I always knew that something good would come of my
obsession with knowledge of pop culture and everything celebrity.
I know my husband was skeptical when I tried to assure him of this; but he has changed his tune after this past weekend. In fact, I think he is actually now encouraging my behavior.
The impetus behind this? Our trip to Atlantic City last Friday and Saturday, thanks to Harrah’s.
I was invited, along with a few other pop culture bloggers, to cover Bret Michaels’ (of Poison and “Rock of Love“) appearance at the new Pool at Harrah’s, as well as author Jackie Collins’ appearance/book signing at Caesars.
We arrived in Atlantic City Friday afternoon and though Steve and I aren’t big gamblers, we decided we had to play a slot machine as we walked through the casino on our way to check in. We won $10 (woohoo!) and decided to stop there. (Shockingly, they didn’t usher us to the high roller suite at once.)
But this actually brings me to a point I’d like to make – there is SO MUCH more to do than just gamble at Harrah’s. There’s golfing. A Red Door Spa (I would have been all over a massage had we stayed a bit longer). A state-of-the-art fitness center. Boutique shopping (so much for that $10). Plenty of nightlife events lined up. And restaurants… oh, the restaurants (more on this later).
So we got the keys to our room, which was located in the brand-new Waterfront Tower. A very quick elevator ride took us to the 18th floor, and we stepped out into this hallway:
And then we made our way to our room… a room with quite a view:
Pretty soon it was dinner time, and we went to meet the other bloggers downstairs. At this point I was treated to one of the most delicious meals I have ever eaten.
Seriously, if you go to Harrah’s and do not dine at The Steakhouse, just know you are missing out. Big time. In fact, if I find out, I just may never speak to you again. It’s THAT good.
Take a look at this seafood appetizer, which had the MOST JUMBO jumbo shrimp I have ever seen, the MOST KING king crab legs I have ever seen and simply delectable oysters:
I ordered the filet mignon for dinner, which was FAB.U.LOUS. Steve had the prime rib, which was so big he couldn’t even finish it, much to his dismay. Plus, the waitstaff was SO incredibly attentive and knowledgeable. The entire dining experience was absolutely fantastic.
Our stomachs full beyond belief, it was then time to head to The Pool for Bret Michaels’ live appearance.
Listen, I’m not even going to front and say I wasn’t excited about seeing Bret (I feel we are on a first name basis now). I am going out on an embarrassing limb here and disclose that I went to a Vanilla Ice concert once. Granted, I was in the fifth grade so I was impressionable… but still. It’s brought up in therapy from time to time.
So yes, I like Bret. More so “Bret the Reality TV guy” than anything else. Oh, how I love me some “Rock of Love.” And judging by the line of people waiting to get into The Pool, I’m not the only one.
For the first time in my life, though, I didn’t have to wait in line. We were part of the VIP crowd, baby. Sure, it was for one night only… but that’s beside the point.
The Pool looked incredible at night. I guess I was slightly obsessed with the cool lighting over the bar, judging by the insane number of photos I took:
We had a cabana to ourselves, including our own scantily clad cocktail waitress. We had lots of fun taking in the atmosphere around us:
Then Steve and I decided to saunter on over to Bret’s cabana (we knew he had arrived on account of the high-pitched screams from across the pool). He was working the large crowd around him, trying to give everyone equal time for pictures and autographs. He was clearly enjoying himself; who could blame him?
Between elbows to my head, shoulders, knees and toes from fans trying to get close to Bret, I was able to snap this photo of The Man Behind the Bandana:
Bret was supposed to play a set around 11:30 PM, but rock star duties must have called, because by 1:30 AM – incidentally, this is about 4 hours past my normal bedtime – we had heard nary a chord of “Unskinny Bop.”
So our party decided to call it a night. Later I heard that Bret had played his set at 2 AM. If only we had waited another half hour (surely there were more pictures of the bar lighting to be taken).
We had a fantastic time anyway, and I can’t say that going back up to the beautiful hotel room with the gloriously comfortable bed and FLAT SCREEN TV was a disappointment:
The next morning, Kate, one of the fabulous people on the Harrah’s PR team, hooked us up with tickets to see author Jackie Collins’ lunch appearance at Caesars.
I’m really an equal opportunity reader. I am just as happy with a “romantic fiction” novel as I am with a Jane Austen selection, a book about American history or a collection of essays about dogs.
And Ms. Collins’ novels, especially, are on my list of must-reads at the beach each summer. (Yes, I’m going with Ms. Collins here because, well… she’s British and proper and respectful, and her name should be too.) So needless to say, I was excited about this event.
There were between 250-300 people at the lunch. We dined on delicious salad, lobster and dessert while Ms. Collins answered audience members’ questions. Naturally, she was a phenomenal storyteller, and kept us all entertained with stories about her life’s adventures, as well as the adventures of her characters.
Plus, doesn’t everything sound more interesting when it’s said in a British accent?
Each of us received a hardcover copy of her book, so after lunch it was time to stand in line for the book signing. Steve kept himself occupied by getting familiarized with Ms. Collins’ work:
Despite himself, I would say he became quite engrossed:
When we finally got to meet Ms. Collins, she was just as beautiful in person as you’d expect. I told her that my sister, my Nana, my Grandma and I all love her novels. I also mentioned that my sister swears by the Boo Boo Gel Packs that Ms. Collins’ daughter, Tiffany, carries in her Tiny Tillia product line. This is true – with 4 boys under 4 years old, keeping these cold gel packs on hand in the freezer is a necessity for my sister.
Ms. Collins seemed to appreciate that we are fans of hers and of her daughter. She also seemed to appreciate that I brought my husband with me to meet her. When she saw Steve, she asked, “And is this handsome man your husband?”
I must say, the woman’s got good taste.
And on that note, we all posed for a picture. If we superimpose the dogs in, this could be our Christmas card photo, no?
With that, it was time for our trip to Atlantic City to come to an end. I hope I have captured even a part of just how wonderful the whole experience was for us.
We had such an incredible time at Harrah’s and at Caesars, (kinda sorta) hanging with Bret Michaels and Jackie Collins, and talking shop (read: critically observing the surroundings) with the other bloggers:
* Peter Shankman, who helped throw the event for us
* Jen Miller of Down the Shore with Jen
* Jill Ivey and Ross Currie of Phillyist
* Ehmonie Hainey of What’s Haute
* Chris Shott of The New York Observer
* Douglas Quenqua of The ClickZ Network and The New York Times
Thanks, all, for “Nothin’ But a Good Time!”
Cross-posted at Pinks & Blues Girls Blog