AC Weekend

Compared to the Connecticut casinos, or flying to Las Vegas, Atlantic City should be an easy point of entry. The Garden State Parkway is a mess though. Not unexpected, especially in the summer, but still not fun.

I am sure he would love Vegas, but Jay refuses to fly if it can possibly be avoided. Which in fact it largely can be.

Atlantic City offers him most everything he could want… The hotel/casino has a pool, restaurants, gambling. The boardwalk and the beach are not far. He could even pick up women, if I weren’t with him, cramping his style.

He doesn’t feel the need to gamble every minute of his time, but finds it odd that I would rather not gamble at all. I don’t enjoy gambling anyway, plus I can turn money into nothing in no time flat in the casino. He can spend hours at the blackjack or poker tables, and make the money last. It’s the up-and-down of it that he enjoys; he doesn’t mind losing a bit, so long as it’s an entertaining, prolonged process. No one enjoys losing hand over fist, of course, but he actually gets bored when he’s winning too much too.

Or so he says. I’m not sure how often he’s been able to test the theory.

On arrival, we hang by the pool, order a quick bite, stroll around the grounds of our own casino and over to the next one. An interesting note: as we exit our casino out through the bar, they put a tag on Jay’s wrist. But when I put up my wrist, they waive me off: Only the men. It’s strictly a man-versus-woman thing. They haven’t checked which name the room is in, or whose credit card is on file. When we get back, he will need that wristband to return the same way. Apparently, women are welcome, and as a woman I’m free to come and go as I please. Or maybe it’s that… he can take me out and return with any woman he wants; but as a woman, I’m not free to do the reverse.

Not that I would, but the double standard seems really unfair to me.

But I digress.

It’s a pretty enough stroll, and I am wearing fairly comfortable shoes. “Fairly comfortable” being a relative term; by the time we make it to the next casino over, my shoes have worn a blister as big as a nickel on the ball of one foot, and cut into the toes of the other.

We find a bar and have a drink, mostly as an excuse for me to be able to sit. He could go gamble and leave me there, but he stays with me. We play the poker machine at the table. Well, he does, though he’s only doing it because I insist on something to entertain him, to make up for the gambling he’s not getting to do while he babysits me. My drink disappears without my even noticing that I’ve been drinking it. I have also managed to forget that I’ve recently lost 20 pounds. A moment before I stand up, I realize I’ve had too much. Jay herds me carefully back to our own casino/hotel. Once we’re outside, I take my shoes off. I blather as we walk, suddenly without filters for my mouth. At one point I blurt out that I’ve been talking an awful lot, and Jay laughs. The sidewalks are clean-swept, easy on my feet, but the streets are rough and Jay piggy-backs me over them. It’s ridiculous and silly and we laugh.

We get back to the patio bar at the hotel, and we sit down to get some food into me. The sun sets, the sky darkens, the band plays. Overhead, seagulls are under-lit by the casino lights, so that they are aglow in the sky. Cheap fireworks, as it were. I am easily amused.

When we get back inside I notice a funny thing: the casino does not care in the slightest whether I wear shoes or not. No shirt, no shoes, no problem… just bring us your money. I carry them with me. Eventually Jay gets me up to the room; I’m still tipsy and he puts me to bed before heading out to hit the tables. It’s possible that I’m asleep before the door closes behind him. It’s after 1 when he comes back in, $200 richer for his efforts, and collapses on the far side of the ginormous bed.

We sleep.

At 8AM Jay is still sleeping off the previous night, but I am up and about, checking out the salon/gym, taking pictures of the surrounding area. By the time I come back, Jay is getting ready to start the day as well. We go to the pool again, pop down for brunch, drive over to the boardwalk end of things. We stroll far down past the casinos. It’s ridiculously hot and bright. My tennis shoes are starting to hurt my feet – it’s absolutely remarkable how women’s shoes are not made to be walked in at all.

We hang out at another casino for a while. I find a cool place to sit. Jay wins at blackjack, then tries his hand at poker. I cash out his seed money, so he’s playing with winnings. I turn $20 of my own into $0.25 in 10 minutes at the slots.

Back at our place we have a nice dinner, check out the dance club, I sit with him while he has his ups and downs at the blackjack table. Around midnight I wish him luck and head back to the room. There’s an obnoxious group down the hall, and their noise keeps me up for a while. Even so, it takes a lot to deprive me of sleep. Sometime later I have a vague sense that Jay is back. It feels like morning to me. I remember that the bright lights outside the hotel give a false sense of daylight at all hours. But I look at my cell to make out the time; it’s nearly 5AM. I ask him how he did, and he tells me he won a few hundred. He smells of the casino smoke, and beer. He falls into bed and sleep. In the morning we discover he’s up several hundred for the weekend, enough to just about cover the cost of the trip.

Not bad, as weekends go.  Apart from the long drive, of course. But this is Jersey, and that can’t be helped.

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~ by lorakceel on August 17, 2010.

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