Saturday, August 25, 2012

Atlantic City Adventures

Exit for fun!
For the past two years, Heather has been bugging Brett to take a road trip to the Jersey Shore.  Yes, we watch the MTV show like a train wreck that hit livestock.  It is glorious, mindless entertainment.  And it's also in our backyard.  Seaside Heights, where the show is filmed, is only about four hours south of us.  With babysitters Grandpa Mr. Ed & Mimi in tow, we loaded up Colt and hit the road.

Our plan was to hit the Shore the weekend before Labor Day in order to avoid costly hotels and parking.  We saved big by avoiding the holiday rush and decided to park it in Atlantic City West.  Brett nabbed us a great hotel on Priceline just minutes from the casinos of Atlantic City.  Most of the rooms we looked at were booked in Seaside and we're sort of passed the clubbing at Karma days anyway. Oh, well.

Traffic & bottle stops pushed our drive back to around five hours so by the time we got to the AC, things were in full force.  Grandpa Mr. Ed opted to stay at the hotel with Colt and the rest of us went exploring.  There were plenty of bright lights and boardwalk to go around!

Unfortunately, we don't have any photos to show you just how exciting the boardwalk & casinos in Atlantic City are at night.  But if you're fans of Jersey Shore, then you might understand this analogy:  the girls we saw out on the town made Snooki & Jwow look as though they borrow their club clothes from Mother Theresa.  There were lots of heinys hanging out of the shortest skirts/dressed you've ever seen!  Plus everyone was about three sheets to the wind.

Things were a little different the next morning (aren't they always?) when the sun was up and the birds were chirping.  Atlantic City was quiet charming!

Did you know that the properties and streets used in the board game Monopoly are named after locations in Atlantic City? Yup, true story.

The city also has a Tanger Outlet Mall (just like in Branson for all our MO folks) with plenty of shops full of bargains.  A block past the stores is a row of casinos that stretch alongside the boardwalk.  We had to have a couple of photos snapped at Caesars.

The Atlantic City Boardwalk is probably the most famous walkway on the East Coast.  Originally built to help keep the sand out of the hotels, it was constructed in 1870.  The famed Boardwalk only cost about $5,000 to build and was pieced in 10 feet wide in sections of 12 feet.  No commerce of any kind was allowed within thirty feet of the walk, and at the end of each summer season for many years, the Boardwalk was actually taken apart and stored for the winter months.

Stores started popping up on the Boardwalk in 1883 after the AC city council commissioned a new one built to replace the wear and tear of the previous one.  An 1889 hurricane brought about a new, improved and nearly final Boardwalk. It was all about bigger and better:  24-feet wide, 10 feet high, nearly 4 miles long and railings on both sides.  1916 finally saw the design of the present herringbone board pattern, supportive steel pilings, and forty-foot steel beams, making it the Boardwalk it is today.

In 1921, Atlantic City and it's Boardwalk were home to the very first Miss America beauty pageant.  But it wasn't until 1978 before all bets were off and casino gaming emerged on the AC scene.  These days, you'll find 13 casinos in Atlantic City and another one expected to open in 2014.  It's arguable that the Jersey Shore coastline wouldn't be what it is without the nearly six miles of Boardwalk in Atlantic City.  

We really enjoyed the sights, sounds and smells of the Boardwalk!  There was so much to see and do there, it felt like we really didn't have enough time to soak it all in.  Guess that's a good reason to go back again!