Travel - Atlantic City, NJ

We recently took a road trip to Atlantic City, NJ. We had been to New Jersey once before, but this was our first time to the resort city known for its casinos, beaches, and iconic boardwalk. Megan's mom often visits Harrah's Casino in Cherokee, NC and earned a few nights at some hotels in AC, so she was kind enough to bring us along for the experience.

Our first evening there we stayed at Caesars. We had driven all night through rain and arrived and checked in around 5:30 am. To say we were ready to rest was an understatement. When we walked into the suite at the end of the hall in the Ocean Tower, our jaws dropped. We were expecting your typical double bed hotel room but walked in on hardwood floors to a large king bedroom to the left of the foyer and a living/dining area to the right of it. Off of the bedroom, there was an extravagant tiled bathroom with jet tub, walk-in shower, double above counter sinks, seated vanity, and private toilet area. Also in the room was a cabinet with television, chaise lounge, and ocean view. In the living/dining area there was a seated area with a sofa and some chairs for television watching, a large dining room table and chairs with a cabinet, and stand with coffee maker and mini fridge. Off of that room, there was another sitting area and television with a second bath that had a walk in shower as well. This hotel room was absolutely huge! Once we got a few hours of sleep, we started exploring the hotel/casino and played a few machines, and although we didn't have the best of luck, we had a great time.

One thing I was most excited about doing on this trip, was finally getting the chance to eat at a Gordon Ramsay restaurant! We are big fans of his and have always wanted to eat at one of his establishments. Inside the Caesars sits the Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill and we eagerly made reservations for dinner there that Saturday evening. I was even more excited to see that they offered a specific Gluten-Free menu! Some of their most popular regular menu items are the Fish & Chips and the Beef Wellington, which I learned is a Ramsay specialty from shows like MasterChef. Because of my food allergies (gluten & dairy-free) and my vegetarian preference, I opted to order three sides as my entree. The crispy Brussel sprouts with golden raisins, pine nuts, and aged balsamic vinegar were my favorite! The combination of the sour flavor from the vinegar with the sweetness of the raisins just blew my taste buds away.  I also had the heirloom carrots in a honey-thyme glaze that were cooked to perfection and the seasonal foraged mushrooms that were very tasty also. I was more than pleased with my meal. Megan ordered the Ramsay Prime Burger that came with caramelized onions, maple-peppercorn bacon, and truffle aioli.  Her fries also came with a truffle mayo and the entire dish was bursting with flavor.  Megan's mom ordered the Lobster Mac' n' Cheese made with sweet Maine lobster, English sharp cheddar, and herb crumbs. She finished off her entire bowl! Our server was lovely and very attentive and knowledgeable about the menu. We couldn't have had a better experience here. I hope we get to visit more Ramsay restaurants in the future! If you'll be in the Atlantic City area this New Years, they will be offering a few pre-fixe menu options (VIP, Celebrity & Ultimate Takeover) in addition to their regular menu to celebrate. Check it out here!

Saturday we checked out of the Caesars and into the Hard Rock. The vibe was much different! I had never stayed in a Hard Rock hotel before and being a pop culture obsessed millennial, I really enjoyed walking around and seeing all of the cased memorabilia from celebrities and artists. Our room was great and had the perfect view of the ocean and boardwalk. There was also live music (many 90's cover songs!) playing in the main lobby bar and we spent a lot of time trying to win some money on a fun machine. This was also the weekend before Halloween and a charity ball was also happening so we got to see a lot of unique costumes and event attire when people watching.

On Sunday the weather was much less rainy and overcast so we were able to walk the boardwalk some. I loved how vintage the whole atmosphere was. We passed many physic reading shops, tourist shops, the Rainforest Cafe, and even a Ripley's. I definitely felt like I had taken a step back in time. It was really fun to just walk by all of these places and imagine what it was like back in the day.
We had a really great time experiencing Atlantic City, and although we didn't take home any extra money, we took home some really great memories.

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