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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Late Summer in Town Decay, Part 2

Early Morning

I told Ms. Rivers that, with 1000% honesty, I can count on one hand the number of times I have woken up in the morning and felt completely refreshed from a wonderful night's sleep.  That number hasn't increased after last night.  In fact, saying that I didn't sleep well last night is a bit like saying "the Yugo may have had some quality problems" in a bit of an understatement.  Cultural reference noted directly below.

(I actually love this guy's car reviews, and that's not just because he said nice things about the Toyota C-HR.  Check out his channel if you are into cars.)

Anyway, today promises to be an interesting day, if for no other reason than the fact that I don't think I got more than an hour at a time of uninterrupted sleep.  Maybe that's AC's partial karmic repayment for yesterday's blog posting.  Maybe that's because the hotel bed feels like it was stuffed with recycled plastic soda bottles.  Actually, it's probably because of the quantity and quality of pillows available at the hotel we are staying at this time around.  To that latter point, well, I'll have to work on it.

Speaking of hotels, the last few times I have been in AC, the accommodations have been at one of the casinos or casino-affiliated properties.  This time around we decided to try something different.  This wasn't, by the way, a question of price, but more of just general interest and trying to find somewhere that had decent reviews.  I'm not going to mention any names, but so far it seems like the reviews for this current location may have been written by the hotel management.  

One of the things Ms. Rivers and I wanted to do over the weekend was catch up on some leisure reading.  For her, that entails "Where the Crawdads Sing" by Delia Owens.  Me?  I have a book about the history of the Ginko tree that I want to finish.  These two choices can tell you a lot about our personalities, namely that Ms. Rivers seeks to escape into a highly-rated literary masterpiece.  Me?  I just want to learn why a tree that existed with the dinosaurs roamed the Earth can be found growing on Mulberry Street in Scranton.

I am going to acquire and plant a Ginko tree.  Mark my words.

On that note, it's time to begin a day of sorts.  



By the time we had gotten back to the hotel this evening, there had been about 16,000 steps logged and my right big toe joint was significantly larger than its left foot compatriot (I have arthritis in my right big toe).  The space in between was interesting.

Point of Interest:  Breakfast.  Ms. Rivers told me after eating breakfast that, as I was consuming my morning feast, a man outside the restaurant (I was sitting with my back to the front window) put out a "joint" on the window sill, placed it in his bag, and headed into our mutual establishment.  

Point of Interest:  Shopping.  After breakfast, we headed over to the Tanger outlets in AC.  It was refreshingly scarce when it came to the shopping population.  Maybe that was because it was 10am.  Maybe that was because there is a pandemic.  Maybe we were just lucky.  Anyway, Ms. Rivers found sunglasses and we found a Bass Pro Shop Store.  That's not so interesting except for the following point...while AC itself is a very diverse community, the inside of the Bass Pro Shop, which had more shoppers than the other stores we visited, looked like a greenhouse full of lilies (as in it was very in Lilly White).  As to why that was the case, well, that may be a bit above my pay grade.  

Point of Interest:  Brigantine.  In the afternoon we headed over to Brigantine, ostensibly to find a gift shop, but ended up instead going to the public beach.  The gift shop was closed you see.  Anyway, we were actually really impressed.  So impressed that, maybe one day, we will go back there for a real vacation.  This trek included Nathan's hotdogs and ice cream for a mid-afternoon meal.

(On the beach, Brigantine NJ)

Point of Interest:  The Boardwalk.  Late afternoon and evening were spent on the Boardwalk, where we marched a few miles, grabbed a bite to eat, and just generally enjoyed the sights and sounds.  Well, "enjoyed" isn't a great descriptive term, as there is some Grade A sad stuff going on in this town.  Between the already many-times-mentioned rampant consumption of marijuana in public, visibly intoxicated folks drinking out of open containers of liquor, and the truly mentally troubled/substance abuse inflicted individuals, I wasn't necessarily well-served by my habit of noticing almost everything.  In many respects, this is truly a sad place.  

Point of Interest:  The 7-11.  No busy day in AC is complete without at least one solicitation.  More specifically, later this evening, Ms. Rivers was looking for a snack, so I dutifully volunteered to march to the local 7-11 to pick up a few supplies.  Was I frightened to go out and walk a few blocks at night?  No.  Being my size, I'm not exactly what someone would call an "easy target".  Anyway, as I was getting ready to leave the store, I noticed what I thought to be a young(er) lady smiling and waving at me from outside.  I did my best to not react.  As I was actually leaving the aforementioned 7-11, she held the door open for me and said in a somewhat sweet voice "Sir, can I kiss you?".  I declined the offer and headed back to the hotel.

It has been a busy day.

More to come tomorrow.

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