[Pink Pig Time Machine by Wilfrid: May 30, 2010]
It seemed like a good idea at the time. A spring break was needed, there were certain constraints on travel time, and I had never seen the place. A Greyhound to Atlantic City it was.
I am not a gambler (my father was - he was lucky, and I didn't inherit), but She who traveled with me came bags loaded with change and ready for the 0ne-arm bandits. Checked into the Sheraton, also billed ominously as the "Miss America Convention Center." Lunch was in a tiny Chinese dive downtown.
The afternoon wore itself out at Bally's Wild West, then wore into evening at Caesar's with a live R&B band and an all-you-could-eat seafood buffet which, if not inspiring, was good value. I had brought an old London novel of poker-playing with me, Alexander Baron's Lowlife, and read myself to sleep.
A sunny morning drove us to the boardwalk, full of seaside shabbiness and people with very big hair. A Believe-it-or-Not Museum. Slot machines. More Chinese food.
The Tropicana was the evening choice, featuring not only gambling but a Latin Fever cabaret. Dinner - at the Sheraton - ranked as simply one of the worst meals I have ever eaten. I gave up when the roast chicken came out with a hard, frozen center.
It was an experience, but not entirely sorry to be on a bus home come Memorial Day; a lively journey which ended with passengers angrily petitioning the driver to stop arguing with his girlfriend on his cellphone while the bus was in motion. Ah, holidays.
A safe dinner that night at Old San Juan - stuffed plantains and oxtail stew. Next week, London.