Well, you KNOW how you could go wrong. By gambling more than the 10 BUCKS! Which, of course, everyone does. But it's fun.
So a handful of our friends signed up to go, along with enough people to fill two buses. I tend to get motion sickness easily, so my friends encouraged me to mention this fact to the tour guide so she would let me sit up front. (I don't know if they were doing this out of kindness to me or because the didn't want me to blow chunks on them.)
They were planning on seating our group in the back of the bus. So as the guide was crossing the names off the list of those who were present, I quietly requested to sit up front and stated the reason.
She answered loudly and belligerently, "And you're telling me this NOW?"
WTF? Like I'm supposed to tell her a couple of days in advance? What was the big deal?
Then she said, "Oh, alright!! I'll just announce it to everyone before they get on the bus!"
I said, "You're going to tell everyone that I get sick?"
"NO! I'll just tell them not to sit in the second seat!"
Whatever! Wouldn't it be easier just to let me get on first? Duh.
Anyway, that's what happened. Whew. Crisis solved.
The people on the bus with money in their pockets.
It was about a 2 1/2 hour bus ride because of the morning rush hour. When we got off the bus, we were welcomed with our own "good luck" bead necklace. Then we got our membership card with $10 on it, and off we went to lose our shirts.
The casino wasn't too big, and smoking is still allowed since it is on tribal land. So if you happen to sit next to a smoker, but your machine is on a "roll", you have to choose whether to sit there and endure the smoke, or get up and walk away from a machine that might pay off.
Lunch time was scheduled from1:00-1:30. We were handed our free lunch - a turkey sandwich, cookies, chips and water. It was okay.
There was a large display of gingerbread houses in the lobby of the hotel connected to the casino. Jim and I took a break from donating our money into the slots and walked over to see them.
I was surprised at how large the display was; this was one whole side. I didn't photograph the other smaller side.
The following photos show just some of the spectacular houses:
This train ran all around the houses.
This is the First Place Winner.
In the late afternoon the bus dropped us off in the old part of town in front of the courthouse. The courthouse was quite impressive looking.
"Whiskey Row" is the name of the street that runs on one side of the courthouse. It dates back to 1864 when there were many brothels and saloons on that street and had famous visitors like Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday.
Now it has many shops, restaurants and yes, bars. We didn't have time to really browse at all; our friends were waiting for us at the famous "Palace" restaurant.
The Palace first opened in 1877 and "is the oldest frontier bar in Arizona and the most well-known and historic restaurant in the state." (according to their website).
Here is Rudolph and pal hanging on one wall in the restaurant.
The long wooden bar with a huge mirror behind it.
It was pretty cool to walk through swinging doors to get into the bar. This photo was taken from the inside looking out.
These stairs once led to the brothel. *wink*
Artwork hanging on the wall. (I assured the people sitting there that they wouldn't be in my photo. Looks like I lied.)
This huge poster was on another wall. I didn't know that this movie had been filmed here. The things I learn from traveling!
After we noshed on typical happy hour food and had a couple of drinks, it was time to meet the bus. Jim and I walked the block and were able to go into a couple of stores that were still open. I could have purchased a rattlesnake mug if it had been on anyone's Christmas list - but alas - twas not.
Here is Santa in a window display.
The courthouse was lit up so beautifully. I did my best without my tripod.
Here is a large tree that was lit up nearby.
The trees along the sidewalk in front of the courthouse.
My friends are used to me wandering around snapping shots. They were standing in a huddle, trying to stay warm, waiting for the bus. My friend Viv was happy when Jim joined the group so he could block the wind from one side. She has the dark hair and is in the very center of this cluster.
Then they saw me coming and showed me their better sides.
The bus arrived and all of us gathered back onto the bus. I got one last shot of this lit tree.
Here is what old, poor people look like after a day at the casino.
This is Ken, our friendly bus driver.
You thought all our fun was over with? NO! Next up was a drive through the Festival of Lights which was a HUGE display of Christmas lights over a large subdivision area. I only have a few photos because it was very hard to take pictures since we were constantly moving but I wanted you to get a feel for what it was like.
They had a sign for each of the 12 days of Christmas.
And old fashioned town.
There were two or three of these large tunnel of lights that we drove through. They were very tall - tall enough for our large bus to get through! I took these pictures through the large windshield of the bus.
This tunnel was made up of large candy canes.
This photo is a mistake; the bus took off while I was pressing down on the shutter. But I like the feel and look of this!
All the excitement was over; we were going to settle down for a 2 hour ride home. Everyone was tired and a nap sounded good.
But our tour guide had other plans. She had brought along a DVD for us to watch. It was a Christmas movie. She must have copied it herself because it didn't work in the DVD player, no matter how hard she tried. She put it in, she ejected it. She moved the player this way and that way; she hit it a few times. I told her that there was an error in reading the disc; she just didn't seem to want to accept this fact. So she left the DVD in the player with it "stuck" in the "loading" position and the lights were bright and shining glaringly in everyone's eyes. I piped up, "Why don't you just turn it off, it seems to be bothering people's eyes". (Read MINE!)
Well, she was hell-bent on us watching a movie for some reason. She asked the bus driver if he had any movies with him. He happened to have, "A Bridge Too Far".
So that's what she put on.
A nice CHRISTMAS movie.
About a war.
With guns shooting every freaking minute.
And lights flashing.
And I started to get a migraine.
I tried to curl into a ball.
I tried to cover my eyes from the flashing lights.
I balled up my vest to make it into a pillow. It smelled like smoke.
So my stomach started to reel. (That's not unusual with a migraine. At least not for me.)
Every time a gun shot off in the movie I wanted to scream.
It was the LONGEST bus ride home.
We finally got back to the resort and I practically JUMPED off the bus. I didn't even wait for our friends to get off. I just told Jim, "C'mon let's go. I'm sick."
So we walked to our trailer, about 3-4 blocks, and I immediately felt better to be out in the night air.
All-in-all, I'd do it again. It was a lot of fun!
But next time I'll spend more time in the town shopping. At least I'll have something to show with the money I spent!
Q. What did Adam say on the day before Christmas?
A. It's Christmas, Eve.