You know that scene in A Christmas Story when Ralphie meets Santa? That was filmed here in Cleveland (along with the exterior of their house) at the famous Higbee’s building downtown. When I was growing up, we used to go and I still remember it as one of the swankiest department stores I’ve ever been to (anyone else remember the wooden escalators? They were always my favorite feature). The store closed years ago, but recently with a little TLC it’s been turned into one of the swankiest casinos I’ve ever seen and last night my friends and I dolled up and headed on over to our city’s newest attraction, the Horseshoe Casino!
(Of course, because I was so busy gambling and drinking I forgot to take a single picture inside. Fail.)
Having been in the department store way back when, I was excited to see what it looked like now. Walking through those gorgeous golden doors and seeing the tall ceilings and columns that I remembered so well, I got all nostalgic.
Then I got distracted.
Have I mentioned yet how much I love Clue? Back in, oh, fourth or fifth grade, my neighbor Cheri and I spent an entire summer playing Clue. I’m not exaggerating: everyday I’d ride my bike to her house or she’d ride her bike to mine and we would play for hours. Being that there were only two of us, the games went fairly quickly, so we’d just play game after game after game. And don’t even get me started on how much I love Tim Curry in the film.
No. Seriously. Don’t. I could go on for hours.
Here’s the thing, though, about the Clue slot machine. It’s not just any ol’ slot machine. Oh no. Not only do you get to pick a character (I went with Miss Scarlet, natch), but it’s one of those slot machines that has little games inside of it that lets you earn bonus points (ie: cash) and you’re sorta kinda trying to solve the mystery, like Professor Plum in the Library with the Wrench.
And it’s a penny slot. Like, OMFG.
Because of its sheer awesomeness it was a pretty popular game. Which meant there was a bit of a wait. So I went off and found another game to play.
Some of us also played video poker (I tried, but cashed out after, like, four hands. So not my thing) while Snog (obviously not her real name) went off and played real poker in the poker room. We drank a little, gambled a little, and just had a grand ol’ time. (I did eventually get to play Clue and it was well worth the wait.)
And, of course, if you’re going to go to a casino you need to sign up for one of their reward cards.
This is how you get credits and free parking and all that jazz (though street parking is available if you don’t mind walking). It also seems that because the Horseshoe is part of a bigger operation, the same card can be used at other casinos, including Paris and Caesar’s out in Vegas, which are two of my favorites.
Because I was out of town for my 30th birthday (in Vegas, as it happens), I didn’t get a proper celebration with friends. So: dear friends of mine in the Land of Cleves. Let it be known that we will be at the Horseshoe the second weekend in November. Start saving your moola now. (I also told Sissy it would make a perfect place for a bachelorette party.)
Of course, it should be mentioned that the Horseshoe Casino is, oh, a fifteen minute walk from my apartment. If that. And they have a breakfast buffet which is always a huge weakness of mine. In Vegas, my favorite time to gamble was in the morning after I first woke up. I’d get my latte and find a machine and settle in. That early in the day, there aren’t that many people so you have your pick. I’m telling ya, some Friday I’ll set out on my morning run and just, y’know, coincidentally head in that general direction and, oh, well, hey, since I’m here, might as well stop and get some breakfast and maybe play a couple of bucks before heading back home. All that pushing of the slot machine buttons totally counts as work out. I mean, I’m gonna have some super buff fingers. Just you wait and see.
Are you yay or nay on casinos? Any favorite games? Anyone taking on bets on how long until I’m back at the casino?
Love from the ashes,
(Luck be a) Lady Lazarus