Atlantic city

Long weekend was coming cup and we were exploring economic options to go to Niagara. Though we did lot search and research we could not find a viable option within the reach. Then Greg offered to take us to Atlantic city which is supposed to be next only to Las Vegas when it comes to gambling.

On Thursday night, there was production issue due to which I was awake till 3:00 AM. Some how I managed to get up at 5:30 AM and get ready hurriedly. Including Greg there were 5 of us – Me, Naga Satish, Nagesh and Praveen. We were planning to start at 6:30 and Greg arrived sharply at 6:30 AM. Then we thought of having breakfast which took another 20 minutes and we hit the road. We were cruising at 65 MPH we went past Mormon temple which had tall towers and supposed to have beguile boy in gold. We went past Baltimore and traffic was ok so far. We had herd that there will be huge holiday traffic and there can big traffic jams.

While on the go roads in Ameerica, was the major topic of discussion. Greg answered all the questions patiently explaining whole of the interstate highway system in America. Praveen(called as officer by Naga Satish for the punctuality shown by Praveen )was the driving force behind discussions. Sometimes he sounded like a question bank which is waiting for the answers to be completed so that next question can be thrown. There was one question on cricket, Why Americans do not play cricket, the way he asked that question looked as if Greg was responsible for Americans not playing the cricket.

In between the discussions we realized that there was traffic jam. The topic turned to how to find a rest room when you are on highway. I guess the discussion was contagious and everybody wanted to “dew”. Greg took the car to shoulders, and without knowing that there is poison Ivy in the woods Naga Satish, Nagesh and Praveen ran to the woods to do the “dew”. Thankfully the traffic situation improved and we were cruising again. I took up my favorite job of navigator. Nagesh was busy watching a movie on the small screen in the car. Don’t know how he managed to watch the movie amidst all the discussions going on. He is movie crazy person who will any movie as long as it is called a movie.

We reached Atlantic city around 10:30 -11:00 AM. Our first job was to search for the parking and we found a self service parking close to the “Trump Plaza” which was supposed to be the one of the popular casino’s around. That was my first look at the casion’s and the slot machines. We tried to decode the logic behind playing. We pressed the help button and went through the instructions, but no body seemed to understand what needs to be done. Simplest had 3 columns of running numbers and you win when you have 7 in all columns. This had a minimum bet of 25 cents. We gave couple of tries using the quarters we had. There were a lot of people who were very busy gambling, without closing eye lids with a finger moving very frequently, every now then lips making some noise and very rarely people asking machines to read between the lines.

We managed to get an old lady who helped us to understand the slot machine. The game was simple we tell how much are we going to bet and on which row. Then we keep pressing the button and ask the machine to play. If we get 2 or more golden biscuits in a row we win and the machine credits us else it will deduct the bet amount. In the olden days you were supposed to pull a lever now all that you need to do is press a button with your finger. What more you can even ask it to repeat the bet and keep playing and just watch. It took nearly one hour to loose my $5 completely, not sure how many win but Nagesh managed to double his $5 and stop playing too. Greg and Naga Satish lost $20 each.

When we were done with the casino we came out the beach bar next to Trump Plaza. Praveen was in an American beach atmosphere for the first r time and one could make that out from his blushing face. For some time there was silence and no questions were coming out of Praveen’s mouth. Then he spoke to Greg, thanked him profusely and said he had gone to Goa to see this and did not see anything. Not sure which beaches he visited though as Goa is one of the most sought after beach destinations.

After some refreshments we set off to find a pure vegetarian Indian restaurant. Though we could easily manage with a cheese pizza, other vegetarians were not even ready to take the cheese. We could not a find any Indian restaurant on the board walk. So we got into a restaurant complex inside the casino. First restaurant we went in, we were told that it was only for the premium members. Then we found an Asian restaurant but the options were pricey and finally we settled for a fruit basket!

All along the board walk we saw what are called the rolling chairs. This is nothing but glorified version of hand pulled rickshaw in Calcutta which is going to be banned soon. There is a chair which enough for 2 persons to sit on human being pushes the chair from behind. The pricing was based on the distance covered in terms of blocks. I guess a rolling chair guy makes 10 times more than rickshaw guy for 10 times lesser distance. But of course they live in areas with different cost of leaving.

Guys were already feeling sleepy and we got back to the parking lot and were next destination was Ocean city. I managed small nap as well before we reached the ocean city. Ocean city board walk is much longer compared to Atlantic city board walk. Here there are amusement parks with roller coasters etc. Nagesh took a roller coaster ride along with some blonde girl who could not get a seat with her friend and Praveen repented the missed opportunity.

In the mean time I, Naga Satish and Greg were busy with food and cheating. Greg managed to feed the sea gulls and I tried my level best to capture photograph of a sea gull catching French fry on the fly! Then I and Naga Satish took a long stroll along the beach, the beach was full of eateries. There was a pizza place and then there was French fries shop, one ice cream shop and one gift shop. The sequence repeated for miles and miles. All the shops were managed by the kids and teens. Later on I came to know that children love to be at the beach during summer. So these places provide means of paying for the beach stay! That sounded cool I never had such a long beach vacation when that old. My first beach vacation was in 1999(I was 20) at Goa and we stayed there for 4-5 days and that was memorable one.

As the sun was setting we started back home. By the time we hit the highway I was fast asleep. In between we stopped for some tea and dough nuts. By the time we reached Rockville except for Greg( Of course he was driving all along) and Praveen everybody had slept and there was snoring concert I believe. Don’t how many more questions Greg had to answer on the way back.

atlantic city