Saturday, July 16, 2005

I'm Ba-ack!

The hurricane missed us! Frankie enjoyed the ocean! We ate like Royalty! Mira and I even enjoyed some time to ourselves courtesy of the grandparents. It was a refreshing adventure!

Hints for taking a toddler away:

1. Always plan at least two nights. They may need the first day to acclimate to the new digs.

Frankie reacted to a 3+ hour car ride by running us into the ground at the beach. When we tried to put him down for his afternoon nap after crawling exhausted from the beach, he cried bloody murder for ten minutes. We took him to the boardwalk. In his stroller. Where he snoozed for 30 minutes. A precious, delirious half-hour of bliss ensued! He punished us for it at dinner time. What an unholy terror! The little possessed girl from The Excorsist had better manners! We had a round-booth seat in a dinner-esque reataurant inside the resort. Not only did he climb in with us instead of sitting in his high chair; he refused to sit down! Climbing here, screaming there, walks and talks proved useless; I think I had ten minutes of calm the entire meal.

Trust me. Give yourself at least two nights.

2. Bring someone with you that you can entrust your cherub with for the night. It does wonders for your marriage!

We stayed at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, NJ--the garden spot of the Garden State's signature Jersey shore. OK, Cape May's beach beats it by a mile, but this is the vacation the grandparents wanted. Dad enjoys smart gambling: he goes with money he can afford to spend, and if he wins, great. If he loses, well, that's entertainment! Besides, my mother, being the the full Irish of the family, wins often.

Anyways, the resort features a new addition. It's called the Quarter. It's designed with interior facades and finishes to resemble pre-Castro Havana. It has "cobblestone" floors, Spanish-American arches and even a sunset lit "sky" painted on the ceiling. With stores, restaurants, clubs and even an IMAX, it's Tropicana's answer to Las Vegas. Well, Grandma and Grandpa switched off caring for our much-better behaved son during our last night. Mira and I hit the Quarter. After a grand tour of the offerings, we decided to enjoy some music and a drink. The Sound of Philadelphia suited the bill. We soon enjoyed Zinfendel and Merlot at a cocktail table, while the best Rythm-N-Blues orchestra cranked out the hits from Luther Vandross to Whitney Houston and more! The sporano on vocals out Whitneyed Whitney in a stunning rendition of "I'm Every Woman". I wasn't even much of a Rhythm-N-Blues before this vacation. I am now!

3. If you're traveling with such find company, don't book more than two nights away. Especially if you have ajoining rooms.

We had a stunning time. More would have put us over the edge! Frankie is relentless. Besides, he asked to go "bye-bye in Daddy's car" today. Three days with one's parents away, and life smells like home with three-day-old fish. Not to mention that they live in the Mother-Daughter below us, anyway.
So endth the lesson on travels with toddlers. We all had a wonderful time! Thank you, Carmel and Julie D., for the send-off! The vacation was good medicine.

Tomorrow, my brother and his girlfriend come over. I may get in some posts. Then again, I may not. Enjoy the rest of your week-end nonetheless!