Before I tell the story of our trip to the Poconos I must start by admitting what a difficult time we had choosing a location for our Labor Day vacation. This trip started out as a Croatia/Budapest/Prague trip, that turned into a Nordics trip, to England to Ireland, to Yellowstone or Jackson Hole to finally the Poconos. For various reasons all of the other plans we made fell through and I was feeling defeated and had just about given up. We had seen some Groupons for Poconos but honestly all of the hotels with their heart shaped beds and champagne glass hot tubs seemed a bit sleezy. But since we exhausted all of our other options we crossed our fingers and booked at the least sleazy looking resort.

hot tubWe weren’t really reassured about our choice based on the reactions we got from family and friends when we told them our vacation plans. They all laughed. A younger co-worker of mine said her parents honeymooned in the Poconos… and they went home after one night…

We left early Thursday morning for our adventure and drove through to Fishkill NY. We have a tradition of eating Thai food for lunch on our road trips and we had chosen Golden Buddha Thai as our lunch destination for this trip. As it turns out this was the first day they had re-opened under new managment and we were customers #3. The owner/waitress/hostess was very friendly and eager to take our feedback. The restaurant itself was very cute and slightly more dressed up than your typical quick Thai restaurant. The food was also great, I had my usual Pad See Ew and Little Star had a pork fried rice dish, which actually included slices of pork. Both dishes were excellent.

After Fishkill we drove through to the Poconos. We had a little trouble with the GPS not recognizing the hotel address and our phones not getting reception but overall the resort was easy to find. We were staying at the Inn at Pocono Manor, which looked to be one of the higher end resorts in the area which did not have the creepy honeymoon suites!

pocono manorWe arrived right around the 4pm check in time, got our room and explored the large property. The room itself was a bit musty smelling and the bathroom did not feel the cleanest but it was okay overall. On site we found many banquet rooms and seating areas, an arcade, a ping pong (free) and a pool table (paid), a movie room and an indoor pool. Outside was another pool next to the patio bar, more function rooms and a newly built terrace where we would later see a live band. There is also a spa on the property, a nice restaurant, and a bar which serves, well, bar food.

After our exploration we headed back to the room to rest up a little before the evenings activities. During check in we learned that the inn has a shuttle which can go to a handful of local places including the Mount Airy Casino which we wanted to check out that evening. I would definitely recommend taking advantage of the shuttle as the roads are very dark at night and we saw lots of deer ready to jump in front of the first passing car they found.

We got dressed up, got on the shuttle and headed over. The grounds of the Casino are very impressive and it looked like it would be a nice place to stay. The pool area also looked like a lot of fun. We arrived at about 8pm on a Thursday night and the place was fairly quiet. We wandered up to the bar to have a drink and chat with the friendly bartender. We ordered two cocktails with top shelf liquor and almost fell out of our seats when we closed out the tab for a whopping $7 in total.

mount airy casinoOne of the things we had read about Mount Airy Casino was that there was a Guy Fieri restaurant and we are suckers for anything famous sounding. Initially I was concerned we would need a reservation for such a big name restaurant, but we were able to walk right in and get a seat. We were disappointed to learn they did not have a liquor license yet and didn’t serve drinks! We ordered a few fried chicken and french fry dishes as well as a salad. Everything was very tasty, but the menu was pretty much all fried comfort foods. I would like to think it was high end fried food and slightly less greasy.

After dinner we checked out the table games for a little bit but quickly became tired and were ready to head out. It looked like there were some nice nightclubs in the casino but they were all closed. I’m not sure if the casino is more lively on the weekends but it was too slow and quiet on a Thursday night to keep our interest. We headed back to the hotel and were quickly fast asleep.

Read Day 2