Miss Betty (Mom) is on her way back to northeastern Ohio today after spending almost the past week with us. As most of you know, my mother, Dessie, died about 22 years ago. Miss Betty is the mother of a dear friend of mine, so I’ve called her “Mom”, not to be confused with mother, since 1995.
It was a very relaxing five days together and it kicked off my vacation season. Betty’s visit was the first of five vacations that I’ll be taking between now and January 2013. This one will be followed by Houston, Las Vegas (for Madonna), the western pre-Christmas Caribbean cruise, and the newly added Vegas trip (with Lady Gaga) in January.
Betty arrived last Thursday and the only thing she wanted to do, other than relax, was go to the casino. So,with Ray speaking at a conference in Kansas, she and I went to Jumer’s Casino hours after she arrived for lunch and to win thousands! Realistically, we ended up helping their bottom line.
I’m not a big gambler and I don’t like parting with my money, so I never go overboard. However, I did leave the cash that I took out of the ATM. I think it’s rigged that way! Oops, did I say it was rigged? My bad. I should have said designed. 🙂
Here is what Betty came home with that day!
Yes, that’s a penny! After hitting two decent jackpots and cashing out, she ended up putting the tickets back in to play. That night, she came up with a new plan. Cash out and don’t put the winning tickets back into the machines! Since we were planning on going to the casino Saturday night with Ray, I looked forward to see if that would happen.
We grilled out Friday night and enjoyed the beautiful fall weather on the patio, had delicious, calorie-filled bagels and cream cheese Saturday morning, and Gretel and Betty went to church Saturday afternoon. I wonder if Betty said a silent prayer for her to win at the casino that night?
Before church, Betty took a nap and from this picture, you can see that Gretel gets some of her bad habits from me. We know that Betty has a fear of snakes, even fake ones. So, Gretel decided to pull a practical joke by placing a rubber snake on Betty. I also hope that Miss Betty asked God for forgiveness for the dirty word that came out of her mouth when she woke from her nap!
The casino Saturday night was not profitable for Miss Betty or Ray. As for me, I came home with $20 of the money that I took with me. It wasn’t winnings. It was because the bill was printed in 1985 and the slot machines and bill changer would not read it, so I couldn’t put it in to lose it.
I will say that of the two casino buffets that we ate during Betty’s visit, Jumer’s in Rock Island had vastly improved over the first few times we ate there and the other casino, not so much. I won’t say which one, but I have no desire to go back there anytime soon to eat or play!
On Sunday, we celebrated Betty’s late August birthday by having brunch at the Bix Bistro at the historic Hotel Blackhawk. The cinnamon roll was fantastic and the mimosas and Bloody Marys were, too.
We visited the Bix Bistro for Sunday brunch in the summer of 2011 to consider it for our wedding reception. Serving brunch was relatively new for the hotel at the time and it showed. There were many issues that needed to be resolved. We ended up not having our reception there because it was too overwhelming for them to accommodate 100 people in our party. That’s fine because we enjoyed our own fairy time reception at our home (that will be my blog on October 1, 2012, and that, my friends, is a tease)!
Sunday’s brunch was enjoyable and the food was really good. Again, the cinnamon roll was the best! Colin, our server, was very attentive and Miss Gretel thought she was a princess drinking her Shirley Temples. Here are some pictures from brunch and at the Hotel.
After brunch, we stopped by the Mississippi River in Moline for a group picture.
Monday night, my sister, Tammy, made us a good ol’ Southern dinner. Christmas 1993 was the last time that I had a real Southern meal. Wow, almost 19 years ago!
Vacation ended this morning for Betty as she left Moline to head back home to her dog, Spike, and small town life. We’ll see her again in December in New Orleans for our western Caribbean cruise.