In an ideal world, birthdays are celebrated with a Pinterest-worthy ombré cake, a card crafted by Hallmark, and a pony wearing a party hat. In an actual world, it’s more like spending three hours in the car with a bundle of balloons impairing your vision, eating saltines because that’s the only thing that you can stomach, and painting a homemade sign on poster board. After getting off work on Thursday, I headed to Ocean City to meet Jen for the weekend. Since she was technically turning 27 at midnight, we decided “one drink” seemed necessary at a new spot, Barn 34. Considering that the dance floor was empty and it was a locals’ bar filled with surfers, we had low expectations. Fast forward to several rounds of questionable shots, a ride home from the bartender, and a killer hangover, and we had one of the best nights of the entire summer. Needless to say, I couldn’t drag myself out of bed early enough to surprise my sister with breakfast the following morning.
By the time friends joined us on Friday night, we were ready for round two, only this time we went to Macky’s and didn’t have to track down our car the next morning. We made sure to recover on Saturday and Sunday with bagels and a few hours in the sun, making for a relaxing weekend with good company. Sometimes the need for perfection impedes my ability to see the big picture—a smashed cake tastes as good as one that is intact, and you can have fun wearing a wrinkled t-shirt and denim cutoffs. I do still owe Jen Funfetti pancakes, though…
After graduating from college in May, I made the conscious decision to delay my process of ‘entering the real world’ so that I could enjoy my last summer vacation. I still have yet to open my diploma that arrived in the mail a few weeks ago, but I’m beginning to conceptualize the realization that my friends and I won’t be returning to the classroom this fall. Now that we live in different states, we made it a priority to reunite and planned a girls’ weekend at The Water Club in Atlantic City. The four of us started off our getaway on Brigantine Beach, then relaxed with massages and a dip in the whirlpool at the Immersion Spa. We skipped the casino scene, choosing to do dinner and drinks (and plenty of dessert) at Izakaya and saving our gambling skills for a trip to Vegas. A tame night made it easy to catch the sunrise and score the best chairs on the pool deck on Sunday morning. I’m happy to know that not much changes upon transitioning into adulthood, besides a few upgrades: we pre-gamed with champagne instead of water bottles full of vodka, traded a dorm overlooking campus for a room on the 31st floor with ocean views, snacked on organic popcorn rather than a bag of Doritos chips, and even wore suede heels since spilled beer bongs are no longer a concern. Maybe the post-college life isn’t so bad after all.
While I always hope for beach weekends to consist of hours in the sun with a good book, the rainy ones don’t make me feel guilty for sleeping in past 8am and pairing a cocktail with breakfast. The dreary weather combined with a birthday celebration meant that there was a steady flow of food, drinks, and shopping throughout the weekend. Another perk of a day without sunshine? An earlier start (and no cover charge) at one of my favorite spots, Fager’s Island. For a little balance, I made sure to test out my new running shoes and pick up kale smoothies from Juice Shack. A group of us drove out to the Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware on Saturday, but we unfortunately arrived after the tours were already all booked. We sampled their gluten-free beer and made a stop at the outlets (I bought the comfiest sweatshirt and pullover), so not all was lost. Sunday was spent at Sunset Grille, watching the boats come in on the bay and prepare for the White Marlin Open. I have a few days to detox before a mini reunion in Atlantic City with college friends, so I’m rehydrating until it’s time to hit the casinos.