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I really think that the concept and importance of a girls’ getaway weekend are seriously underrated.  Two weeks ago, after about eight months of planning, I was in Atlantic City with my three best friends for two whole nights.  You wouldn’t think that two nights in AC would take that much coordination and effort, right?  But between the four of us, our respective husbands, our combined 8 children, our unforgiving credit cards, our insane work schedules, some very expensive flights from DFW to PHL, and one breast pump for a nursing momma – I feel like we could probably launch the next NASA shuttle mission.  If you promised us a night of uninterrupted sleep and bottomless pitchers of sangria, that is.  Take note, NASA.

The AC coastline is actually not that terrible.
The AC coastline is actually not that terrible.

There’s a little bit of history as to why we chose Atlantic City over all other potential spots, and it involves the triumphant return of the historic Miss America scholarship pageant (interestingly, spell check just corrected scholarship for me, thankyouverymuch.) to the New Jersey shore.  And also, the chance for a free room.  Thank you, Autumn’s Mom.  Our weekend itinerary was jam packed, and I’d be lying if I said that we weren’t just a little bit high maintenance with our list of demands:

  1. Sleep.  We must all sleep.  Nobody wake up crying.
  2. Eat.  We must eat good food. In restaurants that do not serve nuggets of any sort.  Fancy breakable glasses a plus.
  3. Drink.  We must drink enough to laugh a lot, but not too much that we stay out too late and miss the chance for all of the extra sleep (refer to demand #1). Drinking during daylight hours encouraged.
  4. Dress. Shoes may not be flip flops.  Spanx, (the neck-to-knees variety are my personal fave), are worn without judgment and the husband-eye-roll.

The TajApproximately 500 emails and 1,200 text messages later, we arrived at the Taj, checked in, opened up a bottle of vodka, and began to relax. It’s kind of funny to think about the people that we were in 1999 and the people that we are now.  No longer silly girls; we are Women with Responsibilities and Lives and Careers.  And, among other hardships, mortgages, car payments, stretch marks, wayward eyebrows, and adult onset acne.  The weekend started off as a much needed therapy session, with a thousand exclamations of: “Oh my God, me too!” and “I can’t believe we did that!”  There’s something so cathartic about friendships built on a shared history of terrible ex-boyfriends, too many long island iced teas, and the innate need to raise a glass when within earshot of Bon Jovi’s Livin on a Prayer. (Yes, I am that sappy.  Yes. Tommy & Gina have a special place in my heart.  No, I don’t feel weird about that.)

 

Just to be clear.  The point of this trip was NAPS.  We just happen to look this good when well rested.
Just to be clear. The point of this trip was NAPS. We just happen to look this good when well rested.

REVELBut anyway.  We managed to get dressed, find our way through the slot machines, past the buffet restaurant with the disgusting smell, and out onto the boardwalk.  Right into the Show Us Your Shoes! Parade. Some of us (me!) love parades more than others (them.) so we kept moving and headed over to the brand spanking new Revel hotel.  We managed to occupy their rooftop bar for a few hours before our dinner reservations at Amada.  Which, Amada.  If you’re there, do it.  We did the chef’s tasting menu.  It was the best non-nugget meal I’ve eaten in years.  There was a cheese course.  I’m of the opinion that all meals should include a cheese course.

 

 

The spa at Revel.  We were here for six hours.  In this spot.  No shame.
The spa at Revel. We were here for six hours. In this spot. No shame.

The next day was spa day.  We all agreed that we are the kind of women that are meant to “go to the spa” on a more than regular basis.  This is not the first time we came to this conclusion.  Husbands, take note.  Spa day.  Every day.Jumping from sauna to steam room to mineral pool to jacuzzi really started to make us hungry.  So up to the roof top pool we went.  Drinks?  Sure.  A round of bloody mary’s?  Sounds great.  Especially when there’s bacon in that drink.  As a garnish.  Three of those babies and let’s call it lunch.  Which we did.  And then back to the mineral pools we went.  For more drinks.

 

 

If you're going to give me a drink, it damn well better have bacon in it.  BACON.  In a bloody mary.  Game changer.  Maverick.  The Sarah Palin of brunch time cocktails.
If you’re going to give me a drink, it damn well better have bacon in it. BACON. In a bloody mary. Game changer. Maverick. The Sarah Palin of brunch time cocktails.

Note to self.  A spa treatment gets you full spa access all day.  We seriously contemplated going back there after dinner.  But we didn’t.  We found that one of the restaurant bars would let us watch the Miss America pageant and serve us more drinks and feed us cheesecake.  Sold.Unfortunately, it may be a year or two before we get another weekend like this.  Life is just too messy these days – for all of us.  We giggled about most of the nonsense, comiserated over some of the big stuff, and vowed to do it again.  In the meantime, I promised that I’d work on my selfie taking skills.  Jen & Melissa just couldn’t stand to watch the pathetic attempts any longer.

Poolside at the Revel.  This may or may not have been attempt #42.  You will not see any of the results.
Poolside at the Revel. This may or may not have been attempt #42. You will not see any of the results.
Drinking very very expensive cocktails and eating massive plates of cheesecake.  Obviously.
Drinking very very expensive cocktails and eating massive plates of cheesecake. Obviously.

**Please note that most of the above photos, especially the one of me being ridiculous during a selfie attempt, are courtesy of the amazing Melissa Zihlman.  Thank you for sharing them with me, and also for always photoshopping pictures of me like a best friend should. **

 

 

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Also a transplant to New Jersey and Mercer County, Merritt McGlynn is walking a tightrope between career woman and devoted mother: hanging on for dear life with her dishpan hands. Merritt is a mom to two of the most adorable children in Jersey: a darling and spunky 4-year-old and a certifiably insane but heart-melting almost-3-year-old. Married to the always-working "Coach", Merritt tries to maintain some appearance of a work-life balance, and often finds that the scales are usually tipped in one direction or the other - but she’s still trying! In her spare time, if she ever gets any, Merritt would like to read books, travel with her husband, drink margaritas on the deck, and one day, if she’s really lucky, enjoy a phone conversation without interruptions. For now, she’ll settle for 20 minutes of an Audrey Hepburn movie and a diet coke.

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