Jersey Shore Fist Pumping!

Saturday night I worked yet another wedding.  This time I was able to follow the banquet manager the entire time, so I was able to see what to do from start to finish of an event.  When I got there I helped Daniella, the event coordinator, set up the bridal room. Before every event, we stock the mini fridge with bottles of water for the bridal party and put out chilled champagne and champagne glasses.  We also have to put out chilled water bottles in the lobby or study for the groom and groomsmen.  After I set all that stuff up, I had to organize the place cards.  Usually we request that the bride give us the place cards already in alphabetical order, but this time they weren’t.  Therefore, I had to go through the whole stack of place cards and put them in alphabetical order.  Seems like an easy task, but they were done in calligraphy so I couldn’t even figure out what some of the letters were, so I had to use the printed guest lists to figure out their names and put them in order.  Then I placed them all in One Atlantic’s sand boxes for display.  There were no favors to set up for this wedding, instead the couple decided to make a donation to the American Heart Association in honor of the bride’s father and the groom’s grandmother.  During the ceremony, the bride had her father’s fedora with a red rose placed on what would’ve been his seat.  She also honored him with a charm on her bouquet and had part of one of his shirts sewn into her dress.  After I was finished with all of the set up, I was able to follow Paul for the remainder of the night.  I shadowed him during the server meeting.  This meeting is held at the beginning of their shift.  During it, Paul goes over the timeline of the event, the menu, guests with allergies or special needs, and any new changes One Atlantic may have.  Specifically this week there were two new items to be discussed.  The first one is that anybody under the age of 21 is not allowed to drink from glass.  This helps everyone know who is and is not of drinking age, as well as stop any hazards associated with glass wear.  The second new thing was that we were going to try to stop people from taking drinks onto the dance floor with them during the night, because glasses are often dropped or drinks spilled, which also causes hazards.  Later in the night we realized that its impossible to stop everyone, so we just supervised and made sure nobody was dancing out of control with drinks.  Daniella, Paul, and I were placing bets on which girl was going to drop her drink first.  The bride and groom wanted their reception to be like HQ and they were pretty close.  There was a lot of crazy dancing and fist pumping!  This couple had hired a Photo Booth for their wedding.  The guy operating it asked Kelsey, the other intern, and I if we wanted to be his test strip before the party started using it so we got to go in the Photo Booth and get a photo strip to take with us! For the rest of the night, I followed Paul, and saw how he managed the timeline and the food.  The toasts went much longer than anticipated so it messed up the rest of the timeline, so we had to move things around and arrange them so that we could get back on track.  The timeline is very important for the DJ, the banquet manager, and the kitchen, and they all need to make sure they are on the same page.  Another thing that the banquet manager does is make sure the bride and groom actually sit down and eat.  You would not believe how much you have to hound the couple to eat.  They are usually so busy talking to people and making their rounds that often they don’t get to eat their own wedding food!  Its really important that they get to eat, especially when they’ve been drinking all night like this couple.  This bridal party was a rowdy one! They LOVED the open bar, but I thought they were great! They were all really nice and fun.  The bride was so beautiful and not just because she had her hair and makeup done for her day, but you could tell how truly happy she was and that made her that much more beautiful.

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On a side note, before introductions the groom’s grandmother walked up to me and asked, “Is it true that Snooki got married here or is getting married here?”  I thought this was the funniest thing I’ve heard.  Not only did the grandmother know who Snooki was but the fact that this rumor was floating around was hilarious.  So I just kinda laughed it off and was like “No, not to my knowledge”.  Later on I tell Daniella about this hilarious exchange, and she informed me that Snooki and JWoww filmed an episode for season 3 at One Atlantic.  It was Daniella’s 2nd day at work and they were there filming an episode like they were venue shopping! Daniella said since it was her 2nd day, she barely knew anything about the company yet and was so nervous during the filming. So obviously I had to come home and search for the episode and watch that part. After finding this all out, it made a lot more sense that the grandmother was asking me that question. Here’s the link if you want to check it out! (Minute 2:00)

 

 

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Minimal Words

Thursday I had a visitor! Ms. Dani Rieland came to spend the night.  A ton of our Bloomsburg friends were coming to Atlantic City to see a friend of ours DJ at Harrah’s so we booked a room for Friday night with our friends Drew & Frank and their friends.  We had a great time with #friends and made lots of #memories. #sports.

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After a great night out with friends, I worked a wedding Saturday night.  On three hours of sleep (not my best decision) the wedding was a bit of a struggle.  There’s not a whole lot to say about the wedding, because due to my lack of sleep and wild children, I don’t really remember much about the wedding in general. But I thought I would share some pictures with you all.

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Today I was back in the office with the banquet manager.  I sat in on a “Final Detail” Meeting and listened to another one on the phone.  I was able to follow along with the Banquet Event Order and take notes.  I also created the server/bartender schedule for the beginning of August.  I had to look at when the events were, what time they started, and figure out what time the employees needed to arrive.  I looked at how many of each I needed for each event based off of the guest count and sent a mass text to the servers and bartenders.  They told me their availability then I added it to the schedule.  It was also important to make sure that the first people to text back got their events while making sure the “core” servers got the events they wanted.  After the this, I helped Daniella enter some menus into Reserve for upcoming weddings and tastings.  My last task of the day was to create a reception layout.  This couple wanted square tables instead of our usual circle tables, so I had to make the room diagram by hand.  This was actually my favorite part of the day, because it required logic and creativity.

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After today I am technically at 121 hours out of my needed 120 hours.  Although I’m finished with my required hours, I’m going to continue to go to office hours and events to take the most from this internship that I can.

The Life I Live

Moving here this summer has opened me up to a lot of new experiences and willingness to put myself out there and try new things. Yesterday Aunt Cindy talked me into attending a yoga class in Rio Grande.  This specific type of yoga was called Bikram yoga or what is known as hot yoga. This past semester at college  I started practicing yoga, but Bikram is a whole other adventure.  Bikram yoga consists of a 90 minute class in a 104 degree room.  The studio we went to had space heaters and fireplaces all throughout the room.  Bikram is made up of 26 poses that are practiced in each class. Bikram has many health benefits one being the releasing your body of toxins through your sweat.  The high temperatures open up your blood vessels and allow better blood and oxygen flow throughout the body.  The class was definitely an experience.   I never knew how much a person could honestly sweat.  The lady next to me was sweating so much that it sounded like it was raining on her mat.  The whole class I had to go to the bathroom really bad, so I was feeling really uncomfortable, but I knew if I left the hot room to go to the bathroom coming back into it would be completely agonizing.  In this case, I decided to lay down for a pose or two until I felt like I could participate again.   After the class, I was feeling slightly nauseous because I didn’t properly hydrate, but I was proud of myself for making it through the whole class.  Aunt Cindy said she’s seen a lot of first timers and I did great.  So since I’ve survived, I can cross Bikram yoga off my bucket list.    While at this class, I also made a nice connection with a woman who planned events for the Olympics in Australia.  She also plans weddings in Cape May and has tons of connections all over the place because of her involvement with the Olympics.  I gave her my name and e-mail and she said she would contact me if she needs any help in Cape May this summer or hears of any good opportunities.  Its really cool how you have the ability to network everywhere you go.

Bikram Yoga class

Bikram Yoga class

This morning I went to my internship.  I am now on the third leg of the program which is working with the Banquet manager.  When I got there he had me do “liquor trackers”.  Before an event, the bartenders count how many bottles of each alcohol they have and then they do the same at the end of the night.  I enter this information in a spreadsheet which calculates how much alcohol was consumed at each event, along with the consumed cost for that alcohol.  All this gets added up to see how much that specific event’s alcohol cost.  This is how we keep track of what alcohol is being consumed, how much we spent, and how to better prepare for each event.  After I finished the liquor trackers, I helped Paul with the payroll for all the servers, bartenders, barbacks, and greeters.  Like before, I also copied information onto “The Board” for the upcoming wedding on Saturday.

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After this, Paul didn’t have anything for me to do at the time, so I asked one of the sales ladies if she needed anything done.  She gave me approximately 200 business cards and asked me to create a spreadsheet with all their names and e-mail addresses.  The spreadsheet is going to be used in a few months when it’s time to send out information regarding One Atlantic’s holiday parties.  The winter months are usually slow for One Atlantic weddings, so this is when they try to book a lot of corporate events and parties.  After I was finished with the spreadsheet, Paul showed me how to operate the security cameras and time clocks for employees.   So far, the event planning portion has been my favorite part of the internship, so I always check with Daniella and Eileen if they have anything that needs to be done before I leave.  Daniella asked me to help her with a project she was working on.  Like I mentioned in a previous post, couples are not allowed to have the Starry Night lighting fixture up when there is going to be a hora.  Another reason a couple could not have Starry Night would be if they have more than 250 guests.  This is because the normal ceremony space holds 250 people and if a couple has more guests we have to use a larger portion of the ballroom for the ceremony space. This would not allow enough time to switch over the entire ballroom and put up the fixture during the short cocktail hour.  Daniella asked me to go through the folders for all her booked weddings and check information regarding Starry Night, Horas and if they have over 250 guests.  She was creating e-mails to remind the brides of the information regarding Starry Night and its restrictions. After I was finished with this, Daniella allowed me to create a wedding timeline and menu in Reserve for one of her weddings in October.  I’ve seen Eileen and Daniella use Reserve for different aspects of events, but it was really helpful to be able to do it myself.  In addition to weddings and office hours, I’ve been working on One Atlantic’s Pinterest account from home.  Its been really fun to take the pictures and categorize them.

On my way to One Atlantic today, I was walking through the pier and I saw a press conference happening, so I decided to stop and listen for a little while.  It was a DOAC press conference announcing the opening acts for the free Blake Shelton and Lady Antebellum concerts in a month.  Dan and Shay will be opening up for Blake Shelton on July 31st and Alex and Sierra from the X Factor are opening for Lady Antebellum on August 3rd. Kelsey and I have tickets for both concerts so it was exciting to see the announcement live.  The speaker was also providing a lot of valuable information regarding the concert including a map and parking information.

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Independence Weekend

After working long days through the week and the holiday weekend, today I finally had a day off to relax.  This morning I decided to head to Brigantine to spend the day at the beach.  It was nice to be able to relax without any time constraints.  Usually when I go to the beach, I can’t really fully relax or take naps because I have to be at work at a certain time so today was really nice (and no seagulls attacked me).

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Kelsey came back this evening after she spent some time at Ithaca.  We picked up my friend Michelle and went into Atlantic City to watch the fireworks tonight.  Atlantic City has one of the top five firework displays in the country for the 4th of July celebration.  The director of One Atlantic allowed all employees and friends/families to come up and watch the fireworks from the venue.  This gave us a spectacular view because we were already 100 yards over the ocean so we were really close to the fireworks. They shoot the fireworks off of two barges (boats) out in the ocean.  There was supposed to be one barge on each side of the pier so they could be seen from all the beaches but the one boat kept drifting so they were both on the same side.  Because they were on the opposite side of the terrace we were going to watch from, we moved everything inside and watched from the 15 foot windows.  It was still AMAZING! We were able to see both sets of fireworks go off together as they were originally choreographed so both sides of the pier would see the same show at the same time.  The director had a cart full of water, Johnson’s caramel popcorn, salt water taffy and macaroons for us to snack on during the fireworks.  It was really great experience overall.  It was really cool to see the water and the waves light up with each firework.  I am really glad they were postponed until tonight so I got to experience them!

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Chef Rebekah

Like I’ve mentioned before, my internship consists of 4 portions.  The first portion was spent working with the event coordinators and today I finished up my second portion which was spent in the kitchen working with the chef and other cooks.  Last week I went in on a Thursday and we had huge weddings on both Friday and Saturday so I did a lot of food prep.  Along with another person, I rolled about 350 crab cigars for the weddings.  Friday night was a Vietnamese wedding so the couple provided the bride’s mother’s recipe for egg rolls so then I worked on those so they would be ready to be fried on Saturday in time for cocktail hour.

Crab Cigars served in a cigar box

Crab Cigars served in a cigar box

Today was a lot more fun than the last week because we weren’t as busy so I was able to do more things and learn more about the kitchen.  We had a couple come in for their tasting at 1 so I was able to see how they prepare for that and I even prepared one of the hors d’oeuvres.  It was a watermelon cube wrapped in prosciutto.  I thought this was a really weird thing, but Chef had me try it and it was actually really good.  Its an uncommon but perfect combination.   After this I helped make some empanadas to serve for the wedding tomorrow.  I learned how to use the vacuum sealer they had in the kitchen.  Its a really cool thing that they use a lot.  The vacuum sealer allows them to prepare food ahead of time.  For instance, today they started grilling the filet mignon for tomorrow, so they cooked them all half way and then we sealed them and put them in the fridge and they will just finish them up tomorrow before serving them.  I thought this was really cool.  For the tasting today, the couple requested little shot glasses made of cookies filled with milk.  I’ve seen them on Pinterest and One Atlantic has never done them before so today was a first.  I even got to try one!  We were expecting a food delivery today but when they were on their way here they got pulled over and had an expired registration so they had to take all the food and transfer it to a different truck.  With this being said, we were missing a few necessary ingredients for the tasting this afternoon.  Chef took me “shopping”.  This is when we go to the other restaurants in the Pier Shops and borrow what we need.  I think its a really great how close all the chefs are and that they’re willing to help each other out.  Chef was talking to me and was reminding me of how important it is to help everyone whenever you are able, because you never know when you may be working for that person or you may need their help back.

A few hours after we went “shopping”, one of the cooks asked me to go back down to the restaurant and gather some steam with the help of one of the other chefs.  I said to them, “Are you serious?”, and they got me a container and I was kinda just like “I’m the intern.  I don’t really know what I’m doing.  I’ll just do what they tell me.”  So I found my way back to the restaurant and talked to the chef from earlier.  He was like, “did they actually send you down here for that?” and I was like “Yeah, is this some sort of prank?” and he was like “Yeah.  Hahaha”.  Supposedly this is a very common thing.  They always send their interns to each other for stupid things like steam or an “oven stretcher”.  I was lucky they didn’t send me on a wild goose chase to other restaurants or Caesar’s like they do to other interns.  The chef at the restaurant helped me fill up my container with a little bit of hot water and told me to tell them “we consolidated the steam, so they wouldn’t have to do it later”.  So it took it back upstairs and they were all really impressed that I came back with at least that.  They said usually people just return with an empty container.  It was really funny and I can enjoy a good joke.  Another thing the kitchen guys do is “intern tossing”.  On our last day, they each get a turn in throwing the intern to see how many tiles they can throw us.  The sous chef was on vacation so we’re waiting until next week when the other intern begins in the kitchen so they can throw us both at the same time.  They’re thinking they can throw me at least 14 tiles so we’ll see….

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Other than my internship, I’ve been working a lot at The Cellar.  I try to spend my mornings/afternoons at the pool or the beach before I have to go to work, so Tuesday I went to the pool located in my apartment complex. Yesterday I didn’t have  to be at work until 6 so I decided to head to the beach that morning.  I went to Dunkin before and then drove to Brigantine.  I set up my camp and sat down to enjoy my bagel. As I’m eating one half of my bagel I begin to notice that seagulls are coming towards me so I try to eat it more subtly.  They were showing no signs of leaving anytime soon so I decided to put away the other half of my bagel until they were gone.  As I was putting it away, I got some butter on my finger from the bagel and didn’t want to lick it off so the seagulls would think I was eating, and I didn’t want to wipe it on my towel so I just sat there like a statue hoping they would leave. Then all of a sudden, A SEAGULL SWOOPED OVER AND BIT ME IN THE FINGER thinking the butter was food! It was SO SCARY!  After that I was terrified of the seagulls all day and never did get to eat the other half of my bagel.

Being in New Jersey, its disappointing how many things I miss at home.  Saturday will be the Lake Meade fireworks and I’ll be missing them.  I’ll be working all weekend and until today thought I wasn’t going to get to see any fireworks or celebrate the 4th.  But thanks, to the impending weather, Atlantic City has postponed their fireworks until Sunday and I don’t have to work on Sunday so I’m really excited to see some fireworks over the ocean from the beach.  Even if others may be upset about the postponement, it worked well in my favor.