Monday, 1/16/12 - Last week my friend Sonia from the RV park came and told me about a "free" bus trip to the Hard Rock Cafe. It seems that you pay $20 up front and when you get there they give you $25 back to gamble with and a $7.50 voucher for lunch. Now in anybodies world....that sure sounds FREE to me! Of course with a deal like that I told Sonia, sign me up!
We all met down at the RV office and they had sent 2 buses from the Hard Rock as there were about 76 people signed up for the trip. We all started boarding the bus at about 8:30 am for a 9 am departure. Surprisingly, the trip only took about 45 minutes as the buses use the Florida Turnpike to drive on.....we of course only use surface streets in driving around Miami (remember: it is UN American to pay for driving on a road) When we arrived, the casino lady boarded the bus and told us she would be giving out $25 vouchers that could only be used in one machine (that is any machine you pick) but you had to play all of it in that one machine. Of course if you were LUCKY enough to win something after that you could cash out. Now of course you get the picture.....how long does it take to loose $25 in a slot machine? But of course we took the voucher, plus the $7.50 voucher for lunch.
Sonia and I had never been to a Hard Rock before and this place was huge, with lots and lots of great Rock and Rock memorabilia everywhere, which of course I wanted to see everything. We then walked outside to where the pool was and the weather was so beautiful we decided to sit down on a couple of lounge chairs and enjoy the sun, the huge waterfalls and just soak up this beautiful place. It gave us both time to call our daughters - which it seemed like forever since I had talked to Nancy and we had a lot of catching up to do.
It was now about noon and we had to find the 3 restaurants out of the 17 on the property that accepted the $7.50 vouchers in.....1st one was a coffee shop; 2nd one had a 2 hour wait (some special promotion was going on and the 3rd one...our choice - was the restaurant outside by the pool. It was the best choice by far, the only problem being, the only thing for $7.50 was on the KIDS menu. So we of course "sprung" for the extra, I had a delicious mahi mahi spinach salad and Sonia had the Buffalo wings plate. Actually, our extra was only about $8.00 so we were happy, a great lunch, good people watching and a beautiful setting.
After lunch we decided to walk outside and see all the different shops and nightclubs they have there. Honestly, I never imagined this place (are they all like this?) were so big. They had lots of shops, including a White House (Black Market) Quicksilver, a Tattoo shop, Brookstone and ice cream, pretzel and lots more. We of course wandered in and out of all of them, sampling the ice cream and gelato. The "club" area must be something to see at night with all the music, people and lights but of course we just saw the empty buildings, but it was fun to see it all.
By this time it was after 1:30 pm and we hadn't even played our $25.00 slot voucher so we went inside to find out how it works. We had to have a "rewards card" (why, I'm never coming back, thank you) and then once you choose a machine that is the only machine you can play with the voucher. Of course, big spenders caw and Sonia - we choose a 2 penny slot machine and fortunately, there was an old lady (shocking) playing right next to it and she showed us how to play and what to do. Now we were set, it was crazy, we had no idea what was happening, it said we were winning but our total dollar amount kept going down.....we were both laughing at how ridiculous this was. Just as Sonia was down to $3.00 left.....she must have hit some jackpot that made her money total jump up to $20. I told her, "don't touch the machine, go find an attendant (the old lady was gone by this time) to see if she could get her money out." So off she goes and brings someone back and the lady said yes, both of us had put enough in (how much is enough?) and could cash out. Sonia got $20 and I got $7. So lets see what was free....not much but we really had a fun afternoon..... laying in the sun, window shopping, talking non stop and a great lunch and a gambling spree. Of course, while we were there they announced over the loudspeaker, that they just had a $16,000. winner....however, I'm sure they weren't playing the 2 penny slot machine.
After our gambling spree, to celebrate we went back into the shopping area and blew our winnings on an ice cream. Gosh, after this it was really getting close to getting back on the bus at 3:15 for a departure time of 3.30 pm. It was a fun day and Sonia and I had a wonderful time together and I will miss her when I leave here on Wednesday, she has been a great friend and a real prayer warrior. I know she will be praying for me from now on......Thanks my friend. Much love to all our family and friends.