Escape from the Ordinary
Sometimes we just need to do a little something different in our lives to give it a little spark...an escape from the ordinary. I like taking weekend mini-vacations as a reward for all of the hard work I do on a daily basis. I am at an age and a financial spot where I can spend a little time and energy on me every once in a while. I've spent the last 20+ years being the best wife and mom I can be, and while that task never goes away, the nature of it changes. My little girl is not so little anymore and now that I am no longer a wife, I have a little freedom to explore me. I kinda like it.
Some of you may have read my last blog, Hitting the Jackpot in Cincy, where I went to Jack's Casino in Cincinnati, Ohio. I had so much fun, I wanted to give the casino life another try, which as a former CPA, is sort of shocking. But this time, I wanted to visit a place that offered more than just gambling - a resort of sorts, just for the night.
With an expendable $200 in my pocket, I decided on Belterra Casino Resort, an excellent choice, whose motto so happens to be "Your Every Day Escape." Sounded just like the place for me! One of the deciding factors after visiting their cool website was the proximity to my house with a no-traffic route to get there. Only an hour away and a drive through the beautiful countryside of the Bluegrass, it was a great choice to make. It's in the midst of rural life; an escape from the ordinary indeed. Peace and quiet.
When we arrived at Belterra, we got the option to valet park - FOR FREE! Who does that? Such a nice perk. We entered through the stunning cathedral atrium and were immediately impressed by its Portuguese-inspired design. Belterra, meaning beautiful land, is adorned with scenic landscape paintings, marble floors, plush patterned carpets and plenty of glitz to get your blood pumping. It reminded me of a Vegas-style resort, both inviting and invigorating.
Upon check-in, I found myself even more delighted. The room was just gorgeous with a view of the lovely golf course, a serene spa bathroom and a spacious bedroom large enough to fit a good size family. Too energetic to rest, my vacation mindset immediately kicked in and with that, so did my desire to roam. Touring around the vast resort, we took stock of the many amenities from its restaurants and lounge, banquet halls and spa, shops and cafe, to, of course, the gambling boat. The options for food were plentiful comprising of an upscale steak house called 19 Steak & Seafood, to more casual dining at the Stadium Sports Bar & Grill (perfect for any sports lover), Out of Bounds Bar & Grill and last, but not least, the quintessential casino buffet appropriately named The Buffet at Belterra. For the diehard casino VIP's there is Club 38, but I can promise you, I will never step foot in there unless I'm invited. I don't think my $200 qualifies. Just saying. Nevertheless, we opted for The Buffet because it had all-you-can-eat seafood and crab legs!! Need I say more? We stuffed our faces so full I thought they were going to have to roll us back to my room. We totally got our money's worth - that is for sure!
After dinner, we headed toward the two-story boat. While there is smoking almost at every casino, this one being no exception, they really do a great job with ventilation at Belterra. In fact, much better than other casinos I have visited. With 1,100 games to choose from including poker, black jack, roulette, craps and slots, I gravitated to the craps table. If you have not played it before, you need to. If you notice, they always present craps as the "fun" table in movies. People blowing on their dice, speaking to the cubes with specific instructions, while players around the table shout orders and cheers willing the perfect roll. It seems so complicated at first, but the more you play, the more you realize it ain't that hard. I love playing craps - it's my favorite. With cocktails flowing and chips a flyin', we played for several hours. We were up, then down, then up, then down; sort of like a roller coaster but without the scary hill! We also dabbled at the roulette table and of course, the slots. I selected the "Elvis" slot machine in honor of my father who is maybe his biggest all-time fan and let me tell you, Elvis did not disappoint. In fact, it was the only time I went ahead and stayed ahead.
It was late when we headed back to our room and even though we lost, we felt we had won. I highly recommend Belterra for a special night away, an escape from the ordinary. It's the last place I would ever call dull or boring. There's not much like it around, which is why I love knowing that a few months from now, when I have a few hundred bucks in my wallet, I'll be back to give the craps table another try... oh yeah, and to visit Elvis. Maybe next time, I'll come home with a brand new pair of blue suede shoes. :)