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It’s another Birthday Month in the house!

July – not just the month of the birth for our country, but also the birthday for the tall child, the girl child, dad, and two grandmothers. So celebrations tend to be large, singular, and address everyone.

Because of the gifting issue, there is usually a trip and some shopping instead of party and some presents. Honestly, it’s cheaper and more fun. Well, we’ve convinced the children of that at least. This year girl child wanted to go to the beach and tall child was in New York for a national dance championship. We decided a trip to Atlantic City for the beach and some fun things (pier and Sugar Factory) was perfect for her and it was, actually, a blast. Atlantic City is in a bit of a boom at the moment, so the boardwalk is clean, there are a lot of open stores, and the beach is swept and free of medical debris.

We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel – we’ve had some amazing experiences at the property in Las Vegas and Orlando. It’s in the old Trump Taj Mahal and it’s, honestly, impressive. Not as incredible as the other properties, but it’s a definite step up from most of the casino’s and without question an improvement on any standard hotel in the area. There were reminders we were in Atlantic City – smokers just dropped lit cigarettes on the carpet in the hallway. It’s not a one or two thing, we saw no fewer than 15 between our room and the elevator at one point. Most surprising was the outlet mall which has taken over most of the downtown area, transforming it from a dirty, seedy looking area to a clean and walkable area in the middle of the dirty, seedy looking area.

We had dinner at Jimmy Buffets place (ehhh, touristy) but the highlight was lunch the next day at Sugar Factory – the boy and girl child were beside themselves. Shopping was along the boardwalk and the haul was sedate for girl child – a few articles of clothing and some pusheen items.

Then on to New York City. First of all, I now swear by Spothero – we got insanely inexpensive parking for three days. The hotel was in Chelsea, a favorite area of the families since its quiet, easy to walk, and the property is between a CVS and Whole Foods so snacks and supplies are easy to come by.

It’s also a block to the Red 1 line and we can get either downtown to the ferry or uptown to Times Square in 10 minutes. Harald the Amazing Concierge met me after work and we went out for drinks and to catch up. We ended up in a bar with a Burlesque Show, but not the traditional type. It was a millennial show, so a lot of twerking and some conga lines. It was…odd. But free for us in the bar. If I paid the $125 per ticket to sit in the restaurant I would have been ballistic. With alcohol that would have meant loud sarcastic comments so it was a good thing…

Lunch the next day was traditional – Jekyll and Hydes. It’s a tourist trap, but fun and the food is honestly pretty good. They have closed the other two locations and are down to just the one downtown a few blocks from the Slaughtered Lamb, their grown up version of J&H’s. I’m concerned that they are closing up shop themselves as they only take cash and American Express cards, which says to me they either can’t afford the percentages for running cards, or they’re not going to be around in a few months. So get there while you can! Most of the animatronics still work!

This was followed by tall child’s request to shop in Times Square, which netted almost nothing – she just couldn’t find anything she really wanted, and seemed to be happy that she and the new boyfriend got to spend some time. Well, until the M&M store. Then they both cut loose.

Boy child felt leftout since his birthday is nowhere near the summer. He wasn’t complaining, but felt a bit leftout. Until we HAPPENED to wander by the Nintendo Store and he about fell over at the selection of Pokemon stuffed animals. He decided on two instead of a game, there’s nothing he really wanted to play, and was more than happy to play pokemon live with his various toys in the hotel room when we got back.

Another successful summer birthday celebrartion.

At some point we’ll actually get to review of school work…