Our experienced conference organizer Jo Hernandez has just returned from her mission to check out the venue for RunRevLive.12. I caught up with her to find out how her trip went and what she has been finding out on your behalf.
So, Jo, how did it go?
It went great, thanks, though I'm very tired now, after covering four states in four days! I got there on the Thursday, and spent a little time checking out the hotel itself. The Dolce Seaview is just twenty minutes from Atlantic City. It has a very, relaxed atmosphere, set in a picturesque and affluent area. There are lovely views of the sea from the venue. The hotel is set in two golf courses, complete with walking trails, so if you like walking or golfing you're going to love it. The building was originally a golfing country club, it is just under 100 years old but recently received a 10 million dollar facelift, so its extremely comfortable!
I took a tour of the property, including the two bar areas, the indoor and outdoor pool and the Elizabeth Arden spa. Being rather jetlagged, I then relaxed with a drink and got some sleep.
So what is there to do locally? Apart from learning LiveCode of course!
On Friday, after having meetings with the hotel staff, I checked out the local area. Just three miles down the road is historic Smithville. This is a quaint little eclectic mish mash of shops and restaurants. I spent a very pleasant few hours here, there was lots to do. The shops are open late (until 8pm) so if you want to make a trip across here after the conference day ends, you'll have plenty of time.
What about Atlantic City?
Saturday, I did Atlantic City. Getting there was easy, there are three buses an hour and they stop right outside the Seaview resort. The bus fare was less than $3 and in twenty minutes I was in the heart of Atlantic City. The bus takes you to the terminal just one block from the famous boardwalk, right in the middle of the outlet shopping area. This is called Tangers or The Walk. If shopping is your thing, you'll find all the major brand names. This could be a great way for any accompanying spouses to spend a day. Its really clean and safe with a good mix of stores, loads to see and do.
Did you see the famous boardwalk?
Ah yes, Altantic City boardwalk,the longest boardwalk in the world. It has everything, casinos, a history museum, an art center and more. You can even do a walking tour of the boardwalk. It's like Las Vegas' little cousin, the same great atmosphere and excitment without being intimidating. Its not just about the gambling, its also about great and historic properties. These portray different scenes and a wide variety of entertainment. For discerning music fans the newly opened Revel is just the place to be, it is has bookings for top names like Beyonce, Sugarland and Seal. Also take a look at the Borgata. This is a fabulous venue to go and see, with a fantastic wine bar. Stay for a couple of nights before or after the conference and experience Atlantic City!
I spent all day in Atlantic city, stopping at some beachside places for a couple of drinks, and taking in the atmosphere. Its a lovely place to be, not as intense as Vegas but with a great nightlife. I even took a wander on the beach, and paddled in sea as by this time my feet were killing me. I confess, I took a cab back to hotel, which cost me $50 including tip. I'd been having such a great time I stayed a bit late and the last bus goes at 10pm. Still, if several people shared a cab it wouldn't be too much and you could have a lovely evening seeing the sights.
It sounds fabulous - but where else can you get to?
Well of course, there's always New York! On Sunday I went to Manhattan NYC. This was surprisingly easy to do, again. You get the bus from outside the resort into New Jersey bus station, then take the greyhound from NJ to port authority NYC. It took just over two hours and cost $25 single or $37 return (if you book a return journey you must specify the time you are coming back, so I didn't do this. I wasn't sure which bus I'd be getting back). In Manhattan I met up with some family, my sister, her husband and my five year old niece. We walked along Broadway to Central Park, seeing all the sights of Broadway on the way. Then we wandered through the park to the zoo - did you know there's a zoo in Central Park? The park was lovely, as was the weather. A balmy 24 degrees is very pleasant after the UK "spring". The zoo cost $12 for an adult, including entry into the petting zoo, which delighted my niece.
After the zoo, we did 5th Avenue and the Rockefeller Center. This is, of course, a hugely posh shopping district, stuffed with big name shops like Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton.The Rockefeller still has an outdoor ice-rink, so if you fancy it you could take a spin on the ice. Other suggestions for entertaining yourself here include Staton island, the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building. This has an amazing view if you can brave going out onto the observation deck! You could take one of various themed bus tours. You could head for trendy Soho and the meatpacking district, which is full of vibrant lively bars, a cool hang out popular with many celebrities. Or,if you're looking for alternative culture in the city, head to Chinatown, you could be in a backstreet in Beijing, and there are tons of amazing eateries.
Getting home is easy, the bus runs 24 hours a day, Head back to the port authority to get your greyhound back, it runs every 30 mins even at weekends. However it can be busy at peak times or weekends. You could book ahead, online at the greyhound website.
You must have been exhausted by now!
Well, yes, I was feeling a bit tired, so on Monday I chilled out and used the facilities at the hotel. It was really very relaxing, I drank lemonade sunbathing by the pool with lots of magazines. I even went for walk on the trail. Conference attendees get use of the spa. The rooms are pleasant and, spacious, all have either a double or twin bed, an armchair, and a desk to work at - wifi included of course! The beds are super comfy and I was ready to collapse into mine!
If you haven't yet got your ticket, you can book it here.