Monday, October 11, 2010

My Cripple Creek Expedition

 Even though there happens to be  lots to do in Cripple Creek I did not really participate in many of these activities. Being too cheap to gamble, and on a rather wobbly wagon you may not expect me to choose vacations with gambling and drinking being the main themes; Dh, and our friends have drug me to the casinos again. Really I had a great time. I had intended to spend the day seeing the sites, and walking around gazing at the beautiful scenery.  Instead I read, napped, and observed several poker games.
It was already dark and cold when we arrived. I stepped out of the car in shorts and was shocked by the sub 40 temps. I found a few of our friends that had drove up separately, put ten dollars in a slot machine cashed out at twenty, and went up to read until one in the morning. The idea of reading so late was exciting because I did not have to work the next day; I could sleep in. At 7:30 my eyes sprang open and would not shut. DH had came to bed at five in the morning so I was trying not to wake him. This was difficult because the bed was smaller than a coffee table book.  I read until 8:30 when everybody else woke up. This was shaping up to be a lovely weekend. The whole group met downstairs for breakfast. Anna ordered a mimosa at the casino bar. The bartender had no idea what this was, so after several people tried to explain it to him he handed her a glass of champagne. She carried it into the restaurant and mixed it with two glasses of orange juice and handed me one. In my need to not be rude I drank it. So here I was on my year of no drinking starting the day with a breakfast drink. I thought of having another, but I resisted.
I watched a few hands of blackjack, a few spins by Anna and her husband on slots, then went up to read and have a nap. They woke me later when everybody decided to walk down the street and visit other casinos. They are all about the same. I spent a few hours watching a five card high poker game. There the mysterious allure of these places finally revealed itself to me. As I watched a nearly 80 year old man play and make friends with the other players, while he was addressed by all of the dealers by his first name, it occurred to me that this was a social club and the money spent betting was the entry fee. Much like all of the money spent on licensed sports gear. When you are wearing that new jersey, or a cool retro one, you are automatically in a club that gives you free high fives and conversation starters.Gamblers are the same. They meet in casinos, drink free drinks, and are a part of something.  Just by standing behind them and offering up cheers or condolences I was allowed free bottles of water and limited access to their club. That is also where the crowning moment of my weekend came. Under that too good to be true lighting I was carded twice. I was given a wrist band the second time so that I could readily prove I was over 21. Since I am closer to forty than to twenty-one this made me very happy.
After eating a large supper I watched some three card poker with my main goal being to score more free water. Oh, and during that supper I drank 1 1/2 glasses of Fetzer Gewurztraminer. Not being ready for bed, but bored with gaming, I headed over to a different casino where the The Family Juls Band was playing. I approached the bartender for a drink and was quickly carded. Of course I had not thought to bring id since I was not gambling or drinking. I explained that I had only wanted water and was only here to listed to the band. I was escorted to the band area and was told I would not be allowed on the gaming floor. I was beginning to love this place. The band was great. They did an excellent job on some of my favorite songs. 
The next morning I slept late and  then read until everybody had either spent all of their money or had gotten the gambling bug out of their system. It was nice to know we were driving to a place where winter was still a few weeks away.

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