The 4th July, American Independence Day. It was a long weekend with four days of holidays; I asked my husband literally like four times, are you kidding? really?? It was like an Indian Diwali with fireworks and celebration. It was awe-inspiring to see people so patriotic flying the American flag on their cars, home doors, and front yard. All my memories of Indian Independence day are only limited to school candies and parades.
Although I was eagerly waiting for this weekend to get out with our little joy. It is funny and how lazy we could be — we spent almost a day sitting on our couch planning the long weekend. Of course, we do have to plan our day outs meticulously for the baby. There have been numerous times, we will take hours to visit a place only to get back home due to lack of proper planning. I have been desiring to visit NYC and American beaches for a long time and my pick was NYC. But with the fear of getting struck in the fireworks traffic and getting through the NY long weekend crowd, long queues at the landmarks, we agreed on the second choice — Atlantic City.
American summer is crazy hot with the temperature reaching more than 90–100°F. Our plan was to leave from home early but as usual, I could not make it with all house chores and baby stuff. Trust me, managing everything alone is pretty tough.
One lesson, I learned recently was never to watch the time but to get ready and get out of the door — one shouldn’t worry about the time nor it has to be the place originally planned. If we sit on the couch believing it would not work out, trust me it is not going to work out. We have to get out and make time for ourselves. Ava woke up late on that morning and it was almost 11 AM when we gave her a bath and she fell asleep again. She got up back at 2:00 PM; I packed her things immediately and we were out of home at 3:00 PM. It was almost a two-hour drive to our first US beach.
Since we were not sure how Ava is going to react to the beach, I may have over prepared and packed the following few additional items to my regular baby backpack.
- Beach Towel — In case we get wet
- UV protection shelter (Tent/Tarp) — We chose Big Agnes Whetstone Shelter from REI due to its light weight and easy setup (Didnt get to use it on our visit though)
- Sunscreen Protection — Aveeno
- Picnic Mat — Monkey Mat (featured on SharkTank)
- Car Seat Mirror — Brica Baby from Babies’R’us
- More toys — including the car seat toys (in case she got bored with the same one)
- Hat for everyone
- Water & Extra Milk Bottles
- Baby dresses — I took almost 6 dresses
- Baby bath suit — I got a cute one from Babies’R’us.
We reached Atlantic City around 5 PM and we had pre-booked the car parking on our way using the app, ParkWhiz. Since it was still sunny, we did the shopping for an hour at the Tanger Outlet. Before heading to the beach, I cleaned up Ava’s diaper in the car, put her new beach suit, fed her milk — so she was all ready. We took a walk on the boardwalk and sat down at a store for our slices of pizza before stepping into the beach. I absolutely loved the boardwalk; it was like a fun festival with all food stores, road shopping, lovely people with families. At 6:15 PM we stepped into the beach and Ava was so calm and happy. We think she confused the Ocean waves to her ritual white noise on the phone. Well, she loved the beach — that’s all we wanted and we had fun taking awesome photos of each other.
Originally published at DiptiSenthil.