Atlantic City – Part One

Date nights for Hubs and I are far and few between. We rarely get away – are rarely alone.  With five children, including our 2.75 year old gem, it’s not easy to break away.  But I determined that we had to celebrate my birthday as a couple.

I combed the Internet for deals and happened upon a 3 day, 2 night stay at a resort property on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. All that was required, it said, was $99 and a 2 hour tour. And really, what’s 2 hours?

Turns out, it’s everything.  We arrived early (anticipation of quality time alone sped us along the highway, as did the ride through several dilapidated streets with overpopulated liquor stores leading to the hotel’s front door).  Children scurried around cars, swim things clutched in their arms, suitcases piled high on luggage carts. Security guards helped guests label their belongings with destination locations.

I went in with excitement. Room 2804, ready for us already. But no one helped us unload. Instead, we carried our luggage down four flights of the ill-lit parking garage. Then, we waited with several impatient guests for an elevator. It stopped many times before we got to the 28th floor – including once for a tour group, once for a vacuum lugging hotel maid. There was no shortage of disgruntled guests ready to share their “whoa’s.”

Our room’s entrance was blocked by maid carts, but once they parted and we went inside, it looked like we could like it. A modest queen sized bed sat before us. A window overlooking the Boardwalk and beach stretched across the room. A kitchenette was equipped with a 2 burner stove, microwave and fridge. A leather convertible couch sat nearby a small table and chair set. And the bathroom featured a jet spa tub.  It appeared to be one nice studio.

Unfortunately, the TV flickered. It refused to stay on. It seemed cable and video options were unavailable. Considering that we live our lives now with glowing screens as constant companions, maybe this was freeing us from temptation? Frustrated, and not ready to venture into the windy outdoors, hubs powered down the fickle machine.

Below us, the casinos illuminated the wooden walkway. The waves – a white froth on otherwise green brown sea – crashed up on the shore, where lifeguard stands and rescue boats lay askew to dissuade unauthorized use.

The tub beckoned. It was an oasis of massage bubbles. And together, we sat immersed, our legs entwined and we faced one another. In the silence, save the humming jets, the stresses slipped away. The water – a bit too hot for me, but just like he likes it – relaxed. This was bliss.

As the water grew uncomfortably tepid, we reluctantly withdrew. Habit found my husband again fiddling with the television. It flickered. It turned static. And then, suddenly, there was clarity.

Something about that white bedding – pristine and perfectly dressed – called me. I slid under cover and relished in the soft sheets. I stretched out. And I realized that without little miss, we might actually sleep without the interruptions of legs extending into our backs, head pushed into the crook of neck, and fingers finding eyes and nose to invade. We could be lovers again.

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