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Roadtrip to Atlantic City, New York City, and Baltimore

Click to view Roadtrip to Atlantic City, New York City, and Baltimore photo album

East Coast
Thursday, June 17, 2004 - Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Roadtrip to Atlantic City, New York City, and Baltimore photos

Purpose: To take a roadtrip!

Itinerary:

Thursday, June 17, 2004 Leave Raleigh, NC and drive to Aberdeen, MD and stay at the Days Inn.
Friday, June 18, 2004 Check out of the hotel, drive to Atlantic City. Check into The Tropicana hotel. Play in a poker tournament, see The Moody Blues in concert, and play more poker.
Saturday, June 19, 2004 Check out of the Tropicana hotel, drive to Trenton, NJ. Take the train into NYC. Check into The New Yorker Ramada Inn and Plaza. Act like tourists. Meet up with Ken. Go to The Comedy Cellar for the late show.
Sunday, June 20, 2004 Act like tourists some more. Go to the Madonna concert at Madison Square Gardens.
Monday, June 21, 2004 Check out of the hotel, take the train back to Trenton. Stop at some weird things along the way. Have dinner in Baltimore. Drive back to Raleigh, arrive home late.

More details:
Three friends embark on a memorable roadtrip adventure including two concerts, one Texas Hold'em tournament, a comedy show, sightseeing, and lots of food. The trip involved over 1100 miles of driving, 3 hours of train rides, subway rides, taxi rides, and tons of walking.

We wanted to make this a *true* roadtrip, complete with side trips and crazy attractions. We did some research prior to the trip and found some 'interesting' attractions. We made sure to make at least one stop in each state we drove through.

North Carolina - Raleigh's own muffler man!
Virginia - Carl's Frozen Custard Stand in Fredericksburg
Maryland - Desert Storm Muffler Man, Aberdeen Days Inn, Baltimore
Delaware - First State Diner
New Jersey - Cowboy Muffler Man, Atlantic City, Klockner Road art exhibit, Uniroyal Woman
New York - New York City
Pennsylvania - Gas station (ok, we weren't here long, but we did take a photo!)

We had my car packed with snacks and a mini fridge for cold drinks plus plenty of maps and the iPod. We played some games of 20 questions to pass time and talked about just about everything! This was my first real roadtrip that was not just about going from Point A to Point B.

Atlantic City
First of all, we accidentally found ANOTHER Muffler Man on the way to Atlantic City! We were driving along and saw the Cowboy Muffler Man on the horizon and couldn't believe our eyes. Of course we had to stop for photos!

I started playing poker seriously at the beginning of the year, but this was my first casino poker experience. Doug and I both entered in the Tropicana Friday afternoon tournament. We were a little nervous to jump into a tournament not having ever played in a casino at all previously. About 120 people entered the tournament, and the final table (9 people) was paid. I couldn't believe that I hung onto my chips and managed to get 4th place!! It was an incredible experience, especially for my first casino poker!

Doug and I were a few minutes late meeting Melissa at the Moody Blues concert, but it was worth it. We only missed one or two songs at the concert. The concert was also great! The Moody Blues played almost every one of my favorite songs.

After the concert, Doug and I played several more hours of low limit poker in the Tropicana poker room while Melissa got some sleep. We got a few hours of sleep before heading to NYC the following day.

New York City
Our next major destination was New York City where we spent two days. We checked out of the hotel at Tropicana and drove to Trenton, NJ. We left the car in Trenton in a parking garage and road the train into the city.

Apparently we missed the Olympic Torch by less than an hour. The route that the torch traveled went right by our hotel, the Ramada New Yorker. We checked into the hotel where we got an upgraded suite! I called my friend Ken to see if he could meet up with us, and we caught a bite to eat in the Tick Tock Diner next to the hotel. Ken met up with us while we were in the diner.

We set out on foot, touring the surrounding area including Times Square. We then decided to take a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, which I had wanted to do for quite some time. The walk across the bridge was amazing as we witnessed incredible views of the skyline at dusk. After our walk, we went back to the hotel to change clothes and went to our 5-star, 5-course dinner at One if by Land, Two if by Sea. After dinner, we managed to make it to the 12:45am comedy show at the Comedy Cellar. Whew! We had a VERY full day!

Sunday before the concert, we started the day at Katz's (where the restaurant scene from When Harry Met Sally was filmed). I had been there several years before. The restaurant is tasty, but has a confusing and hectic ordering process! Then we walked to Washington Square park where we were entertained by some street performers. We then headed to The Frick Collection, which I enjoyed considering I love touring mansions as well as art museums. The Frick Collection is the best of both worlds! It is located next to Central Park, so we then took a stroll through the park where we saw some more street performers. I also treated myself to a massage! We had dinner at The Peanut Butter Company which we found amusing since it serves mostly peanut butter sandwiches, desserts, and shakes. Doug and I both got the peanut butter sampler which had 6 different types of peanut butter! Melissa got a Fluffernutter sandwich.

The Madonna concert was also great, although we were quite tired after two very full days of touring the city. She played most of her biggest hits. The costumes and choreography were fun to watch. After the concert, we went to Kiev for perogies and potato pancakes - yum!!

Trenton
We returned to the car in Trenton. We *thought* we remembered where the car was located...but we didn't remember correctly. We searched every floor of the parking garage several times before we finally located the car. At some point, we wondered how long we should search before declaring it stolen! Fortunately, we found my car and everything was as we had left it.

Our next stop was to the Klockner Road scupltures. We actually saw a few of them from the train on the way back to the car. The road has many odd sculptures, and the centerpiece is without a doubt The Giant Tooth!! We had been looking forward to seeing this huge tooth and it did not disappoint.

Baltimore
We had planned to ride the Duck Boats in Baltimore, but it turned out that we only had time to eat dinner so we could head back to Raleigh. We ate at Obrycki's where I had crabcakes. YUM. We planned a lot of our adventures around food.

Heading Home
We drove the rest of the way home, arriving back around 2am on Tuesday morning. We were exhausted, but since we all had to work the next day, we thought it might be good to sleep in our own beds! We had some adventures trying to find a Starbucks along the way, which we finally found. The coffee stop helped us stay awake the rest of the trip home, although with good company and discussions.

All in all, it was a great experience, and I would definitely do it again! I couldn't have asked for better traveling companions!