Atlantic City | 30 August 2020


Yesterday I decided to take a day trip to Atlantic City. It’s only an hour and a half by bus and I wanted to get one more beach day in before lifeguards are done for the summer. While summer doesn’t end until 23 September, Labor Day is the unofficial end to the summer in the Northeast and Midwest.

When I arrived, I was surprised that the beach was almost empty! I had someone take my photo in front of the ocean. One with the mask on, and one without. The mask has defined my beach going experience this year and it’ll be fun for the Happiness Box scrapbook. 🙂

The last time I was at this beach, on 25 May 2019, it was a day before I joined the Inked Club. The last time I was here, I was admiring all the tattooed people and dreaming of the day I would have one to show off.

Well, three later… 😂 I approached a tattooed young woman and I asked her if she wouldn’t mind taking a photo of my tattoos, since this was my first Atlantic City experience with them. She smiled, she understood perfectly. Yeah, my tats are still a big deal to me.

Then it was fun, fun, fun in the water! Sweet Cancer baby and her water:

After an hour of swimming, I decided to take a break to get some photos with my Polaroid camera. Taking a photo with the Atlantic City boat is always a must. As I was waiting in line, two young women were taking photos of each other. I offered to take their group photo and they agreed. I also asked if they would take mine. They agreed and one, Emily, said she loved my Polaroid camera, she had one on order and she never sees anyone use them. She hoped she made the right purchase.

I replied, “Oh, I love mine and it comes in handy for my project!” She was interested and after she took my photos, I explained to her what the Happiness Box Project is.

“That’s such a great idea! I’m doing something similar to you, but instead of a box, I’m just travelling. I lost my husband to cancer a few months ago, so I’m just travelling, writing, and blogging to find meaning. I’ve never done this before.” Rebecca, her other friend, and I began chatting. We exchanged Instagram accounts, and after 15 minutes of chatting, we took quarantine selfies with my polaroid camera. I took three of them and gave the other two to Emily and Rebecca.

Before we parted ways, I said to Emily, “if you need any help getting started with blogging or just need to chat, feel free to reach out anytime.” She smiled, and we gave each other socially distant/quarantine hugs. Not actual hugging, but the motions of hugs at a socially safe distance.

The people you meet while travelling. *Bigsmile* Maybe my project is a gift and although blogging doesn’t bring any benefits, maybe it is a useful skill to have.

Anyway, after a water and fruit break, I went back into the water and met a nice guy catching the waves. We started talking and we started talking about travelling and tattoos for a good half an hour, that was fun.

Then the surf started getting rougher and the fun began!


The rough waves also stirred up a lot of seaweed. The seaweed was attracted to me and at one point, I looked like a monster coming out of a lagoon!

At 3:15, I was done in the water and walked around to take photos, as I dried off. I saw a lot of neat sights yesterday. Let me share some of the photos:

I was going to eat dinner at Chickie and Pete’s, but since New Jersey still has the outdoor dining rules, it was a 2.5 hour wait. I couldn’t wait that long since I wanted to get home by 7:30, so I got it to go. I started eating it on the boardwalk, but I got tired of standing and the flies were biting my legs. I took it on my bus trip back to Philadelphia and on Lyft, I finally ate dinner when I got home at 7:30.

I had such a wonderful day. What a wonderful end to the swimming season. Hopefully next year, the beach experience will return to “normal”! Regardless, one more beach day to add to my Happiness Box Project, as well as new friends to keep in touch with on Instagram.

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Creator of the Happiness Box Project Initiative, a project where you write your happiness or gratitude each day, then open the box in the New Year. The Initiative is to teach joy and gratitude, to pass it on to others.

One thought on “Atlantic City | 30 August 2020”

  1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

    I’m excited for you, dear friend! You and your tattoo got to enjoy a day at the beach in Atlantic City. I remember going there in 1965 and again around 1980. I’m happy that you met more nice people who are potentially new friends. That surf really looked aggressive in the second video. I well remember how the strong tide pulls at your body and can quickly tire you out. I also remember seaweed being stirred up by rough surf and, of course, those pesky sand flies. Those pictures you took at the beach are all great. They remind me of the thousands of postcards I browsed through over the years, trying to select just the right one to send to friends back home letting them know how much fun I has having at OCMD, OCNJ, Wildwood, Rehoboth, Atlantic City, Point Pleasant, etc. I am very happy that you had a fun and COVID safe day in Atlantic City and had several positive encounters with other beach goers.

    Enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend JM!


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