How do you spell holiday fun? Like most red blooded Americans, we spell it AT L A N T I C C I T Y. Ok so, we aren’t red blooded. As a matter of fact, if you cut my husband, he bleeds Yankee blue and I bleed whatever the color of shopping is. And I am sure that most folks don’t go to a casino to celebrate Christmas with their family, but the day that I wake up feeling like most folks, is the day that I ask the Dr. to check me for a pulse.
My husband is the youngest child in a large family, with more than 10 years between him and the next youngest sibling, so he has adult nieces and nephews that are as close in age to him as his brothers and sisters are (and infinitely more fun). This year, one of the cousins decided that it would be fun to meet in Atlantic City, a couple of days after Christmas for a cousin’s get together and they were kind enough to invite my husband and I. Now, technically, we are their Aunt and Uncle, but neither of us has ever been referred to with that title. We are addressed by our first names, which is the way we like it. And knowing how I do love the Borgata and have a comped room waiting for me like an impatient lover, we said YES!
This stay they were overflowing in the Borgata, so they offloaded us on the Water Club (thank ya Jay-sus!), which was nothing short of spectacular. Oh Borgata, you are a sexy beast, but your sister the Water Club is a hotness monster. The Water Club has a beautiful bar in the lobby called the Sunroom (http://thewaterclubhotel.com/hotel/sunroom.cfm ) The sunroom has 25 foot ceilings, a glass, greenhouse roof, a 12 foot long gas fireplace and indoor waterfall. It. Is. The. Shit. PERIOD. The drinks are all top shelf, the staff is friendly (if a little slow) and the atmosphere is chill. There is only one problem, we were there on its opening day a couple of years back and we came perilously close to being thrown out.
The Sunroom is presided over by a hot-shit chef from NY City named Geoffrey Zakarian. There is a bar menu that he designed that I would describe as “Self-important Mediterranean”. GZ himself was onsite for the first couple of days to make sure that the staff didn’t hose up his Almond stuffed Olives or Organic Pretzels with Purple Mustard, and he was visibly stressed. Between running around with a Sharpie signing cookbooks for VIP visitors, giving tours, instructing the wait staff and generally hovering helicopter-style, GZ was in no mood for his first set of paying customers to be us.
We were visiting AC with another couple and we had spent a long morning and early afternoon gambling and we were burnt out. My friend Mare went up to her room to have a nap, leaving me to go have a couple of drinks with the boys. It was the first day of the Water Club being open, so we decided to go over and check the place out. They were offering room tours and pool/spa tours, but we could tell from the sleek, modern elegance of the lobby that the rooms were beautiful. We just wanted a drink or seven.
We rolled into the empty bar and ordered up a round of drinks – Rum and Coke, Cosmo, Gin and Tonic. One round led way to a second round and a third, then a fourth. By the time my friend woke up from her nap and rejoined us, we were five drinks in and getting goofy. After this, it gets hazy, but I know that there were more drinks, an introduction to the harried GZ, stolen hand towels from the swank bathroom and the clear marker of having had one too many drinks – my friend’s husband started to draw a crowd as he threw down pints of beer in a single gulp. At this point, we were rowdy, loud and had racked up a bar bill over $600. The size of our bill may have had something to do with our staying in good graces as long as we did. Eventually the bartender tipped us off that GZ/Mgt was getting a wee bit antsy with our presence. Luckily this message coincided with us having had our fill. No harm. No foul.
By the time we re-gathered for a late dinner, we had slept off some of the afternoon’s libations. With clearer minds, we rehashed the day’s activities and could totally understand how our behavior might not have meshed with the vibe of the bar. Because of this, my eyes dart left and right every time we walk into the Sunroom since that day. I fear that I will lock eyes with the great GZ and he will recognize us as the marauding band of drinkers that brought the class level down in his establishment on the very day that he was out to impress the masses and the investors. It didn’t stop me of course. I dig the sunroom and their Cosmos are divine. I had a couple-a-three over the weekend, but I stopped there. I don’t want to incur GZ’s wrath or ever risk being banned from the Sunroom. That would be a crime far greater than me stuffing my bra with pilfered hand towels and waking up from my nap wondering why I had a bust line that would make Dolly Parton blush. Good times. Good times.