The View From Atop America's Playground

My sister and I caught our bus to the beach bright and early in Harrisburg, PA, on Sunday morning. The bus dropped us off at the Trump Taj Mahal on the Atlantic City boardwalk around 10:15 that morning, and we had until shortly before 5 pm on Monday to enjoy all that Atlantic City has to offer. I'm providing a link to the Wikipedia entry on Atlantic City for any who may be interested in learning more about the area's history and attractions.

The town has earned the nickname of "America's Playground," and on this, the first full day of summer, the place was hopping with plenty of people and lots to do! What better way to celebrate the arrival of summer than with a beach trip, I always say! (And apparently everybody else thought so too.) The weather was sunny and beautiful, with some very nice breezes coming off the ocean. My sister and I, who have been taking trips to Atlantic City for many years, agreed that it just might have been the best weather we can remember ever having.

We took advantage of the delightful weather to spend much of our time on or around the boardwalk. I am sure there are many great things to see and do in Atlantic City beyond what we were able to accomplish (and indeed, we attempted to fit what I calculate to be roughly four days' worth of fun into the mere 30 hours or so we spent there, roughly 8 of which we spent asleep in our hotel room beds).

Here is the list of things we did for fun on the first day of our mini Atlantic City vacation:

Had a delicious lunch at the Irish Pub (fish and chips for me, corned beef and fries for my sister).

Went shopping at the boardwalk shops, especially some of our favorite 99-cent stores.

Enjoyed the Sand Sculpting World Cup (you can see the sand scultpures in the middle right of this photo and a close-up of one of my favorite sand sculptures is featured in the next Blip).

Rode the ferris wheel on the Steel Pier not just once but TWICE (this is the awesome beach view from the tippy-top!).

Gambled at the quarter slot machines at the Trump Taj Mahal (no winnings, alas, but neither did we lose the rent money).

Enjoyed the exhibits at the Atlantic City Historical Museum, including an exhibit featuring things that happened in 1964, the year I was born, that seemed tailor-made just for me.

Tried some pretty awesome pepperoni pizza at Tony Baloney's near the top of the boardwalk (note to self: next year, must go back for more!).

Visited the Absecon lighthouse, not far from Tony Baloney's, and shopped at its cute little gift shop (I am a sucker for lighthouses, always have been).

Ate boardwalk fries made by a vendor near the Steel Pier.

I am sure there is even more that we did than what I remembered for this list, but that's for starters. We did get a little bit pink of skin from spending so much time outdoors in the sun, so we retired to our room at the end of the day to rest our exhausted feet, and we vowed to try to spend a bit more time in the shade the following day, lest we both return home badly burned. That's one of the risks of a beach vacation: sunburn and exhaustion, but it is of course a happy exhaustion due to all of the fun we managed to pack into that one day!

I took many, many photos during the two days that we were in Atlantic City, as you might imagine. This particular photo, I took using the vivid filter on my camera, then backed off the saturation a bit to get the photo that you see posted here. The end effect I was trying for was of an old-fashioned, hand-painted picture postcard of one of America's favorite shorelines, from me to you: "Having a wonderful time in Atlantic City! Wish you were here!"

As we strolled down onto the Steel Pier to ride the ferris wheel the second time that evening while watching the sunset, we heard the sound of live music and turned to see a man performing a song that sounded so familiar. As I caught the lyrics wafting by on the evening ocean breezes, I realized the song he was singing was a Clapton tune, and one of my favorites at that. It seemed to perfectly capture the mood of the moment: just two girls on vacation at the shore, having a grand time; a wonderful time, in fact. So the song to accompany this image of the view from atop America's Playground is Eric Clapton, with Wonderful Tonight.

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