I never win. Ever. I love, love to play games and am often pulling out board games to initiate play with guests in my home. Though I love to play, I never win. Caren, on the other hand, has uncanny luck. It makes My Man crazy! When he plays games he uses statistics and probabilities. Caren defies them all. Not a bad person to play with in Vegas.
“I will only play games that don’t require math,” I told her.
“You always say that but I think you will really like Black Jack! It’s my favorite!”
“No. It’s too embarrassing to have to count on my fingers.”
“We’ll start you with something easy like roulette.”
We perused the casino and learned the lay of the land. There were oodles of slot machines but Man had warned me off them. Apparently, the statistical probability of winning there is low.
“My mom loves The Wheel Of Fortune slots,” Caren said.
“Here’s one,” I pointed one out to her.
“Mm…no. I dont’ like that one.” We moved on. “Here’s the one!” Caren put her money into the machine that looked exactly like the one I had pointed out to her. She then proceeded to win $70. Typical Caren luck.
“Why didn’t you play the one I showed you. It’s the same Wheel Of Fortune game.”
“I wasn’t feeling it. I have to wait and play the machine that catches my eye.”
Caren and I watched a few people playing Black Jack Split and then spied a War table.
“This would be perfect for you!” Caren cheered.
“I don’t want to do math,” I frowned.
“No. There’s no math.” I was embarrassed as she explained the game to me and I realized it was just regular old War that you play as a kid. Each player draws a card. High card wins.
We played a few times and I was up $40! Woo hoo! I was loving Vegas! I was ready to play more. Caren and I played games and explored the hotel until we finally called it quits at 3 a.m.
In the morning we had breakfast at the spa with our friends. Prior to our meal, we stopped at the spa check-in to sign up for facials for the next day. A lady in line was telling us about the Cocoon treatment.
“It’s like a wrap but they put you in water,” she explained.
“Oh, I do not like wraps,” I told her. “The last time I had a wrap I was so itchy! I wiggled around so much I was afraid I would fall of the table!”
“Well, with a cocoon treatment you aren’t on a table. You are surrounded by water.”
“That sounds worse. What if I lose my balance, slip into the water and drown?”
My friends were giggling but the lady looked at me quizzically.
“She has her own little world,” Caren tried to explain. The lady laughed as if Caren’s explanation made any sense.
At breakfast we all pow wowed about our plans for the day. My plan was to do nothing but sit by a pool, sip cocktails and read. Caren and Kathy liked my plan and so the three of us split from the others to do just that. First we checked out the various pool options at the Venetian. There were Cabanas to rent which I thought would be really fun but I could sit in the sun for free so we opted out. We found a swim suit shop that Caren wanted to check out as she was needing a new suit. One was found and I grabbed a sophisticated, wrap style cover up.
The cashier had just wrung up my wrap when I remembered that I had meant to buy sunscreen too.
“Oh, I’ll get it!” Caren said as she grabbed a little bottle and added it to her swim suit.
Before heading up to our room we staked out the poolside and chose our spot. A Towel Lady said she would save our spots for us. Our lounge chairs secured, we went up stairs to change, slathered on our newly purchased sun screen and returned to the pool with trashy books tucked under our arms.
I don’t know how many hours we spent out there. 4? 5? We read and nourished ourselves with Bloody Mary’s. We took little dips in the pool to cool off and talked in the hot tub. We did absolutely NOTHING!!! It was perfect. During one of my little lay out sessions Caren interrupted my reading.
“OK Michal, how much do you think sun screen is?”
I was unaware there would be pop quizzes on this trip. I took into account that the bottle we bought was only 4 oz and that we were on a resort so it was probably more than what we would spend at the King Sooper.
“I don’t know, $3 or $4?”
Caren turned the bottle so I could see the price tag which read $23!
“How spoiled are we that we didn’t even check how much we were spending?!”
“I don’t think it’s that we are spoiled but that we assumed that they would not charge us such an unreasonable price!” I raged.
“How do they charge us these things with a straight face?”
“If I end up sunburned I will be furious,” I said as I rubbed in more of the Liquid Gold.
At some point the other ladies moved to the shade and I moved up to our suite. After a long hot bubble bath, I wrapped up in nothing but a bathrobe and took a nap. A nap, people!!!
That night we all got dolled up for dinner. Laurel wanted to glam up her usual, never-canging look (she is steadfast to say the least) and so I did a partial french twist, leaving some hair down. I also grabbed the ends of her cardigan/wrap and tied them at her waist.
“There! Now we can see your shape!”
Laurel admired her self in the mirror. She looked so pretty and dare I say, sexy! She walked down the street with a very confident attitude, turning heads as she passed.
I can’t remember the name of the place we ate at but it was very nice. We had a great time catching up with the other half of our group and people watching. Half way through our meal a large group of women wearing eccentric hats walked in.
“Oh boy, here comes a bachelorette party,” someone observed. But in the midst of these “bachelorettes” emerged a lady who looked to be around 90 years old. She wore a hot pink sash across her bodice that read “Birthday Girl.”
Tears burst to my eyes as I realized it was not a bachelorette party but a group of sisters and cousins who were taking their grandma out to celebrate a milestone birthday. How absolutely fabulous! How lucky! How terribly jealous I was! I struggled to keep it together. I kept watching them all laughing and pampering their precious grandma. I wanted so badly to go and wish her a happy birthday too, to tell them all what a great idea this was and how lucky they were! I knew if I tried to though I would burst into tears and then I would have to explain that my Grandma recently died. What a downer that would bring to their party.
“Happy Birthday Ma’am! Cherish her ladies because my Grandma just died. You know…so…yours will too. Your time is nigh old lady!”
Yeah…that would not do at all. Instead I stayed put and enjoyed the fried goat cheese.
“Oh yum! Try these Laurel!”
“I don’t like goat cheese…”
“You’ll like this though! Try it! It sort of tastes like cream cheese. Goat cheese is the ‘gateway cheese.’ Once you have it you’ll be enticed to try other cheeses.”
Laurel tried it, agreed that it was indeed good but disagreed with me that it tasted like cream cheese.
After dinner we all headed to the casino together. I snapped a pic of the ladies walking through the casino. It was their slow motion moment. Laurel was working it like she owned Vegas! I loved it! I loved seeing my Baking Ladies out of the kitchen and out of their work out clothes!
“I’m ready to go to WAR!” I cheered.
“What’s war?” Kathy asked.
“It’s the ‘gateway game,'” Caren laughed. She then explained to them how to play.
“But how do you gamble?”
“The gamble is in whether you play…or not…” I said with great intrigue.
“Hm. I’ll try that,” Kathy said.
We watched a few hands waiting for an appropriate time to enter the game. We jumped in. I soon lost half of my winnings and was only up by $20.
“Poop. I don’t like the dealer. She’s not fun and I’m not winning,” I pouted.
Next we moved on to Black Jack. Laurel took a seat, giving her best poker face (though I don’t think it’s needed for Black Jack) and Kathy stood by as her Lady Luck. We lost the other two members of our party (sisters) to gab. They eventually took it up to the room and I assume, talked themselves to sleep. Caren and I moved on to check out the rest of the scene.
“When I talked to Man this afternoon he said that you and I should play Craps and to pick up some men,” I said.
“Pfft! Why the heck does he think we would want to add men to our party! It’s men that we are taking a break from!” she laughed.
“Truth. Let’s try Craps.”
The first table we went to I lost the rest of my winnings from the previous night. I had no idea what was going on and I was pissed that they hardly explain to you how you lost as they snatch away your chips. I don’t mind losing, because I always do, but I would like to know where I went wrong. Maybe I didn’t lose and they are cheating me.
“Not at a place like this,” Caren assured me.
We moved on to see how Laurel was doing with Black Jack. Kathy was no longer an observer and was a player at the table. Everyone was settling in. We passed another Craps table that had a good and friendly crowd about it. We moved in to watch and try to learn.
“Put some money down and play with us!” encouraged a player we later learned was named Chad.
“I don’t know how to play,” I told him.
“This is the perfect table to be at then. I’ll help you out and this guy here,” he said pointing to the dealer next to him, “is always a help to newbies.”
“They call me Coach K!” the dealer proudly introduced himself.
Caren and I bought into the game.
“Alright,” Chad said to Coach K, “we are going to start winning now, my man!”
I have learned that gamblers have little superstitions. For example: If you are playing a game and winning and then someone new comes into the game and you start losing you may blame the new comer for the loss. Despite the fact that they have nothing to do with the cards drawn or the dice thrown. A lot of gentlemen truly believe in Lady Luck. They think that pretty women will change the luck of the table. What’s so fun about Craps is that we are all playing together. We take turns rolling the dice and we all lose and win together. At least it’s fun to most.
“T-shirt guy loves you!” The guy next to me said in reference to a husky black man at the end of the table who was wearing a black t-shirt and sunglasses. I felt great pressure when rolling because “Cee-Lo Green” just dropped thousands of dollars on the table.
Chad was all excited when it came time for me to roll and then later Caren because the Lady Lucks of the table were up.
“It doesn’t work that way with me Chad, ” I warned him. “When it comes to games, I have a black cloud over me.”
Sure enough I would roll a seven and everyone lost. Then Caren rolls and we were all up again. Eventually though, every shooter rolls a seven, we lose and the dice move on. Our table was doing horribly! Caren’s luck wasn’t even helping. Everytime I would roll Caren would take her chips off the table.
“Damn! Really? You aren’t going to bet on your friend?” one player asked.
“No way. I’ve played lots of games with her and she never wins anything!”
She was right but it was still so fun! We met some great characters at that table. We eventually left to check out a band playing in a little bar area. That was no fun and so we went back to the main floor. We saw Chad and another player from our losing table playing at a new Craps table. They didn’t seem that excited when they saw us walking up with my Black Cloud. Sure enough my mere presence sent the dice to spin off course.
At that, we called it a night. At least I’m lucky in love.
(stay tuned for the Last Day in Vegas….)