Saturday, June 24, 2006

Vacation, the novel

As promised, the mind-numbingly detailed vacation post! (Cue Matt Green: Weeeeee.)

So we left around 10am Tuesday, after a quick stop by Starbucks for an iced latte. It turned out to be my undoing, as we only made it to White Marsh before I was moments away from a bladder explosion. We had lunch there as well (Chick-fil-et) and got back on the road. The traffic wasn't terrible, mostly around Manhatten (of course) and some random places in Connecticut - Bridgewater and New Haven for the most part. We checked in to our room at the Great Cedars a little after 6pm. The room was really the only thing that I could complain about all weekend. The first night we were there, we had a smoking room with two double beds. It wasn't terrible, but it certainly wasn't what we had reserved. The next day, they moved us into a non-smoking room. Still with two double beds, and the internet in that room didn't work. I'd say there was a net gain of zero on that transaction.

Tuesday night we mostly just wandered around, checking the place out and such. We played a few slots and managed to break even that night, which I'd say was pretty good. We had dinner at the Veranda Cafe, which while being extremely cold and slow, was yummy. I heart waffles the size of my face, with strawberries, and as much whipped cream as there is waffle. Yum.

Wednesday morning we grabbed a bite to eat, and then went off to our respective pleasures. Matt played a MTT, but only survived the first hour and a half. I had a facial first, and they must have put a dozen things on my face: hot towels, cleansers, creams, masks, steam, etc. It was nice (except for the extractions, which I realize were necessary, but not quite as enjoyable). I had an hour to kill with some reading before my body polish, which was a salt scrub down, followed by a shower (the shower had thirteen nozzles...THIRTEEN!) and then moisturizer. It was great, and my skin was super soft afterwards. Which is a pretty big accomplishment for me.

We met back up for a casual lunch and then decided to go back to the spa area for some swimming and hot tubbing. Since I had already been (and paid) that morning I could still access the locker room/lounge area, which was nice. I felt like such a lush laying around in the spa robe and slippers, eating grapes and partaking in chilled towels after the hot tub. I could definitely have more of that in my life, no complaints.

Matt decided to go back to the poker room afterwards, and played in a one-table tournament. I made sure to kiss his entry ticket before he started, and sure enough I got to watch him make a pretty big comeback to second place, and $200. That was a lot of fun, for both of us, and we spent the rest of the evening having dinner at the resort buffet, watching TV, and playing Mad Libs from a little book I had picked up at one of the shops.

Thursday was a lot like Wednesday - breakfast first, and then off to play separately. Matt played a second MTT but the cards just weren't there for him. I went back to the salon, this time for a manicure and pedicure. So now in addition to nice skin I have cute toes. We ate ice cream for lunch, and then Matt went to play another one-table tournament and I went to go read by the pool. I kissed his ticket again, but it turns out that I was supposed to actually *be* there with him, and alas, he lost. I'm so sorry honey, it's all my fault. Afterwards, we decided to try a few table games as well, but weren't having much luck with those either - Matt played some $10-limit three-card poker for a while, and I played a few hands of $15-limit blackjack. I won a few, but ultimately went broke. Ce la vie. We had dinner that night at The Cedars, an excellent upscale steakhouse. We each had caesar salads, steaks, and glasses of red wine. I ordered creme brulee for dessert...quite tasty.

We left Friday morning with good times and a $309 gambling loss (of which I was responsible for $55) behind us. Little did we know that there was gobs of traffic ahead of us. Compared to Tuesday, the traffic in Connecticut was much better, but that was the only place it had improved. New York was terrible, parts of the New Jersey Turnpike were a crawl, and Delaware was complete gridlock. I swear, for being the shortest state in terms of I-95 travel (something like 11 miles?) Delaware sure has a disproportionate amount of traffic. After we went over the Delaware Memorial Bridge we couldn't even get through the toll booth because the traffic on the other side (from everyone trying to get into the correct lanes for 95, 295, 495 and rt. 9) was at a complete standstill. The entire trip took us a little over 10 hours.

We were exhausted when we got home, so we continued to splurge and went out to eat at Ziki's, the Japanese steakhouse. Matt crashed pretty soon after we got home from dinner but I stayed up to get laundry started and such.

We had to get up earlier than we would have liked to take Matt's car over to the Chevy dealership to have them look at the air handling system (the air was only coming out of the front vents, meaning no defroster when the windshield fogged up). It ended up being a bent cable that was covered under the extended warranty, which was great. Matt took a shower and stuff when we got home. I promptly went back to sleep and didn't get up until 11:45. We went to have lunch at Noodles & Company and pick up some movies from Blockbuster and stuff for a baby shower at church tomorrow.

Tonight was just more lazing, with TV and pizza. But I have to clean up this place tonight before bed, because Matt's mom is in town and she may come to church with us tomorrow, which means she may come over afterwards. And since she hasn't seen our place yet I think it would behoove me to make it look passable.

So, to summarize, we had a great vacation even though we had a net loss in our gambling efforts. We still managed to come in $68 under budget, even counting dinner Friday night. And I have nice skin and nails for a while. Many thanks to Amy, Joe and Debbie for my fantastic spa experience. I can't wait to do it again.

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