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The Capitalist Maven » Better To Be Lucky Than Frugal?
Home > Off topic, Travel > Better To Be Lucky Than Frugal?

Better To Be Lucky Than Frugal?

March 30th, 2009

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My wife and I made a quick trip to Connecticut this past weekend.  I had a “Free Category 1-5 night” Marriott certificate that I received for my $65 annual fee for holding the Marriott Rewards credit card.  Turned out to be a pretty good deal this year, as the Mystic Marriott and Spa was going for $249 a night this particular weekend.  It was kind of a last minute plan as the certificate expired March 29.  We had various ideas for using the free night but the expected rain late Saturday into Sunday had us looking for something that could keep us occupied in the rain on Sunday.  We explored the idea of a quick trip to Vegas, where the weather was bound to be good, but would have needed to return on Monday instead of Sunday to get the good airfares.

So we settled on Connecticut.  Saturday was beautiful here in New England, so we wanted to do something outdoors.  We discovered the Mystic Seaport Outdoor Museum was perfect for this.  I wasn’t sure what to expect before we went in.  I left very pleased.  They have recreated a 19th century whaling village on the museum property with actual buildings that were brought in on barges.  The various buildings are intriguing to see.  They also have traditional indoor museum type exhibits (the eskimo and figurehead exhibits were particularly good).  But the highlight of the museum is actually boarding the ships they have on display.  The friendly guides posted on the ships have some great information to pass on about the ships and are so passionate about it that even the details don’t seem boring.  It was a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

After checking into our hotel and having Mexican food at a particularly crappy local Mexican place we headed up to the Mohegan Sun casino.  My wife wanted to get her nails done at the spa for reasons I assume only a woman can understand.  I settled into a nice $5 craps table.  The table was cold for a good 20 minutes, then the dice were passed to an eccentric drunk woman who had a hard time keeping the dice on the table.  She made about 6 points and hit lots of other numbers in between.  I managed to be up about $125 by the time my wife returned from the nails.  She hung out with me and had a free drink, but I could tell she was getting bored so we left.

The next day I saw a sign on the way in advertising “New $5 Blackjack.”  I asked a casino employee where to find it and eventually worked my way over.  My wife wanted to go shopping so I had some time.   By the time my wife returned I was just about even.  Then I got on a huge run and was up another $100.  My wife knows nothing of Blackjack.  I tried to explain some simple strategy so she could keep the winning going while I went to the bathroom.  So I told her, “the other players will help you, I’ll be back.”  She managed to win 2 hands without me.  When the spot next to me opened up, I convinced her to sit down and play from my stack.  I think she was just enjoying the drink service and talking with people in the peanut gallery, so sitting down involved actually paying some attention to the game.  Sure enough we continued to win, running up yet another $100 and tons more drinks.  5:30 rolled around and I said it was definitely time to get going.

Gambling is seldom a frugal endeavor but with $5 tables and free drinks you aren’t going to lose much.  Worst case it’s a great way to spend a rainy Sunday.

Jon Off topic, Travel

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