Don’t quote me on this, but I think you know you had a good birthday when you hugged a NYC celebrity and fell asleep under a craps table while your husband raked in a wad of money to buy Burlesque show tickets with.
Granted, Skipper Bob didn’t recommend Atlantis Marina at $4.50/foot. But, then, the exorbitant-for-the-Bahamas price didn’t seem that crazy considering $4.00/foot back in New York would have bought us some pretty unimpressive amenities like barely tolerable bathrooms, a luke-warm trickle of a shower and definitely no swimming pool. In fact, I’m guessing we’d have moved aboard a long time ago if marinas in the Northeast boasted water slides, lazy rivers, swimming pools, jacuzzis, free towels, aquariums, casinos, boutiques, trendy restaurants, a swanky fitness center, hot showers, and a Starbucks. Did I mention the fitness center and Starbucks?!
Sure, it sounds like a cruise-ship-turned-marina but, hell, what’s wrong with that for a few days?!
I’m guessing we got our money’s worth out of Atlantis. They’ve probably never seen two “yachties” use so much hot water. The only problem was that the other yachties on their 60-foot catamarans and 120-foot power yachts never returned our enthusiastic waves, which I thought was rude.
“They don’t know you own a yacht,” Ryan said, pointing out that I’d been wearing the same faded shorts and t-shirt for the last two weeks while everyone else looked like they just stepped off the plane from L.A. ready to hit the club.
Which was an indicator that it was time to pull our fancy digs out of the hanging locker and dust off the mildew. After all, it was my birthday.
So, we kicked off the weekend with a workout session at the fitness center, dinner at a restaurant on the beach and then we headed back to Hideaway to do a You Tube study of “How to Win at Craps” (videos 1, 2, 3 and 4).
Neither Ryan nor I could care less about gambling, but when we found ourselves in Vegas a few years back, we thought we’d at least give it a try, and limit ourselves to $200. The problem, though, was we quickly got bored with the mindless button-pressing of slot machines and the unsociable Black Jack and Roulette tables and therefore couldn’t see the point or the appeal of gambling. So we gave up when we were about $20 down and went home.
On the way out, though, we passed the craps tables, which had crowds of people shouting, cheering and generally having fun, and we thought if there was anything we should try, it should be craps. But we didn’t want to go at it without an education. So the next night we gave ourselves the same $200 budget, watched some You Tube tutorials, and hit the tables. And by the end of the night, we’d had an absolute blast, got drunk for free, met some interesting people, and made $80.
This year, we figured we’d try the same. But we had an even steeper challenge since I’d spotted a poster in Atlantis advertising Dita Von Teese’s Burlesque show on Saturday night with none other than Murray Hill as the MC. I’d seen Murray Hill host a Burlesque show in SoHo, New York a few years back and he/she (a cross-dressing female) hilariously stole the show. It was guaranteed to be a good time, but the tickets were kind of pricey at $100 a pop. So we vowed that if we made at least $100, we’d buy tickets for Saturday night’s show.
Turning $200 into $300 was no easy challenge, though. And the thing about those free casino drinks is that they make them tame and tasty at the beginning of the night. But the longer you linger at the table, the stronger the drinks get, until you’re practically drinking rubbing alcohol in a cup. But you don’t care anymore because you’re two sheets to the wind, so you keep drinking and – as the casino hopes – betting money foolishly. Unless you’re Ryan, that is.
Though I have the tolerance of a Korean man (tell tale signs: face turns red, starts giggling and Gangnam Style dancing, then falls asleep where currently seated or standing), Ryan has the tolerance of a Russian General (gets more energetic and decisive as the night goes on). So while I apparently sat on the floor giggling, then curled up into a ball to sleep under the craps table, Ryan started raking in $15 chips by the handful and raising a ruckus cheering on the preppy college kids who were rolling all the right numbers.
Ryan also wisely moved me over to the slot machines, where he propped me up on a seat like the dead guy in Weekend at Bernie’s so the casino wouldn’t make us leave, and ran over now and then to wake me up and stash chips in my pocket so he wouldn’t spend them.
And while Ryan was busy winning money off the dice rolls of a lucky college kid the croupier had nicknamed “GQ,” I got up to use the toilet. Which is when I saw Murray Hill and Dirty Martini (a New York burlesque performer) sat on the Atlantis casino throne having their pictures taken.
Hopefully they were just as drunk as I was because I immediately ran up to Murray Hill and babbled about how I loved his show at Corio in NYC and that my husband was playing craps RIGHT NOW so we could win enough money to go see them and they just HAD to come meet him RIGHT NOW. And then I gave him a hug, which is the kind of thing you only do at 2 in the morning.
And though Mr. Hill and Ms. Martini wouldn’t come with me back to the craps table, as fate would have it, we’d meet them again the next night anyway.
After all, by the end of the night, Ryan had won himself $260 and a rather drunk date to a Burlesque show. And that was just the beginning of the weekend…