Thursday, December 7, 2017

Weekend in Pennsylvania: Valley Forge Casino/Resort

King of Prussia, PA
Valley Forge Casino/Resort
CTMH season expressions
December 1-3, 2017

I had signed up to attend what I have decided is my last Close to My Heart corporate event a few months ago.
Historically this mini vacation has been a weekend of fun with my CTMH friends, scrapbooking, good times and the added bonus of a CTMH event. I learned after I signed up to attend the event, that several of my favorite people would not be attending. I was out a room mate, and I was thinking that I may simply CA the trip all together when hubby came to the rescue and afforded us (he and I) a little weekend get away at the area casino resort. Yeah for Hubby!!!!
I took Friday off and was ready to roll, when I was informed of a MANDATORY meeting at work. I signed up quick to get into the am session and planned to leave ASAP.
The conference was SOOOOO difficult to get through and SOOOOO serious I didn't even take a picture of me and my co-workers enjoying ourselves. Most pictures would be with glazed over eyes, threats of self harm and ferociously searching the want adds. was that bad.
At any forward to 12:31pm. I was OUTTA THERE!!!!

 (The Leigh tunnel....always creates some degree of anxiety in my driving through it. BUT how cool is it to say we drove through a mountain?)
 (clearly not much traffic here!)

Mark and I were off. The nearly 4 hour drive towards Philly went quick enough despite the consistent PA traffic which we missed by a hair as we were nearing rush hour while we headed towards the Philly area. The goal was to get to to the King of Prussia area and situate ourselves to our new home for the next few days. Valley Forge Resort and Casino.

Mark had gotten us a suite for the weekend. Yes I am spoiled.

He had also packed alcohol.
Our suite was very nice. We also had this odd little veranda off our bedroom. It really didn't suit much purpose except to allow some light in from the outside. But I thought it was cool.
 Here we are sitting in the veranda area and below is the room from outside.
 Once we had gotten situated in our room we hit the casino floor. I had read mixed reviews of the place previous to going, and they were not that positive. The casino has been in existence for 5 years now. Apparently there was a $10- admission fee prior to recently. This had many reviews of the place soured. I don't blame them. THAT IS CRAZY!!! There is no longer a fee to enter.
 Being that I have been to a few casino's in my day. I will give my personal low down on the place. (Before I loss my money....LOL) I must also indicate my bias as Mark and I have decided that we are indeed CASINO spoiled with our local and most loved casino Turing Stone, so measuring up to these standards may be difficult. I broke things down into the room and the actual casino experience.

RESORT/ROOM review: We had a suite. It was "nice". I was not BLOWN away for the price. Easy access to the casino. Bed was AWESOME! Kitchenette had dorm sized fridge, kurig coffee maker, sink and microwave. Bathroom had LARGE glass enclosed shower with rain like shower head. FREE Wifi. The gym (although I did not use it.) seemed standard, but it was shared with both hotels. I never saw inside the spa. It was closed when I was in the area. (Located next to the gym.

What I Anyone could get access to our room floor. (I was unable to figure out the locks- Mark finally did.) PARKING!!! There is no designated hotel parking. I found out after the fact that  there is valet for free as a guest. (This was never a big deal.  BUT it did make bringing our things in and finding the area to enter a bit difficult.) There is TWO places to stay here. The casino tower and a Raddison. They are both attached to the casino., I would have been just as happy to stay in the Raddison plus it had Most of the restaurants in that area.
I also disliked that there was NO indoor pool. Apparently there is a large pool and outside oasis area. I never saw it. CLOSED for the season. This was disappointing. Shower was COLD. It took a long time for the water to heat up the first time I took a shower and the second morning it never seemed to get hot.

CASINO review:
First thing, we had to get our players card. Generally casino's offer some sort of incentive for getting a card. Valley Forge offered up to $100- in free play (we both got $25-) once you play out enough to get 1 pt. What total you need to play to gain that 1pt, well I  finally got my point, but it sure took some time. Lucky for me I scored a nice $300- win before hand, but if your not generally a gambler and your simply want to "play" for the fun of it on the casino's buck...this place is not going to offer you that option. Basically you have to sink in deep with your own penny in to get that FREE $25- bucks. Mark played for quite some time and sunk in a few big dollars before his FREE play popped up. We had fun getting to that free point before we were ready to find dinner. No harm no fowl. This is what we do.
Second.....its not a big casino. There is no definition between smoking and non-smoking except by the small smoking sign located on the machine your are playing. There were limited machines, and most were pretty old (to us). Located smack in the center of the casino is a large bar area. Music blared from a DJ all night. I did not mind. but it could be intrusive to some. Mark and I also noticed that there was no drink station and I only realized late on the second day that servers offered FREE drinks throughout.
No buffet!!!! This was a SHOCKER! There seems to ALWAYS be a buffet. Only restaurants located in the casino area are three walk up stations. Pizza/pasta, Burgers/Fries and an Asian place.(all over priced for the quality.) We ended up getting dinner and breakfast for free from here anyways due to points but the price was jacked.
 Above the casino was the VERY expensive restaurant. The Vault. (we only glanced at the prices and decided we would rather drop that money into a machine. LOL)

There are additional restaurants in the Raddison hotel area. Finding this areas was not easy and a hike to get to. Poor sign indicators. We did have a very nice dinner at the Valley Tavern on our first night.
It was confusing to understand the accommodations at some of the restaurants as there were several places that seemed to have personal parties going on. Mark and I struggled to figure out if these places were only private parties or open to the public. When we asked about one location we only got a shrug. I still think we choose wisely. This was yummy and we got to sit next to some old time professional football players who were at the casino for the weekend's main event. (I didn't know anything about who they were, but it was still exciting.)
So there are the Highs and Lows on the Casino and Resort. Basically it was a standard resort. I have certainly seen worse and many better. Enjoyed just the same.

On main event was to attend the Close to My Heart Seasonal expressions launch. Mark dropped me off at the location with plans for us to meet up after and head to the area's largest attraction The King of Prussia Mall.

I refuse to be one of those people, but I will note that this CTMH event was perhaps one of the most disappointing and unorganized events I have ever attended. That's enough said BECAUSE I HAVE LOVED CTMH!!!!!!So I refuse to say anything else negative.
 I saw several old friends, enjoyed the new catalog review, completed my projects and FOUND a Sticky boy!!!!! YEAH!!!!

 Mark picked me up and we headed to the MALL!!!Apparently King of Prussia is one of the largest in the country. I will is big.
Mark and I really did not have a goal in mind, just wanted to spend some time walking around.
We enjoyed the holiday lights and Santa.

We got a kick out of "elite" shops.
Mark has this thing for Jimmy Choo shoes. We got a picture of him in front of Jimmy Choo's in Vegas as well. (he possibly had that same Motley Crew shirt on,)
I have never seen a store that was roped off  with a bouncer before. Just like an exclusive club. Maybe instead of ID you have to produce your Platinum card to enter.
We struggled to get our barrings as this place is BIG. There really isn't a natural flow either. We got lost and backwards trying to find a place to eat. We wanted to try a place that they do not have in our area. We found this place. The Grand Lux.
I failed to get a picture of my burger and fries. (Imagine that). BUT IT WAS YUMMY!!!! The desserts that we saw were incredible looking. If I wasn't so hungry I may have decided to bypass a meal and have dessert instead.
A little more walking after a very late lunch and we had our fill. I convinced Mark to stop at the container store before heading back to the resort. He was NOT impressed. I didn't get as much excitement about the the visit this time either. It is much more fun with the ladies. "We were not able to contain ourselves."
After the mall and a stop at he Container Store, we made it back to the Resort. The rest of the evening was spent playing slots. I won a little lost a little the rest of the evening. We both felt exhausted pretty early had a very late meal from off the points accumulated from the weekend play and called it a night. I walked away about $50- ahead. Grateful I was not under. We saw some crazy die hard's playing. One women was at a machine when we headed off to bed and Mark claimed she was still there the following morning. She cashed out with over a thousand dollars. Hopeful that was her upswing winnings.....and not what she had left.

We had gotten up early as we seem to always do and welcomed the new day. We discussed exploring the area a little more, but honestly there isn't much else to see except Valley Forge Historical site, and we had visited years ago when the kids were young. I suggested possibly checking out places on our way home, but there was not much on our route either. At least nothing Mark was willing to get off the turnpike for. So I had George jr. take a bite out of the Casino and we were soon on the road heading home. 

Perhaps not the most exciting mini vacation we have ever taken, but we did have some fun. It was a nice weekend getaway and very nice that Mark was willing to take me to a Close to My Heart event. The trip home seemed so much longer then coming down. Yeah for NY!!! We finally made it!

Until my next little adventure!!! TTFN!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Busy weekend....of fun and friends

November 24th-26th
Central NY

Friday at work was a ghost town. The clock seemed to stand still. Those who were at the office found ways to keep busy by catching up on paperwork. I only had one very early appointment and the rest of the day was spent organizing and taking care of things. A few of us, indulged in a lunch break out to Stella's (One of the area's best diner's)

 I am so fortunate to work with these fun loving ladies! Stefanie was even off for the day and she joined us.

Friday evening was a night of Bunco!

 I am so bad with names, even after several months of Bunco night I cant remember everyone. I do know that OUR bunco nights are not a bunch of little old ladies playing dice. We are OUT OF CONTROL.
Susan, Tina and Me

Gina, Renee, Michelle and Annette

Tina, Renee, Susan, Kristen, Michelle, Dina, Gina, Laurie, Brenda....
We had such a wild time! I actually got five BUNCO's this evening and won the most Bunco's!!!!

Saturday after doing the normal chores of grocery shopping etc. Mark and I prepared for my friends 40th birthday party,
Dinner was at Spaghetti Warehouse.

The Birthday Girl: AnneMarie

Stefanie and Aimee
Becky and Renee

Ed and Barb
Theresa and Greg

David with the triple threat!

Dave and Jennifer
Kevin and Jill

Me and  Mark

 After dinner we met up at a local pup called The Locker room. We dominated the place. I'm not sure the solo bar tender had any idea what to expect. It was great fun! We drank, we sang, we cheered, we ate cake!

 What a great way to celebrate a friends 40th! Happy Birthday Anne Marie

Now...this morning I am back to REAL life. I somehow have to finalize my paper which is due on Thursday. Clean up the house, decorate for the Holidays get BACK on my weight watcher PLAN and....I would like to do a little scrapbooking this afternoon.
Tomorrow I take a trip to Oswego to meet with my former College adviser Jodi to plan for my last few courses to meet with the NY State licensing demands. I am hoping that this will work out.
I have a little trip planned for next weekend. Mark and I are going to PA for the weekend. I have a Close to My Heart (Scrapbooking) event on Saturday. Mark and I are going to spend Friday and Saturday evening at the Valley Forge Casino in King of Prussia. I am quite excited. TTFN