Being an Arizona family, each winter we search for snow with the express purpose of playing and freezing our butts off. Mount Charleston (outside of Las Vegas) had a record 8′ of the fluffy white stuff, but accommodations on the mountain were nil. Santa Fe Station Casino offered the closest lodgings, plus online reservations were a cinch!
We arrived at the “Designated Snow Play Area”, got the kids suited up, and hauled them in their little Christmas sleds towards a hill.
This run looked good…
…but veered towards a tree!
Both girls were fine, and eventually steered their sleds straight.
We ate snow,
tried to build a snowman,
took lots of pictures,
and enjoyed the scenery.
Ninety minutes later, we were heading down the mountain to thaw and check into our room. The girls chose their bed, then ran to the bathroom to check out the toiletries. They would have tested the lotion, shampoo & conditioner immediately, but we distracted them with the mention of dinner.
Steakhouse, Mexican, Sushi, Buffet, Fatburger, Chinese, Wings, Pizza, or Coco’s Restaurant & Bakery ~ so many choices! Coco’s won us over with their extensive menu, and we all dined happily.
After dinner, we bowled. Tom and our youngest daughter had something in common. It was their first time bowling! How does a 49 year old man go through life without bowling?
I left my camera in the room, so I tried to spruce up these phone shots with photoshop filters.
When our summer temps reach 120º F / 48.89º C, we’ll be wishing the snow was still on the mountains.
• Snow: Love or loath? • Cabin or Casino? • Which restaurant would have enticed you?
It’s an exciting day here as I host my first Guest Blogger. Please help me welcome Mary of The Mama Mary Show! From the minute I stepped foot (virtually) into her world, I knew Mary had “it”. She’s entertaining, charming, professional and beautiful. Watching her vlogs, I feel like I’m catching up with a good friend. Enough of my intro. Let’s get to the good stuff! ~ Jean
Everyone’s A Winner
The year I turned twenty-one I went to Las Vegas at least eight times. I was in the middle of my junior year at the University of California at Santa Barbara so Vegas was only a short drive, and really the optimum place to celebrate one’s entry into official adulthood. Once I got a taste of the bright lights and a hankering for doubling down, there was no stoppin’ me.
My best memory of Vegas that year was a trip I took with my three besties, Amy, Brandy and Lori. We stayed at the illustrious Circus Circus hotel where $2.00 Black Jack tables were a highly sought after commodity rather than a thing of the past (pretty sure the $2.00 tables can’t be found nowadays).
Once we found a $2.00 table that could accommodate all four of us, we bellied up, antied up and settled in. The dealer and our fellow table mates could tell that we were newbies so they were very forthcoming with the “understood” rules of when to hit and when to stay. If you’ve played Blackjack before than you are probably aware of the dirty glares and eye rolls you get if you don’t “let the dealer bust.” We quickly caught on, and after a few hands of watching the dealer hit a twelve with a ten and begin stacking chips in front of us, we got the hang of it. Shortly thereafter, my friend Amy remembered a phrase taught to her by her favorite aunt.
The phrase is “Everyone’s a winner!” She taught us the very specific inflection and cadence with which it must be uttered (see video below) and we then taught it to everyone else at our table (to give the phrase its true magic, the key is to not only say it with the required rhythm, but it also must be said in unison by EVERY player at the table).
Luckily our tablemates were game, so to speak, and began chiming in with us every time the dealer would bust. “Everyone’s a winner!” we exclaimed, time and time again. Soon the pit bosses were gathered around and we had nearby tables joining in on our jovial cheer.
At some point I had to excuse myself to go to the restroom (you know, free cocktails and all). When I returned to the table I found seven empty chairs, no dealer and a black tablecover indicating the table to be closed. It was a Twilight Zone moment for me as I looked around for my friends and tried to retrace my steps back to the bathroom in case I had gotten turned around (casinos have that way about them). But after due investigation, I was certain that my friends had been hauled off to the Vegas black market and I had some splainin’ to do to our parents.
Minor panic began to set in, until one of my girlfriends sauntered over and grabbed me by the arm. “They moved us to a different table,” she explained as she pulled me in a different direction.
Apparently our table had been making quite the scene, in a good way, so the “house” moved us to a more visible, high-profile table. Our chanting-infused good luck continued at the new table and we were all able to walk away from the night winners.
Since that night I have introduced everyone and anyone I have ever met at a blackjack table to the cheer and though I have never been as lucky as that first night (who is?), my gambling experiences are always a blast (albeit annoying to the more serious game playas who should be playing at higher stakes tables anyway).
What about you? Do you have any traditions or good luck charms when you’re gambling? I highly recommend the “Everyone’s a winner” cheer for you and your table. It’s fun for the whole casino!
Friday night we attended the 12th Annual Fiesta & 10K Give Away otherwise known as the Margarita Festival. Eight businesses competed for Best Blended and Best Rocks. Our employee & friend, Brenda, won tickets from the local radio station and graciously gave them to us. Thanks Brenda!
I wasn’t in a festive mood until two lovely pirates draped beaded necklaces on hubby & me and handed us Shipwrecks. The Avi Resort & Casino’s Shipwreck margarita deservedly won Best Rocks. It was bright red and so delicious! If I had to guess, I’d say the secret ingredient was either pomegranate or pineapple.
Mohave Steak House served a scrumptious Mango margarita. It was fresh and cheery.
I don’t recall which competitor offered the Pink Panties margarita. Their hostesses were dressed in camo & fishnets, and their cocktails came with sugared rims and little green army men.
Sol de Mexico’s Soljito (mojito margarita) recipe can be found here. Let me tell you, hearing Tom ask people all night if the mint leaves were stuck to his teeth never got old!
We didn’t stand in the long line for Aquarius’ Banana Split margarita, but they won the People’s Choice award.
Edgewater & Colorado Belle won Best Blended with their Peach Bellini margarita. You know a guy is proud of his trophy when he tongues it. Personally, I would have given them an award for having the best “keepsake” highball glasses, thank you very much!
Lemonade Dogeritas were served by Mad Dogs’ hotties and dog-faced Jimmy.
After trying 7 out of 8 margaritas (some repeatedly) we were feeling no pain.
• How do you like your margarita? • What’s your favorite festival? • Have you ever licked a trophy?