November 15, 2011
In celebration of Beth's birthday, we did something odd on Saturday night - we ate bad Vietnamese food and went gambling. Now, to be clear it wasn't our intent to eat crappy Vietnamese food. We hit a local restaurant we'd never tried, the food was sub-par and we won't be going back. But we went gambling on purpose.
We live in Northern Virginia which is right at the cross roads of any number of states - Pennsylvania, Maryland, Deleware, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. And gambling is totally legal in West Virginia. We've both lived around here for a good long time but neither of us had ever made it to Charles Town in which the largest casino and horse track is located. So we remedied that.
After our shitty Vietnamese dinner, we pointed the car to Charles Town in anticipation of a highly-ironic and tacky evening. We weren't disappointed. Charles Town's Hollywood Casino is essentially a gigantic warehouse. A nicely appointed warehouse, sure, but still a warehouse. It's a smoky (yes, you can still smoke inside in West Virginia) maze of restaurants - from a food court (which was honestly the nicest food court I've ever seen) to upscale steakhouses - and themes and games and bars. It sports more slot machines than I've ever seen in one place (and that includes Vegas) and there are pockets of table games all over the place. We tried our hands at the slots (that sounds dirty) but lost everything we had. We had only slightly better luck at roulette but we eventually walked away empty handed. But it was more fun to watch the people anyway.
It was a diverse crowd. On one hand you had back-woods West Virginia residents who seemed as if they came with their paycheck every week. On the other was the DC contingent, the people like us who drove over the mountains from the Washington area to see what was going on and lay some money down. It was a hell of a mix.
We were done after a couple of hours, having had enough irony for one evening. So we drove home, relieved Beth's parents who'd been kind enough to hang out and get the kids to bed, and had a couple of beers. There's no irony in beer.Posted by Chris at November 15, 2011 7:34 AM