In a burst of spontaneity on Friday afternoon, I decided that since L. and I needed to be in New Jersey for a pool party on Saturday, we should get on the road Friday night and stop over at a hotel near Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. It wasn't necessarily on the way, per se, but why not?! We're young, we're fun, and we could really use some money!
To my surprise and delight, L. needed very little persuading to decide that my idea was not so bad. He tasked me with the job of finding a hotel that provided a free shuttle to and from the casino, and agreed that we'd leave after work and make it there by dinnertime. Because we're broke college students who don't want to let that deter them from doing fun things, we decided we'd skimp on dinner (as in, we stopped at a Wendy's on the road there), but allow ourselves to go all out at the bars and clubs, since we're not big gamblers anyway.
It was so exciting to leave work, run home, throw a bag together and make our hotel reservations. Spontaneous trips are just so much more exhilarating and out-of-the-ordinary than planned ones! We hopped on the road, derailed only briefly by a stop at the outlets since, in all my excitement, I had forgotten to pack underwear. (Why is underwear so forgettable? A certain friend who shall remain nameless left her entire underwear drawer intact after she moved out of her dorm after freshman year! THAT'S a surprise for the custodial team!)
Anywhoodle. After underwear-collecting and Wendy's-consuming, we arrived at the Comfort Suites about 20 minutes before 9:00, and were informed that the shuttle for Mohegan would be leaving at 9, and the next one not until 10! We frantically scrambled up to the room, got changed, and primped. Oh, and I got ready too.
(Why are jokes at boyfriends' expenses always funnier than all other jokes?)
Anyway, we rushed rushed rushed, and then, we were there. I love casinos because they're kind of like cruise ships, but on land--everything you would ever want or need is there. Shopping, restaurants, bars, clubs, casino. What more is there to life?
Besides, you know. Libraries. Pet shelters. Schools. But besides those things.
I was really excited about everything flashy. For instance, this blue sculpture. Loved it. L. didn't really get it.
But he did take a picture with me in front of it, which ultimately is all that matters. It's unbelievable how flattering florescent blue and white backlighting can be.
I kinda like how busy the blurry lights make it look in the background, though.
If you look closely, you'll see that there's a Tommy Bahama behind the weird blue sculpture.
This, friends. This was the site of a miracle.
On a whim, I decided to stop in and see if they had a bathing suit that I could pick up for the pool party, seeing as I hate all my bathing suits (or maybe just the way I look in them?) and therefore had defiantly not brought one with me. I'll show them!, I thought.
But then I thought, uhh, how will I go in the pool?
Anyway, Tommy Bahama had a sign in the window advertising 50% off all women's swim, and within minutes of walking in, I had fallen in love with this mandarin orange ensemble (minus the skirt):
Which, incidentally, happened to be the same color as the J. Crew pencil skirt I was wearing that night. It was meant to be! And when I tried it on, it actually looked GOOD. Has that ever happened?
I excitedly brought my purchase--which was, or so I thought, $114 on sale for $57, to the front desk. The salesman, Ben, rang it up for me, and announced "That'll be $144."
I think my face literally dropped. Ben explained that the promotion was actually spend $100 FIRST, THEN get 50% of all swim. Well, I didn't have $157 to spend at Tommy Bahama, so, crestfallen, I put the swimsuit away. As we were leaving, L. and I started chatting with a woman who asked us where we went to college. We answered Williams, she said "oh, what a great school!" and yada yada yada. As we were walking out, Ben called me back over.
"Michelle," says Ben, "I'll tell you what I'm gonna do. I'm going to extend you my employee discount, which is 50%, and that will make the swimsuit exactly $57."
My mouth dropped open. "Really? But...but...why?!"
He laughed. "I overheard you chatting. I just figured, you're a broke college student, you go to a great school, you deserve it!" And, chuckling, he walked off to go get his swipe card. One of his fellow employees began ringing up my suit, and when she saw that my jaw was still on the floor, she laughed. "As you were walking out, he said, 'I'm going to make her whole day,'" she told me.
That was probably the nicest thing a stranger has EVER done for me. I saved the receipt and I'm going to send a thank you note to the store, addressed to Ben. I hope he gets it! It more than made my night--it made my whole weekend!
Since I got to go shopping, it was time we did something for L. We went to the Michael Jordan 23 Sports Cafe, which was AWESOME. There were about 10 projectors covering every game on that night (which included a Yankees AND a Red Sox game), not to mention 500 sports news stations covering Le Bron. And their menus were made out of basketball! Literally, they were orange and textured. Too cool. I had the best drink of my life, made with Bacardi Dragonberry, triple sec, cranberry juice, and sour mix. SO GOOD.
And then. Then we ordered these:
BBQ Chicken spring rolls. With JALAPENO RANCH. These were SINFUL, they were so good. Michael can cook at my house, anytime.
Needless to say, L. and I have been forgoing carbs all this week.
We had to gamble a little, so we decided to be adventurous and risk it all on the .25 slots. I was hoping to win big, while L. of course found the only golf-related slot machine in the whole place:
After all that we decided to go to the club, but they wouldn't let L. in because he was wearing cargo shorts! Booo. They even let people wearing jeans in! We were pretty bummed, but ended the night in a fun Irish pub with live music. And I was wearing heels anyway, and was happy for the excuse to sit down!
When we were finally to tired to do much of anything, L. and I wandered back to our shuttle and our hotel. Even though the pool party Saturday was supposed to be the main event of the weekend, our spontaneous trip Friday was just so romantic, fun, and exactly what we needed. I wish we had stayed Saturday, too!