I am nearly recovered from my crazy weekend in St. Louis.
The older I get, the longer it takes me to recover from a couple of days of drinking and gambling and staying out all night. There was an incident.
Last weekend was a three day holiday weekend for us. My husband works in a bank and gets all Federal holidays off. We had nothing to do so we decided to go to St. Louis for the weekend. St. Louis is about one hour and fifteen minutes away.
Most of our vacations now revolve around casinos and gambling. We like to gamble and we like to have a few drinks in a place where we did not have to worry about driving back to the hotel. There is always Uber if we cannot get rooms at the casino hotel. Also, we have gambled enough the last few years to earn free hotel rooms, meals, and slot money using the casino rewards cards.
My twenty six year old son says that casinos are the devil’s playground. There is a lot of fun to be had in a casino. You can play all kinds of games, drink, eat, listen to live music, and people watch. It is never boring. The only problem is that you can easily spend too much money “chasing the dragon” when you try too hard to recoup your losses or become addicted. Also, your judgement is not good when you drink too much. I recognize this and try to take only the amount of money I can comfortably lose and leave my debit card at home so I am not tempted to make withdrawals from my checking account. When I am out of money, I have to quit.
St. Louis has five casinos although one of them is in East St. Louis. The Casino Queen is across the river in East St. Louis. It is in a sketchy neighborhood but security is very good there. We stay there frequently as it a smaller place and conveniently located near the Metro train into St. Louis. The Lumiere Casino and Hotel are downtown. River City is the newest and nicest casino hotel complex and is located a few miles south of the Lumiere. Farther out is the Hollywood Casino and in Maryland Heights and the Ameristar in historic St. Charles, MO. Each casino complex has a hotel, bars, entertainment, and restaurants.
We chose the downtown area for our weekend get away. We had freebies at the Casino Queen and the Lumiere and also wanted to visit the River City Casino.
We checked into the Casino Queen Saturday afternoon and gambled for a few hours. We Ubered to Ballpark Village for dinner. Ballpark Village is a huge complex of restaurants and bars next door to Busch Stadium, home of the Cardinals baseball team. Although it was the dead of winter, Ballpark Village was bustling with people. There was a bull riding event in town and several conventions. We ate dinner at the Brewhouse and it was very good, although very expensive.
Howl at the Moon Piano Bar is one of the entertainment venues located at Ballpark Village. Howl at the Moon is a place where dueling piano players entertain you by playing song requests. It is high energy entertainment. We have seen them in Chicago, Peoria, and Springfield and it is always a fun experience.
The doors open at 8 pm. Admission is free but the drinks are outrageously expensive. A bucket of five beers was $20.00 or maybe $30. I can’t remember exactly but it was a lot. They have an extensive cocktail menu and you can buy a bucket of cocktails with different colored straws to share.
We got there early and it does fill up quickly. There was a bachelorette party and a fortieth birthday party. We were lucky to find a wonderful waitress, Jenny, who found us a great seat near the players but not too close. Jenny was very attentive. The musicians were piano players and a drummer. The music is fun and lively. You can sing along and there is also plenty of room to dance. It was so much fun! We will definitely return.
We Ubered back to our hotel and gambled until 2 am. Mostly, I watched my husband play blackjack. He is on a winning streak. He was sitting at a fun table and the dealer was very entertaining. My husband talked the host into giving him a free brunch voucher.
We crawled out of bed at 10:30 am on Sunday morning, showered, dressed, packed, checked out, and made our way to the brunch buffet. It was scrumptious and had numerous choices including an omelet station. Hotel room and brunch buffet were completely complimentary. I lost $40 gambling and my husband won $150 playing blackjack.
We drove over to River City Casino. We spent about an hour there playing video poker and slots. I walked out with a win of $100
We checked into the Lumiere Hotel around 3 pm. It was total chaos in the lobby. There was only one clerk working the desk and a dozen people complaining about their rooms or trying to check in. I waited patiently in line watching the different scenarios. Our room was fine and located conveniently on the first floor. We napped and then visited the hot tub for a relaxing soak. The Lumiere has a small indoor pool and an outdoor hot tub on the first floor. The hot tub is enclosed in a little patio area and is very nice. It was clean and very warm and relaxing.
We drove to Tucker’s Place for dinner in Soulard. Soulard is an historic French neighbor with colorful blues bars and restaurants. Tucker’s Place is an old two story brick house which has been converted to a nostalgic bar and restaurant. They have a variety of food and drink but their steak is amazing. Their sirloin and strip cut steaks are exclusively Omaha “Black Angus” choice or higher graded beef. Meals are served in generous portions and are reasonably priced. Tucker’s Place has three locations in St. Louis.
After dinner, we drove a few blocks to the 1860’s Saloon to meet some friends for a drink. The 1860 Saloon was a two family townhouse that has been converted into a bar, restaurant, and game room. They have live bands nearly every night. It is a very interesting place. We arrived in between bands so did not get to listen to any music but we enjoyed a beer with our friends and then headed back to the Lumiere Casino.
I discovered the Lighting slot games in Las Vegas last year. They are very popular and busy. If you can find an unoccupied machine, you can win a lot of money. They have huge payouts if you are winning. I played for several hours and came out with another $100. I joined my husband at the HQ Bar and we had a fun time paying video poker. We started to head back to our room around 11:30 pm but decided to play $20 on a Quick Hits slot machine on the way out. There was an incident that nearly ruined our evening.
A female security guard approached us and told us we had to leave because we were too intoxicated and a danger to other people. We were shocked and questioned her. She said the bartender at the HQ Bar had reported that my husband was weaving and wobbling as he walked. The bartender said we were over intoxicated. We had just been sitting there in the bar playing video poker and minding our own business. My husband does not walk straight because of a foot disability. I protested that we were not intoxicated and she called the supervisor. The supervisor questioned my husband to determine whether he was intoxicated and pronounced him to be fine to stay in the casino. We left anyway as we were really aggravated with their rudeness. My husband speculates that the bartender was possibly not happy with his tip. It was a slow night in there. There was no apology for this incident and when I complained at the service desk, I was asked to check the website. The casino employees seemed to be very, very rude that night. It was puzzling.
We decided not to let it ruin our good time. We went to bed and got up the next day for our free brunch. We had good service in the restaurant at least and the food was good too.
All and all, it was a fun time and profitable too.