50 States Challenge: New Jersey



September 22 - 23, 2012
Atlantic City - Revel Casino

Nirala's birthday, since I first met her in 2008, has always been a major affair.  She's not the type of person to say, "This year, I'll just have a nice dinner with my family." Nope!  Not this girl.  It's one of the reason's I love her.  She's not afraid of celebrating herself and rightfully expecting her friends to join in.
In 2012, Nirala decided to celebrate her 24th birthday with style in Atlantic City, specifically at the recently opened Revel Casino.  Keeping my 50 State Challenge in mind, I jumped at the chance to knock Jersey off of the list.

To be honest, I've been to Jersey multiple times before.  By multiple times, I mean almost every weekend first semester of sophomore year of college.  And then some.  But that's probably a different blog post.  Atlantic City, however, now she was a new one and way, way south from my past haunts.

Flying in Saturday morning, Nirala's best friend, Indira, picked me up from the airport with her cousin.  We swung by another friend's house and down into the Garden State we drove.
Revel surprised me from the moment we arrived.  The views were spectacular.  I couldn't keep my eyes from the window, no matter who was talking to me.  The beach, the boardwalk -- it was all so much to take in.  The hotel rooms were so fancy I wasn't sure I was really allowed to touch the sheets.  And we sort of weren't.  The hotel room pictured above was the wrong room (they were supposed to put our group together).  We ended up having to leave the room soon after we arrived.

Of course, no birthday celebration can proceed until the appropriate amount of prom-style photos are taken.

Posing against a wall in Revel

All smiles with my roomie

Serious birthday faces

Representing the duck faces of Staten Island

Indira and the birthday girl, Nirala

Melissa, Indira, Veena, Nirala, and I shortly before heading to Revel's club

After we finished, we headed to the club where we danced and sang and enjoyed ourselves.  For me, much of that is a blur.  What I do remember, is getting up early in the morning while everyone was sleeping and slipping out of the hotel room.  I walked along the beach in the cool September morning and collected a few rocks that had little gold flecks sparkling in them.  Being so near the ocean was revitalizing, and it blew my mind a little that all of the insanity of a casino was only separated by a few yards.

A woman approached me while I was musing on the beach and after what I thought was simply a pleasant conversation, she asked if she could set me up with her brother.  She didn't show me a picture, but the age difference was enough that I didn't need one.  Well, Jersey is Jersey, I suppose.

As it was my first time in a casino, I lost $40 in a slot machine accordingly.  I just kept pulling the lever, which was unnecessary but it was just too much darn fun.  Until I realized I blew $40 in less than ten minutes.

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