Adventures in Trumptown

Hey, Scribelets! Has another week gone by already? It’s Suze again. I just got back from a four-day weekend in Atlantic City, so I thought I’d share what I learned:

Casinos Smell Bad.  No matter what kind of air purification system is in place, nothing gets rid of the smell of cigarette smoke.

Casinos Are Not Full of Beautiful Rich People. This is a James Bond Hollywood myth. There was no Sean Connery in a perfectly fitted tuxedo allowing a stunning woman in an evening gown to choose Roulette numbers for him. There were plenty of people dressed in sweatshirts and jeans. In fact, and I’m not just flattering myself, I was one of the youngest and most glam people around. Hey! Who just snorted coffee out her/his nose? I’ll have you know I did something with my hair and put on makeup and a cute jacket every day. (Shhhh, don’t tell Footwear Diva Jamie Pope this, but I alternately wore Skechers sneakers and a pair of those butt-toning shoes the whole time! Now, if she had let me borrow her gladiator sandals, I might have gotten a pedi and sacrificed comfort for style!).

Not One Single Sighting of The Donald. Or any other famous person, for that matter, except the poster for the drag show featuring guys dressed like Cher, Joan Rivers, Patti LaBelle and … Prince. Which seemed oxymoronish — a guy, dressed like Prince, in a female impersonator show. Or maybe more like a dude, playing a dude, disguised as another dude. I’m still trying to get my head around that one. And the show wasn’t even playing while we were there, so I guess I’ll never figure that one out.

Shrunken Heads Are Easier to Make Than You Might Think. One visit to the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum, and I feel pretty confident I could do it. All you need are some hot rocks, sand, and boiling water laced with plants containing tannins (tea or walnuts, perhaps?). Oh yes, and a head. Which, according to my son, “is the hard part.”

I Am Not Much Of A Gambler. I didn’t drop any money at all into the one-armed bandits the entire weekend. Is that a collective gasp I hear? Oh, I’ve got nothing against responsible gambling, and I planned to do some myself at some point. But Mr. Suze was at a conference most of the time, and my son was with me (and not quite old enough to be left to his own devices in a casino complex). Mom that I am, it just never happened.

However, on the last day, we’d grown weary of walking the celebrity-free Boardwalk. We still had a couple of hours to kill before we were scheduled to leave, so we followed about a thousand seniors into the Giant Bingo game and stood in the back, intending to watch for a while. Somebody always wins at Bingo (and we hadn’t seen a single person win a dime down on the casino floor), so there was guaranteed to be some excitement.

An adorable elderly man (Danny, whom I later learned had some vision deficiencies), approached my son and asked if he could come and play Bingo for his friend, who hadn’t shown up for the game. He didn’t want to let the extra cards go to waste, and the “authorities” apparently don’t let a person play two sets of cards at once. I gently explained that my son was not of age and could not play.

I had great fun losing with all my new friends!

Danny then asked if I would do the honors. My son assured me he would be fine in the back of the room, so I dutifully took my place at a table full of lively seniors who’d come in from Boston on a bus trip. I didn’t win, even though the sweet lady who sat next to me helped me watch my cards so I didn’t miss anything. They play some complicated games that I, with my grade school Bingo education, needed a bit of help with. Danny, perhaps overcome with grief at my not winning, did not stick around afterward, but my new friends allowed me to take their picture for the blog. When I offered to take down their e-mail addresses and send them links, my ladies shook their heads. “We don’t have e-mail, dear.” Maybe not, but they were having a great time on their adventure. And so did I.

How about you? Had any adventures lately? Have you taken a gamble on something?

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12 thoughts on “Adventures in Trumptown”

  1. Drat! Guess that means I have no chance of seeing Danny Ocean and company either. Did you try any of Crazy Susan’s cookies? They have a stand on the boardwalk. My family went to Mystic last Friday. You’ll have to stop by my blog tomorrow if you want to see pictures.

    1. Hmmm, I don’t recall a cookie stand. But some businesses were still closed for the winter. You can get all the hermit crabs, massages, and psychic readings you want, though!

  2. Oh Jane…. Sneakers!? LOL I was there in August when I heard someone screaming my name down the boardwalk. It was a kid from my school. Sigh I can never get away from them. And I only dropped ten dollars on the slot machines but we ate a lot of funnel cake and ice cream and gyros and we left the boardwalk to explore the malls in the nearby areas. I didn’t think I would enjoy myslef as much as I did but it was one of the best vacays I had in a long time.

    1. Dang! Who spilled the beans about my shoes??? That kid from your school, maybe :) I would definitely go back to AC, and next time I will leave the boardwalk/casino area!

  3. Sounds like a great family getaway, Suze! I guess my latest big adventure was my trip to Chicago for RT a couple of weeks ago, but you know all about that. I spent last weekend at a writers conference at the Mark Twain House in Hartford (not much of a getaway, but pretty grand all the same.) I learned a lot, met some interesting people, and was very pleasantly surprised that the literary world seemed to embrace not only the fact that I wrote YA romance (how could they not when being in the house of Samuel Clemens–author of such awesome YA classics as Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer), and that I was indie pubbed. In fact, Lewis Lapham, a savvy and knowlegeable elder who was the former editor of Harper’s magazine and now publisher of Lapham’s Quarterly (a compendium of literary history tomes) is considering self-publishing his back list!
    Woot! Indie publishing has arrived.

    1. Lewis Lapham — very literary! You were in good company. I would have liked to have attended the Mark Twain event. I’ll try for next year. And I’m kind of ashamed to say that I’ve never visited the MT house (or HB Stowe’s or Hawthorne’s or Melville’s or Edth Wharton’s, neither). Some day I want to put together a tour of New England author’s homes. You in?

  4. And here i was counting on you to hit it big, Suze….Hmm….a big gamble you ask. Well I agreed to 90K words to turn in on May 19—30K more to go. I’m betting I can do it…It’s just the when am I gonna do it I’m having to bet on.

    1. OK, Fearless Leader. We’re behind you all the way! May 19th party, anyone? I know a few people who are going to deserve one …

  5. They sure do smell bad, yuk. I don’t gamble, but I love to shop and I love to eat, and I love to people watch. Can you think of any better place to do all three of those? Well, I have fun with the one-armed bandits though. I make a sound investment by budgeting, and not a penny more, like maybe $20, the price of a breakfast/lunch/dinner. Have I ever won? Sure, won back the initial investment. It is playtime when you go there after all. Right?
    The shopping is amazing, choices abound and no sales tax. Of course I can buy clothes and shoes in New Jersey, where my kids live, w/o sales tax too, but Atlantic City is mega fun. Walking on the boardwalk, taking miles and miles and miles of photos. Eating at the Rain Forest Cafe and fine restaurants all over the place. We are going soon, staying at our fav Marriott Villas in NJ for some R&R. There is a breakfast place nearby that is the best ever. Thanks for this fun post.

    1. I had planned to spend only $20 too, but alas it didn’t happen. Gail, a huge new casino/hotel just opened up at the end of the boardwalk (the Taj Mahal/Showboat end), and the decor/architecture is absolutely jaw-dropping. If you get the chance next time you are there, stop in and take a look. It is very modern, but the common areas have kind of an updated 1960′s feel. It is the Revel. Here’s a link if you want to see some pictures, but honestly no pictures can do this place justice. http://www.revelresorts.com/resort

  6. I have never been to Atlantic City, but I would imagine you would see more famous people in the summer??? I saw Chris Rock in the casino at Mohegan Sun once. I usually set aside $20 to spend – and when it’s gone, it’s gone. I do not like to throw away money, and gambling in a casino is the worst. I hate the smell too … gag me! I do like to go to the shops and fancy restaurants, like Gail. Hmmm … gambling lately, ahhh scheduling a pitch appointment at Fiction Fest? I can see by your picture, you really were one of the youngest there! Glad you had a fun time.

    1. Yes, this is still the shoulder season so there was not a huge amount of activity. Maybe it was a blessing that I didn’t do any gambling — this way I can save up my luck for my pitching sessions at Fiction Fest! (Good luck to all of us, BTW!)

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