You saw the pics in my last blog entry. Lots of changes between 1985 and 2012 – and not just in our looks! I decided to think about all the other changes.
First a prequel story: Although the 1985 trip was Brad’s and my first trip to Atlantic City together, it was not my first visit there. Back several lifetimes ago, in 1959, I was there on my first honeymoon. No casinos yet, just the beach and the Boardwalk beckoning two so-young and so-poor but wide-eyed adventure-seeking Midwest lovers. (I had been dreaming of a romantic vacation there since my little-girl days of playing Monopoly!)
Okay, so much for really-long-time-ago nostalgia. In August, 1985, Brad and I drove from our home in Indianapolis to Atlantic City. We were still very new to casino gambling, with only 3 short trips to Las Vegas since our first one in March of 1984. We knew only a little about the comp game, mainly just from Westward Ho mailers generated by our play there. And our bankroll was microscopic. So after calling several casinos and finding their room prices were too high for our budget, we opted for a very cheap motel a block or so off the Boardwalk. We have always preferred fun over fancy – basic accommodations gave us 10 days of vacation instead of the 5 we could have afforded in more deluxe digs.
In 2012 we don’t have to make such choices. We can have fun and fancy both. We are comped into deluxe rooms, and often it is a big impressive suite. This trip was an invitation one, an event exclusively for Harrah’s Seven Stars. We can ask for extra free nights in addition to the basic offer, and we did this for this trip. Our host knew we needed time to adjust for the long cross-country flight and the jet lag from the 3-hour time change. The airfare was comped as were most of our meals so our expenses were minimal, mainly just tips.
So now our choices are made, not on financial constraints, but energy levels! Case in point, those rolling chairs on the Boardwalk – I had always looked on them with longing. How romantic it would be to hop in one and let someone push us up and down the bumpy boards while we gazed at the ocean waves on one side and the quirky shops on the other. But in 1985, and for the several trips we took there in later years, we chose to eschew that luxury so we could build our gambling bankroll. Besides we were walking 3-5 miles a day just for exercise anyway. This year there was no choice in the matter. If we wanted to go from our hotel, Bally’s, to the new Revel to pick up a joining bonus, way down on the other end of the Boardwalk, we would have to find something with wheels since our legs are fast giving up on both of us. Actually, it turned out to be a very frugal event even though we could have easily faded the now-it-seemed-reasonable price of the ride. Revel was giving Harrah’s Seven Star card holders $250 in free play and, as a nice surprise, we turned our $500 free play into $500 cash playing a $1 9/6 JoB VP machine. The rolling chair ride back to Bally’s was really romantic – Brad says free money always turns me on!
Stay tuned. I will continue with this report later this week. I am still in a catch-up mode after 2 out-of-town trips in 5 weeks and mailers filling our mailbox demanding to be put on our July calendar.