Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

Shameless self-promotion of my writing skills or lack there of.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I'm Back!!!!!!!!!

We’re back! What a whirlwind of a trip that turned out to be. Before I get into details of the trip, I want to give a giant congratulations to my wife. She not only completed her half-marathon (13.1 miles), but she did it in two hours and thirteen minutes. She met a new friend on the course, that helped motivate her and keep a good pace. Thanks Kora, for being there for her. I’m forever in your debt. My wife said the course was brutal. Between the altitude and the hilly terrain (Reno is in a mountainous region), she had her doubts early on that she was going to be able to make it.

And now, for a break down of the rest of the vacation…


We arrived at the airport on Thursday morning to find that the airline had cancelled our flight (sometime during our drive to the airport because we called to check on it before we left).

“Oh, we’re sorry, Mr. Goodman. That flight has been cancelled.”
“That sucks, we just called before we got in the car.”
“Oh, but look, since you arrived two hours early, I can book you on a different flight.”
“Ah, so it does pay to follow the rules from time to time.”
(her laughing, probably from the relief that she didn’t have to face the anger she was expecting for delivering such news), “Indeed, it looks like the only seats we have open for you are in first class, so you now get an upgrade on us.”
“Outstanding.”

Yeah, that pretty much set the tone for the trip. We were served coffee while the rest of the plane boarded. Once in the air, the offered us a warm (yes, with actually steam and everything) mixed nuts and afterwards some hot towels to clean our fingers with. Don’t even get me started about how much more comfortable the chairs in first class. I actually had room. It was a thing of beauty.

On the second leg of the trip, we were served food. Honest to God, turkey, salad, crackers, cheese cookies and wine (all free). Mixed drinks are also free in first class, but it was still a little early in the day for that.

We gambled…a lot, but we also took in the sights. Reno…The Biggest Little City in the World! Yes, there are plenty of ways to occupy your time there, but the official draw is the gambling.

By the second day, we were still pretty much flush, even though we had spent hours and hours on end gambling. I stopped by the Rewards Center at Harrah’s to see what all the numbers on my players card were good for. He swiped my card, blinked several times and said that I had managed a one day qualifier for the next tier of player’s card. I’m still not sure what all that entails, but he gave me a Harrah’s platinum card. If I thought everyone was nice before I received that card (which they were), the experience paled in comparison to the treatment we received after that. We had special entrances to nearly everything where we didn’t have to wait in line. We were even offered our own special room in the buffet restaurant, Carvings. Now this room was quite plush and comfortable, but the really shocking thing was they had waitresses that walked around pouring free glasses of champagne. Speaking of free, the only meal we paid for during the entire trip was at the Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse. Everything else was comp’ed. Harrah’s really knows how to take care of their patrons.

The slots were, for the most part, kind. We did have long stretches were it looked like they were finally going to eat up all of our allotted gambling money for the day, but then…poof, out of no where, we would hit a machine that would not only bring us flush, but take us a little ahead.

The Black Jack tables, had the option to place side bets. For example, on one table you could place a side bet that you were going to get a pair. If you received the pair you won at 15 to 1. On another table, the side bet was called a royal match. On this table if you received two cards of the same suit, it paid at 2.5 to 1, but if the two cards were a King and Queen, it paid at 25 to 1. I played for a while and just on a whim, I threw a five-dollar chip on the pair side bet and…drew a pair of kings. Yeah, that rocked.

I still don’t fully understand craps, but I played the hell out of it. On the first day, I lost C-note (or a honey as the kids are called it these days). On the second go at it, I walked away with three. Yes, I should have quit while I was ahead, but on the last day, I gave another honey back to the craps table. So, my craps play, broke exactly even.

Roulette normally kicks my ass, but it is mostly my fault. I have a little too much OCD to play such a game. I always bet the X 20, which means I put a chip on the number twenty and one on each of the corners around it. It hit 20, not once, but twice. Yep, that time I was smart enough to move on.

When we checked out, the nice lady at the front desk used the rest of our comps to wipe out the majority of our bill. We were so happy about the way the trip went, we decided to fly home the same way we came. Yep, first class is the perfect way to wrap up a vacation like that.


All in all, the trip was a success. My wife did fantastic on her run, we left with more money than we came with and we had one helluva good time. Having said all that….man, it’s good to be home.

11 Comments:

At 9:20 AM, Blogger Bernita said...

Now that sounds like a perfect holiday.
Congratualtions to your wife.

 
At 1:22 PM, Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

Glad to hear you had such a great time, and that it turned out so well!

 
At 1:40 PM, Blogger James Goodman said...

Thanks, Bernita. It was grand.

I couldn't believe how well everything went, Sandra.

 
At 8:02 PM, Blogger lime said...

WOW! Congrats to mrs goodman. she must have a real sense of accomplishment and im sure you're proud. as for the rest.....day-um. you have the platinum touch! i wanna travel with you next time! lol. glad it was a great time :)

 
At 5:33 AM, Blogger James Goodman said...

Thanks, Lime. I'll pass the congrats along. And sure, I'll let you know with a little advance notice next time we head out. :D

 
At 9:50 AM, Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

Man, where's Dar-Wednesday? I linked to it and everything!

 
At 2:13 PM, Blogger James Goodman said...

Ah, Sandra...I'm so sorry. I'm just now getting an opportunity to get back on the computer. The way my day job piled on me today, you would have thought I was gone for a week. :D I promise to get back on track next week though.

 
At 7:29 PM, Blogger snavy said...

Welcome back!! And, yay Mrs. Goody!!!

 
At 8:06 PM, Blogger James Goodman said...

Thanks, snavy. :D

 
At 9:14 PM, Anonymous Jerry said...

Goody,
Wow! First class and mostly free. You're doing something right.

 
At 5:23 AM, Blogger James Goodman said...

I can't imagine what that would be, Jerry. :D

 

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