Sunday, March 9, 2008

Travel and Washington's Casino Obsession

I've been extremely busy lately with work. Two weeks ago I flew to Yakima and back in one day. Last week I spent 4 days in Spokane. And tomorrow I go back to Yakima for two days. Nothing extremely important to report from my various work trips; I keep busy working during the day. I'm helping to revise several policies and procedures so that the new unit I'm a part of is incorporated into various state entities. I'm also spending my days interviewing people for 8 new positions across the state. (That's quite an education, you would not BELIEVE some of the things people wear and what comes out of their mouths in an interview!)

In Spokane I went to a restaurant called Tomato Street. I ditched my diet and decided to try their famous dish - lasagna wrapped in pizza dough and baked, with alfredo and marinara sauce topping it all. Delicious! My colleagues and I also visited the Davenport Hotel (I've mentioned this historic hotel in a previous post) and had drinks in the luxurious lobby. I tried a sip of a very nice scotch, and I think I'd like to try it again with a twist. We also visited a casino (mostly because of a drunken desire on one of my counterpart's to play Texas Hold'em.) I lost $20 on roulette and ended up smelling like cigarette smoke, but otherwise had a good time.

Now let me explain casinos in Washington. They are everywhere. I'm not sure if this is true, but I was told that casinos in Washington don't have to be on Indian reservations. The space can just be owned by Indians, and then they can create a casino. So there are little Mom and Pop casinos in basically every town; even here in Federal Way there's a little casino in a strip mall. Of course there are two bigger destination casinos within 15 minutes of us. So, with this being said, people in Washington like to gamble. It is a topic of conversation frequently in my vanpool. My boss's wife goes to the casino 2-3 times a week to play blackjack. It is a regular choice of recreation for several of my coworkers. Some of Robb's employees spend their time off in the casinos playing penny slots for hours. It's really odd for me to understand because I always thought of gambling as a special occasion type of activity (a trip to Las Vegas or Atlantic City or a cruise). But here in Washington it is an everyday thing. It's not really my thing, but I guess some people really dig it. So, if you're a gambler, you may want to move to Washington to enjoy our recreation with like-minded people (or you may want to avoid Washington to ensure that your gambling doesn't turn into an addiction!)

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