My wife and I were both feeling really worn down from work and I noticed that Caesars Atlantic City was offering a Friday night COMP room on the CET calendar, so we decided to go down the Shore for an overnight visit. Caesars also offered 2 free buffet passes and $60 in slot play, but we only had until 8 pm to redeem those comps. My wife managed to get out of work early and I always get out at 3 pm, so we figured we could swing this without a problem. We ran into a problem almost immediately. I work in North Jersey and my wife travels throughout the state for her job. When I got out of work, she called frantically because she had forgotten her wallet at home that morning and now she was stuck in South Jersey about 50 miles away with nearly no gas left. Luckily, she drives a plug-in hybrid, so we were able to find a nearby free charging station, so she was able to charge up her battery to get some range and meet me at a Park & Ride after I took a detour home and got her wallet. Crisis averted, but now we were running a little late. I really wanted my freebies, so we booked it down the Garden State Parkway going 80 mph, which ended up not being a problem at all because everyone else was also going 80 in their mad rush to spend their weekend down the Shore. We made very good time, despite the delays, and got to Caesars around 6:30. Check-in was a breeze and we got a premium room in the Centurion Tower on the 36th floor (which is actually something like the 20th floor in reality) with a gorgeous view of a rooftop and the parking garage. Whatever. I wasn't going to Atlantic City so I could stare out the window. Picking up the slot play took about five minutes and then we were off to the Palace Court Buffet because we were starving. My wife had actually skipped lunch in anticipation of this buffet. There was a decent amount of people there, but nearly no line to get in, so we grabbed out plates, comped a couple of hard drinks, and strapped on our feedbags. The Palace Court Buffet is much improved over Caesars' old Boardwalk Buffet and I particularly liked the prime rib and barbecue options like the pulled pork. I couldn't find the milkshake machine this time around so I don't know if they moved it or if I was just blinded by my ravenous hunger so I didn't even notice it. We stuffed ourselves with a few plates of very delicious and rich foods and then left after we got to the point where we thought we might need to use a Vomitorium like the real Ancient Romans. My wife went upstairs to relax in our room and I headed to the non-smoking casino on the second floor. I'm a former smoker and I try to limit my exposure to cigarette smoke as much as possible so I won't relapse. My wife can't be around smoke at all due to her asthma. I really appreciate that Caesars has an entire floor of their casino that's completely smoke-free. It's smaller than the smoking level on the first floor, but it's plenty big enough for my needs. I am pretty much exclusively a slots player for a few reasons: 1.) When you play slots, you don't have to talk to anybody. My wife and I both work in human services, so we spend all day, everyday talking with really annoying and irrational people who like to yell at us and make us deal with all their problems. As a result, when I have free time, I don't want to have to talk with anybody about anything other than when I'm getting my next free drink., 2.) I don't like to pretend that gambling actually involves strategy, because I know how probability works and I don't believe in magic and superstition. I want to play games that don't try to trick players into thinking that their success is anything other than completely blind luck., and 3.) I like to drink a lot while I play and I'm not going to be able to even count to 21. So, I started out using the freeplay and I played it until I could cash it out, netting about $40 or so. Then I started playing my own cash. Since we were only staying one night, I only brought a bankroll of $1000 and my plan was to play each benjamin until I either lost it or doubled it. Each time I doubled it, I cashed it out and inserted another benjamin. I began playing on quarter reel slots, but I got really bored with that quickly and switched to dollar slots instead. Dollar slots have much better odds anyway. I lost about $200 very quickly playing a Tiki game, then I realized that the game was really a sinister plot by Hawaiian nationalists to punish other Americans for overthrowing Queen Liliuokalani back in 1898, so I switched games. I found an ancient video slots machine called "Wild Africa" (or something like that.) It looked like it had to be about twenty years old. Video slots are always my favorites because they have such cool animations. This one had rhinos as wild and baobob trees as scatters. Fun stuff. I kept using my strategy (such as it was) with this game and now I started really getting results. I went through my entire bankroll, cashing out the doubles as I went, and replayed a few of my tickets afterward. I won back everything I had lost earlier and won an extra $250 on top of it by the time I was done gambling for the night. I texted my wife to give her the good news that I had actually won something for a change and told her to break out the champagne we'd brought with us from home. My wife tried calling the front desk to ask about wine glasses, but they told her it would cost $6 per glass to borrow wine glasses plus a 18% gratuity to have the glasses brought to our room. We said "No, thanks" and used the water glasses that were already in the room instead. Nickel and dimed, every time. Shameless stuff. We enjoyed our champagne and then called it an early evening around midnight. We got up around 7:30 (which is really late for us in our normal everyday lives) and went to an early breakfast around 8:00 at Cafe Roma downstairs on the 4th floor of the Centurion Tower, next to the Palace Court Buffet. We went to Cafe Roma for breakfast on our last trip to Caesars back in January, but they changed a lot of the menu since then to include a lot of new items. Maria ordered the "Elvis pancakes", which were pancakes with bananas, peanut butter, and bacon topping. Funny, right? I ordered the breakfast buffet and stuffed my face with it. Cafe Roma has some really tasty breakfast and the staff there was really funny and friendly. I comped the meal using reward credits. After breakfast, I considered going back to the casino to play some more, but I figured, hey, how often do I actually finish a trip in positive territory? Besides, we're heading to Vegas in July for a longer trip, so I might as well save my money for then. Instead, we checked out of the hotel and put our bags in the car, then we headed back out to the Boardwalk to do some walking. After eating thousands of calories, it really was necessary to get some walking in. We walked south down the Boardwalk past the closed and desolate-looking Trump Plaza, past the rejuvenated-looking Tropicana, and down to where the closed and sad-looking AC Hilton (or Atlantic Club or whatever it was called at the end before it was taken behind the shed and given the Old Yeller treatment last year). It's really depressing to see so many Atlantic City casinos closed down now. I know the remaining casinos are all doing a lot better this year, but it really sucks that there are fewer places to play in AC now. They just never changed with the times to give players reasons to come to them instead of going to their local Walmart-style "casinos". We hung around on the beach in front of the Hilton for a while and then walked back north again. We went into the Caesars Pier Shops to do some shopping and my wife bought some new dresses. There are big changes in the works at the Pier Shops. The new owner is transforming the Shops into something called The Playground that's going to have several music venues, a new sports bar with racing simulcast, a new beach bar, and a concert hall replacing the old fountain show. A lot of construction was going on and they were holding casting calls for dancers toward one end of the pier. It's supposed to open around July 4th weekend, so we'll have to come back later in the Summer and see how it turns out. After the Pier Shops, we headed further north and decided to visit the Ripley's Believe It Or Not museum. That was a lot of fun. It was much bigger inside than I realized so we spent over an hour and a half in there exploring everything. They had a lot of Ripley's personal collection of oddities from around the world with some neat stuff like a vampire killing kit from the 1840s and real shrunken human heads from the Amazon. They also had an extensive collection of torture devices from around the world like thumb screws, an iron maiden, and a guillotine. We're into that kind of weird stuff, so we had a ball. After that, I treated my wife and myself to a massage at one of the Chinese massage parlors on the Boardwalk. It cost only $35 per person for a 40 minute deep tissue table massage. That's quite a good deal when you consider that a 50 minute Swedish massage at the Qua Spa and Baths at Caesars costs around $160 per person. (To be fair, you also get all-day access to the spa and Roman baths at Caesars with the massage.) After a quick lunch of pizza slices across the Boardwalk from the massage place, we went further north to go check out Resorts Hotel and Casino. We hadn't been to Resorts since they had the 1920s theme a couple of years ago and they have improved a ton since then. There was a lot of business at the Landshark Bar and Grill on the beach and the Margaritaville restaurant was pretty crowded. The casino inside also looked a lot brighter and more energetic, although we didn't play there on this trip. If we didn't get such good comps from Caesars, we might consider going there instead. Anyway, we got some margaritas and then decided to head back south on the Boardwalk. My wife wanted to do a little more shopping before we went home for the evening, so we went through Caesars and walked a block away to the Tangers Outlets. They have some really, really good outlet shopping in Atlantic City with some pretty incredibly low prices. I got some new shirts at the Polo Ralph Lauren outlet and saved about $120 off the retail price. My wife got a bunch of new shirts and dresses at the New York & Company outlet. We also visited the Michael Kors outlet and the Timberland outlet while we were there. There's a new Bass Pro Shops superstore that just opened in the Tanger Outlets and it's a pretty big place that's even selling boats. That place looked pretty busy. Overall, we had a great time and it was nice to leave as winners. That's one thing that Atlantic City definitely has over competitors on the East Coast: The taxes are so low on casino earnings that gamblers actually have a real chance of winning something when they come. In Pennsylvania, for example, the taxes are 55%, so casinos' hold is really high. Atlantic City casinos are only taxed 8%. Once again, we had absolutely no issues when it came to safety. Only one beggar asked us for money and we ignored him and he didn't bother us again. We saw no dangerous situations, no violence, no weapons, no nothing. We never felt unsafe, even though I was carrying a lot of cash on me. There were plenty of police and security around at all times. I suppose if you wandered away from the Tourism District to go shopping for Crack Cocaine you might have a problem, but if you are there to walk the Boardwalk and play in the casinos and go shopping you aren't going to have any trouble. We had a great time and we're looking forward to visiting again soon.