To Tunica: The GPS, The Time and The Money

Trip Start Nov 10, 2009
Trip End Dec 18, 2009

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Where I stayed
Gold Strike

Flag of United States  , Mississippi
Friday, December 11, 2009

I picked up Kevin Laake (see explanation of Kevin Laake in the next entry) in Jackson, MS after a GPS nightmare.   These would become more prevalent as time goes on and it wasn't that the GPS sent me into a war-zone as much as it sent me on roads that just weren’t conducive to efficient travel.  I ended up leaving Little Rock, AR after a cup of coffee and somehow ended up on Route 65 which takes you through some seriously poverty stricken, nasty big towns and endless farmland.  Lots of it in Louisiana (this was not expected either)  65 went on forever until I finally picked up Route (20 Something I-20 something) and then to the airport some two or 3 hours late.

The highlight of the GPS nightmare was going through Transylvania, LA.  Believe me they do their best to capitalize on their namesake.  Particularly there was a water tower with "Transylvania" in big black letters and the logo of a bat.  Very clever, very clever indeed.

At this point food was a necessity so on your way to Tunica we hit a place called Julep’s which was in a Jackson, MS city guide and was recommended by a guy from Pittsburgh that Kevin was talking to during his long wait at the airport.  Char was another restaurant option recommended by the Pittsburgh guy.  They were seconds apart and I said "Let’s go to Julep’s it’s right there"  We went in and had a drink plus dinner.  I had a stuffed chicken dish and Kevin had the world famous fried chicken.  They were both excellent yet when you say something is world famous you can almost set yourself up for some sort of disappointment.  I mean what qualifies it as world famous and I think most people believe that world famous is a kind to eye popping nearly coma rendering goodness.  Anything less leaves one wondering about the whole “world famous concept”.

We had desserts.  I had the Pecan dish which made sense because the Pecan is huge out in these parts and Kevin had the banana bread pudding which was ridiculous.  We got to the hotel sufficiently wiped out but, still managed to get some gambling in.

The people were so different at this casino.  Lots of working class folks just dying to spend their dough and lots of smoking.  I’m always amazed about how formal Casino’s try to be.  I guess if they are voluntarily taking or stealing your money depending on how you look at it then they want to make it look as official as is possible.  Lot’s of posture and empathy for every losing hand.  Stern recognitions of winning hands. 

We got up in Tunica and did some further gambling.  The Gold Strike Casino Hotel was our residence the night before where I held my own in some fast Black Jack action.  I was only down just a little bit and it was actually fun.  Gambling is a bit nerve wracking though and I felt my jaw clenching due to the excitement but more so due to the uncertainty and the constant decisions in a short period of time.

Kevin went down to play some poker early, I got a breakfast sandwich and proceeded to get slaughtered at some post breakfast morning Black Jack. 

Kevin was intensely focused on is his poker action.  I decided it was time to go to the pool and spa.  They had a couple of hot tubs and a decent sized swimming pool.  I hopped from tub to tub and completely chilled out.  The staff was very attentive bringing gratis bottled water and chilled face-cloths.  The combination of heat and cold felt so good. 

I swam some more and really just did nothing except that and listening to my Ipod.  The area was frequented by a host of different folks. The most hilarious of which was a three hundred pound man with a huge tattoo over his belly and another one over his chest that appeared to resemble his mother, daughter, grandma, girlfriend or a Sith Lord.  It was hard to say.  Then an early 20 year old gal and her much, much older and fatter boyfriend entered the pool area.  She was in ridiculously good shape and was clearly either drunk, bored or tired of the geezer she was dating (like I should ever talk about this) and was inviting anyone she could into her hot tub to talk.  At this point the combination of hot tub and cool face cloths had me zoned out, enough to not want to engage but, not enough to not notice.

Then it was time to ditch and head to Memphis.  Perhaps find Alex Chilton and lay down some tracks at Sun Records.  Or just visit the town.
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