Labor Day: It’s the last day of the summer season. The sun is shining, so what is the most relaxing place for me to be now? Sunny Atlantic Beach Club, of course–especially for adult swim! As a young girl, I could never understand the allure of the “lap lanes.” I remember that my grandparents, a’h, would always choose the lounge chairs at North Woodmere pool closest to the lap lanes and would make sure to get in their laps.
For me, jumping up and down in the general area was much more fun. As I became older, perhaps in high school, I began to understand the attraction of those lap lanes. Not hindered as much by young children splashing and jumping about, doing laps gave me a feeling of accomplishment. I actually found myself reporting–to whoever would listen–how many laps I swam.
Today I have a slightly different system. I swim for a period of time. When I swim my laps during adult swim, I need not look at a clock, for we get a half hour straight of un-“adulterated” lap swimming. A solid half hour of swimming is really all I need to make me feel accomplished. On my early Sunday morning jaunts with my husband (he on his bike and me in my “sunny” pool) our beach club team usually garners close to an hour of lapping until the first child arrives to begin splashing about.
I love swimming in the pools of the beach club. The constant care to the cleanliness (and I personally witness the meticulous cleaning every Sunday morning) and regard for every member is unique. We are a family at Sunny Atlantic–with everyone greeted with a smile!
As every season comes to an end, I try to etch out extra beach club time. This season (more precisely, this past week) I have discovered the beauty of ocean swimming as well. On the Wednesday afternoon following our final goodbyes at Avnet Country Day, the post-Avnet Lubin clan made their way over to Sunny Atlantic to meet up with my mom, brother Jacob, sister in law Haviva, and the entire Ner-David crew who were in from Israel.
Seeing the fun my daughter Rochel and my nephew Adin were having jumping and swimming into the waves gave me the impetus to finally try to swim the waves. And swim I did! So much so that my daughter Rivka remarked that I seemed to be the only one swimming laps of the breast stroke and front crawl along the waves. With only a few precious moments of summer left, I tried to attempt my ocean swimming a few more times.
After completing a week at Avnet Country Day, Yussie was off for another adventure with Bais Ezra’s End of the Summer Program at Camp Kaylie. While Yussie was enjoying some away time, some of the Lubin clan departed for a couple of days of fun in beautiful Atlantic City!
We chose to have two different experiences while away for our two-night vacation: the first night was spent at the Borgata Hotel, while the second we switched over to the Sheraton Hotel. This way we had a feel for the area from two different perspectives–the first a bustling casino hotel, and the second a smaller and quieter experience.
At the Borgata, we enjoyed the beautiful, picturesque indoor pool, while also having a chance to sun outside as well. The rooms were well equipped with a refrigerator and, of course, cable TV. Fortunately there are a few kosher restaurants in A.C., and while Lenny relaxed with Lea after dinner, I took Rochel and my eldest daughter (alas, Rivka was already back at Stern, hopefully learning a lot) out to enjoy a comedy show right at the Borgata.
I am happy to report that Lenny and I only spent (i.e., lost) $9.55 on the slot machines! I truly cannot understand how or why anyone would spend a fortune on games of chance, but I guess there is the allure of possibly winning the jackpot!
Tuesday morning, while Lenny was at the morning minyan at the local shul and the girls were still asleep, I took the opportunity to spend some alone time doing my laps at the Water Club (part of the Borgata and right next door). The experience swimming at the Water Club’s spa was amazing. Dimly lit candles, coupled with soothing music, made my early morning exercise something special.
After lunch on Tuesday afternoon (kosher pizza in A.C.!) we checked into the Sheraton Hotel. When I explained that we were traveling with five, and that we all like “our own space,” I was advised to book the hospitality suite. Never could we imagine how spacious and regal the rooms would be! There was more than enough space for all of us, along with a refrigerator, microwave, and dining room table. In addition, we were on a club floor which gave us access to the continental breakfast (plenty of kosher boxed cereals, fresh fruit, juice, and of course coffee), and an endless supply of chilled water bottles!
After unpacking for the second time, we headed to the beach, where Rochel, Lea, and I enjoyed jumping/swimming in the waves. We topped the evening off feasting on our fare from the local kosher burger place in A.C. on our own dining room table!
Wednesday morning, while Lenny returned to the local morning minyan, Rochel joined me for laps at the Sheraton’s indoor pool. After lavishing in the pool shared only with one other lap swimmer, we joined the rest of the crew for breakfast. Before departing the hotel, Lea had a chance to do some splashing and swimming, and then we were off for an excursion on the boardwalk. For those of you who have never been to Atlantic City, the boardwalk is a lot busier than our own Long Beach! We even found some kosher salt water taffy and some refreshing Ben & Jerry’s ice cream!
We enjoyed our vacation to the New Jersey coast, but I personally was eager to return to Sunny Atlantic. With only a few days left of the season, I was anxious to get in as much beach club time as possible. Aside from Shabbos of course, I made sure that I visited the club at least once a day. Some of my daughters joined me on Friday, and then on Sunday, my Mom (who herself is a proud member) and son and daughter-in-law joined the crew at the club as well.
As I sit here at the Sunny Atlantic Beach Club poolside drying off on this overcast Labor Day while Lenny completes his laps on his bike, I have mixed emotions. While the summer season has officially come to an end, I look forward to the new year ahead and am thankful to Hashem for the beautiful summer that we have experienced. Good-bye summer. See you next year! v
Phyllis Joy Lubin is an attorney with Rosenfeld & Maidenbaum, LLP, who resides in Cedarhurst with her husband, Leonard. They have six children: Naftali, Shoshana, Rivka, Rochel, Yosef, and Lea and now a new daughter-in-law, Nina. The author welcomes your questions and comments at MothersMusings@gmail.com.