Friday, February 25, 2011


My meeting is at a hotel/casino. You may think gambling on this scale is illegal in Florida but the hotel is owned by a Native American corporation…so there you go. It’s a strange place. It’s a “Hard Rock” casino, which means rock/alt/etc. music and videos are playing constantly. Yet the vast majority of people in this place are well over 65-years-old, which is just outside the age range of people who enjoy the kind of music playing. I have seen a handful of younger (under 40) people and some families, but they are maybe 10 percent of the clientele. The pool set-up is quite nice, with a water slide and lots of comfy lounge chairs, plus sandy spots and little cabanas. The place is a study in contrasts.

Another oddity is that most of the casino is slot machines. Recently, they introduced poker and I’ve also seen “Spanish 21” (how it differs from Blackjack, I do not know). The majority of the floor, though, is a myriad of flashing lights, sounds, spinning wheels, varying screens, themes, graphics, bings, bells, whistles and moans. And smoking! Though there is a non-smoking section. Last time we were at a casino (in Reno), I did play slots for a few minutes. I ended up about six dollars to the good. Maybe I’ll try my luck one time here too but I get so overwhelmed that I mostly want to get away as fast as possible.

Last night, after an extremely delicious, expensive and alcohol-laden dinner, I put five dollars in a slot machine. I walked away with $11.30 when all was said and done, and that comprised my complete amount of gambling during my stay. I’m sitting in the Ft. Lauderdale airport as I type it’s a bit of dump but they offer free wifi. As an acquaintance of mine once pointed out, the cheaper the motel, the more likely they are to have free wifi. Perhaps that applies to airports too? Though the fairly fancy hotel I was staying in also had free wifi—so who knows? Then again, it decidedly did not cater to business travelers so maybe they wouldn’t profit much from the wifi charge.

Time to pack it up and get ready to board. It is sad to leave sunny Florida for cold, rainy DC. But it will still be nice to be home.

Grateful for: home.

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