meet me tonight in atlantic city
Traveling for the holidays is a necessity that most people dread. Not us! This year would be the first year that we spend both Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years together. Since we went to Maryland for Thanksgiving, that means that Massachusetts is up for Christmas! For those of you that are geographically challenged, the drive from North Carolina to Massachusetts is a long one. We knew we had to do it in two days but weren't quite sure where to stop in between. Maryland was the obvious choice since we know people there and it wouldn't cost us anything; but we have been there before! Rose had some points from Choice Hotels and scored us a free hotel room. Atlantic City here we come!
Naturally we had to listen to The Band the whole way up. Which band? The Band? Why couldn't they pick a less confusing name...? For those of you that have never been to New Jersey, it is not the most beautiful state in the country. I'd say it might make the top 50 but it would be close... Rose had never been there before so we were having a good time cracking jokes about the "natural beauty" of all the industrial buildings pumping out smoke and traffic.
We rolled into our hotel parking lot a little after 3pm and there were maybe 2 cars in the parking lot. Maybe... Upon opening the car doors we were hit with the lovely swamp smell of the Atlantic Ocean. At least we were ocean front! We were becoming slightly worried. What did we get ourselves into?
We checked into the hotel. The two women behind the counter seemed a little surprised to see us. I doubt they were expecting anyone to come to Atlantic City in late December. I don't entirely blame them either. We got up to our room and got ready for the night's shenanigans. A quick selfie on the beach outside the hotel and we were off to the city!
Rose had been wanting to go to the beach for a while so I kept saying that this should fulfill her want but apparently if you have to wear a winter jacket while walking on the sand it doesn't count...
I have been to Atlantic City twice so you think I would be a good tour guide right? Nope. Apparently I didn't pay attention during my previous trips. I googled "free parking" in the hotel room just to prepare. I think parking is what most deters me from traveling to cities. I found a few cheap options so we were off to find them. We found quickly that the off-season means nothing is open, and that includes parking garages... We drove up and down the street a few times looking for the best option before giving up and paying $10 to park at Caesar's Palace. By paying $10 I mean accidentally going in a side service entrance, getting lost, head out backwards, talk to the lady at the pay station, pay her $10, back up, turn around, and park the car.
Needless to say we were a bit flustered with everything going on. Rose had some thoughts on how the night was progressing.
We found our way into the Palace and looked around for a while. They are definitely not as crazy as the hotels in Vegas but they are still ridiculous by any standard measure. The one thing Atlantic City does have over Vegas is the Atlantic! We found the boardwalk just in time for sunset, and it was a good one.
Well we just drove for hours and hours so naturally, if you have followed any of our adventures, it was beer o' clock.
The first restaurant we came to was the Rainforest Cafe. I hadn't been to one since I was little and Rose had never been, so we popped in for a beer or two. Nobody was there. I'd guess about 10 in the entire restaurant counting staff. We went up to the bar, ordered our beers and hung out for a bit. Our bartender was quite friendly. He told us all kinds of personal stories that we didn't really need to hear. It wasn't until he started giving us free drinks that I really enjoyed them. We got our last round of beer on the house and he made us up some Scooby Snack shots. Not entirely sure what was in them but they tasted like bananas. Quite delicious. That was where the night started to turn around
Back out on the boardwalk we were feeling good! Again, nobody was there, and it was amazing. The cold doesn't really matter when you have all the space in the world to be crazy. We were running around, singing Atlantic City as loud as we could. I even got crowned Ms. America!
Rose got a NJ shot glass from a very persistent shopkeeper who was quite desperate for some business. To keep us going we stopped in at a casino and got more beer. We asked if we were allowed to take it out on the boardwalk with us and the bartender said "No, but the police have better things to do. Besides, nobody is here." Then he handed us two plastic cups and sent us on our way.
Margaritaville was on the other end of the boardwalk but I knew they had nachos, so we had to go. We walked all the way back, past Caesar's Palace, and then another 15 minutes or so. It was cold but we were having too much fun to care. We should start traveling on the off season all the time!
Got my nachos, got some margaritas, we're not alcoholics we promise, got another margarita, I said I promise, then we started the long trek back to the car. All the walking combined with the cold air made being okay to drive no issue.
Wonderful pictures, we know...
We decided to go into another casino attached to Caesar's just to explore a little more before calling it a night who had a live band playing all 90's music and it was great! One lady was dancing by herself and five more were having drinks at some nearby tables. That was it... I felt sorry for the band but loved that we could get so close and enjoy the music without hundreds of bumbling drunk idiots spilling beer all over us. Our plan was to leave the next morning super early so we knew we had to get to bed. But the band (not The Band this time) was so good. We listened to a full set before heading back to our room! Obviously our feelings on NJ had changed.
We finally got back and ready for bed by 11pm. 4am comes quick when you go to bed that late. Tomorrow, Massachusetts.
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He likes pizza.