Tommy and Jessica’s A.C. and Brigantine Weekend | Part I | 26 March 2022

On Tuesday, Tommy’s uncle invited us to Atlantic City/Brigantine for the weekend. We were thinking about visiting and I felt better about staying with someone in his family and not in Atlantic City itself. I was also excited to meet another one of his family members.

Tommy loves to sleep in; I was surprised he picked an early train for Saturday, 26 March: 8:20 am! I set my alarm for 5:45 am – the normal time I get up for work – and it felt odd getting up earlier on Saturday. Tommy and I agreed that I would arrive at his house at 7:30 am and we would go to 30th Street Station together to catch the train to Atlantic City.

The sky was beautiful as I was waiting for Lyft. I ordered a two rider: we’d pick up Tommy and head to 30th Street Station. I had to take a selfie before I set off on our first weekend trip away together.

It was a quiet ride to Tommy’s, as the Lyft driver only spoke Spanish. He did ask if I could speak it and I said, “No. German and Arabic.” He spoke a little German with me. Once we picked up Tommy, Tommy and I chatted the whole half an hour. We were chatter bugs talking about the upcoming spring, the blooming trees, the weird weather, travel, and our excitement about our first trip together.

We were 20 minutes early and we ordered some Dunkin. I could only order a Coolata and he ordered a breakfast sandwich. The coolata gave me a headache and he wasn’t hungry, so when it was time to board the train, we just threw it away.

New Jersey Transit is so nice! The train was fancy and it was wonderful window watching on our way to Atlantic City.

The train ride was the same length of time as the bus in the summer – 90 minutes. When we arrived in Atlantic City, of course I had to get a station selfie for the scrapbook.

Tommy’s Uncle Joe was waiting for us. We hopped into his car and he treated us to breakfast at a local bistro in Brigantine. I ordered oatmeal (as it’s gluten-free) with raisins and brown sugar with a cup of coffee. Tommy ordered French toast, eggs, and ham. We went back to his uncle’s house and had breakfast together. We also helped his uncle around the house for a little bit before Tommy and I settled down for a nap. The room was so comfortable and cozy. When we woke up, it was raining and we played a table console game until it stopped raining.

After the rain subsided, Tommy and I walked to Brigantine beach. The beach was only a three minute walk from his uncle’s. Tommy and I went beachcombing – we found tons of shells that I put into my backpack. We did take some photos before it started to rain.

I was also able to do a quick polar plunge. The waves were rough and I could see a storm in the distance. I went up to my chest, then ran out. It felt good to plunge! Tommy took the photos for me.

Once the sun came out a few hours later, we decided to go to Atlantic City. We would go to the beach and Tommy packed his binoculars. He brought them and I brought my camera. As we were waiting for Lyft, I had to snap this photo of Tommy looking at Brigantine through his binoculars.

at 4:30 PM, there was nothing but blue skies.

Once we arrived in Atlantic City, we went on the beach and walked the first half of the boardwalk. I wasn’t familiar with that part of the boardwalk, as I think it was further down from Tropicana, near where I hung out in the past. As we were walking up the boardwalk and onto the beach, Tommy was singing this song to me:

It was very windy, but we were able to go under the pier and look at the grafitti.

We were famished once we were done exploring. Tommy and I explored this part of the boardwalk, but there wasn’t many gluten-free options. At the last pizza place we stopped at, I saw this neat sculpture.

I suggested just going to the Hard Rock Cafe and Tommy thought that was a great idea. I knew the Hard Rock had gluten-free options and it was close. We could also hang out after dinner.

We had a thirty five minute wait and while we waited, we sat down at the bar, and admired the scenery. I reinstalled Snapchat, took a selfie with the “I love you” filter. After I snapped the selfie, a mother walked by and asked us if she wanted to take our photo. I handed her the phone and she snapped a lovely photo of Tommy and me with the “I love you” filter.

Dinner was delicious. I was able to get a gluten-free burger with fries, and Tommy ordered chicken fingers with fries. Dining win for picky eaters! I loved taking photos of the scenery and of course, Tommy wanted photos with the motorcycle.

We decided to stay at the Hard Rock and play in their casino. What an evening!

Tommy wanted to try his hand at poker. I wasn’t sure, so I took photos of him at the poker table. He didn’t win that round. We decided to play a few slot machines and I told him, “Nan used to play 21. She taught me how to play 21.”

Tommy responded, “babe, that is poker!” He explained the rules and I joined him at the poker table. I remember the 21 rules Nan taught me when I was a child, and I’m glad I remembered those rules because I won $75. Tommy did well too – he won $100.

After that game, we decided to dip out. I won $20 on the slots and he won some money too. We felt wealthy as checked out. However, our real wealth is our love and that we have each other.

We decided to walk the boardwalk some more and as we were heading to one of the stores, I met Fat Rusty, a stray cat. It was a homeless man’s cat and he said, “this is Fat Rusty.” I loved petting him and taking photos.

I wish I could have taken Fat Rusty home. We bonded and he seemed to like me.

When we got back to Tommy’s uncle’s house, he was still up. He told us the maid cleaned the shells we had found earlier. I felt so verklempt and grateful for that. We found a whole bunch of shells and of course, I had to take a photo.

After a shower, we tried playing Minecraft, but couldn’t because of being on data. We both took some melatonin, and we were both exhausted from a busy day. We kissed one another good night, cuddled up, and fell asleep. Rest before day #2…

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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 “Tommy and Jessica’s A.C. and Brigantine Weekend | Part I | 26 March 2022”

  1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

    I’ve been to Atlantic City a couple of times, but don’t remember Brigantine Beach. Although it was overcast and windy with spotty showers, it certainly didn’t dampen your spirits as you vacationed with Tommy. Actually, some of my favorite memories of going to the beach revolve around rainy days when I was forced to come up with a Plan B because swimming in the ocean was ruled out. Walking in the rain can be a wonderful bonding experience for a couple. I’m happy that you met Tommy’s uncle, ate some delicious g.f. food, won $$$ at the casino, collected so many pretty shells and met Fat Rusty, a very cute cat that belongs to a homeless man.

    The selfies of you and Tommy are keepers. Enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend JM!


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