Fractured Facade

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Monday, September 16, 2013

First Stop Atlantic City

Back in June, the last time we had to go to Brooklyn, we made the mistake of heading into New York first with the intention of getting away for a couple of days afterwards somewhere else. By the time we were through in New York, we were so disgusted and overwhelmed we headed straight back to Roanoke without stopping anywhere. We weren't going to make the same mistake this time, so before we landed in Brooklyn we decided to take two days for ourselves and stop in Atlantic City.

The last time we were in Atlantic City has to be about a decade ago, and at that time we said it would be the last time we went there. My son said AC stood for All Crime, and he wasn't too far off the mark. Lately, we were hearing good things about the seaside resort since it was rebuilt after Hurricane Sandy. When I received an offer for $55 rooms at the Golden Nugget we figured, why not stop there. It was sort of on the way to Brooklyn, closer than the Mohegan Sun Resort up in Connecticut, and it made more sense to stop there first instead of driving past Brooklyn and into Uncasville.

The way we usually head up north is I-81 to I-78. To hit AC we would travel I-81 to I-95. According to Google Maps, the trip should take us 6 1/2 hours. Ha, Ha, and Haha! I-95 is a freaking horror! Once we got close to DC it took us about 3 hours to get past Baltimore. There was construction everywhere, and heavy traffic, and it wasn't even rush hour. Well, it wasn't when we first got there. We have gotten soft on heavy traffic living in Roanoke where missing one cycle traffic light to turn on Apperson means heavy traffic. What kept us going on was one of us saying, "Imagine if we had to do this every day." Ummm, no.

Now you would think with Google map directions printed out, a GPS system, and an iPhone, we would be okay. Think again. Once we hit Jersey we saw a sign saying Atlantic City and instead of driving the PA turnpike like Google suggested, we turned off there. Bad move. Ms. Garmin took over and had us driving down dirt roads with no lights through parts of Jersey that may be lovely in the daytime, but were scary as hell once the sun set. After seeing a turn off sign for Mays Landing for about the tenth time on every road we wound up on, we began to think we were in a Stephen King novel. We didn't hit Atlantic City until about 10:00pm. It took us longer to get there than it would have taken us to get to Connecticut!

The Golden Nugget is not on the boardwalk, but in the marina, and it used to be Trump's Marina Hotel. It's a really nice hotel and definitely worth $55 a night.

View from the room at night

Neat bathroom...I need to invest in a two shower-head shower!

I loved the room, even though they didn't have many decent television stations, but wasn't crazy about the casino as it was a little too small. I didn't hit on any slots, and didn't bother playing any table games since there weren't many open, and the ones that were open were too crowded to get near.

Better view from our room in the daytime. Two pools, hot tubs, cabanas, etc. Nothing we used.

Happy hour

The next day we drove to the boardwalk area and parked at the Taj Mahal. Don't let the outside fool you. Trump has really let this place go. It's no longer just tacky, it's falling apart.


From there we walked all the way to the Tropicana and back past The Taj to House of Blues, easily a  couple of miles. It was a really pleasant walk. I love the smell of sea air, feeling the ocean breeze, hearing the waves, and even the caw-caws of nasty seagulls. My daughter wanted salt water taffy (yuk) and Fralinger's has a couple of stores on the boardwalk where they sold it for $7.99 a box. I bought the exact one at Cracker Barrel for $4.99. Shhh, don't tell her.

I hit almost every casino. My method is to just drop $20 at a time on a Wheel of Fortune slot machine. If I hit I stay, if I don't I'm out of there. I hit in Bally's a couple of times, enough to pay for the room and dinner so I was happy. We were tired so stayed at the Nugget that evening. The next morning after checking out I wanted to hit the Borgata.

Now that's a beautiful hotel and casino. I found my Wheel of Fortune machines and sat down at one but the one to my right was really calling me. Since I had already put my $20 in the machine I was sitting in front of, I asked my husband to play the one to my right. He does not gamble (thank God!) and did not want to. I literally pulled him to the machine and threw a $20 bill in it. I showed him how to make sure he played the maximum number of lines and after three spins he hit 900 quarters! I knew that machine was going to hit. He cashed right out, and as soon as my $20 was used up we left. As we were leaving I saw a roulette table with a $5 minimum open so I figured I'd give it a shot. Although I never hit the 35-1 straight number,I kept hitting the 8-1 corners. After about a half-hour I became bored and we cashed out. I walked away with $20 more than I started with so that was good. Those slots were calling me again, but luckily my husband convinced me not to bother, "We already hit, we're not going to hit again." See, he's not a gambler. Us gamblers always think, "We already hit, we're going to hit bigger next time." We left.

Driving to the Atlantic City Expressway you can see the outskirts still haven't changed. Once you pass all the glitz, lights, and yachts

 the city remains as rundown as it ever was.

The residents might not be, but the seagulls are well-fed
Onward to Brooklyn...

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting Elena. I feel like I just had a much needed vacation. Happy hour looked like fun as did all the sights and sounds of the ocean. Glad you had fun.