Thanks to all that answered my questions, I found your advice invaluable. As always I like to post a trip report to help others. You’ll find that my reports seem to be heavily weighted with restaurant/food and wine comments as that’s what we love to do—so if it’s gambling you’re interested in…you might want to skip this report.
We arrived in Atlantic City on Tuesday, December 21 around 5:30 after a fairly easy drive –little traffic—from Connecticut. (We took a short detour to the Renault Vineyard in Egg Harbor where we enjoyed a short wine tasting. They have the most interesting tasting rooms, almost like you are down in the wine cellar).
The check-in at the Wyndham Skylines Tower went very smoothly and we were able to upgrade to a 1-bedroom deluxe and in less than 10 minutes we had our luggage delivered to our room. We were very pleased with our room (a few things I would change, but I’ll post those in a hotel review). The room was clean and spacious, and the view from the 29th floor was nice, overlooking the Absecon Lighthouse--especially with the beautiful full moon in the sky. The kitchen was very well stocked with what appeared to be brand new items—I could not think of one thing it was missing. The king size bed was very comfortable—and our daughter and son-in-law had no complaints about the upgraded mattress on the queen fold-out couch.
After unpacking we headed out to the Atlantic Bar & Grill for a pretty decent meal. Great Calamari appetizer; Shrimp scampi, Grilled Salmon in a Basilicato sauce, spicy crab pizza were all very good. The lobster ravioli was the only real disappointment- dry and tasteless.
We decided to make it an early night and settled into our room to watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. (I brought along a couple of “holiday classics” knowing that a DVD player was in the room. There are also DVDs for a $4 rental fee in the Activity Area on the 6th floor.) I took advantage of the in-the-bedroom Jacuzzi—very relaxing, but what genius decided that an exhaust fan wasn’t necessary? The bedroom quickly looked like a tropical sauna with steam on the windows and mirrors.
On Wednesday after preparing a full breakfast in our room, we walked the Boardwalk down to the Garden Pier. (There has *got to be a story here about that pier, it looks like something out of an Apocalyptic movie) and as far as Caesar’s Palace. It was pretty quiet on the boardwalk--the rolling chair operators outnumbered the people walking. We caught the lighted fountain display at the Pier Shops –very nice—not quite Vegas caliber—but very nice indeed. We then headed back to the room to heat up our leftovers from the previous night, and for the guys to rest their feet and watch a little of the sports channel. Daughter and I walked to the RiteAid Drug store about a block and a half for a few things we forgot to pack.
We headed back out –stopped at the Trinity Pub for a drink (and a chips & blue cheese dressing appetizer-free with a coupon I printed on-line) then continued onto the Tropicana to take advantage of the PrimeBites ($4.50 little bites) offered between 5-7. Fried oysters & crab cakes (2 orders each), lobster sliders, steakburger sliders and a meat & cheese platter were devoured by the 4 of us. With 4 wines and a specialty drink, $85 for dinner seemed like a pretty good price.
Then it was time for a little gambling (husband is really not a gambler, daughter likes to play a bit at the slots, but son-in-law and I like the blackjack tables. We loved the “Bust it” twist on the game at Trump Taj Mahal where you can bet that the dealer will break in 3 cards. Sil made most of his winnings that way. After quickly getting frustrated at the slots swallowing daughter’s money, she and her father tried their hand at Sic bo (a game we were told is exclusive to the Trump casinos). They managed to play a long time on their initial ante, son-in-law and I did very well indeed at BJ until we started to see the cards turn. We headed back to our room, not so late that we couldn’t watch another Christmas classic, “Planes, Trains & Automobiles”--so it was a very good night indeed.
Thursday morning we went back to Trump…lost some of our winnings (not all—so we came out ahead all-in-all) then headed to the Tomasello Winery (an ‘odd’ tasting room in that the bottles were crowded on the bar and no room to set your tasting glass down—Well that, and the strong sun coming in through the window, so bright and glaring that we had to wear our sunglasses inside.) and Plagido Winery in Hammonton and Bellview Winery in Landisville for some wine tasting. (The New Jersey Devil Red is quite delicious and a real bargain at $9.99 a bottle) Then off to Smithville to see the lighted trees on the lake. Very nice light display, but unfortunately we were FREEEEEZING, the wind was blowing and very few were outside watching it. The Smithville Inn was booked solid with lots of holiday family get-togethers. We ended up driving back to AC and stopped at Dock’s Oyster House- with handy right-next-door-parking. We shared a Raw Oyster Sampler and Oyster Rockefeller for appetizers. The Diver Scallop and the Wasabi Encrusted Tuna specials were to die for. The flounder special and the crab-topped fluke was very good as well. After a wonderful day of wine and food it was time to head back to the room and pack for our early morning departure.
Because it was Christmas Eve day, we thought it best to get an early start. At 6am we called down for a bellman and our car—they proved quite efficient - we were on the road at 6:15am sharp for an easy ride back to Connecticut.
Again thanks to all who answered my questions and to those that posted their questions. I will definitely plan another visit to AC…but most likely in one of the better-weather-months. :-)