Being fans of the ocean, led to our original plan of requesting a late check out and hitting the beach at eight in the morning before packing up to go.
Constant overnight weather report checks and a peek out the window showing it to be far more windy, cloudy and hurricaney than the original forecast led us to sleep in till nine.
The beach chair was deemed savable, but the boogie board was battered and bent until it could be squeezed contortionist style into the popcorn tub sized hotel room garbage can.
We left without needing any extensions on our checkout time. This was another first for us in Atlantic City. It’s amazing how swirling winds of death can act as a motivator.
We did walk out to see those crazy winds and waves at the shore, where a mass of seagulls were singularly unhappy about the beach closing preventing their normal food sources from dropping by. Shortly, being brutally and continually pelted with sand and rain drove us back inside.
With the newfound family love of Cuba Libre (Ha!), we’d skipped dining at the little taco place we normally frequent. We skipped it again that day, due to the approaching storm and Anabelle being singularly unhungry.
Rosa grabbed some of the roasted almonds she loves that she stops for about as often as I grab “real” Swedish fish on these trips. We’re both really picky about getting the “right” one for those snacks. What a match!
Before leaving I decided that there should be some slot machine playing to make sure we stayed on the mailing lists. I slid five bucks into the Gremlins machine on the way out. Wheels spun, music played, and gremlin faces appeared. Honestly, I have no idea what was happening. Those digital penny machines confuse the heck out of me - the most puzzling part being how a “penny” machine can eat five bucks in only four spins.
We didn’t linger as long as we’d have liked. The forecast was improving, but hovered around, “there’s some weather a happenin’ today,” to make us start driving.
Anabelle’s occasional motion sickness reared its head, helping the decision to pull into the first Parkway rest stop…
Along with every other resident of New Jersey fleeing Hermine’s assault on the coast. The line for the women’s room rivaled one’s I’d seen in the decidedly male slanted Madison Square Garden during a figure skating show.
I compared awesome Captain America shirts with a woman on the line (and complemented her awesome Time Lord “Varsity” jacket) while getting fries for Rosa. Anabelle took a Dramamine, and was able to eat a fry or two to demonstrate stability before we hit the old road again.
We skipped the next rest stop, to further distance ourselves from the panicked hordes, and again randomly, ended up at the one with the Last Gasp Roy Rogers.
Since it still outshone the nutritional value of everything else there, I decided to try the “home again” sandwich once more. It was a much closer return to home. The roast beef was bloody rare, and the horsey sauce was well stocked.
Sadly a two fronted assault briefly delayed my return to beefy homeness.
First, the woman behind the counter had a massive problem comprehending my wife wanting the chicken bacon and cheese sandwich, without cheese. She seemed to believe that removing the cheese multiple steps before any melting, or in fact assembly, could occur somehow forced every other ingredient to leave with it.
With that finally worked out, to the thrill of the substantial line now built up behind me, I returned to the table ready to partake in the delightful sandwich of my youth.
Then my delightful youth of a daughter, who wasn’t sure if she would like it, decided she loved the sandwich too, and back to the line I went to get a replacement for my own.
This wasn’t a glitch as having her taste mine and decide if she wanted it was part of the original plan.
The glitch was having a philosophical discussion about the concept of cheese massively expanding the line behind me.
The original plan also included getting fries with Anabelle’s meal, however, my level of confusion and hunger after Theory of Cheese related delays caused me to forget I wasn’t simply replacing my sandwich.
Rosa, having already consumed her cheeseless anomaly was far more level headed by this point and saw the gaff coming a mile away. She was already on line for the fries while I was applying my horseradish sauce.
The rest of the drive was traffic free under shining and cloudless skies.
The double clearness following the morning running away placed us in a position to reach home in time to catch the earliest of local masses.
The renovations the church was undergoing placed us in the basement on highly uncomfortable bridge chairs.
The stresses of the day following the week of activities placed us all into naps anyway.
With Anabelle’s stomach fully recovered, I expected a taco dinner request to make up for the lunch we ran away from.
Once again, the Call of the Yucas was far too strong for the family Peruvian genes (including native, second generation, and artificial) to resist, and we picked up Bagel Brothers Pollo a la Brasa with Yucas and Rice plus a few essentials at Shop Rite.
I had intended to do a massive shuttle run back and forth to the gas station to fill every car, tank and piece of equipment in the garage, including the generator, chain saw, AND snow blower for any eventuality of Hurricane Hermine. As the weather reports were getting tamer and tamer all day, Rosa talked me down allowing a relaxing evening at home- after unloading the car, and loading up the laundry into washing machine and ourselves into the showers.
Not at the same time of course, our well doesn’t have that much water pressure.
In a reversal of the past few days, we watched a bunch of episodes of Chopped and made jokes about the beach.
It served as a fitting and fun finale to our Atlantic Ocean family ad-veeeeen-ture! *Jazz Hands*
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