And in this post, we’ll talk about Meagan’s first trip to a casino.
The title of this series speaks for itself. I’ve never done travel posts before but would like to since this is the first year in a long time that I’m actually getting out of the house more often for trips or concerts or some kind of event.
Also, this post isn’t sponsored or anything like that, just my opinion on the place and talking about what I did.
About a month ago my mom informed me of a retreat her work was having at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, a place I never heard about until then but is only an hour from our house. Basically, she’d spend five hours doing stuff for work and I’d get to roam the grounds and do whatever. And it’s just what I needed since I haven’t gone on a trip since last June to the beach.
The resort is made up of a few places to stay, The Lodge or The Chateau, which are connected, Falling Rock, which is where skiers and snowboarders stay, and houses to rent. We were staying one night for free at The Lodge and I wasn’t prepared for the “fanciness” of it all. Sure I like to spend more to stay at a nicer hotel, thanks to my mom, but this one took the cake. When we pulled up we were immediately greeted by the valet and our bags were taken out. We arrived hours before check-in but had to be at a ballroom at 1:30 for food. Then after that half hour, I would leave my mom to her work stuff and spend five hours doing whatever I wanted, like enjoying the numerous artwork around the grounds.
I looked ahead of time and thought I could go to the spa…until I saw the prices. We got $120 in gift cards to spend on anything (except the casino) but I still didn’t want to spend over $100 for a back massage.
A shuttle takes you around the resort so I got on and asked to go to the animal conservatory, which I already planned on doing. It was on the opposite side of the resort and I got to see almost everything on the way, like mini golf or rock climbing, which were still closed. I thought it was supposed to be pretty nice out…then I remembered we’re on a mountain and didn’t plan for that when I eventually got off the shuttle in my cardigan.
But I got to see some injured animals being taken care of, like some wolves and a tiger named Gideon who I just loved. I love tigers and he made my day, but I also got a bit sad when I saw him walking around with a limp. Most of the animals were like that, like a mountain lion named Beau, but I appreciate places like this caring for them because most likely they wouldn’t survive in the wild.
There were lions, tigers, wolves, buffalo, bears, and goats, and some weren’t out because of the cold.
By the time I got back our room was ready and it was by far, one of the nicest rooms I’ve ever slept in. The bathroom is bigger than the one at my house and the bed was pretty comfortable, but there wasn’t a mini fridge for my drinks. They did bring our bags up and gave us complimentary water and snacks.
For the rest of the time, I wandered, looking at some shops which sold items I also didn’t want to spend a lot of money on. I went to the Chateau side, which was much fancier than The Lodge, and made me feel more comfortable staying where we did. There were more shops selling jewelry but I didn’t take any pictures in case I got in trouble since there were people standing in front of the shops, watching and probably judging me that I couldn’t afford anything inside.
There was an art gallery I wanted to go to but just decided to stay in the room and read for a few hours since I had some books on Net Galley to get through. Luckily, my mom got done early and we took the shuttle to the casino to eat.
We ate at Otis and Henry’s, one of the “casual dining” options. I got a clam linguini, the special, and loved it. I also liked the feel of the restaurant. It wasn’t too fancy and in the casino so there was a lot going on around you.
Afterward, I wasn’t sure if I was going to walk or roll out, but we went there to play and that’s what we were going to do. Like I said, I’d never been to a casino, but only planned to spend $10, my mom $20. I probably could’ve splurged a bit more but my book is getting edited and I need to pay for that. It was also the only thing I spent my own money on the entire time, not counting tips.
The most I won was $4.29, which I ended up spending, and when we had nothing left, went back to The Lodge, and I was in bed by 9:30. And I didn’t complain. From all the walking I did, and I usually get tired after traveling, and the huge dinner, I was ready to sleep.
In the morning we still had over $60 left to spend on our gift cards, and went to the one place we knew was open: The Pantry, a little cafe selling local honey, jam, and other food items one usually wouldn’t see at grocery stores. I made sure to get COLD bottled water because I can’t stand warm, room-temperature water.
By the time 9:30 came around, we were gone. There wasn’t much to do in the morning, not that many people were up, and neither my mom or I slept well, so I just wanted to go home but again, our luggage was put into our car for us and everyone there was super friendly and nice, calling me Miss Lambert all the time.
It’s different from any other place I’d been and more on the luxurious side. I’m glad I went and did something new, but on the other hand, would rather stay at a hotel at the beach on the boardwalk.
Nemacolin is near Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, another place I’ve never been. We almost went there after leaving, but you need to book a tour to see it, and like I said, I just wanted to go home.
If you’re into places like these with spas, places to ski, casinos, fancy restaurants, then it’s a place I’d recommend going to if you get the chance. I was lucky and went for free, but it’s on the expensive side.
As for my first casino, I got bored kind of quick and couldn’t help but think, “I’d rather go to Dave & Buster’s.”