Taking a Break…

Well, I am 50 now;)  Celebrated at Applebee’s on Saturday the 4th; my b-day is the 5th.  There were 18 of us in 3 booths – lots of chatting & laughter, half-price appetizers & yummy drinks.  I had a “mucho” red apple sangria, then a berry sangria.  MMMMM!!!!  Some of us went over to The Milmont Inn (The Mont – a neighborhood corner bar) afterward…Hubby & I didn’t stay there too late.  It was very crowded.

How does it feel to be 50?  I think that is sounds strange when you say that it is HALF A CENTURY.  WOW!  But, it is just a number, and, right now, does not FEEL like anything…I am still busy with my life – and raising kids!  My baby is only 6 years old, so the idea of an “Empty Nest” is not in the near future…That’s fine with me.  Sure, I am OLD to my kids…that’s normal.  At this point, 30 is still OLD to them!  (And very young to me!!!)

So, my dear hubby took 10 days off from his f/t job for a “Winter Break.”  He deserves it.  So, I figured that some time together, as well as some family time, was a good idea.  I did not sign up for any shifts after I worked on my birthday, 3/11pm.  Hey, I don’t like football, so missing the Super Bowl does not upset me, and I can catch up with all the commercials later.    I did get a few calls (for both my p/t positions) – but I held up and said “No.”  (Never an easy task for me – I always end up saying “Yes.”)  Except I would have worked on Wednesday, but no one needed me for that day…and I added today’s shift (7a/3p) because it means that we can still all be home for dinner and get ready for the school week.

So, what have we done?  Well, not too much…but that’s good for us;)  “R&R” as they say…We could have focused on the house & put a big dent in the “TO DO LIST” – but we did not.  We did all the basics – take care of the kids, the meals, the everyday stuff (laundry & dishes & straightening up).  We caught up on some TV – learning about “Viggle” from Action News.  (I cannot “Viggle” – I do not have an i-phone.)

We went to Harrah’s Casino (Chester) with family members.  We gambled a bit, had lunch, gambled a bit more, & got home as the kids got in from school.

The hubby & I headed to Atlantic City on Thursday afternoon – to Harrah’s.  I had received a “Complimentary Night” for signing up at the casino in Chester, so we decided to use it.  Our “older kids” would take care of the younger ones, and it was easier since it was the end of the school week.  (Comp Nights could only be booked Sun-Th nights.)  We have never, ever done this…if we go away, it is with the kids or for an occasion, never to just “Get out of Dodge” for an escape.  In fact, the hubby was waiting for me to back out…and he told my one son that he would go without me!

We were lucky and had two beautiful February days – sunny and in the 50s, although it did get cooler and cloudier as we headed home on Friday afternoon.  We packed LIGHTLY – as in one bag for both of us.  And I took my crocheting along.  We were teasing at home with our one son…saying that we would not be leaving our room, so we only packed underwear.  Chuckle:)  We SHOULD have packed water bottles and snacks…will do that next time.  I did “smuggle” in a small bottle of wine (the casinos do not encourage BYOB) & John paid the high prices at the vending machine for a few munchies.  It was $13.00 for “Room Tax” and $5.00 for parking.  If we wanted to “upgrade” our room (we were given the “Harbor View”), it would have been either $30.00 or $60.00.  No, thanks anyway.

We checked in and relaxed for “Happy Hour” in our room #1232.  Note:  they do not provide many TV channels at all…guess they want you to be gambling, right?  Ordering movies was expensive – to us, but I guess cheaper than actually going to the theater.  Still not interested.  Yes, I took pictures of the room, including the bathroom.  It’s a habit of mine – mainly because it’s a novelty for us.  The kids tease me for it.  I think I would still do it – even if we went to hotels all the time.  You can look back later & remember your stay.

No kids.  No schedule.  No obligations.  We were two adults.  Two adults with time on our hands.  WOW!!!  The hubby and I were not too sure how to handle this.

Dinner…decided to stay at Harrah’s and have a break from driving.  EXPENSIVE.  VERY.  There is a buffet, but I did not feel like a buffet.  Walked around…saw THE POOL…looked very nice.  Did not pack our suits.  Next time.  (Maybe 3 or 4 people in the pool…everyone else was either sleeping in the lounge chairs or talking amongst themselves.)

Bill’s Bar & Burgers…or Bill’s Burgers & Bar…either way, it was Bill’s.  More our speed, but still high-priced.  No platters.  Just burgers.  Anything else was extra.  GEEZ!  Wouldn’t ya think they could throw in a lousy bag of chips for an $8.00 burger?  Or a stupid pickle slice? NO WAY!!!  So, we ordered sweet potato fries (I missed the cranberry dip that The Coffee Station puts with theirs) and onion rings.  I had water; the hubby had a diet soda.  Drinks…what a joke!  There were SHOTS  (yes, SHOTS) that cost $10.00.  WHAT?

So, we played the slots for awhile…we tend to look for the penny machines, and the “progressive” ones, too…definitely not big gamblers, are we?  But you have to be careful – there can be “minimum bets” involved, especially on “New Games.”  You have to bet 30 or 40 cents…what?  Anyway, I did manage to win $20.00 on a penny machine, which put us at “even” for the amount that we both put into gambling.  Not bad.

Choosing a snack to take back to the room was a challenge…the cappuccino place was expensive (WAWA & Swiss Farms taste much better), and even though I was REALLY CRAVING something SWEET, nothing appealed to me – and were even LESS appealing when I saw the prices!  We ended up at The Pretzel Factory (in a small corner called AT THE SHORE) and bought a small box of “rivets” and 2 sweet dips.  My wine made me happy;) 

Not even sure of the TV shows that we watched…we did see Carol Burnett on Conan…she is one of my faves! (And Conan’s, too.)

The hubby teases me – I HATE the DARK hotel rooms…where’s the night light?  (Keep one of the bathroom lights on!)  Funny thing – we did not set an alarm – YET…we both woke up at 6:30am – school routine!  Roll over…back to sleep…zzzzzz…

Coffee…pack up (that was easy & quick!)…check out…

OH!  Wait!!!  You can tell that we do not travel much…were amazed at the BEST BUY EXPRESS vending machine on the hotel main floor…need an i-phone, DSi, Kindle, or other elctronic gadget?  Sure, in a vending machine!  WOW!  (OK – YES – I took a picture to show the kids!)

Headed over to the boardwalk…struck by the contrast in AC…it’s either all glitz & glamour (the casinos) or stark reality: soup kitchens, homeless people, churches, small businesses obviously struggling to keep afloat in the area, houses falling apart.

We parked at The Showboat’s outdoor parking area and walked up to the beach…which is small.  The water’s edge was blocked by the sand mountains at the edge of the boardwalk…protecting the boardwalk from storms, I would guess.  So, we walked up and looked out…waters looked pretty and calm – waves were small.  Happy to smell the ocean and see the sea gulls:)  Surprised by the stray cats living under the boardwalk…all colors and all sizes.  They were not scared of people.  Some slept.  Others just sat and looked.

Trump Taj Mahal…so gaudy and outdated.  Donald, time to redecorate and renovate.  But, we went inside and signed up at the guest services desk.  The Trump is not as friendly and generous as Harrah’s.  You have to gamble before you get your “freebies.”  Well, these two gamblers did not fall for that gimmick – once we learned our lesson.  We went over to the penny slots and spent about an hour – got a free coffee and orange juice.  Checked our progress…only a quarter of the way to the “freebies.”  ($50.00 slot money and $25.00 food money)  Goodbye, Donald…that would have been three more hours and how much money?  REALLY?  We’ll check the other casinos and their reward programs another time.  PLUS, the Taj was so old and dark inside – it needed LIGHT!!!

Walked through The Showboat to head out to the parking lot.  Looked nice.  But I was casinoed out; gambled out.  Time to eat.  And not pay an arm and a leg for it.

So, we headed out of town and took an exit when we saw the sign for The Golden Corral.  I had never been to one, but John and the boys were, and liked the place.  It was worth it.  Lots of good, homemade food…including carrot cake for dessert.  Entered an anniversary sweepstakes to win meals for a year.  I’m there!

Gassed up the van at WAWA (ahhhhhhh…WAWA!!!) – had to remember NOT to get out of the vehicle to pump the gas – LOVE you for that, NEW JERSEY!!!  I bought a 20 oz. coffee for the ride home.

HOME…the kids survived.  The pets survived.  No fire or police calls for our house.  Same old, same old…I picked up shoes, school bags, cups, and trash as I walked through the house, with Ben trying his best to jump up on me for a kiss.  Did they all miss us?  Well, maybe…maybe just a little bit…Did we miss them?  YES…but in a good way…we enjoyed the time away…the time with each other:)

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About crazy8mommaagain

Homemaker w/ 2 part-time positions outside of the home. Married over 25 years to the same guy:) Happy & proud parents - 8 children, ages 24 to 5. 7 sons, 1 daughter Like to be positive:) Enjoy crocheting. LOVE the beach!!!
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