Atlantic City, New Jersey: Know thy geography

Recently, I went on a road trip to Atlantic City, New Jersey with my brother and his family. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision that resulted in me packing my bags in only minutes. But I appreciate spontaneity — it adds some spice to life.

Although we hit the road in the early hours of the morning, it took us the whole day to arrive at our destination since, besides taking a few breaks along the way, at one point, we got lost — and miserably so. Thus, by the time we arrived at our hotel, it was almost midnight. But I was glad the kids were still up, because the hotel lights from afar were splendid when we were driving in.

The day after our arrival, rather than relaxing on the beach with my family, I decided to take a stroll alone along the boardwalk strip instead, capturing photos and exploring food venues. Initially, I was on the hunt for an ice cream cone, but then I stumbled upon Boardwalk Cupcakes, a cute-as-a-button cupcake shop, whose colourful banner was enough to tickle my curiosity and lure me in.

Given all the time in the world, I would’ve spent the day sampling all the flavours on the menu, for they looked tummy-satisfying. But because I had kids to entertain, I left my wild cupcake fantasies aside and headed over to the beach, where I surprised my nieces with a box of Oreo and strawberry cupcakes. The munchkins screamed in excitement.

My brother and sister-in-law, who aren’t big dessert eaters, thought these cupcakes were divine and not overly sweet. They also laughed at the fact that I kept appearing at the beach with food and then disappearing, only to reappear with more food and then disappear again. I don’t deny my strangeness but I figured they’d be hungry since they were at the beach all day.

I wish I’d taken a walk along the strip our final night there and witnessed the spectacular views, especially when A was kind enough to invite me out. Instead, because my batteries had reached complete depletion after a long day of exploring, I fell asleep like a baby. Not to mention I felt psychologically exhausted.

On our way home, we took a final stop at the Woodbury outlet in Central Valley, NY. Exploring and people-watching was pleasant, but part of me still couldn’t wrap my head around the hype surrounding designer clothes, shoes, cosmetics, and handbags. Go figure. The only item I’d purchased was pizza. A whole box of it. And it was amazing.

Looking in retrospect, getting lost was quite an adventure. It was an experience where, not only did I trust my intuition and take initiative, but also one in which, despite the external conditions surrounding me, I made a conscious decision to maintain a healthy internal landscape, watering only the seeds of trust, compassion, patience, and perseverance. Lessons in challenges. Always.

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