WALKING THROUGH THE HARD ROCK HOTEL AND CASINO

There are many branches of the Hard Rock Hotel all over the world, and while I have never stayed in any of them, I have spent time at the one in Las Vegas, which I did this past June.

Last week, while I was in Atlantic City, I spent time at the Hard Rock Hotel there.

This branch opened this past June.

It has many of same things that the one in Las Vegas has.

There’s even a Sugar Factory Restaurant right inside, the very same one that sells those humongous drinks just like the one in Vegas does.

This hotel used to be the Trump Taj Mahal, but like most of Atlantic City casinos, it was forced to close due to bankruptcy.

The hotel reopened as the brand spanking new Hard Rock Hotel, and like the other Hard Rock branches, there is a huge guitar right outside.

The only thing this one shares with the one in Las Vegas is the name, although Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic fame has brought the one in Las Vegas so we really don’t know how that will change the hotel.

As much as I love the city of Las Vegas , sorry, not sorry, but the Hard Rock Hotel in Atlantic City makes the one in Las Vegas look like the baby sister that gets the hand me down clothes from big sis.

This place is BEAUTIFUL AND SPACIOUS !

It’s also very high tech.

If you want to get a drink while you’re at the slot machines, you don’t flag the waitress down as she walks by.

Oh no.

Look on your slot machine.

Right in the middle of your machine, there’s a drink icon.

Push it for whatever you want to drink, water, wine, beer, or hard beverages.

The waitress will bring it to you.

Just remember, tip your waitress when she brings your drink, no matter what it is.

Don’t be stingy with your tip either.

(However, when I ordered a Pina Colada, the waitress never brought me my drink. Maybe I didn’t order it correctly or something, I don’t know , but that’s another story for another day. I didn’t need that drink THAT badly.)

As for the casino floor, there are lots of tables and slots and you can move around freely.

As I mostly play the slots, I looked for the slot machines that I play a lot.

I’m “old school” so it’s machines like Wild Cherry, Double and Triple Diamonds for me.

Always the penny machines by the way .

(My machines didn’t let me down. I hit for $78 and $46 on the same machine. Thank God for the bonus play. Instead of putting in the usual $20 that I play with, I only put in $6.50 to start with.)

The Hard Rock does have the cafe inside and yes, there are pictures of past and present musicians lining the walls of the restaurant, not to mention the rest of the hotel.

While the first floor is a sight to see , it pales in comparison to what’s happening on the second floor.

You can take the escalator as you watch the screen all around you showing different artists in the concert series known as “Hard Rock Calling.”

As I rode the escalator up to the second floor, the screen showed the rock group The Killers in concert followed by the Country and Western group, Lady Antebellum.

I could have watched the screen change all day, not to mention how mesmerized I was watching the stairs in between the two escalators changing colors.

The stairs were too beautiful to walk on.

I took the escalators to the second floor and checked out the food court as well as check out some of the stores.

(You don’t have to ask. Yes, I did buy some stuff to take back to New York City . )

Besides the pictures of muscians on the walls, there is an area known as “The Rock Vault”, which celebrates artists and venues in New Jersey .

I left the Hard Rock amazed at how dazzling this hotel really is.

It’s a Las Vegas style hotel with a party atmosphere and it’s right in my backyard .

I don’t need to fly across the United States to party like a rock star or like it’s 1999 (sorry but I just had to go there.)

A two to three hour bus ride from New York City to Atlantic City is all I need to get lit at the Hard Rock .

STAYING AT THE SHOWBOAT HOTEL

The few times that I went to Atlantic City , I never stayed overnight.

It was just a day trip.

This time, I stayed for three nights, Monday through Thursday afternoon when the hotel rates are cheaper.

I went to Atlantic City with my landlady and her mother , who have been here more times than I can count.

Her mother always stayed at one particular hotel – The Showboat.

It’s right on the Atlantic City Boardwalk and used to be owned by Caesars Palace Corporation , but not anymore .

It’s right next door to two other hotel resorts, Resorts Casino and Hotel and the brand spanking new Hard Rock Hotel , which I’ll be talking about in an upcoming post.

The Showboat , like a lot of Atlantic City , has fallen on hard times.

Gone is the casino that used to take up most of the hotel.

There is a miniature golf course and arcade in the hotel for the kids and the kids at heart.

To get upstairs to your room, you have to use your room key.

Once inside your room, you have a great view of the Atlantic Ocean .

Some of the rooms have balconies.

Maybe next time I come to Atlantic City and stay here, I’ll splurge for a room with a balcony.

I had read reviews on line on how this hotel had gone downhill from when it had a casino, but sorry, not sorry, I didn’t notice.

I thought the service the three of us received was excellent .

Even though there was one guest service agent at the desk when we checked in, she was very professional and was very friendly .

The hotel was close enough to the Boardwalk so that I could cross another thing off my bucket list.

I was able to sleep like a baby on the bed, which I thought was very comfortable .

Would I recommend the Showboat Hotel to anyone if they want to stay in Atlantic City ?

I sure would and God willing, if I come back to Atlantic City , this is the place that I’m going to stay at.

Thank you Showboat Hotel for making my stay so enjoyable .

THE END OF THE SUMMERTIME BLUES – MAYBE?

The summertime blues that I talked about in my last blog are over.

That didn’t last long, did it?

I’m on another 30 Plus Teams Tour .

Sort of.

The place im going to isn’t even a stop on the 30 Plus Teams Tour .

However, this city does fall between two cities that are very much a part of the 30 Plus Teams Tour .

As a matter of fact, these two cities are major stops on the 30 Plus Teams Tour , New York City and Philadelphia .

For three days, the Sports Diva is getting out of New York City and going down to Atlantic City , a place thst I hadn’t been to in four years .

When I was growing up , Atlantic City , or AC as it’s known to us New Yorkers, was Las Vegas BEFORE Vegas was Vegas.

This city is 3 hours away from New York and it was the original “Sin City”.

Right now though, unlike Las Vegas , I definitely wouldn’t refer to AC as “New York City on Steroids “.

That belongs to Las Vegas and believe me, they’ve earned thst nickname .

Atlantic City , on the other hand, has fallen on hard times with many of the hotels and casinos shutting down or many of the hotels reopening with no casinos in them.

The hotel that I’m staying at, The Showboat , which I will tell you about in an upcoming blog, was once owned by Caesars Resorts, but not anymore .

There’s no casino inside.

After having such a wickedawesome time in Las Vegas this summer, Atlantic City might be a big letdown.

Maybe not.

At least it gets me out of New York and out of the “Summertime Blues ”

Yes, I’m taking y’all with me to AC through this blog.

I hope we all enjoy it.

PICTURES FROM ANOTHER VISIT TO ROOSEVELT ISLAND

Last year, around this same time, I went to the area of Roosevelt Island that msny tourists and even some New Yorkers don’t even know about .

I went there with a relative for a barbecue and to enjoy the nice ,and not so hot for once, summer New York City day.

As usual , there was good food, the view of New York City from the Queens side and lots of dancing.

My auntie even got to do the “electric slide”, a dance that I DON’T even know how to do.

It was a wicked fun time as you’ll be able to see from the pictures.

By the end of the evening, the nice summery dress that I was wearing was full of barbecue, ice cream, and watermelon juice stains.

Yep, I was a walking advertisement for laundry detergent .

All in all I had a good time, even though I just know that I packed on a few pounds.

But that’s ok. Im on my way in a few days on a 30 Plus Teams Tour of somewhere, so those pounds will melt away.

EXPERIENCING THOSE SUMMERTIME BLUES

It’s been a month since the Sports Diva went on thst 30 Plus Teams Tour of Las Vegas , which was wicked awesome as you could tell by all the pictures and posts that a lot of y’all seemed to like.

I know that I’ve told you to get out and travel and I’ve even given you the travel quotes to get you inspired.

Even though I’m getting ready to go on another 30 Plus Teams Tour, the travel blues have reared its ugly head yet again.

The weather has been miserable here in New York City .

No, it hasn’t been rainy and cold.

It’s that other thing that the East Coast of the United States is famous, or infamous for in the summer.

It’s the two H’s- Heat and Humidity.

75-90 degrees Fahrenheit is okay by me, but not when the humidity is 93% and there’s not even a beach, ocean or pool nearby.

So you get the summertime blues, eat a lot, not to mention drinking a lot of water and juices, and then you can’t sleep even with a fan or air conditioner blasting.

Sweating like a pig just isn’t my idea of a great 30 Plus Teams Tour.

There’s light at the end of the tunnel.

Hello again YouTube and Facebook travel videos.

Y’all came to my rescue when I had the travel blues and you’re doing the same thing now that I’m experiencing the “Summertime Blues”.

I will be doing another 30 Plus Teams Tour very soon, like next week, God willing .

Where am I going to this time?

Sorry, y’all just have to wait and see.

In the meantime, those YouTube and Facebook videos , as well as reading blogs about trips that fellow bloggers are taking or have taken are helping my Summertime Blues.

COMING HOME ON A DELTA FLIGHT

My great 30 Plus Teams Tour of Las Vegas is over and I’m returning home to New York’s JFK .

I’m NOT a happy camper after a week in Las Vegas .

I used to work for Delta and fly them from time to time .

I had an idea of what their planes are like.

Or I thought I did.

At Las Vegas McCarron International Airport , you have to make sure that you have your boarding pass BEFORE you get on line.

If you have bags to check, pay before you get there, because they DON’T take cash.

There are machines in the airport where you can buy a card to pay for your checked baggage , but you pay $5 more for it.

The agent that checked me in told me a way to get around paying extra for a prepaid card and how to keep my money.

It’s called consolidation .

Put my handbag in one bag so that I only have a personal item and a carry on.

It worked as my carryon bag fit in the overhead bin and the personal item did fit under my seat, which had a blanket , still wrapped in plastic.

I relaxed on the flight even though as usual going through good old TSA, was always an adventure.

As I settled in my seat, I watched the safety feature.

I have to give Delta major props for having one of the most innovative safety videos .

Not only do they tell you what to do and what not to do, the flight attendants are all wearing Delta uniforms from all the years that Delta has been flying.

I don’t know who in Atlanta thought of this or how they found all of these uniforms, but it was brilliant , just saying .

I was able to take out my headphones and either watch tv, listen to music, track the flight, which I did quite often, or see a movie.

As I didn’t like any of the movies or music, I watched some tv.

Being the sports diva that I am , yes I did watch some of the shows on ESPN.

I can’t tell you about the beverages or food served on the flight, nor can I tell you if my flight had a lot of turbulence .

I have no idea on either.

After the takeoff, I settled into the middle seat and went to sleep.

I didn’t wake up until the flight was landing at JFK .

Yeah, I was THAT tired.

As much as I was unhappy about leaving Las Vegas , it was good to come home and just jump on my bed with my comfy pillow and my even comfy stuffed animals.

Thank you for getting me home safely , Delta .

PARTY TIME DAY OR NIGHT IN LAS VEGAS

I go to Las Vegas, Nevada a lot.

This year was no different and not just because this city is the newest city on the 30 Plus Teams Tour.

As many of you may or may not know, I go every June for the NHL Awards .

This year in Vegas was no different than any other time that I visit.

No, let me stop lying.

This year was different.

I did something in the city that’s New York City on steroids that I’ve never done before.

I went to the clubs in town .

That’s right, I said clubs .

You know those places where people of all ages go to drink, dance and sometimes act like a damn fool?

Yeah, those type of clubs.

Now you might ask what’s the big deal all clubs are the same no matter what city you’re in.

There’s bouncers and a velvet rope that stops you from getting into the club, especially if you’re by yourself .

I’ve seen clubs in other cities and I can tell you, just like a whole lot of other things, clubbing in Vegas is different .

No where else that I know of has nightclubs AND dayclubs.

Ain’t no party like a Las Vegas party no matter what time of the day it is.

Now with all the times that I’ve been to Vegas, you would think that I would know how to get into clubs.

I dont mean paying an arm and a leg to get into the club, but how does one get on these “guests lists”?

You could have one of those annoying “promoters” give you their card while you’re walking down the Las Vegas Strip with your friends and family but how do you know these people aren’t those infamous timeshare people that you see everywhere in town.

Since I never went to a club in Vegas but was always interested, I just didn’t know .

Enter a company recommended to me by a resident of Las Vegas called No Cover Nightclubs.

Now before I continue, this company didn’t pay me to talk about them and say nice things.

This is my opinion and I’m sticking to it.

The people who run this company and website are wicked awesome .

If you happen to be in Las Vegas and want to go clubbing on certain nights, these are the people you talk to.

They can get you into the hottest clubs in town.

Just log onto their website, NoCoverNightClubs.com, sign up, put the club or clubs that you wish to go to and what night, and voila, you’ll get an email telling you that you’re on the guest list and what time you should be in the “guest list” line.

Yes, you’re special .

You have a line for you and your friends.

Or you can be like me.

I went with three people-

Me, myself, and I.

I had a great time too.

The email that you’re sent tells you what to wear, what time to get there and that you’ll get two free drinks.

They’re mostly rum or vodka, anything else, you pay for it.

Best of all, you pay NOTHING to get into the club.

No cover, remember ?

While I was in town, I went to two nightclubs, Marquee in the Cosmopolitan and Hyde at Bellagio.

I was supposed to go to the club at the Golden Nugget, but sorry, I can’t party like a rock star at almost 66 years old the way I did at 36 years old.

I loved the Hyde because the crowd was older and the music kept me on my feet until 2:30 am.

(Forget the fact that the night that I went was the night before the hockey awards and the Hyde was having an invite only hockey party . Yours truly, the Sports Diva was on the guest list . Talk about 30 Plus Dreams ! )

There is a dress code of course, so leave the sweatsuits, sneakers , hats, and tshirts back in your hotel.

This is Vegas, dress to impress!

Now, if you’re on the guest list for the dayclubs, like I was for Rehab pool at the Hard Rock Hotel , same thing applies.

Get there at a certain time, go to the line that says “guest list” and you’re in, ready to party.

Have some identification with you and get ready to be searched just as though you’re at the airport.

This applies for both the nightclubs and dayclubs.

For the nightclub, I had to be in line by 10:30pm and for the dayclub, by 11:30am and with a bathing suit.

Don’t laugh. If you had on a tshirt and shorts,and no bathing suit, you can forget about getting in.

You weren’t but you can wear a hat.

I wore my New York Yankees hat just cause I am that team sports apparel fashionista .

Like at the Hyde, the music was so good you just had to dance even if you were in a pool.

I had to keep reminding myself that this is Las Vegas and the party starts early, even if it is a Sunday.

When I returned to New York almost a week later , I couldn’t believe that I actually went clubbing.

But I did and I had the best time ever.

Thank you No Cover Nightclubs , I will be visiting your website , NoCoverNightClubs.com, the next time I come to Las Vegas .