Sunday, September 4, 2022

Atlantic City With Kids


I don't have a lot of time, but I make the most of the time I do have. 

Those are the words I vow to make famous (only slightly kidding). My family knows I fit the most into every trip we take, every exploration, every day. Sometimes it's crazy, but it's (almost) always worth it. Atlantic City was no exception. This summer vacation was centered around visiting family for a memorial, but there's no way I was going all the way out to the east coast without getting in an additional adventure or two.

The minis begged to make a trip in NYC, but we declined. Actually, Matt declined because he's not ready to deal with kids in the big city. Meanwhile, the youngest mini has begged to see the Statue of Liberty. Actually, she has begged to visit so she could go up into the crown. I am completely on board with both of those things, but unfortunately the crown is currently off limit to visitors. She has it in her head that it MUST be the crown she goes in, but she still wanted to see Lady Liberty. So, on our way from Frederick, MD to Atlantic City, we made a detour to Liberty State Park in Jersey City. It was completely out of our way and caused us to get into Atlantic City way later than planned. I have no desire to every step foot in Jersey City again, but Liberty State Park was beautiful, giving us spectacular views of Manhattan.

Our real, amazing adventure began when we pulled into our hotel in Atlantic City. The middle mini has begged to go to Las Vegas and all three think it's "not fair" we haven't taken them there yet (eye rolls all around). I surprised them prior to our trip with reservations at the Tropicana, a hotel casino right on the boardwalk. The prices were decent and the standard room would fit us all. It was perfect. Of course, as we pulled up, we realized it was either self park or quickly unload and pay for valet. Obviously, we went the valet route, but if you've ever tried to quickly unpack a car with three kids AND decide what you need for a beach day, it's a little nerve wrecking. I have to give my husband credit for handling this portion on his own as I was already in the lobby waiting to check us in. 

Checking in was a chore. I had reserved (and paid a deposit) on a two queen non-smoking suite. Of course, they didn't have any left as the hotel was fully booked. They tried to offer different combos, but I wouldn't budge. I pointed out that everyone needed a bed. After a little patience waiting for approval, we got a free upgrade. Cool, I thought, fully expecting to have an extra rollaway bed or two. I was just ready to get to our room and put my feet up. Of course, when we walked into the room, we were greeted with an entire apartment.

Two bedrooms with king sized beds (plus a lounge chaise the size of a twin bed that my children instantly began fighting over), a dining room, kitchen, two full baths, one half bath, and a kitchenette with views of the boardwalk and beach. I couldn't believe our luck and thus begun our splurge twenty four hours.

After a great night of sleep in a comfy bed with fluffy pillows, we had choices for breakfast as our hotel featured over twenty restaurants. It should go without saying that we ate WAY too much, beginning with breakfast at La Petite Creperie. Then came our fun: frolicking on Atlantic City Beach all day and beach and boardwalk walking in the evening.

A picnic beach lunch from Chickie's and Pete's (also in our hotel). The minis and I had a lobster roll for the very first time (again, not seafood eaters), along with cheesesteak nachos, chicken strips, and crab fries.

I was swimming and popped up out of a wave to see the oldest leaned over his sandcastle. At first glance, I thought he needed to pull up his swim trunks and I yelled across the beach for him to do so. Then I realized the tan stripe on his swim trunks had the unfortunate look of his butt hanging out and I had a good laugh with it.

An outdoor concert on the boardwalk followed by games, late night snacks, and drinks at The Biergarten.

Atlantic City was not my first choice for a family vacation stop. I had my eyes on Cape May originally, as it seemed more family friendly. However, the price tag for AC was much better and gave us more options. The Tropicana was right on the beach, so we literally never had to leave our hotel for anything. It had it all: shops (because we ran out of sunscreen), restaurants, Starbucks, dessert, an arcade, pools, beach (with umbrella and chair rentals), and so much more. We gave the minis an experience they had never had before and us a relaxing day on an otherwise busy road trip.