Sunday, February 19, 2017

you can bet on mexpatriate

Yesterday's essay was composed in the coffee shop at the Gold Ranch casino.

There is a reason I am telling you that bit of trivia.

I am not a gambler. If I have money to risk, I usually toss it into the maw of the New York Stock Exchange. Slot machines, roulette wheels, and baccarat tables are not my road to perdition.

I was at the casino for only one reason. Nancy, Roy, and their respective mothers were there for a prize drawing. I had tagged along with the sole expectation of finishing my post. And I did (isn't it cold for you?).

While we waited for a break during the drawings, I sat down next to Roy, who was playing triple double bonus video poker. (The name always sounds as if some game-maker had extra adjectives that needed a home.)

For four days, Roy had been teaching his rules of play. The rules are very simple. And, for Roy, they seem to work. He regularly wins.

I had tried two or three outings of $20 each. Roy's method did not work for me. Unless, the goal was to blast through my paltry stake.

Last night, I put my $20 in the machine and quickly played it down to about $5. I told Roy I was going to cash out, but he convinced me to play the rest.

On my next hand, I drew four 4s and a 3. In this game, that is called four of a kind with a kicker -- and it was worth $500.

Knowing a good thing when it falls in my lap, I cashed out and decided to head home.

I guess it helps not to have a gambler's instinct of trying to increase my winnings. That may be, in part, due to the calm gene I inherited from my mother. I just did not get much of a rush in winning.

This morning, Nancy's mother drove us to the Reno airport. We then flew to Santa Ana for the night -- because we wanted to spend a day on the California coast before we start the Australia leg of our trip tomorrow.

After checking into our residence for the night, we drove over to Crystal Cove for a late lunch. The little beach community nestled into Newport Beach is most famous as the shooting site for the beach scenes in Beaches. The house is the last on the right.

The afternoon was practically perfect. A cool day on the beach with good friends and some filling food.

When the lunch check arrived, I knew I was no longer in Barra de Navidad. For three of us, the total was $130 (with tip). A great day -- with a price tag to match.

I now know why I won that money -- to pay for a handful of meals.

Note -- Tomorrow, we will be on our way to Australia. Because there is an international dateline tossed in there, I may be offline for what will appear to be a couple of days.

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