I travel a lot, but I usually travel with friends. Sometimes I will take my Mom somewhere or go with her to visit my brother in LA, but I don't think I ever gone anywhere with my friends AND my Mom.
There's a first time for everything.
It all started when Chris and I were having a gchat conversation about how we needed to go to Atlantic City. We go about once a year for a weekend of slots and relaxation. Our casino of choice is Harrah's on the Marina, home of the large indoor pool with luxe cabanas available for rental. For a reasonable fee (that includes all your food and alcohol (!!!)), you can lounge poolside with a personal television, iPod doc, and servers at your beck and call. Now that's the way to live.
I was hanging out with my Mom on a typical Wednesday evening (before having dinner at my Dad's), and I mentioned that we had planned an Atlantic City trip for the end of April. Mom crossed her arms, got that wistful look in her eyes, and I knew a story was coming. Turns out her mom used to the kids to the Maryland shore on the weekends where they could slip some coins into the slots. Apparently the casino didn't enforce the age restrictions in the good old days. Mom waxed poetic about how she used to love the slots as a kid...and before I knew it, she was coming up to Atlantic City with me, Chris, and Kent for an early birthday weekend!
I wasn't really concerned about it--I know that Chris and Kent adore my Mom and she loves them just as much...but still. We are silly and crazy and I wasn't sure if Mom would appreciate our brand of humor or find it all a little much to handle. Turns out, she thought we were hilarious (and also silly and crazy) but pretty much rolled with the punches. I think it helps that we're not exactly party animal and were in bed by 10:00 each night so it's not like we tired her out.
Pauly D (I think from MTV's Jersey Shore *gag*) was performing at the late night pool club the first evening we arrived, so the casino was packed to the gills with trashy Jersey types and their gold chains, hooka heels, and vast amounts of hair gel. An ill-timed thrown match probably could have sent the whole place up. But we certainly got a lot of comedic mileage out of mocking them. Sometimes behind their backs, but most often to their face.
I don't think Mom was particularly impressed with the new type of slots. Apparently most of the draw for her was putting in the coins and then pulling the handle--and you can't do that anymore. It's all automated and the machines only take bills. Plus, the casinos still allow smoking in most of the areas, and she's pretty sensitive to that. But we still played our $10 and had a good time. We didn't hit the big payout, but playing for almost an hour on $10 is nothing to scoff at! Well, fine you can scoff at our cheapness but whatever.
I think the most fun was the cabana rental, nothing makes you feel more posh than lounging poolside with a cocktail in your hand. Chris and I were determined to make the most of our drink credit, and were both drunk by 11 in the morning on Sunday. To her credit, Mom didn't judge at all and seemed to enjoy how I staggered off to the restroom. And we got sucked into successive bad movies on TNT (after Law and Order ended of course) to keep us busy.
What? We were on a mini-break!
As the end of the day approached we still had some money left on our bar credit, so we enlisted the aid of our server to find deserving people around the pool to treat to drinks anonymously. We thought of ourselves as benevolent gods looking down from high and blessing the plebeians with free alcohol. We got two honeymooning couples (whom we could see by peeking through the curtains around the cabana were thrilled to get the drinks) and an older couple who also seemed excited. Our server, Lauren, also got into it and scoured the pool deck for people who seemed nice. No Jersey douchebags were getting our charity!
It was a fun two and a half days and I think a nice change of pace for Mom. Sometimes you just need to get away to a change of scenery, you know? And it certainly made me appreciative to get back to Virginia, a land where most people know how to properly apply make-up, button their shirts, and not overly tease their hair.