yes, we're back, and we had a lovely time! though come to think of it, i don't think i've ever been to the ocean and had a bad time...and i include in my calculations the occasion on which our honeymoon was cut short by the wrath of a little lady named gloria!
we did a LOT of walking (on the boardwalk & the beach), a lot of eating, a little sight-seeing, a little gambling (slots only, with a small but exciting net gain!), and a pleasantly abundant amount of sleeping (there are NO ALARM CLOCKS on vacation--woohoo!)
oh yeah, and we saw a hotel get blown up! (luckily on purpose...and luckily not our hotel!)
some things that stand out:
...but won't the burgers be stale...?
- the funky old (original, surely?) mcdonald's in belmar (our halfway "pitstop")
- the look i exchanged with an older man as he and i crossed paths walking ankle-deep in the (admittedly pretty chilly) ocean, as our spouses passed each other a sensible--but boring--further distance up the beach
- the way teeny tiny clams burrow furiously into wet sand, propelled by a surprisingly effective combination of vacuum suction and mental telepathy
- the funky human-pushed rolling chairs (kind of like big strollers...for grown-ups) which serve as "taxis" on the boardwalk
- the diehard boardwalk busker whose idiosyncratic version of "the tennessee waltz" (in this case, more of a slow polka...or possibly a fast minuet!) proves it's possible to be so drunk that even your clarinet slurs; a fact of which i was heretofore unaware
boardwalk hall: former home of the miss america pageant
an elephant in front of the trump taj mahal
- the unbelievably cool collection of paper ephemera and other memorabilia at the atlantic city historical museum on garden pier: postcards, photos, letters, magazines, advertisements, posters, booklets, programmes, sheet music, phonograph records, pins, badges, buttons, toys, souvenirs of all descriptions, costumes, uniforms, swimsuits, hotel china, miss america pageant artifacts...even bits of sand art sculptures that were preserved with a coating of cement!!! (plus i got a free heinz pickle pin just like the ones that were given away at the heinz pier for many years!)
- the bold, splashy, multi-panel, bead-encrusted multimedia paintings of antonio puri at the atlantic city arts center
- the weird, wild, wacky and yes...unbelievable...exhibits at ripley's believe it or not: p.t. barnum's famous "fiji mermaid" (actually the top half of a small monkey glued to the bottom half of a large fish), a two-headed lamb, a fur-bearing trout, shrunken heads, a vampire-killing kit, (the second we have seen this year!) sydney harbor bridge built entirely of toothpicks, jewelry & art objects made from gum & cigarette wrappers, cardboard boxes, human hair, animal hair, human bones, dryer lint, old newspapers, jelly beans, popsicle sticks, matches ...and a set of limited edition frisbees made from the ashes of frisbee pioneer "steady ed" headrick (the last, oddly enough, were weirdly touching!); plus a very cool collection of ripley's own artwork, photographs and souvenirs from his lifetime of exotic world-travels
first, the fireworks...
...then, "bye bye baby"!
- standing on the beach at 9:30pm with 10,000 or so other people
- the surprisingly quiet noise made by enough explosive charges to drop a 20-story building (the fireworks were actually louder than the demolition!)
- the precision required to neatly bring down the entire hotel and have it land in a space not much bigger than it's original footprint
...sans sands (these 2 captions courtesty LHJ)
in this case, monkee = monee......niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice!
- the (sadly unintentional) hilarious song stylings of several performers in the "tango" bar at the tropicana...that put us in mind of (& made us long for!) bill murray's lounge singer character from snl...or carl spackler for that matter...
- the tiny little menu-reading-flashlights carried by waitresses at the fabulous but very, very dimly lit cuba libre restaurant. fidel himself might've been at the next table for all we know...yeah...it was that dark! (*awesome* cuban food, tho!)
- the amazing, breathtaking, impossibly athletic acrobatics of cirque shanghai...not to mention the guys in panda suits...riding unicycles...
- the endlessly creative and occasionally mind-blowing names/themes of modern day slot machines! some good ones we saw: cops & donuts, milk money, fairy's fortune, frog prince, enchanted unicorn, lucky leprechaun, mermaid's gold, viking legend, fool's fortune, (is that one reverse psychology?) monopoly, trivial pursuit, yahtzee, hollywood squares, match game, (match game...seriously? is gene rayburn making a comeback?!) i dream of jeannie, green acres, reel 'em in: big bass bucks, tiki torch, asian princess (on which i won $10) ...and my two favorites...liberace: mr. showmanship ...and...wait for it... the jade monkey (on which i won $40--hooray for monkees!)
now that's a biiiiiiiiiiiig monkee...and the statue is a good size, as well!