If you weren’t aware, yesterday was the day of love. It was the day that souls join, people buy each other chocolate and roses and tell each other how much they love one another. If you are “with” someone, it was the day to remind yourself how much they mean to you. If you aren’t with anyone, it was the day to get up and remind yourself to find someone. My friends, yesterday was the day of action and whether we like it or not, it comes every year. Oh, one more very important thing…yesterday was my mom’s birthday. Hi mom.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I had made a reservation at Firebox Restaurant in Hartford, only to cancel it. We decided to go back to Shrine at MGM Grand instead.
I was really excited to go back to Shrine. The food is awesome and the atmosphere is even better. We had a really great time the last time we went.
On the way down to the restaurant, I kept thinking that we were going to have the place to ourselves. For some reason, I figured that everyone in the world was going to be sitting on the couch, cuddling under the blankets, watching a good movie. I thought we were the only ones who would really brave this St. Valentine’s day on the outside. Well, I was wrong.
We made a right off of the main road and turned into the entrance of MGM Grand at Foxwoods. I read the sign above us while driving into the parking garage. It said, “Levels 1-4 Full. Level 5 Open.” “That’s not good,” I thought. I told Laura that something must be going on, but in the back of my mind, I knew there must be some mistake.
We drove up to the first level of the parking garage. Full. We drove up to the second level. Full. We drove up to the third level. Full. We drove up to the fourth level and found about five open spots, but I wanted to see if there was anything better on the fifth level. There was nothing up there, so we went back down to the fourth level. The five open spots turned into three open spots and I took one of them. I guess something really was going on, but what?
We got out of the car and started walking into the casino. I took Laura’s hand in mine. After all, it was Valentine’s day. We walked quickly through the doors and into the elevator.
Upon exiting the elevator and entering the casino, we were greeted by crowds of…say…”interesting” looking people. We knew there had to be some sort of concert or show going on, but we had yet to figure out which one. Laura guessed it was Motley Crue, because there were so many people wearing black concert t-shirts. She remembered seeing something about that band somewhere along the lines.
We started walking towards the restaurant. I kept looking at people’s t-shirts to see if I could find some sort of clue as to what was going on. Finally, I saw two t-shirts that said, “Kid Rock.” “Oh, it’s Kid Rock tonight, sweet doll,” I said. Laura agreed because she had just seen one of those shirts too.
Have you ever seen Star Trek: Deep Space Nine? If so, have you ever noticed the area where everyone meets and drinks? It’s like a big mixture of all types of beings from all over the universe. That’s kind of what it was like last night at this casino. There were all types of people from all over the place. I mean, some of these people aren’t out in normal daylight. The only place you would find them is in a casino, tucked deep into the night. We saw truckers and bikers to ballerinas and trapeze artists. There were people with one head, two heads and three heads. People who couldn’t walk, people who walk too much and everyone in between. It was an interesting experience. One thing is for sure, Foxwoods really needs to update their anti-smoking rules…or make one altogether. The amount of smoke you inhale just by being in that place is terrifying.
We made it to the restaurant just in time for our 8:30PM reservation. We were promptly shown to our seats. We noticed that the restaurant was chock full of people. I mean, this place was jammed. We didn’t mind because with the frame of mind we were in, the more the merrier. The restaurant was really loud because there was a DJ doing his thing downstairs at the nightclub. People were talking, yelling and laughing while drinking their scorpion bowls…those big, huge scorpion bowls.
Our waitress came over to say hello after about five minutes of us being seated. Not bad, considering all the people she was taking care of. She said hello the first time and by the second time, we ordered every last thing, just to make things easier on her. We even ordered two glasses of plum wine because that is one of our favorites.
As our drinks and food arrived, I held my glass up and in the spirit of St. Valentine himself, I made a toast. I said…well that’s private, but it was well worth saying because we both smiled when I was through. We took a drink and began to eat some of the best food we had in some time.
When we were finished eating and fully satisfied, we left the restaurant. We thought it would be fun to take a walk over to Foxwoods to see what was going on over there. I mentioned earlier that I had never been to Foxwoods, so I was really curious as to what it looked like.
There is a long hallway that connects MGM Grand and Foxwoods, so you don’t need to walk outside. In this long hallway, there are two of those long, flat, moving floor things that you would normally find in an airport. You know, they are like flattened escalators that you stand on and they carry you along. When we arrived at the flat escalators, we instinctually stepped onto one of them. Now, the trick is to walk on these escalators, so you can really get some speed while heading down a long hallway, like the one we were in. You can maintain probably twice the speed you would if you were simply walking on regular ground. Well, last night, no one knew that you were supposed to walk on these things. Everyone in front of us just got on and stood there.
About half way down the hallway, Laura turned to me and said, “This is like a bad dream.” I said, “What do you mean?” She said, “Take a look at the carpet over there. Look how slow we are moving.” I didn’t know what she was talking about because I thought we were moving along at a nice speed. I was looking at the flat escalator that was moving in the opposite direction of the one we were moving in, so it looked like we were moving twice as fast as we really were. I looked up and past that escalator to the carpet and started laughing. We were going sooooo slow. It was like we were drunk or something. People were casually walking right past us on the carpet as we were stuck on this thing. There were people on crutches, babies crawling, old men staggering along…all moving much faster than we were. It was hysterical.
When we finally got off that thing, we buzzed right along. I forgot my camera in the car, so I wasn’t able to take any photos, but I will tell you that Foxwoods is much more interesting than I thought. I was like Disney World in the inside. There were all sorts of little shops with storefronts designed and painted with different styles of architecture and color. It was really cool…and big. Foxwoods is big and long. There is a shuttle, if that gives you any indication of how big it is. Much bigger than I was prepared for.
When we were finished with our Foxwoods tour, we decided to head back over to MGM Grand for a little midnight gambling. We walked and walked and walked. We walked right past that moving floor thing and made it back to the other casino. When we got there, we broke a $20 bill and walked over to a slot machine. I said, “Pumpkin, go ahead and make your bet.” Laura sat down and put a $5 bill in the machine. On the first pull, she didn’t win anything. On the second pull, she won $1.30. She instantly looked up at me and said, “You want to go?” I started laughing when I realized she was serious. She wanted to walk out a winner, so I said, “Heck yeah. Let’s get out of here while we are on top.” We walked over to the payment machine and cashed out. You should have seen us running through the casino floor like we had just won the lottery. It was great.
We left the casino and walked back to the car. We hopped in, I started it up and took Laura back on the open road. But before we left the casino property, I did manage to get a few pictures of the outside. I know it’s disappointing, but this is the best I could do because of my forgetfulness. For that, I am sorry.
Well folks, there you have it. Our Valentine’s day 2009. See ya next year.