Thursday, November 28, 2013

We went to Shreveport

Just for two days.

We have done this before, many times.  Two days in a casino in Shreveport is like a week's vacation for us, though the drive is tough, my husband doesn't seem to mind it.  Of course, we really would prefer to be able to stay in Texas, and spend out money to help bolster the Texas economy, but until gambling is legalized here, we do what so many other Texans do and make the trip to Louisiana, El Dorado has long been our casino of choice.  It helps that we get regular offers of free rooms and free meals, so the cost of the trip is our gas and our gambling - we always set a limit for gambling and never go above that.

Late November in the northern states is bleak, cold and, this year for sure, wintery.  In Texas we still have a touch of Autumn, and we even have some beautiful fall colors.

The drive is approximately five and half hours, we head off at 6 a.m. and stop in Temple for breakfast, then we will probably have two stops between Temple and Shreveport for gas and bathroom, and to stretch our legs arriving at the Casino before 1 p.m.

the river boat from our hotel window
Of course, like any other hotel, the rooms were not going to be available until mid afternoon, so we whiled away the time touring the various decks of the boat - all casinos in Shreveport are required by law to be on the water.  El Dorado's is the biggest of the river boats between Shreveport and Bossier City, on the other side of the Red River.

While we were waiting to check in I paid a visit to the ladies room where I was amazed to see a 'hazardous waste disposal' unit fixed to the wall beside the hand dryer.  The only place I had ever see these units before was in the doctor's office.  My husband assured me there was fairly usual and were intended for diabetics needle disposal - I suppose casinos really do not want you to leave the premises for any reason for fear you will not return.

During the two hours waiting for our rooms, I managed to double my allotted gambling money, my husband halved his, and, as is our habit we split my winnings.  So long as we manage to have enough money to last for the two days, who cares who won it?

Since my mother in law moved in with us, we have always taken her with us and, when possible, we get adjoining rooms.  As soon as we got settled in our rooms it was back down to the casino where we continued to be reasonably lucky.  Because we are not high rollers, our winnings are never huge and we only play the slots, but like I said, so long as we can keep playing we are happy.

After our free dinner in the buffet we did some more gambling and then called it a night in order to ensure we had sufficient funds for the following day.

Breakfast was another free meal at the grill, followed by a not so lucky few hours on the slots, we still had enough cash left for the evening, so settled for another free lunch at the buffet followed by a long nap for my husband and a few quiet hours reading for me - the weather was dreadful, it had been pouring rain all night and it continued to do so all day, the sky remained a dark miserable grey.

that is the Horseshoe Casino across the river

Then it time for our last free buffet dinner and our last few hours feeding the hungry slot machines, as our cash dwindled we moved to the video poker machines where a small amount of money can last quite some time, with my last bet I won $200 which we split and had a hour of fun hitting the dollar slots just for the hell of it.

Sportsman grill
Tuesday morning was our last free meal before heading home, we headed to the 24 hour grill, situated across from the hotel reception, as we walked past the huge cake display we could see the restaurant was almost empty.  We were seated but the hostess told us they were currently changing shift so it would be a while before we got coffee as they were making fresh.  Fresh coffee is always worth waiting for.

When it eventually arrived, mine was neither hot nor fresh, in fact it was stone cold.  It took a few minutes to catch the attention of a wait person, and a lot longer before she returned with a cup of hot coffee - she apologized for the delay which she explained, was due to having to put the cups in the microwave!  Horror! now it was scalding hot and tasted absolutely disgusting.The food arrived and while it was bearable, it was not great, but I guess it was free.  Another long wait before we could pay and leave and soon we were back on the road to Austin.

yes, this is a cake
We drove through steady rain until well past Corsicana.  We stopped in Waco for a quick lunch and were home by 2.30 p.m.  We decided that on our next visit we would stay at the Horseshoe Casino - free is nice, but the El Dorado has definitely see better days.

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