2018-10-31 Trip to Biloxi to Beau Rivage Casino – (Ending date 11-02)

Using Google-Maps, the trip from Atlanta, GA to Biloxi,MS is 387 miles.

I travelled with a motorcoach bus group called Seniors On the Go Travel. The owner is Cathy Stokes and the company website is named “Seniors On the Go Tours”.

Note: About a year ago, I went to Biloxi with this group and posted pictures of the trip on this website.

This is called a “Gambling Trip” since it was to a casino. BUT – I really don’t gamble. I just enjoy trips and the food is always awesome. My roommate is a gambler and I received some ‘house credit’ from Golden Nugget that I used in about 45 minutes at a machine. By the way, I really don’t consider myself a gambler (even though I ‘thought’ that I won some money at Keeneland Racetrack – see previous webpost). In a college “Probability and Statistics” math class, my professor told us that “SOMEONE had to pay for the machines, salaries, electricity, building, etc.” and cautioned the class that there is a large probability that you will lose. So, I decided that I would not tempt the probability odds. However, I REALLY LIKE the atmosphere and enjoy casinos. I had hoped to use my ‘house-credit’ at a video-poker machine. I couldn’t get one to work and asked for assistance. The employee told me that the ‘house credit’ would not work with video-poker. <Bummer!> I have a real affinity for wanting to learn more about winning video-poker. Years ago, the tv-show “60 Minutes” interviewed a video-poker expert. Her name was Jean Scott and I have the paperback book that she wrote. (It is called “The Frugal Gambler”.) She has strategies for winning and has gambled all over the world. She bought a condo in Las Vegas so that she could be nearer the action. She was a math teacher from the New England area and has good advice for winning. Specifically, I remember some high-level tips from the tv-show and her interview and book. (I plan to re-read the book soon.) The two top ones are (in my humble opinion):

(1) Watch someone at a machine and if they don’t win while playing after a while, then the machine has a higher probability of being near a payout. Play that machine.

(2) Always be alert when playing and don’t drink alcohol. The odds are slim for winning and alcohol will induce mistakes, which can be costly.

<Of course, NEVER gamble more than you can afford to loose.> 
We stayed 2 nights at the Beau Rivage, visited an aquarium on Thursday morning and the Golden Nugget Casino on Thursday afternoon. (As part of our trip, we received 2 breakfast vouchers at Beau Rivage and 1 buffet one. Also, we received $15 house-credit at the Golden Nugget. On “gambling trips” we had several bingo games on the bus and the winners receive lottery tickets. )

Hope that you enjoy the pictures: (A long time ago, I was told to not take pictures inside a casino. I didn’t take any pictures of the machines or people sitting at them.) 

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We had some bad-weather while on the trip. During the night of our arrival, a storm hit the area. The storm was predicted and our group had been scheduled to go on a boat ride. However, the boat captain called our tour-director and cancelled it. She had a “Plan B” activity for us. We visited the Ocean Adventures Aquarium in Gulfport. The website for it is: https://www.gulfcoast.org/listings/ocean-adventures-park-%26-center/4020/
It turned out that four school groups were scheduled for the day that we visited, however, the storm caused the groups to cancel and we had the place to ourselves (with a few other visitors). We enjoyed the dolphin show, petting the sting-rays, the trained seal and the parrot.

I have to add one last comment about my personality trait: “I HATE LOSING!” (especially hard-earned MONEY).  A member of our group won $1600 on the “Butterfly” machine next to the buffet restaurant. My roommate, liked and played the “Mustang” machine on the right of it for a while the night before the win. 

<<As always, any comments that you have about the website would be appreciated. I have another website. It is about my 1971 MGB (old English 2-seater convertible-top car). <Note: I sold the car in September.> The url address is : http://www.PuddinInTheMGB.wordpress.com
Additional note: Because the pictures take a long time to load, it is best to view these webpages using a desktop (in my opinion. Because the size of the pictures will be larger.) >>

2018-10-16 Trip to Lexington,KY to see Keeneland Race Track – (Ending date 10-19)

Using Google-Maps, the trip from Atlanta to Lexington is 387 miles.

I travelled with a motorcoach bus group called Seniors On the Go Travel. The owner is Cathy Stokes and the website is named “Seniors On the Go Tours”.  —- Be sure to read to the bottom! —- 

I have to be honest and say that my roommate wanted to sign up for this trip. I enjoy **ALL** of the bus trips and — I signed-up for this trip because my roommate on many past trips said that she wanted to go. I had never been to a horse-race before and I had never heard of Keeneland before this trip. I HAVE heard of the major horse races in the news, but I had -NO IDEA- of how involved the racing of horses can be. On this trip, we toured the Racetrack before race-day, went to a ‘stud-farm’ (Darby Dan’s) and learned how thoroughbred horses are kept pure-in-their-breed, and saw the beauty of the area. We also visited a large ‘training’ camp and saw where over 1000 horses have nearby stables in many barns. We were told about the jockeys who train them and heard about the jockeys who race them. We learned about how horse-manure is managed and sold to mushroom growing farmers. We visited a retirement-farm and saw beautiful horses and the love shown to them by the organizers. –AND– most-of-all, we went to the race and experienced the wonderful buffet in the clubhouse! The whole trip was very interesting and educational! (And, of course, we had many wonderful meals. I’m trying to include less food in these posts, but – if you, the reader, would like more about the food that we eat, please let me know.) I stayed in the Phoenix Room during the races as it was chilly outside and I was very comfortable inside. We were encouraged to go outside to the track area, but I had toured the track viewing area on the previous day and I was comfortable watching the races in the room. In particular, I was interested in the statistics and other information on the screen/monitors. I was especially interested in the ‘pro-picks’ shown minutes before a new race began. I took a picture of the group, but wanted to ‘blur’ faces because I didn’t want anyone in the group to be upset with me for showing their faces in the blog. This is my first experience with editing photos and I don’t often show faces of people, if possible.

<Click on a picture to enlarge it. Navigate forward and backward through the picture gallery using the left and right arrows in the middle of the picture. To end the gallery view and to return to the web-page, hit the “X” button on the top right of the picture, or the “Esc” (Escape) key on the top right of the keyboard.>

 

By the way, I ‘think’ that I won some money. The group ate the buffet in the Phoenix Room before the race. We studied the program and talked with a ‘betting-coach’ (called a ‘betologist’ in the brochure). Just before the first race started, I went to the betting-window and told the man-with-the-computer that I was ‘new’. He nodded and I told him that I wanted to bet $5 for win/place/show on a horse. (Cost of the bet was $15 since I was placing $5 on each choice = “win”=1st place or “place”=2nd or “show”=3rd.) After the race, I saw the monitor of the winners and was surprised that I was ‘in-the-money’. There are 30 minutes between races. I studied the program and when the betting-window was clear of other people, I returned for a bet on the second race. I chose another horse and placed a $5 bet for win/place/show and gave him the ticket from race number one. He processed the ticket from race-number-one and said that I owed $1.50. I gave him the money and returned to the table to watch the monitors for the race. Luckily, again, the horse that I picked was ‘in-the-money’. And, again, I studied the program and returned to bet when the window was clear. Again, he processed the ticket from race-number-two and said that I owed $3.50 for my bet. This time, I chose a ticket for ‘win’ only. Mistake! My horse did NOT win and my ticket was WORTHLESS! Well, the rest happened fast and the other races were quick to complete. I’m writing this web-post a couple of weeks after the trip and my memory has faded. Our bus was scheduled to leave before the last race so that we wouldn’t have the maximum traffic to negiotiate. On the last race that the group attended, I had picked another horse for win/place/show and saw in the results, where the horse was in the top three. I went to the window and collected $12.50 for the final race. I’m normally not much of a gambler, but – I think that I ended up positive in the cash-flow for the day. As I indicated previously, the middle races happened quickly, and my memory has faded, so – I DO remember putting money in my pocketbook in the end. I’m at the stage-of-life where I need to write everything down or I don’t remember the details. That is one of the reasons why I continue to create blog posts. “That’s My Story and I’m Sticking To It” = the title of a Jimmy Buffet song. (Note: For each race, I bet on only one horse. Others in the group were betting on several horses per race. If I couldn’t keep-up with my one bet, I wondered how they kept up with many?) By the way, the buffet was absolutely wonderful. I only gained five pounds on this trip.

 

This was another ‘FABULOUS’ trip planned by Cathy. On the bus-ride, we played games and had a wonderful trip! Note: I refrained from showing pictures both of the Univ of Kentucky bus-tour and the food that we ate. If you, the reader, would like to see pictures of our driving-tour and/or food, please let me know in the comments.

2018-10-16_KYLexingtonKeeneland_OurFearlessLeader-and herFascinator
2018-10-16_KYLexingtonKeeneland_OurFearlessLeader-and herFascinator

<<As always, any comments that you have about the website would be appreciated. I have another website. It is about my 1971 MGB (old English 2-seater convertible-top car). <Note: I sold the car in September.> The url address is : http://www.PuddinInTheMGB.wordpress.com
Additional note: Because the pictures take a long time to load, it is best to view these webpages using a desktop (in my opinion. Because the size of the pictures will be larger.) >>

2018-09-28 Trip to New England – on a motorcoach bus. (Ending date 10-07)

Using Google-Maps, the trip from Atlanta to Bar Harbor is 1340 miles.

I travelled with the motorcoach bus tour-group called Seniors On the Go Travel. The owner of the company is Cathy Stokes, tour-director.  The website is “SeniorsOnTheGoTours”. 

A -VERY- short description of our tour was to see Block Island, RI; Nubble Lighthouse and shop in Kennebunkport,ME; tour Acadia National Park (Cadillac Mountain) <weather was too bad to see Thunder Hole> & Lobster meal; shop in Bar Harbor <weather was too bad for a planned nature cruise>; Castle in the Clouds, Moultonborough,NH; Quechee Gorge and Woodstock, VT; Green Mountain Sugar Maple Syrup tour, Apple House and Battle Monument in Bennington,VT and Vermont Country Store in Weston. The route was to travel North on I-85 (most of the way) and to return South on I-81.

<Click on a picture to enlarge it. Navigate forward and backward through the picture gallery using the left and right arrows in the middle of the picture. To end the gallery view and to return to the web-page, hit the “X” button on the top right of the picture, or the “Esc” (Escape) key on the top right of the keyboard. >

I took over 600 pictures, but – due to the nature of posting pictures on this website, I’ve reduced the number of pictures for this post to thirty-one! (A very difficult decision).  Also, I took -WAY- too many pictures of the mansion at Castle in the Clouds.  I’ve NOT posted many of the wonderful meals that we ate.  I admit to experiencing web problems and intend to make the information on my posts shorter.  The group had several travel-guides and there is too much that we enjoyed for me to put here.

This trip involved a lot of travel and sightseeing out of the bus window. I think that everyone had a wonderful time and liked seeing the changing colors of the trees. Hope that you enjoy the pictures!

<<As always, any comments that you have about the website would be appreciated. I have another website. It is about my 1971 MGB (old English 2-seater convertible-top car). <Note: I sold the car in September.> The url address is : http://www.PuddinInTheMGB.wordpress.com
Additional note: Because the pictures take a long time to load, it is best to view these webpages using a desktop (in my opinion. Because the size of the pictures will be larger.) >>

2018-09-22 GA, Atlanta – Delta Flight Museum

A -new- ‘thing’ for Americans has occurred. It’s called “Smithsonian Museum” day!  YEAH!
I received an email that on the fourth Saturday in September, the Smithsonian Museum and its members, have ‘FREE’ entrance in museums. The email that I received had information on registering and printing your ‘ticket’ for the event. (I suppose that the registration and ticket allows for the ‘first-to-accept’ the offer to get-into-the-museum and there is crowd-control in that not too many free tickets are not allowed.)

My GPS address was not the correct address for the museum, but it was the address for Delta Headquarters, which was close to the museum. A guard at the gate gave me the diretions to the next road which contained the museum entrance. (Parking is free.) On the day that I attended, there were two airplanes for the museum, but the largest was ‘open’ and available to be toured.  There was a long line and I had to wait about 30 minutes before entering.  The Boeing 747 which has stairs and an elevator for entrance was the tour of the day. Participants enter the door and view the airplane that has had seats removed. Each person who enters is able to see what they want and to go upstairs to see the cockpit. (I.E. ‘no’ tourguide.) The pictures tell-the-story. Hope that you enjoy them.

<<As always, any comments that you have about the website would be appreciated. I have another website. It is about my 1971 MGB (old English 2-seater convertible-top car). The url address is : http://www.PuddinInTheMGB.wordpress.com
Additional note: Since my posts have many pictures, it may take some time to load. Because of the pictures, it is best to view these webpages using a desktop (in my opinion. Because the size of the pictures will be larger.) >>

2017-09-17 to Cleveland, TN from Atl,GA on “Mystery Trip” (~120 miles, 2 hours drive)

2018-09-17_TNCleveland,MuseumCntr5Points-outside
2018-09-17_TNCleveland,MuseumCntr5Points-outside

2017-09-17 to Cleveland, TN from Atl,GA on “Mystery Trip” (~120 miles, 2 hours drive)
I signed up with Seniors-On-The-Go-Tours (tour-guide=Cathy Stokes) to go ‘somewhere’ on a “Mystery Trip”. A trip where you don’t know where you’re going until you get there == Why sign-up and not know where you’re going?  Well, the short-answer is: You always have a good time, no matter where you go!  This is my third mystery-trip. And again, I really enjoyed it. A great trip and a great time.
My first picture is the group at the parking lot when I arrived. I got there about 7:15, the bus gets the luggage packed about 7:30 and we leave at 8AM. Well, the line is because the first ones in line, get their pick of the seat that they want for the trip. There is no switching seats on a trip. S-o-o-o, I ended up sitting in the rear of the bus, just one seat from the very back. That means, when you get to an unloading spot, you are almost the last to get off the bus. It takes a while for everyone to get up and get down the stairs and out of the bus. So-o-o-o the tour-director, i.e. Cathy, lets the front of the bus start unloading first one-day, and the next day switches unloading first to the back-of-the-bus. YEAH! (The final day, the unloading schedule is half-day front, and half-day back unloading first.) It doesn’t matter to me where I sit on the bus. My roommate said the same thing – It is what it is. I allow an hour of time to drive from my house and I get there when I can. The bus was ‘full’ and Cathy has said that mystery-trips usually sell-out quickly.

2018-09-17_GASnell2424WebbHouseGinRd_CannonMethChurch-busLine
2018-09-17_GASnell2424WebbHouseGinRd_CannonMethChurch-busLine

We left Atlanta and talked about where we were going – we follow the signs along the road and have wi-fi connected to maps to know our location. Cathy told us that we were NOT going to a beach area, and we guess where we are going with each turn. The choice of location for this trip caught everyone by surprise – we had a couple of people guess Chattanooga which is close to Cleveland – a 30-minute drive. We first stopped at the Museum and had a step-on guide tell us about the area as we drove around. We had a ‘big picture’ view of downtown and Lee University and the nearby residental area. We unloaded the bus across from the county courthouse and were given maps of restaurants downtown and told what time to return to the bus. Several of us ate at the Stack-bistro and I’ve included the pictures that I took. Had a very nice lunch – hamburger steak with mushrooms, fried fresh-okra sticks, and tater tots. We had a great time talking and a great lunch. We returned to the museum and looked at the displays – I took a picture explaining what ‘shape-notes’ are. Then, we went into an attached room that was a general-purpose meeting room that had a piano and chairs. We were introduced to Jack Clark, and he told us about shape-notes and how to write songs. He travels around the country teaching classes on songwriting. In the end, Cathy ‘created’ a song to the tune of “I’ll Fly Away” and we had a large flip-top sheet where she wrote her ‘idea’. Jack played the song and there were attempts to sing the new ‘creation’. Her song was “I’m on a bus today, I’m on a bus. Don’t know where I’m going to stay – but, I’m on a bus”. We went to a Staybridge Suite in the Cleveland side-of-Chattanooga for a short rest and returned to the bus. We had dinner at Jenkins Restaurant and Deli, a well-known eating establishment in the community. Back to our ‘suite’ for the night, my roommate and I had our own bedrooms with bathrooms. The suite had a tv in each bedroom and one in the sitting-area between the bedrooms. We watched the last of the HBO movie “Wonder Woman”.

The next morning, we ate breakfast at the hotel – there were many options for food. Then, back on the bus with the step-on guide to Red Clay State Park. In the park, we saw exhibits of Cherokee Indian culture and saw a short-video about how the Indians were forced from their land. We walked to the perpetual-flame memorial and the ranger of the park told us about how the Indian government met and decided the best customs for their tribes. It was all very interesting and a beautiful day to learn about the Cherokee being forced to leave and resettle in Oklahoma. Back-on-the bus, we went to Adele’s Granfalloon for crepe’s and lunch. The crepe’s had different fillings, ham, etc. for lunch and strawberries, etc. for dessert and they were delicious! After eating, there was a local entertainer who told us his ‘bear’ story and a singer-guitarist who played original songs. Both were great. We had a rain-cloud pass over the restaurant when we were inside, but the weather had cleared by the time we left – so all is good. Afterward, we went to Adventist Univ and saw the archeological museum. We were not allowed to take pictures inside, but – I was amazed to see artifacts from Israel from pre-Biblical times. We returned to the hotel for a break and wondered what exciting things were scheduled for the rest-of-the-day. We had an outstanding dinner at Aubrey’s – where we had pre-ordered our choice of food. My roommate chose, “Thunderburger” and someone at the front of the bus had researched on the internet for “Thunderburger” and discovered that Aubrey’s Restaurant in Cleveland had that item on the menu. Thus, the ‘surprise’ for dinner had been uncovered and the restaurant choice was not a mystery to some of the people on the bus – which was a disappointment to Cathy because she tries really hard to keep all of our events a true ‘mystery’. Anyway, it was a great meal. I had grilled salmon, sweet-potato fries and cooked apples. Dessert was exceptional = peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream. As usual, I ate too much and had to plan on eating less when I returned home. Afterward, we went to Lee University Chapel and sang ‘shape-note’ hymns with some of the locals. The hymn-leader told us that for 8 years, he lived in Lawrenceville and knew the area where we were from. He told us that his two daughters were born while he lived there. Our pianist for the hymns was Jack Clark, our previous song-writing teacher. As we left, I heard a lady tell someone that her grandson loves singing and she enjoys bringing her to the hymn-night. The hymn leader came onto the bus and told us how much he enjoyed us coming. We felt very welcome.

The next morning, we ate breakfast at the hotel and had packed our bags to return home. We knew that our day would contain some riding, lunch and rest-stops before we returned, but – we didn’t know WHERE! We first stopped for the rest-area only a few minutes after leaving the hotel. We were told that we could expect a lot of riding before the next stop and to prepare for a ride. The bus took us on many backroads, I looked out of the window at the houses and how they were scattered along the roads. We went through Ellijay without stopping and continued on to a dirt road. We had NO IDEA where we were – somewhere in North Georgia near a pasture with black cows. Finally, we stopped at a house and large parking lot for a wine tasting room. We went inside tasted the wine from Chateau Meichtry. (The winery was started a few years ago by a family who told the story of their ancestors having a winery in Italy and bringing the ‘vine-stock’ with them to the USA. They told how family members help with all of the business elements associated with the winery.) Then, we went to the deck containing round tables with umbrellas for shade. It was cool inside and with-the-sunshine, got hot on the deck. But, we had a cool breeze every once in a while and it was just beautiful – looking out to the hills around us and the grapevines planted in the driveway. We had a wonderful catered lunch on the deck. I knew that it would take a while for everyone to get on the bus and I enjoyed being on the deck in the breeze, so I was the last to leave. 

Our last stop of the trip was at an apple barn – somewhere outside Dahlonega. It is not on a wide highway, but it was large and known to a lot of people in the area. It was only about 5 miles from the winery. We were treated to cold cups of apple cider and it was really sweet and good. Before getting off the bus, I had decided to buy some apple cider – but after realizing that I would have to store it and carry it home, I changed my mind because I just didn’t want to ‘deal with it’. However, it was great seeing all of the items-for-sale in the apple house and would like to return sometime. The bus returned to our parking lot with rush-hour traffic ending a great “Mystery Trip”.
 
<<As always, any comments that you have about the website would be appreciated. I have another website. It is about my 1971 MGB (old English 2-seater convertible-top car). The url address is : http://www.PuddinInTheMGB.wordpress.com
Additional note: Since my posts have many pictures, it may take some time to load. Because of the pictures, it is best to view these webpages using a desktop (in my opinion. Because the size of the pictures will be larger.) >>