Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Atlantic City here we come!

Saturday marked the beginning of Memorial Day weekend. A group of us Chicago folk from the Javits office decided to head down to Atlantic City for the day. We took the casino bus for the two hour ride. The casino bus thing is awesome. For $31 you get a round trip ticket to AC. They drop you off at one of the boardwalk casinos. The host/sponsor casino wants your business, so they hand you a certificate for $20. You can either spend the money in their casino or cash it out immediately (like we did) and pocket the $20. Therefore the roundtrip only cost us $11. Not bad.

Well each of us had our agenda items. I wanted to walk along the boardwalk and beach. It was a sunny 80 degree day. Ordinarily a perfect day to be on the beach…too bad the un-groomed sand was lava hot! The sand was also peppered with broken sea shells which felt like crushed glass when you hopped across them in route to the cool water. I was taken aback by the waves crashing and the endless horizon of the Atlantic Ocean. Oddly, I missed the smell of sand, seaweed, fish, etc I associate with Chicago’s summertime. Sigh.

Okay we did our fair amount of walking on the boardwalk. I took a picture of pastille colored old west buildings that Tony dubbed “the gay old west”. Ah ha ha ha. We even watched a mini Memorial Day parade as it rolled down the boardwalk. It was mini because it consisted of one band and two floats. Most people just walked on by on route to their next casino. We partook in some must do festivities like sampling salt water taffy, eating a funnel cake, and playing carnival games. One game advertised “shoot a live target…$2”. Huh? We followed the signs to see a paintball game. For $2 you got ten shots at a guy in a padded suit. The guy was standing there sweating in his protective gear asking us to “yeah, shoot me, I won’t go out that far”. Okay I know this totally sounds morally wrong since the bait is encouraging you….but I did it anyway. Okay I know I’m going to burn in hell for it, but it is not like I was a saint or anything before. The guy put on his helmet, grabbed his shield, and walked about 15 feet from me. He just stood there and then would take one or two steps side to side. Now if I am going to morally corrupt myself, I want some real live bait and flailing! Then again what can you expect from a guy who is willing to get dressed up in 40 lbs of padding on a hot sunny day only to get shot at.

After the “I can’t believe Lindsay paid money to shoot some guy” moment, we split off to cover several different interests. The gamblers left to loose their money at the casinos, and the tourists went to the nearby outlet mall. Unlike most outlet malls I have seen, this one was packed with all the big names (Banana, Gap, H&M, Polo, CK, Brooks Brothers, Bill Blass, Nike, Addias…and the Dress Barn). When I have more time, I will have to check it out more thoroughly. Anyway after miles of walking in the sun, the group was ready to head back to the City (and civilization as we know it) that evening.


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