Carrie and I drove straight to the Boardwalk on Saturday, and paid the outrageous $20 parking fee. Thankfully, when we finally got to the hotel, checked in, and decided it was not dirty and we could sleep there, I discovered a shuttle that runs to anywhere in Atlantic City for only $5. I’m not sure, but I think they charged my room and we paid them cash, so I should probably check my bank statement. Sunday morning, bright and early, we called the shuttle. The van parked in front of the hotel, but our driver was inside. Carrie noted that the van had been sideswiped. Fair enough, it happens. But we soon discovered why.
In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban , Harry takes a journey on the Knight Bus. Our driver and Stan Shunpike are actually cousins. At one point in our journey, after our driver cursed at triathalon bikers, 5k runners, and traffic cops, whipped around corners and zipped down one way streets, I turned to Carrie and whispered, “This reminds me of the Knight bus.” To which she replied, “I was thinking the same thing!” It was such a wild ride that when she dropped us off at Caesar’s Palace, she jumped out of the car to open our door before she put the van in Park. The van started to roll away and the valet parkers stood their laughing. when our feet were safety on the ground a valet parker joked, “Better late than dead.”
First we went to the Miss America Forevers Signing, where we met so many elegant, beautiful, classy former Miss America winners. It was truly an experience of a lifetime. We got there an hour early, but there was already a line formed. We spoke with the people around us. The line experience was half the fun!
Then we met Ed. Oh my goodness. He was an Atlantic City Ambassador. He had the lime green jacket on. Clearly he was supposed to be able to guide people. So we asked him where the Miss America sand castle was. He had no idea there was a Miss America sand castle! But he was eager to help, and called the visitor center to find out. Literally, we were standing right in front of it, but it was behind a hill. He walked with us around the hill, took our picture, and made good conversation. He was really a great guy, and we ran into him again later when we met with some pageant sisters from NY for lunch. Of course he didn’t know where the restaurant we were looking for was either. But he was eager to help!
In the Tanger Outlets in Atlantic City they had something similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but of Miss America past titleholders! All along the sidewalks there were tiles with titleholders and miniature biographies. I found a few of my favorites, and of some past Miss New Yorks. There have only been four before Mallory and Nina.
There is an unofficial museum in the Sheraton Hotel. Out in the atrium there is this neat statue. It is a founder of the Miss America pageant, and sings while you stand under it. They just released a similar statue modeled after Mallory, but we didn’t go to that one as well. Unfortunately, Carrie was to short to trigger the song, and I was too tall to stand up straight. I actually bashed my head off his hand at one point and had a horrible headache for the duration of the afternoon.
The first seven Miss Americas were given a status of a golden mermaid. Although these originals are lost, there is a pretty awesome replica in the unofficial museum. During commercial breaks at the pageant we had trivia questions. The first to tweet the correct answer won a prize. This was the answer to a question, and I knew it, but was not the first to tweet.
In addition to some awesome Miss America history, we were able to view the dresses of Miss Americas of the past, as well as shoes worn in the famous traditional Show Us Your Shoes Parade.
The town was so welcoming and supportive. Literally, there was “Miss America” everywhere, on permanent infrastructure!