On Friday morning, I woke up at 7 am, packed my bags, and (finally) headed away from campus, to Ocean City, NJ.
The trip to Ocean City is something the ISA sponsors every summer for students on campus. Since our beloved ISA president Sabbir had to drop out due to Ramadan, I, as newly elected VP, became the de-facto coordinator. Having heard many positive comments about the trip from past participants, I was very eager for the chance to spend the weekend on the sunny beaches of the Jersey shore with some awesome people, and I was really looking forward to carrying out some of my leadership duties for the first time.
Well, it wasn’t quite as simple as that. First, many of the awesome people that signed up or were expected to join us ended up dropping out the night before or the morning of, which left us with only 6 students, plus the family of Janine Block, the ISA advisor. I was, however, very happy to see Tom, former ISA president and recent graduate, and his girlfriend Ali, both of whom returned to campus to drive the vans for us and participate in this awesome three-day trip. Having been abroad until early June, I missed the graduation ceremony at the end of May, so I was especially glad that I had a chance to reconnect with them and hear about their lives after graduation.
Second, the weather in Ocean City that day turned out to be, well, not so sunny. It had begun to rain in Easton when we left campus, and the sky in Ocean City didn’t look any better. Still, we were on the Jersey Shore, so after lunch, we headed over to the beach.
I had been to my share of beaches, and I’d even spent an entire afternoon on the beaches of Atlantic City back in 2003, but this was still one of the best beaches I’d ever seen. The sand underfoot was very smooth, and the water was clean. And the waves! They were by far the biggest waves I’d ever seen. I waded out until the water was above my waist, and the next wave came crashing down over my head. When I finally resurfaced, I realized that that one single wave sent me back 5 feet. I eventually walked/swam out far enough that I was neck deep in water, and spent the next hour riding the waves back and forth. It was an exhilarating experience, and only the drizzling rain put an end to our beach adventure that day.
After a shower, we went back to the boardwalk for dinner. The boardwalk was 2.5 miles in length, and was lined with restaurants, diners, food stands, ice cream shops, arcades, and strangely enough, mini golf places.
After walking around for a while, we settled on a pizza place called 3 Brothers from Italy. It boasted “the largest pizza in the world”, which were 26 inch pies, and a reward of free pizzas was promised to anyone who could finish an entire pizza by him or herself. You must be thinking, how hard could it be to finish a pizza? Think again! It took 6 of us to finish a single pizza.
After dinner, we went to the amusement park to ride the rides. I’ve never much of a rides person, and with a propensity towards motion sickness, I decided to sit it out. We returned to our place of residence, a nice house called Luray Manor, around 10:30, and then started playing Settlers of Catan. It was quite a lengthy game, with many shifts in momentum, but I finally emerged victorious at about 2:30 a.m. I went to bed right afterwards, satisfied with a fun first day in Ocean City.