Our feet clamored and clanked over the sturdy planks. Dragging our sandaled feet through the sizzling sand, we searched for a quiet place away from the crowds.
Eventually we settled for an almost quiet and slightly less crowded spot off to the right and settled our rumps on the single towel we brought from the hotel.
There were no lawn chairs to rest on. The beach at Atlantic City is a DIY beach.
After filling a pal with sand, Mark and Ohm set off to explore the water.
Unable to swim after my emergency cesarean, Jai and I were left on our sandy blanket to stare at the birds. Within five minutes, our slightly less crowded spot drew a crowd. At least twenty people circled us, cigaret smoke and music wafting towards us. Then, for the first time, I begin to notice the pieces of glass in the sand, thick jagged shards. I begin to panic, I just sent my two year old with his father to play in the waves and he didn't have his shoes. Cigaret butts, broken shells, glass, and a tampon lay in the sand before me. In the distance, Mark and Ohm jogged towards us. "Watch the glass!" I began to scream and motion. My oblivious neighbors eying me like a crazy woman. It was time to go. "We're not swimming in that water." Mark grimaced.
With that, we were off strolling dejected down the loud and overstimulating Atlantic City boardwalk.
We had lasted maybe thirty minutes.
We got into our car and took a drive. We drove past the ferris wheel towards the very end of what would have been a boardwalk if hurricane Sandy hadn't destroyed the area.
Eventually the clamor and crowds became muted. Gaudy boardwalk shops gave way to a somewhat quaint coastal aesthetic.
We decided to explore and found the aquarium, quiet restaurants in old Victorian houses and a square of adorable ocean front shops.
Was I on the same beach?
Slowly we eased back into a rhythm of ease. After exploring the shops from our new vantage point, we sat down to an ocean side seafood feast with nothing to do but watch the waves roll in and slowly recede.
It was lovely.
Perhaps I am an Atlantic City beach and boardwalk person after all.