rehab in the Harrisburg area.

But by Thanksgiving, she was in the middle of making an amazing recovery. It was a trend that continued. And then earlier this year, she was turned down for a transplant at Hershey Medical Center, for a very happy reason: she was recovering so well that she did not need one!

And shortly after that, she and I began making plans to go to the beach. It seemed like a dream at the time: a beach trip, a favorite thing that we thought we might never do again. We often do an overnight trip, but we figured we'd start out small, with a one-day bus trip down and back.

We scheduled a trip for late May, but it was cancelled due to low turnout. So we rescheduled for early June. It seemed like perfect timing: my sister's birthday was this past weekend, and we would go to the beach to celebrate both her birthday and her miraculous recovery. Oh, and coincidentally, June 8 is World Oceans Day; what good timing!

And so on Wednesday morning, my sister and I caught a bus to the beach! The weather was windy and cool, but we had a wonderful time. As I was treating my sister to a birthday lunch at the Irish Pub (see extra photo) on Boardwalk and St. James place, a huge wind storm arrived.

With gusts of up to 60 mph, the wind ripped the roof off the building across the street from us, and we walked out the door after our meal to find the area cordoned off by yellow police tape! The wind was very strong, and in fact, it may have been our windiest trip to the beach ever. There were times where you felt you could barely stand up against it.

But we had a good time anyway, and we did a bunch of our favorite things. We visited little shops. We hung out with the boardwalk cats (yes, my sister fed them the leftover roast beef from our lunch sandwiches; once a crazy cat lady, always a crazy cat lady).

We gambled the slot change that came with our bus trip package. I won about $16. We walked in the ocean and the sand in our bare feet. As a bonus after the storm, the cloud show was fantastic as the skies cleared.

We walked under the pier, and my sister said, "I'm going to stand over there with my arms as wide as I can and you are going to take my picture." And so I did. And this was the resulting shot: my sister, triumphant, upon her return to wellness, and to the beach. Which I laughed to see, actually, as I thought she looked like she was doing her best impression of the famous Christ the Redeemer statue.

My husband had another interpretation, though. He was looking over my shoulder and I showed him this picture. He simply snorted and said, "What next? Your sister's walking on water?" (Yes, and we all wonder what she will do for her next miracle.) To say I am grateful to be allowed to keep my sister would be an understatement!

We shopped at the It's Sugar shop in the Pier Shops at Caesar's, which sells candy and all kinds of cute things. We stopped at the Rainforest Cafe and looked at frogs, but didn't buy anything. In fact, the only place we shopped that we actually bought anything was our favorite dollar store on the central pier.

Just before we caught our bus, I strolled up the boardwalk to visit Revel, which is my favorite casino to photograph. It is closed now, but it is a gorgeous shiny building, especially so in the afternoon light. It must be made out of glass and mirrors to shine like that. There's a picture in the extras; you can see what I mean.

And then we caught our bus and headed back home, happy and exhausted, our hearts full of happy memories (and my camera full of pictures!): just two sisters who had a wonderful day at the beach. Sun, sand, and sisters forever!!!!!!

The song to accompany this posting is for my sister. For I think she looks mighty fine for a girl who was supposed to be dead by now! Ha! The soundtrack is Gloria Gaynor, with I Will Survive.

P.S. Dear sister, I love you to the moon! And back!

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