So in the last chapter, we left you on a bus to Atlantic City. We met at a Sonoco station in downtown Philadelphia and joined a charter bus full of inebriated ivy leaguers.
Plus your humble author. The closest I ever came to ivy league was when Mosley and I snuck into a Harvard dorm to use the bathroom.
Anyway, back to the bus ride. As told before, Lisa and I sat across the aisle from another couple Eric and Danielle, who had shared drinks with us. I reciprocated by offering Eric a bottle of Bell’s two-hearted ale I had brought. As a side note, Bell’s two-hearted ale is a relatively new brew out of Michigan that is all the rage among the cool kids in Iowa City. In Iowa, a 6-pack of Bell’s costs anywhere from $7.99 to $9.99. In Philadelphia, a 6-pack costs $15.95. I am still flabbergasted.
But enough about the bus ride and the astronomical cost of beer. You want to hear about Atlantic City.
Those who had been to Atlantic City kept asking me if I had been to Las Vegas, because apparently the AC is essentially a miniature version of the City of Sin. I have been to Las Vegas, only it was when Grandpa Joe and I were road tripping from San Diego. We stopped in Vegas for brunch, so I don’t think that really counts.
Driving into AC, the nighttime skyline was astounding. The buildings were alight from foundation to peak. Trump Plaza had letters at least 100 feet high, and the Bally’s hotel was a 100-story flashing billboard. We were spending out evening at the Borgata.
The Borgata was a lot like Riverside Casino, only a lot more expansive and expensive. It was dinnertime when we got there, and there were 12 restaurants to choose from. The group scattered this way and that, and Lisa and I followed the largest group. The wait was two hours at the first restaurant, so we kept moving down the line til we came to Wolfgang Puck. There was a wait, but someone among our group talked them into opening up the private room. That’s what you get when you are hanging out with the future leaders of the free world.
At the dinner table, I had a chance to get to know Lisa’s cohorts a little better. I must not have been speaking clearly, because nobody seemed to get my name right.
“Nick,” I would say.
It always confounds me when people don’t get my name right. Seriously, how many people do you know named Vick or Mick, vs. the Nicks of the world? Right?
Of course, it is not like I was getting anybody’s names right all night. The organizer of the group was a nice gal named Reham. After meeting her, I turned to Lisa and asked, “Is her name Abraham?” Then there was Carmel, who I kept calling Carmela, and there was Kriti, who became Priti. And then there was Sirisha, whose name I didn’t even pretend to get right.
So they could call me Vick if they wanted to.
During dinner, the conversation turned to gambling. These guys at the table are future stockbrokers and investment analysts, and let me tell you, they know gambling.
I, on the other hand, am not a gambler. As I like to say, which I said many times Friday night after my second Maker’s Mark, is that when I go to a casino, I might as well hand them my $60 at the door and just walk away.
But the guys at the table almost had me convinced to put my last paycheck on the line and hit the tables at the Borgata. That was until we started talking about dollar amounts.
Lisa has never gambled, so I tried to explain to her how to play blackjack. Not having much luck, I said, “We’ll find a $5 table and I will teach you.”
That comment drew scoffs from around the table. As the gentleman sitting to my left explained, I would be lucky to find a $25 table. Then he tried to convince me to join a Texas hold-em table with them for a $200 buy-in.
That’s when I folded. Being unemployed, there is now way I have $200 in discretionary funds.
So instead, Lisa and I walked between the black jack tables and the roulette tables, watching her friends have fun, and me trying to teach her what little I know.
When it was time to hit the club, we were the first in line. In the basement of the Borgata is a night club called mur.mur. I’m not one for clubbing, but I really enjoyed myself. It was either $8 for domestic beer or $10 for the good whiskey, so you can probably imagine which one I chose.
Lisa’s cohorts were all about getting down and having a good time, so that is what we did.
There was a 1:30 am bus and a 3:30 am bus back to Philadelphia. By 1:15, Lisa and I were headed to the door in order to get on the early bus. Surprisingly, a lot of other people did as well. Once again, we sat up in front, in the “couples section.” I was still a little wired from my big night out, so began telling camping stories to whoever was in earshot.
Pretty soon Lisa told me that no one cares and I should be quiet.
Surprisingly, she was right. Nobody asked any follow up questions once I turned around and sat in my seat quietly. Well relatively quiet. I kept trying to play the new Cee Lo Green song on my cell phone and once again, Lisa had to tell me to hush.
So that was our night in Atlantic City. Would I go back? No voluntarily, but if there is another group outing to the AC, or somebody wants to go for a bachelor party, I would have no qualms.
Read Part I of my trip to Atlantic City here.