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4th of July weekend in AC July 1-3

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Trip Reports' started by hammie, Jul 4, 2016.

  1. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    My wife and I desperately needed a weekend getaway and we love the Jersey Shore in the summer, so we made plans to hit AC. With CET we are both gold, so I have a greater chance that the jack of diamonds will spit cider in my ear than getting a comp on a holiday weekend. Rates were typically obscene and we didn't want to stay offshore in Absecon or Pleasantville.

    We have stayed at the Wyndham Skyline Tower several times, so I sent an email to a guy I've used in the past and asked if there was availability for my dates. He booked us into a 1 BR unit at the Wyndham for two nights.

    My wife was able to take off Friday, so we made our way downtheshore. The plan was to hit the beach for a little sun, but there was a misty fog that didn't want to burn off, so that idea was scrapped. What's the next obvious thing to do when it's not a beach day? Find a beach bar! But we wanted to claim some free play and my wife played some Cashman.

    We made our way over to Bally's beach bar and had a couple of beers while the sun proceeded to burn off that fog. Lydia was our bartender and took great care of us, made sure we knew about the specials of the day. There was a DJ then later a band came on.

    image.jpeg

    A combination of the sun, the heat, and some day drinking made it a good time to leave Bally's Beach Bar. We had parked at Bally's and generated enough points to earn a free parking voucher, I think it was $20 otherwise. I would never pay $20 for parking but running $60 through the slots to get a voucher makes perfect sense.

    Check in at the Wyndham Skyline Tower was easy, they only offer valet parking, it's $10 per day but it's always well staffed and fast. We ended up in 1 BR 1 BA unit on the 21st floor with a king, but no jetted tub (when we came down here previously with our daughters, our room had a jetted tub, but when it's just the two of us, no tub!......No Fair!).

    We made our way over to Gardner's Basin and had dinner at the Back Bay Ale House. It's a tiny place that must have been an old house turned into a tavern. It was packed and they offer seating outside, on the front porch, we sat at a high top in the bar area because there was a slight drizzle. A burger for me and my wife had a salmon dish that was awesome. This place has a great happy hour and feature drinks in mason jars, either 16 or 32 oz., but I stayed with beer as I was driving.


    image.jpeg

    Made our way back to Wyndham and walked about 150 yards to Resorts. My wife went off to play slots and I found a $10 BJ table with a progressive jackpot feature and a match the dealer side bet. I buy in for a hundy, but play was a little choppy up and down. A $5 side bet on the progressive feature would yield a $105,000 payout if both player and dealer are dealt an Ace and King of Spades. Getting dealt a BJ would earn $10. If both player and dealer are dealt BJ (any suit) the $5 side bet pays $250. Just my luck, I was dealt BJ twice and pushed within the span of 10 hands (I didn't make the side bet). The dealer said that she has never seen a player push two BJ hands before in such a short time span. Well, there's a first time for everything. Ended up losing my buy in and decided to call it a night.

    image.jpeg
    a panoramic night photo from Wyndham

    Got up Saturday morning and walked over to Perry's for breakfast. This place is no frills and is next to Howard Johnsons. Great breakfast potatoes and big sausage links. Waddled out of there and grabbed the car out of valet to drive to our favorite beach about 2 miles south. Picked up a Wawa hoagie for lunch which we split. Almost a perfect beach day except for the wind, which tossed a few umbrellas. It was a land breeze, so there were a few green head flies and the water was a little chilly for swimming.

    image.jpeg
    panoramic photo of the AC beach, wind from the west at about 20 mph and 80 degrees.

    Left the beach and headed back to the Wyndham for a cocktail on the balcony and nappy time brought on by beers under the umbrella, a 4 mile walk, and the sun. Decided we would stay close to our home base, so we decided to hit the Landshark bar at Resorts for dinner. We lucked out and found two seats at the bar, so we decided to skip the table and eat at the bar. My bride had the burger, I had the fish tacos and a couple vitamin Y's.......Yuengling Lager. The tacos were decent, but would have been great with a side of rice and beans instead of a handful of chips.

    image.jpeg

    The boardwalk was absolutely packed on Saturday night, but we crossed the boardwalk and went straight to Resorts. I heard a lot of great things about this Chinese themed "88" slot machine, but I ran $40 through it and barely received any wins. My wife wanted to play in some Scarlett Lady slot, so I found a Super Times Pay nickel slot. Drink service was pretty decent and I had a couple of Black Russians while my hundo was getting chipped away. I found a newer Double STP machine towards the front of Resorts and proceeded to get the following flush, this one defines the saying "almost doesn't count except in Horseshoes and hand grenades"

    image.jpeg

    I drowned my sorrows in another Black Russian and tried to find my wife, but I saw this horse racing game which reminded me of Sigma Derby. My horse racing handicapping didn't improve from my sad Belmont picks. I slipped $5 and bet three races, I picked a pony and put $.50 across the board. Each pick came in 5th out of 6.
    image.jpeg

    I eventually met up with my wife and we called it a night and we walked back to the Wyndham. Unfortunately, check out is 10:00 am sharp and there is no way to extend as this is a time share resort. So after a quick coffee, we packed up and made our way back to Gardner's Basin and breakfast at Gilchrist's. There was a wait of about 30 minutes, this place was packed and it serves breakfast and lunch only. Lots of families at this place, didn't see any hung over party hounds. Get the Blueberry pancakes, especially in the next few weeks as the Jersey crop is harvested.

    In the Gardner's Basin area there is an outdoor bar with some covered and open seating along the inlet. There is a food truck and another take out trailer, I guess you grab beers at the bar and food from the truck and enjoy the views of Borgata, Golden Nugget and Harrah's.

    image.jpeg

    image.jpeg

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    Clamming boat, or Scallops?


    image.jpeg

    Steel Pier Diving Bell Attraction from years ago

    Well it was close to noon, it wasn't a beach day, too cold and overcast. So this is when I get my cranky pants on. I just hate to leave the shore and head back home so early in the day, but I didn't want another round of day drinking and we couldn't spend another night away from home, so it's back on the Northbound AC Expressway watching all the happy folks in the Southbound lane heading downtheshore. :cry::cry:

    Random Trip Notes:

    Strike at Taj Mahal was in full force, I have read that dealers are still on the job, but some have been pressed into cocktail service. Managers are cleaning rooms and carrying bags. Hope this gets resolved soon.

    We really enjoyed Bally's Beach Bar, I could spend the day here listening to the band and having beers.

    Resorts seemed to have a good crowd, although there were several $10 BJ tables on Friday, on Saturday it was $15 minimum. BJ pays 3:2.

    Bally's Wild Wild West casino had $5 craps and BJ tables open on Friday afternoon.

    The beach in AC was great, but like everything else, it's usually the minority of slobs who are not potty trained and wreck it for the rest of us. How hard is it to pick up after yourself? There are several trash cans at all of the beach exits.

    We don't own a time share, but this is one place that would consider buying into in the secondary market. There is mild pressure to attend a sales demonstration, I just politely decline. This was our 4th stay here and we have never been disappointed. I purchased my first stay on eBay, but now I just deal directly with the reseller. As soon as I pay his PayPal invoice, I confirm the reservation with the property. Rates vary dpending on the time of year, the number of nights and size of the unit.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
  2. MicheleZee

    MicheleZee Tourist

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    Hammie, I really enjoyed your report. We live in CT and try to get to AC at least once a month during the summer. Thanks for all the great detail - thanks to you, we now have some new breakfast and bar options to try!! Believe it or not, in all our trips to AC, we have yet to go to Gardeners Basin! On your next trip, try happy hour at the AC Bar & Grill and breakfast at Shea's in Absecon. Two of our favorites!!
     
  3. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Nice report! And soooo close to that 14X Royal! :( In the future though, I would try to avoid 6/5 Jacks (95.48%) as it's actually the worst game you can find on a Double STP machine! :( The times I have seen it, sometimes 6/5 Bonus (97.36%) is also available, so 6/5 Jacks would be a redundant game in that case.
     
  4. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    In my best Elvis voice.....thank you very much! I just checked out Shea's on Yelp, that place looks awesome, thanks for the tip. A couple miles past Shea's is the Oyster Creek Inn, right on the water and great seafood and sushi. Have tried the AC Bar and Grill, but not for happy hour, will need to check it out. I have been wanting to try the Pic-A-Lilli Pub, but didn't make it. It looks like a total dive bar, but with great wings. One of the things I like about AC is that many bars and restaurants have happy hours.

    We have stayed in several hotels in Absecon when weekend rates are high. Our fave is the Clarion, very clean and a hands on manager. The Country Inn and Suites by Carlson is also great, each room has a hot tub :whistle: but the location is just off the Parkway, so a little further out. The Red Roof Inn is actually a former Marriott Fairfield and is pretty decent and one of the closest hotels along the White Horse Pike to the Marina District in AC. Its tough to score a comp on a Saturday night in the summer, so we compromise by staying in Absecon or Pleasantville. Or, I will roll the dice and use Priceline to book my stay.

    Thanks Tring, I didn't realize how poor the pay table was on that machine. I was playing DDB on that machine for awhile and it seemed that I was not hitting anything, I guess that's whats called variance. I switched over to JOB and after about 20 hands I got the 14x. Bally's beach bar had Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA on tap, I know you're a big fan. :beer:. At the Back Bay Ale House, I had a Cranberry Shandy from Cape May Brewing Co., it was a little sour for my tastes, but a good summer brew.
     
  5. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

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    Thanks for the report and pics, hammie! I've never been to AC, but would like to visit at least once. I learned a lot from your TR.
    RICHARD
     
  6. bshowell

    bshowell VIP Whale

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    I miss getting to AC in the summer. Best I can do w/schedules is go annually for Thanksgiving. Great TR!
     
  7. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

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    Great trip report. I too was in AC this past weekend. It's not Vegas but AC IMO is special too. NOTHING like waking up in the am to the sound of some bold NJ seagulls (LOL), looking out at the ocean, walking along the ocean and hearing the waves crash while having a cup of really good hot coffee and then going to gamble. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE AC in the summertime. :)
     
  8. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    Richard, The early part of September is fantastic, the weather is still decent, the water is warm enough to bathe, waves are still rolling in so you can body surf. Prices moderate, the crowds dissipate, overall it's great.

    Boardwalk Hall (the Original convention center) has the worlds largest pipe organ, so it's got that going for it. :headbang:
    http://www.atlanticcityweekly.com/news_and_views/features/the-mighty-restoration-process-of-the-world-s-largest-pipe/article_1aeb622a-e37b-11e4-8ffe-834255927a82.html

    Flowers, bshowell, thanks! Here is a recent photo looking downbeach from the "Playground" pier that is across from Caesars. So when it's cold outside in November, grab a coffee and relax in one of the Adirondack chairs along the side of the pier. The sun in the afternoon feels great in cooler weather. image.jpeg

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    Photo from a previous stay at the Wyndham Skyline Tower, looks like it was Dark and Stormy that day.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016
  9. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

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    Thank you! I'll have to give AC a try in the near future!
     
  10. cmani

    cmani Tourist

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    Thanks for the report. We'll be in AC in a few days and heading to Gardner's Basin for lunch and the dolphin cruise. Still can't decide between Gilchrist or Back Bay!
     
  11. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    The third option is Scales Grill and Deck Bar, the blue sea containers in the photo above were converted into two bars. Scales has several craft beers on tap and food is provided from a truck, they have a Facebook page. There are many tables with umbrellas right up to the bulkhead with nice views.

    Maybe make it a game day decision, all three places have outdoor seating. If it's too hot and the sun is on high, Gilchrist's has a large awning, the other places have umbrellas and uncovered tables. Gilchrist's and BBAH have indoor seating. If you want a libation then Gilchrist's Is out.

    If you happen to be near the Golden Nugget on Tuesday afternoon, check out The Deck which is an awesome outdoor bar. On Tuesdays at 4:00 pm, Jerry Blavat, an icon of Philly radio and the guy who started an afternoon TV show that evolved into American Bandstand, will be spinning hot stacks of wax. Jerry Blavat has an encyclopedic knowledge of music from the 50's and 60's.
     
  12. cmani

    cmani Tourist

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    Thanks for the good info! I'm a huge music fan, so I might have to check Jerry out!
     
  13. lithium78

    lithium78 High-Roller

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    Great trip report. AC is a ton of fun.
     
  14. Dundey

    Dundey Tourist

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    Great report - thanks!

    Have not been to AC in awhile and am curious about the sigma derby like game you mention and have a picture of. Never saw this before in AC or Vegas, so I assume its new? What did you think of it? Any other casinos have them? I'm a huge fan of the old sigma derbys and always play at MGM and The D when in Vegas.
     
  15. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    Hi Dundy, to the best of my knowledge, Resorts is the only place in AC that has Royal Derby. We were down around the Memorial Day holiday and didn't recall it being there. I think lost every race, so I didn't think much of it, haha. But, it was fun to try and handicap the races based on previous outcomes. One time all the horses ran into each other and somehow got untangled, sort of reminded me of an old toy from the '70's, the football game with the vibrating metal surface. Here is a link to the Resorts website and a description of the game and types of bets. I think the minimum bet is $.50.

    https://resortsac.com/casino/games/slots/

    For what it's worth, the Borgata has a race book, I think it's the only one in AC where you can bet on the real ponies.

    I was just in Strathmere and Wildwood Crest over the past couple of weeks, the waves are still rolling in, body surfing was good. Weekends in AC are always expensive ($300 + a night) but even low rollers can get comps Monday-Thursday. We like to hit a beach towards the southern part of the island, there are no crowds midweek and there is even a bathroom at South Bartram Ave.
     
  16. guapoxxx

    guapoxxx High-Roller

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    Very nice trip report and thanks for sharing! Never checked out the Borgata race book but will have a look see next week...
     
    Annual Golf Trip
  17. flysrb

    flysrb Hey Now!

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    Hey Now!
    great report Hammie.
    The racebook at the Borg is really nice. Even has it's own bar!
     
    HEY NOW! NYE in AC!!!!!!!
  18. Dundey

    Dundey Tourist

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    Thanks Hammie, I will check it out for sure. And yeah I'm old enough to remember those vibrating football games!
     
  19. jerseyguy

    jerseyguy VIP Whale

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    Great job as always Hammie, I've enjoyed a coffee on those chairs on the pier a few times myself. I had a vibrating football game in the 50's The one I really liked was the game where you had a lightbulb in a box and one player had a bunch of paper sheets with offensive plays and the other with defensive plays . You each picked one and layed them over each other in front of the light and you saw what happened. I even made my own. Pretty primitive by todays standards.
    Our weekend freebee rooms have dried up for the summer ,but they'll come crawling back to us in the fall. We still get sundays,going this sun.
     
  20. Fet297

    Fet297 Vegas is my happy place!

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