Traveling Around - A Casino Trip To The Fitz
The Trip Down
We live in central Michigan and we planned one night on the road to get to Tunica. Tried to get on the road by eight on Tuesday morning so we'd make it to our stopover in Marion, Illinois, early enough to eat. Then we'd get to Tunica on Wednesday in time for Senior Day. With a time change (Eastern to Central) and stops on the road, we figured we'd make it by five and were greeted at the Quality Inn checkin about that time.
Got settled and walked across the parking lot to a Cracker Barrel where we traditionally get a bowl of beans and some cornbread muffins. One bowl was our fill and we were relaxing in our room in plenty of time for the news and an evening of television.
It's only a couple hundred miles from Marion to Tunica but we detoured slightly so that we could go to Hernando where the Desoto County Historical Museum is located. We'd tried to visit the museum several other times and kept being there when it was closed for one unusual reason or another. Hoping to avoid that, we phoned ahead as we approached Memphis to make sure it was open and powered on when we found that it was.
The Desoto County Historical Museum is not a large facility but I'd read that there were exhibits about Jerry Lee Lewis and John Grisham (both residents of the area). I published a short article about the museum. We spent a very pleasant and interesting hour there before cutting the 15 miles or so across to Tunica. Even with the break at the museum, we got to Fitzgerald's well before the scheduled check in. I smiled at the clerk (with a small donation) and she made an exception to the early check in cost and got us a room.
Senior Day At The Fitz
Getting the number of points necessary to participate in Senior Day is relatively easy. It takes a minor number of points (ten) to qualify to spin a wheel for prizes. Our hope was that we'd each win a buffet or some free play.
On the way to 10 points, I picked up this little gem of a hand. I think it's the only time I've played super times pay where the "times function" paid me much at all.
We did eat the buffet and it was really, really good. It made us glad that we planned to take advantage of the Senior Day Promotion where we'd won passes to the buffet.
We both went up to our room so that the massive meal could settle a little bit and then I sashayed back to the casino to play some blackjack. The Fitz has a reasonably good blackjack game. It's a six deck hand dealt and shuffled game that has a side bet that I ignored. In a friendly game, you have to have a little thick skin to ignore the side bet because every time you would have won the bet, the table loves to tell you about it.
The only problem I have with blackjack at The Fitz is dealer speed. While I don't really want to dawdle, I dislike having the dealer pressuring me to make a decision almost before my cards stop sliding. Some of the dealers are laid back and probably deal 3 or 4 hands an hour less than the speed demons and they are usually a lot of fun. I know that the fast dealers are ones that the casino encourages but even though pleasant those fast dealers are costing themselves some tip money from Michigan when they try to speed up the game.
I finished up a two hour session about $35 to the good and headed for the hills to watch some television and clear out any fog from the trip.
Thursday at The Fitz is Ladies Day. When a woman puts 25 points on her card, she gets to register for a slot tournament, gets a couple drink coupons, a very minor sort of gift, and a free buffet. When a man does the same, he can get the drinks and a buffet. We played for a bit early in the day to easily reach our 25 point threshold.
But before we qualified for Ladies Day, we had the breakfast buffet. We always enjoy breakfast at The Fitz. The omelets are usually outstanding and they have crispy bacon and sticky sweet rolls. We used a mailer coupon for the two buffets.
Sharon headed back to the room while I wandered around for a bit. Finally I settled into a blackjack game for a session that wound up running about four hours. It was (as usual) up and down and back and forth. One hand that was exceptional happened early. I was dealt a pair of deuces against a dealer six. I think it was the first splitable pair I'd had and to make sure I asked the dealer if I could double after splitting. Finding out that I could, I split and got a nine on the first hand. Doubled it and picked up a five, making sixteen. On the second hand I caught another deuce. I split again and received a face card on the first deuce for a twelve. I stood. On the second deuce, I got another deuce. On that one, I got an eight. I doubled it and picked up a seven for seventeen. On the fifth hand, I got another face card for another twelve. I had just raised my bet from the normal $5 to a $10 bet and so I had $70 out on the felt which to me was a bunch.
I was sitting at first base so I had to wait for the action at the table to proceed. And felt the great thrill when the dealer turned up his sixteen and took a seven to make him a busted hand. I almost said "That's enough" and stopped but I was having fun so stayed.
I finished up the long session enough ahead to make up for the investments in video poker that we'd made in order to qualify for Ladies Day and the Senior Promotion. In fact, I was a little bit ahead over the two days and decided television in the evening sounded great.
Sharon came and found me and we used our Ladies Day passes to eat the evening buffet. It was a disappointment. It was almost as if they had taken the leftovers from the previous night and put it back out without preparing anything new. One whole island of serving area was closed. I was really unhappy about it even though it was essentially free and wished we had picked someplace different. We could have used our passes for the breakfast buffet the next morning.
Sharon never seems to have any luck in the tournaments and this one was no exception. She pounded away for her allotted time and occasionally led the pack but finished up too far down the list to win any free play.
Our plan was to have breakfast at the buffet the next morning. However, we didn't have any freebies at this point. I asked in the blackjack pit if they'd put a couple free breakfasts on my card. They were happy to oblige.
We made our way to the bar and drank one of our free drinks there and carried the second one to our room for refreshment while watching television.
We had another of those good buffets in the morning and packed it up and got on the road. Our planned stop was Bowling Green, Kentucky, where we had a couple places to go. We had our first appointment at 3 PM so planned the several hundred miles to arrive there for the appointment before checking into the hotel.
Got to town and toured the Corsair Distillery. It's a craft distillery in downtown Bowling Green. Parking is on the street. There is information about the tour in an article I wrote which is on Hubpages.
Stayed overnight in Bowling Green at a Quality Inn. Picked up some chicken at a Kroger's for evening meal. Relaxed and watched television.
Another Museum and a Racetrack
On Saturday morning had breakfast at the hotel. Then we went to the National Corvette Museum. In addition to lots and lots of information about Corvettes, it is the sight of a restored sink hole where 8 Corvettes disappeared from the display area into a naturally formed hole in the ground. It is a big museum and a tour of the Corvette factory across the street is offered. I wrote an article about our visit and published it on Hubpages.
Spent quite a bit of time there before departing for the several hundred mile drive to Anderson, IN, our next stop. Anderson is the home of a racino - Hoosier Park. Harness racing was in season so we got checked in at a Motel 6 and went to the races.
Simulcasting is available and I got a program booklet that must have had past performances for 10 different harness tracks. We stayed for a couple hours. They had betting by machine both for the live racing there in Anderson and for simulcast racing throughout the world. I kept betting until my betting slip that started at $10 got down to $.50 and I gave it away.
Got a good night's sleep, on the road by 9 AM, breakfast at a McDonald's, and we were home on Sunday by about 1 PM.
Had a fun trip. Won a little money. Would have liked to win more. By putting in an extra day coming home, it wasn't too tiring. Still, though, all in all it's a long trip for the length of time we got to relax and enjoy ourselves.