The two days we needed more than we knew…

If you read my blog a month or so ago, I wrote an entire piece about not going on vacation this year, and then low and behold, the stars aligned perfectly and my husband and I realized that although it would be short, we were actually going to be able to go away, just the two of us.

We haven’t went on a trip alone together since our son was born 2.5 years ago, so we were beyond excited. After an amazing weekday rate email deal came though at our favorite casino (The Tropicana) in Atlantic City and my mom had a random Tuesday and Wednesday off and was able to watch our little one, we were headed to paradise.

This felt very much like a second honeymoon for us. The Tropicana was where we stayed for our honeymoon and with our seven year anniversary coming up at the end of next month, it seemed fitting and strangely serendipitous that the room we got at the hotel was TWO doors down from our honeymoon room. Considering there are four different towers in the hotel, each with 20 or so floors, I find this to be magical, and the reason why I so believe in destiny and fate.

Inside The Quarter at the Tropicana

Inside The Quarter at the Tropicana

Inside The Quarter at the Tropicana

Inside The Quarter at the Tropicana

We only had two days of bliss, but we packed A TON into those 48 hours. Even though the drive was six hours each way, it was nice to just spend time together in the car talking, reminiscing, listening to music, making fun of billboards, just being us.

I think when you have kids, sometimes you lose a little of the “us” and it becomes so much about parenting and responsibility, that you forget to let loose and have fun, do the things that make you such a great couple. My husband and I are really two peas. We’re a lot alike, but also quite different, it’s the perfect balance. I have more fun with him than anyone in the world, and after eight years together, I still want to spend every minute I can with him. Even as I write this blog and he’s back at work after a week off, I miss him terribly.

I wanted to share a few highlights of our trip and some places to stop if you’re ever in AC. We went the Tuesday after Labor Day and let me tell you, the crowds were minimal and the beach was bare, great time of year!

The Rainforest Cafe. In all the years we’ve been coming to AC, this is always our first place to go for lunch. It’s a tradition now, and I don’t care if I’m 30 years old, I still love the fake thunderstorms and always have at least 10 pictures of the monkeys and elephants. We got burgers which never tasted so good and I got some Island Rum drink that had more whipped cream on it than any one drink should house. It hit the spot.


Next stop, the Pier Shops at Caesars. We always go there for the fountain water show, running every hour on the hour, which for seven years has been the exact same show. I love the familiarly of it, and it’s one of those things that just never gets old.


The mall is full of designer stores like Gucci and Burberry, along with regular every day stores, so it’s a great way to shop around no matter what you’re looking to buy. If you’re an It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia fan, you’ll know that Charlie says magnets are one of his hobbies, so we of course snapped a pic of this gem and tweeted it to him right away.

IMG_1680Nothing tops the views from the pier observation decks or on the second level, where you can sit on beach chairs set up in sand, looking out huge windows, and you feel like you’re in the middle of the ocean. It was beautifully overcast the first day we were there, and I love the sky in this picture.


Also in this mall, we found GlowGolf. Just what it sounds like, glow in the dark golf. Pretty freaking cool. It was 27 holes and about six different rooms, all with paintings of sea life adorning the walls. My hubs and I are very competitive when it comes to well, everything, and mini-golf has always been one of our biggest competitions. I started off great, but somehow lost it on a few holes with these mounds on top, and let’s just say that he ended up beating me by 18 strokes. Yes, 18. Epic fail on my part. But super fun, none the less.

IMG_1719The Bungalow Beach Bar was a highlight of the trip. It was tucked right beside the ocean and it was crisp and cool the night we went, so it felt like summer with a touch of fall around the corner. We only got a few drinks each and ended up paying $40, but it was worth it. They had really chill house music playing (my favorite) and it had a laid back and relaxing vibe about it. It was also a Hookah bar, my husband and I didn’t partake, although the guy wearing the Hookah Daddy t-shirt and carrying around the giant pipe was pretty amusing.

photo 1We of course did some gambling. We won a good amount on Blackjack, and killed it on the penny Monopoly slots. We hit a bonus after only three spins and thoroughly pissed off the lady beside us who was probably sitting there for an hour. DON’T play The Hangover slots, they sure sucked, and so did Deal or No Deal. We say every year we’re not going to do slots, but we can’t help it! We came home up on our gambling, so win for us!

Day Two we walked for an hour, all the way to the end of the boardwalk to check out the Revel Casino, and it was pretty spectacular. Words won’t even do it justice, so here’s a few pics of the views. Could you ask for a prettier sky?

photo 1 (2) photo 2 (2) photo 3 (2)Boardwalk Empire, one of our favorite shows started last night. Fell asleep like the old heads we are, so it’s on the DVR, but being in AC right before the start of this show (which is based on AC in the 20s) was pretty awesome. They were pushing the show everywhere and I’m still mad we didn’t end up buying some Nucky’s Atlantic City White.


In between all these highlights, we ate at a lot of great restaurants, like Ri Ra Irish Pub where our waiter actually was Irish and had such a sweet accent, spent time talking, holding hands walking down the boardwalk, sitting on the beach and making sand pictures, and for a few days, turning into the Tara and Justin we were many, many years ago.

Coming home to our son was the best feeling in the world and we sure missed him more than he missed us. The three of us back together again feels perfect, but our two days away from reality was a new reminder to cherish each other always and remember what makes our love so special.  Thanks for reading and sharing in our trip!

And here’s  our classic “mean model” shot we always take on night one. Once you start, you can’t stop… Till next year AC. Miss you already!


About Tara Darazio

I'm a copywriter, owner of A Passion For The Pen, LLC and host of the Let's Meet For Copy podcast. Contact me at
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