Shannon Stacey

Adventures in a casino

View of fog from 30th floorIf a person has issues with crowds, noise, weird lighting, and escalators, where should you take her? Yes! To a huge casino!

A real telephone with coiled cord and everything hung above the toilet paper holder.We (my husband, my sister, my brother-in-law and I) recently descended upon the Mohegan Sun. After checking in, we admired our view of fog from our 30th floor room. And there are antique telephones in the bathrooms, above the toilet paper holders! I thought it was very interesting and perhaps a way for people to stay in contact with their bookies, but my husband suggested it was there in case you needed emergency assistance. We agreed to disagree due to his lack of imagination.

Sculpture made of LED tubes that shift color and rise up like a water geyser

There was a glass water sculpture where the hotel and the casino wings met, which was handy because it meant I occasionally knew where I was. I did have a moment of confusion when I found myself at a pink water sculpture when I was looking for a blue one, but then I realized the LED colors shift. Tricky bastards.

A steak on a plate, with a weird blog next to it.You know that graphic that goes around the internet saying “I’m sorry for what I said when I was hungry”? Pretty sure whoever made that had met me past dinnertime. It was time to eat and the ensuing conversation led me to snap at my brother-in-law that I already had a husband to play the I don’t care, what do you want to eat game with, so he pointed over my shoulder and said “there”. Sadly, once you’ve been a bitch, you can’t then whine about the results. (Yeah, that totally didn’t stop me.) There was a BLOB on the plate next to my steak. (And that’s all you get, by the way. Steak. On a plate. For $40.) Luckily, my brother-in-law rescued me from it and claimed it was an onion.

bowl of chocolate pudding with a cookie centered on topWhen it came time for dessert, my husband and I decided to share chocolate cream pie because even rich people can’t screw up chocolate cream pie, right? Wrong. We were served a bowl of chocolate pudding with some kind of fancy cookie on top. When I’m out of my element, I get a little…rigid and I was not willing to accept this as chocolate cream pie. No, this is NOT CHOCOLATE CREAM PIE. NO NO NO. Luckily, my brother-in-law once again saved me from my fancy food by taking the cookie, and my husband invited me to share his bowl of chocolate pudding. It was quite good chocolate pudding, and the dollop of whipped cream they’d hidden under the cookie tasted like Kahlua.

For what it’s worth, when you’re in a place that serves you a steak on a plate and charges $40 for it with a straight face, the correct answer to how is it is not, “Well, it’s no Applebee’s, but…”

Selfie showing off shiny earrings On Saturday, I was briefly left unattended and ended up at the Swarovski store. My sister met me there and I bought new earrings. Then, after participating in a wonderful romance panel, I needed a Dunkin Donuts iced coffee and I knew there was one in the casino. It was less about the coffee, which was available almost anywhere, and more about the emotional touchstone of normal. Dunkins is my normal.

Brother-in-law leaning against a tall, chairless tableMy brother-in-law, who you should feel free at this point to picture repeatedly riding to my rescue on a white steed, led the quest to find me an iced Dunkins coffee, which consisted of multiple laps around the casino, directions from a gentleman who didn’t know his left from his right and, finally, being led there personally by a casino employee. We then relaxed for a few minutes, as much as one can at a Dunkin Donuts with no chairs. Since there are no clocks in the casino, I can only guess this took about three hours. Then we finally found my husband, who had been playing Blackjack for about 6 hours on the original $40 worth of chips he bought before my panel. Strangely enough, no casino people offered to comp us cool free stuff.

Sister and me selfie

Then it was time to eat and I lived in fear of the buffet suggestion. We’d done the buffet for breakfast and it was rough. Noisy and crowded and people couldn’t figure out how to make an orderly line and there were kids with no parents and THE GUY USED THE SAUSAGE TONGS IN THE BACON AND…sorry. It was rough. My husband wanted to try the Irish pub and it was the highlight of the weekend.

Holiday cookie martini thingsIt was very dark, with a sports atmosphere, and the kind of noisy where you have to yell to each other, so I was a little anxious. (Olympic hockey was the on the screen next to us, but I deliberately pulled up the score and spoiled myself so I wouldn’t turn my chair and ignore my family.) The server was awesome and so were the drinks. I have a one drink maximum rule, but I had three. I think there were three. I started with some blue fruity thing, but liked my sister’s better, so then I ordered one of those. But I drank all of my blue one first. Then we had liquid dessert. Anyway, the dinner itself was the best thing I’d ever eaten.

Steak with sauce, potatoes and mushrooms It was Gaelic Steak, which was a fat steak with a delicious creamy sauce, red potatoes and seasoned, sauteed mushrooms. My brother-in-law and my husband had desserts you eat with a fork (as opposed to ours, which came in a glass). My husband got an apple cobbler thing that looked amazing, so I tried it and, right after he warned me not to burn my mouth, I burned my mouth. It was worth it.

Bottle of liquid eyelinerThen things get a little hazy. I looked over and my husband had a bottle of Sephora liquid eyeliner and, if you knew my husband, you would be as confused by this as I was. He said a woman had tapped him on his shoulder and handed it to him. While there was a very logical discussion going on around me as to how she probably thought it belonged to my sister or I and we’d dropped it, I went straight to A WOMAN TOUCHED YOU? and came pretty close to having a Real Housewives of New Jersey moment. Fortunately, I didn’t want to spill my drink, so the table remained unflipped. Now I’m a fairly self-aware person, so I was surprised to learn at the age of 41 that, if I’ve had three drinks and a woman hands my husband a bottle of liquid eyeliner, I will totally lose my shit.

What do you do with a woman who’s had three drinks and remains annoyed by her inability to identify Sephora lady? Take her back to the casino tables! We played Blackjack because it’s the only game I know how to play and, with some help from my husband, I can usually count to twenty-one. Fun fact? They bring you drinks when you gamble. And no wussy watered down drinks, either. When they bring you raspberry vodka and Sprite, it’s light on Sprite and gets lighter with each drink.

Another new thing I learned about myself? I’ll hit every time on sixteen. I’ll hit every time on seventeen. And, just to piss off the mansplainer to my right, I’ll even hit on eighteen if I’m told to stay. And I also apparently like pretty colors and will hand over ugly paper money to collect lots of different pretty colored chips. (My very sober husband was to my left and all ugly paper money in my possession was expendable. And I expended the hell out of it.)

And on Sunday we went home.

7 comments to “Adventures in a casino”

  1. library addict
      · March 6th, 2014 at 3:49 pm · Link

    Oh my! LOL. Thanks for sharing your adventure.

  2. hilly
      · March 6th, 2014 at 10:27 pm · Link

    LOL! Totally makes me want to go and, er, not go there sometime! Thanks for sharing your highs & lows. Once again, you illustrate that you are a super storyteller! ;)

  3. Tracy S
      · March 6th, 2014 at 11:03 pm · Link


  4. mharvey816
      · March 7th, 2014 at 10:30 am · Link

    What is it with men and the “I don’t care, what do you want to eat” game?

    Next time, do what I do at a casino hotel and get a massage at the spa. :)

  5. Laurie Evans
      · March 8th, 2014 at 3:48 pm · Link

    We went to Foxwoods with my parents once. They raved and raved about how awesome it was. Hubby and I felt pretty much the same way you did. We weren’t fans.

  6. Shannon
      · March 10th, 2014 at 8:27 am · Link

    I’ve never had a massage. While part of me thinks it sounds wonderful, I can barely tolerate haircuts, manis and pedis. Not a fan of being touched.

    And most of my friends prefer Foxwoods to Mohegan Sun, so if I ever go to a casino again, it’ll probably be Foxwoods. But I’m not sure I see that happening.

  7. Lisa J
      · March 10th, 2014 at 3:12 pm · Link

    I never get the massage. I don’t want people touching my fat (of which, there is way too much).

    I work for a company with a casino in Maryland. Please visit it, we could use lots of that ugly paper and would be happy to exchange it for pretty colored chips (as long as you give more chips back to us than you cash in).

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