Traveling Around - Biloxi, MS - Destin to Biloxi on a Bus - A Day Trip To The IP
Several years ago Sharon and I took a day trip on a bus from Destin to a Biloxi casino and were not at all happy with the trip. The bus was uncomfortable and we made about 5 stops to pick up people and it seemed like we spent a long time on the bus to accomplish a three hour trip. So, this time when our apartment complex announced a trip to the IP in Biloxi, Sharon said “no way”. But I wanted to make a trip so made a reservation just for me. Paid my $15 and was promised $20 in free play.
Bus was scheduled to arrive at the complex at 6:30 AM, load at 6:45, and depart at 7:00. Scheduled to get back at 7:00 PM. I woke up at 3:30, dozed till 4:30, up and at 'em. Walked over to the loading point, getting there at about 6:25 and they had a spread of cookies and coffee. Had a cookie. Started waiting for the bus to arrive. Didn't get there and then it didn't get there. Bus finally arrived about 7:40. This trip was starting off at about the same speed the earlier one had begun. It was about 8:00 when we departed. Maybe Sharon was right and I should have stayed home and waited for our return trip to Michigan coming up the first of March.
Bus was new and comfortable, however. Trip to Mississippi wasn't too bad. Bus stopped for a potty break about halfway. Got to the IP about 11:00. Bus unloaded at the main entrance and everyone was advised to be back in the area at 4:00 PM to load and we'd be on the road by 4:15.
Hadn't been to the IP in several years and only once since it became a Boyd property. Truly impressed with the hotel lobby and wandered around through the table games near the entrance to the casino. Could have stopped and played if I wanted to but decided I ought to see what else was around. I could remember that we'd found a few 5 cent Quick Quad machines someplace around the buffet and wanted to see if they were still there.
The main floor is open and spacious. It seemed to me to contain quite a bit of high limit area (so labeled) and I wandered through them just to see what video poker they might have. As with the rest of the casino, it didn't have very good payoff schedules – 8/5 JOB and 6/5 Bonus – so I just looked at the denominations and they mostly began at a dollar and went up from there. There was one area that I didn't go look at that had a snack counter set up and an attendant at a podium near the entry so it was probably a “higher” high limit area.
Took the escalator up to the second level. Rather than being open and spacious looking like the first level, it was partitioned into gaming areas. While the areas weren't small by any mean, they seemed to be secluded perhaps because the entry to each of the areas were down hallways that seemed to go off at odd angles. The non smoking area was nice and had several hundred machines in it. There were at least two other gambling areas on that level that I wandered through that were also reasonably large with several hundred machines in each. Restaurants were on that level and included the buffet that I remembered fondly and a coffee shop where Sharon and I had loaded potato soup on a previous trip. Areas were clean and fresh and really pretty elegant looking.
Video poker was clumped in several areas in each of the slot machine areas. I discovered five cent Quick Quads near the buffet and with the seat at the machine being empty, couldn't resist putting my $20 in free play through the machine. With the sight of the other pay tables, I wasn't sure what I was going to finds so was pleasantly surprised to find 7/5 bonus poker but wasn't as happy with the fact that there was no triple play and the fewest hands available was five play option.
I shrugged and started playing. The five play options costs $1.50 each time it's dealt and the $20 disappeared after a bit. I did get some play out of it but no quads. I dug in the billfold and decided to try one time with cash and if it didn't work, I'd wander around a bit and find something other than Quick Quads. I pulled out at $50 bill and decided to use it because they are supposed to be unlucky in a casino and I hoped to get rid of the bad luck early in the day.
About $20 into the $50, I got a pleasant surprise when I picked up a nickel royal in the fifth hand for $200 (see picture below). I continued to play for a while and when I got down to $201, I cashed it out and stashed the $100 bill the ticket machine gave me in the billfold, folding the $20's and the $1 and putting it in my pocket for gambling money.
I strolled for a while, putting a $20 into a nickel deuces wild machine, stopping that at $31 and then trying an Ultimate X machine for $20 and stopping that at zero. While at the deuces wild machine a young lady walked up beside me. She put a $10 bill into her machine and I was surprised to see her decide to play double bonus at the 50 cents level. That'd cost her $2.50 a hand so she'd be pretty limited on length of play. She dealt the first hand at a cost of 5 credits. She received a not very good hand which included the 10 and king of clubs which she held. Immediately she yelped in joy as the jack, queen, and ace popped up. The win was for $2,000. She waited to be paid by the attendant and took her winnings and left. She didn't even play off the royal. Ah-h-h, fun and games.
Time for lunch so I headed to the buffet. The tour escort had told us that since it was senior day and ½ price for seniors, we'd need to expect a line and she was right on the money. I was probably 50th in line but it moved reasonably fast and I was seated within about 15 minutes. Absolutely gorged myself as I'd expected to do. Started out with gumbo and worked my way through a little bit of almost anything I could find. Wound up the main part of the meal with some sushi, some mussels, a small piece of steak, and several pieces of ravioli and that was my third dish of stuff. Felt good about myself, though, when I got some sugar free apple pie, a piece of King Cake, some strawberry layered angel food cake combination, and a couple pralines for dessert. Needless to say, about 2:30 I waddled out of the buffet.
I again tried deuces wild in the non smoking area and Ultimate X there also. But since the Quick Quads were nearby and tugging at me, I decided to try there one time and then get some fresh air and look around outdoors before finding a seat and reading a book I'd brought along in case the day didn't go at all well.
Probably enjoyed this second longer session at the Quick Quads as much as I enjoyed the first one with its royal flush. It's always pleasing to head that voice say “quick quads” and even more fun when it says it more than once on the same hand. Most memorable hand was when I was dealt something like 3,3,A,2,X. I tossed the “X” and on two of the hands drew the third three making it 3,3,3,2,1 (see attached picture) and the voice spoke up and said “quick quads” twice. Quad 3's were at a premium, making it even nicer than it could have been.
I continued to play until about 3:30 and cashed it out a few dollars ahead on that session.
My wandering around and playing various nickel games – mostly Deuces Wild and Ultimate X - had cost me a few dollars but I was up about $125 so decided I could read for ½ an hour and get on the bus like a lucky gambler. At that time I discovered the only problem with the second floor of the IP. I couldn't find my way out and back to the hotel lobby. I wandered around for a while and finally found my way downstairs. I found a seat and pulled out my book and read for 1/2 an hour or so. Normally I would have continued to play and lost part of my winnings. So, again I felt good about myself.
They bus truly did leave at 4:15 and we watched a movie on board the bus and were back in Destin by about 7:30. I was pooped. As much from the enormous meal I'd consumed as well as the long day.
Overall, the trip was fun and I'd do it again if I felt rested to start with. Day trips of this type are pretty exhausting and as I age, I think I'd be better off not doing it and staying over for at least one night.