Hello All !
This blog is about the best day that I have had so far at camp. ( Well I guess you should say on our day off from camp)
So many of the international staff at camp were a little depressed on Monday of this week because sadly the kids all went off to their " trips" and we all could not go, including me. ( due to visa information and way to many other staff members wanting to go) So we were hanging around camp with nothing to do.
As we were about to give up and live the next four days in a very sad place we had an idea. " what the hell, LETS GO TO THE BEACH" more importanlty Atlantic City!!! So insead of wallowing in self pity Sarah, Josh, Ben, Mike, Will, Tom, Dave, Kerrie, Christy, Nicole and Myself decided this is what we would do, no matter how long it took . . . .
After A lot of organising and reorgainsing we mangaged to pursade our supervisiors to let us leave early for our day off and we headed out on the ( long) road to Atlantic city.
We were dropped at norristown, possibly the most getto place in the world and after a quick gut stuffing ( that is tacos and Philly cheesesteaks for the boys) we hopped on the train and headed into the Heart of philadeplhia, The ride is not actually that long, about 40 mins tops, and because it was only 430, we were able to see everything we were passing!
We rolled into the 30th street station, which is Stunning. Huge ceilings with skylights everywhere, the whole place was made of marble. It reminded me of Harry Potter. It was defineatly time for a spot of shopping so we caught a Taxi to South street which is the "hip" part of Philadeplhia.
Think Camden Markets in London, Brunkswick Street in Melbourne, and if you want to downscale it, The Walk Way near I trip I skip in Canberra . . . It was filled with odd shops and Odd people. Huge Tabacco shops shaped as cigerettes, Condom Kingdom, undergrounf tattoo shops and shop completely filled with wigs to name a few. And the people, thats a different story, think the Folkfestival at a Heavy Metal Concert - Long hair and tattoo, Dreads and Bright Red Lipstick, it was insane!
The Shopping was great for those who has money though, and just about all the boy managed to buy at least one pair of shoes. Well except Josh and Ben, because when they looked into their new shoeboxes later Josh saw he only go one she and Ben got two left shoes! But thats a different story.
We shopped and then ate and Johnny Rockets, which was infact the very first Diner to invent the Burger and the Milkshake! The place was totally glitzed out! The waiters wore bow ties and full uniforms, and the whole diner was exactly like what you see in movies!
After this we excitedly took the taxi back to the station and hopped on the train for a 90 min journey into atlantic city.
As soon as I stepped out of the Train, I knew all this travelling had been worth it. This was what america we really about. The very first thing we saw out the train station doors was Lights, and lots of them. From Casinos and Hotels, EVERWHERE. The walkway from the station to the beach had a MASSIVE casino called CEASERS in the way, flooded with light and shaped was the Coliseam. Another huge Casino, Tropicana had those massive lights the shoot into the air. It really felt like a mix of Surfers Paradice and Las Vegas - On Roids.
We made our way to the hotel after a short stop at a macca that was shaped like a happy meal, cool I know and it became quite clear, due to our lake of money ( and thus, having to choose a cheaper hotel) that we where going to be staying in the more seedy red light district of Atlantic City. We passed about two strip joints and a "very hot Corner" about 8 hookers ( and I swear one of them was a man!)
But luckly we had boys with us, we were fine! we dumped our bags and headed out again ( even though it was about 12 am) We headed down to the boardwalk, still in awe of the place. New things were around every corner, staues, lights, massive casinos. It felt like a theme park! We basically wondered around for ages taking in the new sights. Although it was about 2 am on a wednesday morning, people were awake, doing the oddest things. Shopping for clothes, going for jogs, we ever saw a couple walking there baby! It was so weird and made it seem like it was only 7 PM. After some sneaking into a casino to see what it was like, ( just like the outsite, glitz and Glam) we met the others who had come on a later train and had the BEST time taking photos with the sleeping Hobos. We all decided at this point that we had paid for a hotel room so we may as well use it ( since it was 4 AM) so while the others started to walk back, Brad and I ran into the sea for a late night swim before we all headed back wet, tired but very happy.
The morning was a late one, about 11 am we finally managed to get everyone out of the hotel and we decieded to spend all morning in the outlets, which were very good! NIKE, American Eagel, H and M - all these shops with great sales. Not like you need them ever here, everything is so cheap already! I only bought some cool little hand santitiers though. Then, we all headed back down the jersey shore boardwalk, which is infact just as impressive as it looks in the show, and wondered around there for a bit. Some relaxed, some ate, I personally was looking for some air con so went in this CRAZY mall that was literally, ON STILTS in the the water.
The afternoon was as realxed as the morning. We sat on the ( very crowded) beach and swam and chilled in the sun. The beach was not like a typical Australian beach. It was covered with people top to toe all tanning, the beach was covered in bright white but almost in an artifical way. There was no bushland surrounding the beach, instead there was the infamous boardwalk,, casiono and shops. We lay on the beach all afternoon, sometimes being hasseled by the odd saleperson running around with drinks and icecreams.
There was a beach bar very close and we listened to regge music all afternoon, it was very relaxing. The sea itself was warm, warmer that australian water and it had not a single animal in it. That I loved!
After all this laying around we lost track of time and when I finally looked at my watch we were only 15 mins before the train came. And we were 20 mins away from the train stop.
In a flurry of picking up towels and brushing sand off new shopping bags we ran all the way through the new city we had discovered, all the way past the shops and strip joints and into the train station - Studip me thought it would be faster to use the machines to buy my ticket, not the actual ticket seller and by the time I had managed to type in the right pin code everyone was already out the doors and into the train, I sprinted out at the last minute - Literally, the train had shut most of its doors, and we finally, got onto the train and headed back to Camp.
Atlantic City was great - the most American Place I have seen while i have been here, it was truely the first time I have felt like I am in a different country. It was an 18 year old dream city really. We already planning our next trip back there in two weeks!