...do as the Romans do. When in Colorado, go to the casino because it's smoke free and you have a free babysitter (thanks Grandma Pam!)
So, that's exactly what we did while we were out in Denver for our vacation at the end of March. My brother Luke and his wifey Jen and Joel and I went to the Armadillo for dinner. The Armadillo is this cute little Mexican restaurant in Littleton that Jen used to work at and that apparently has the greatest queso ever, at least according to Jen. It was good dinner, and we had a Restaurant.com gift certificate to there so it was pretty economical. We used Laura money (Joel's mom sent us with $100 to take Luke and Jen out for dinner/entertainment) for dinner, and even after cocktails, queso, and 4 meals, we still had plenty of money left over.
So, the only logical place to go was to the casino, an hour into the mountains. Grandma Pam told us to go enjoy ourselves without the kids, so we took full advantage of that. We drove on winding mountain roads forever, and then BAM! A small town where every store front was a bar, a restaurant, or a casino. One casino even had a Starbucks in the lobby. I'm not a huge gambler, and we only go about once a year to play penny slots, but for some reason, we were all feeling a little frisky that night.
We went to the Wheel of Fortune machine first. This machine costs $3 per play but if you land on the wheel, it spins and you win a minimum of 100, just in one spin! Luke and Jen won over $3,000 playing this machine on their honeymoon cruise. So, we started there, with the rest of the Laura money. We had all budgeted to spend some money here. Yes, you'd like to win at the casino, but most people don't, and we were ok "donating" the money to the casino. We figured 60 bucks for entertainment for 4 hours with no kids was well worth it; it's cheaper than a concert or a movie by the time you get all the snacks you need!
Anyways, we sat down at the Wheel of Fortune, and wouldn't ya know it, 4 spins later, we won $225! We decided to split it between the 4 of us and use that money first before we had to dip into our own pockets. So, we went off on our separate ways. Jen and I went to video poker, which is kind of fun but seems hard to win. Except that about 2 minutes later, I had a royal flush on a 5 cent machine and won $57. So, I cashed that out, stuck it in my pocket, and grabbed a 20 to keep playing. Then, I went to another machine that had that 7's game, where you have to line up 7's to win. Well, apparently I'm good at automated machines that need to line up stuff, because I lined up some 7's and won another 20 bucks within about 3 minutes of sitting down.
I tried my luck at some other weird game that I didn't know how to play but you could get free spins and stuff at, so I did that one, and lo and behold, another 60 bucks I won. Hmmm. We should have taken that as an omen but instead, we stayed another 4 hours.
4 hours later, we were all broke, I was back to even. To be fair though, I donated some of my money to Starbucks, to Joel since he had lost his Laura money, and to cocktails. Wheel of Fortune was not our friend at the end, but then, as we were about to leave, we found the magical game of Video Roulette. This is very similar to the live roulette but you don't have the pressure of everyone watching you bet and making you second guess everything. Well, Jen's favorite number is 16, so they bet on Red 16 every time, and won about 5 of those, which pay at a 1 to 36 odds. We sat there for an hour, and Joel and I left ahead by about 10 bucks. A winding drive home and we were safe and sound back in Littleton. But, we had a fun night out as married couples and friends and Grandma Pam got to rock all the babies to sleep.