We pulled into our hotel close to midnight, having stopped longer at the rest stop than we meant to. When I told friends that I was heading to Atlantic City for the weekend, they asked if I had been to Las Vegas - because Atlantic City is not like Vegas.
8:40AM -- My weekend schedule mirrors the workday and I try to wake up at the same time everyday. At this hour, the streets are quiet as I walk through the outlet mall. I skip the the Applebee’s at the Outlet and stroll down the street to Maria’s Luncheonette, a local diner with a decent french toast. The service is quick and we are out within the hour, stuffed from the home-fries.
9:40AM -- Walk off that breakfast on the boardwalk from Caesars to the Taj Mahal. It’s still early and I linger around, watching the shops get set up. In another hour, the boardwalk will be filled with tourists who need a break from the over air-conditioned casinos. Alex and I snap a few pictures on the empty boardwalk.
10:20AM -- Finally, the outlets are opening up shop for the weekend and it seems to be the only place to hide from the sun that is now beating down on our shoulders. I spend way too much money at the factory stores but hey, at least the lines are short and the sales are good.
12:30AM -- Time to I drag my tired feet and shopping bags to lunch on Arctic Ave. The White House Sub Shop makes a mean cheesesteak, I’ll take this over the casino buffet any day.
1:40PM -- Head over to Harrah’s where their weekly Saturday Pool Party has just gotten standard. The bass music shakes the whole hotel and it’s crowded inside. But the indoor pool party is not for me. I sneak off to the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa for a 80-minute massage followed by relaxation in the hot tub.
4:50PM -- Drive around town hunting for soft serve ice cream and find an Original Dairy Queen with red awning and all. But we have to hurry, we’re double parked and need to grab change to feed the meter.
5:15PM-- Tired, we head back to our hotel for a quick rest before heading out again for the rest of the night.
6:30PM-- We are late for our dinner reservation. After pulling together my best-dressed for a night out in Atlantic City, we drive up hurriedly to Vic & Anthony’s Steak House. Alex ponders the menu for a second and decides to get the biggest steak. I opt for the scallops - the much more moderated option. Both are delicious.
8:20PM-- Vic & Anthony’s is right in the Golden Nugget so we decide to head into the casino for the first time on this trip. I’m far too risk-averse to get into gambling but we decide to make a go at the slots. I’ve never seen so many variations of the slots before - every which TV show seems to have one fashioned after it. We hang around the casino until the night ends.
8:00AM-- Take a jog along the boardwalk from Ceasars all the way down to Steel Pier, all the while sharing the path with other bikers and runners. We seem to have a code and as I pass them, we exchange nods and smiles thinking we aren’t like the other tourists. It’s still early and the weather is pleasant, the breeze from the water hits me and I push through another mile further.
9:45AM -- I’m skipping breakfast this morning, wanting to catching a few hours at the beach before we drive back to New York. I find a spot just to the west of Steel Pier and set up camp. In another 30 mins, I am joined by other sunbathers and families. The sound of the waves rock me into a gentle sleep.
12:00AM -- Last meal in Atlantic City is perhaps best spent at Azure by Allegretti where it’s seafood galore. We feast on the delicious seafood platter and lobster ravioli, accompanied by sweeping views of the ocean. Eat until you cannot anymore - and then take one more bite
2:30PM -- Time to head out. Alex and I pack up the car, filled with all the goodies we’ve collected from the outlet mall, our skin a shade darker and bellies full - we start to head home.