Sometimes, you want to explore a new culture through museums, beautiful architecture, and historic sights. Sometimes, you want to experience nature through hiking, kayaking, and other adventurous pursuits. Sometimes, you want to wear a mini dress, throw money around, and drink copious amounts of alcohol.
For those times, the likes of Las Vegas and Atlantic City were raised from the ashes.
Last year, three of my high school friends and I jetted off to Vegas and had a weekend that would make the writers of The Hangover swell with pride. This year we were itching for a reunion but unfortunately our circumstances had changed. Two of us had a lot less cash and two of us had a lot less time. Atlantic City is a mere 2-3 hours from New York City, accessible by car, bus, and train, meaning big time savings on transportation costs. So we planned a trip to what I like to call the East Coast Vegas, Vegas-Lite, or Las Jersey, depending on how feisty I feel at the moment.
You can’t just rock up to a place like Atlantic City. Advanced grooming rituals are required. Luckily, The Jersey Shore taught me everything I ever needed to know about prepping for, well, the Jersey Shore. Which is how childhood bestie Kristin and I found ourselves in Albany’s finest strip mall, patronizing both the spray tanning salon and the manicurist.
The whole experience was worth the cost for sheer comedic value. Apparently the newest spray tan technology requires that you go through the poses of Walk Like an Egyptian while standing in the booth being misted by tanning solution, which the attendant deadpanned for us (with her clothes on, of course). Somehow this was a bit too much direction for us to handle and we ended up naked, gasping for breath through our giggles, and shrieking for help into the intercom. A good time was had by all.
Having been appropriately primped, we were off on a road trip, Albany to NYC and NYC to Atlantic City!
Chris and Steve, the other half of our group, are Atlantic City veterans and informed us that The Borgata is really the only place to consider staying. As soon as I walked into the lobby I was impressed; it truly could have been a Vegas casino.
The rooms… not quite so much, considering what we were paying for them. The Aria, where we stayed in Vegas, kind of made this place look like a Motel 6. However, I’m probably only being so harsh because of the ridiculously high rate we paid, having booked a few days ahead one of the last rooms available on a Saturday night. I’m sure if we had planned ahead or went on a different night of the week we could have paid half!
The room did have one major bonus… a glimmering view of the boardwalk strip.
While Kristin and I engaged in the serious business of lounging around the room, napping, and catching up on girl talk, the guys hit the casino. I feel extremely grateful that I simply have never felt the thrill of gambling (okay, there was that one time…) because the last thing I need is one more place to part with my money.
Finally it was time for the real partying to begin, starting with some champagne in the hotel room.
And ending with a self-timer portrait frenzy that would make Facebook proud.
We managed to pour ourselves down to Fornelletto, which was beautiful and delicious and completely lost on us as we were already full of cheap champagne.
And so then we got down to business. The Borgata has two clubs, mur.mur and MIXX.
courtesy of The Borgata
It’s all about the lounge feel at mur.mur, while MIXX is more of a pulsing nightclub. Unfortunately this is about as nuanced of a review as I can leave for these establishments, dear readers, as I started seeing double somewhere around 11pm. As you can imagine, this somewhat compromised my journalistic integrity.
courtesy of The Borgata
But I’m smiling in the pictures, so I’m going to hold true to that old catchphrase from college… “If you can’t remember, you had a good time.”
Even if most of my memories look like this:
Luckily there is yet another saying that suits the occasion…
What happens in Atlantic City, stays in Atlantic City.
Except, you know… for the parts I put all over the internet.
I may sound stupid, but I think I’m old enough that this no longer appeals to me. BOY, that really is dumb – I still remember trips to Vegas that I planned and saved for. Ah, memories linger – thank God
I think Vegas is one of those things that seems infinitely more charming in youth 🙂
Happy to see Grandma Elaine is enjoying what is known ‘euphoric recall’ as a result of your blog Alex. As your Dad I am not so sure I am as happy to see your escapes chronicled for me to ponder. Oh well.
I’ll try to remember to put a “dad warning” on posts like this from now on…
Looks like fun! Our college motto was “make good stories, not good choices”…ahh, the things that sounded like good life philosophies at 21 🙂
Haha I love that motto, despite no longer being in college! I may have to trot that out sometime soon as justification when I’m making bad decisions…
I’m not a Vegas girl, but you made me want to change my mind!!!
Wow! It all seems a lot of fun. You really enjoyed it.
I certainly did Laura 🙂 Everyone needs some silly fun every once in a while…
I love your sense of fun and joi de vivre Alex. I visited Vegas a few years back and, though I am not usually a major party girl, I danced all night long and loved it! Your post took me right back there 🙂
Thank you Hannah! I don’t know if I can really call myself a party girl… I’ve had my fair share of nights dancing until the sun came up but at the same time I’m just as happy to spend an evening with a pint of ice cream and a Law and Order marathon. But I think everyone becomes a party girl in Vegas or Atlantic City!
Oh, I wasn’t calling you a party girl honey – I’m sorry if it read that way – you are a very inspiring young woman xxx
Oh I didn’t take it that way! What I meant to write was “I don’t know if I can call myself a party girl either.” That’s what I get for responding to comments past my bedtime!
Haha, “except for the parts I put up all over the internet”. Making me giggle again darling! P dot S – I am coming to NYC with my mum in July – August. If you are around pop down into the city for a catch up? I trust that you will be able to steer me in the right direction toward the best ice-cream?
Hey Sam! Did you know I have had your FB message open in my tabs for like two weeks, planning to respond to it? I am a no good procrastinator but I swear I will write you back TODAY!