The clarion call of the casino…

… I heard it.

Our leaf-peeping trip this week had us staying in Gatineau, Quebec — part of the National Capital Region — just a bridge away from Parliament Hill in Ottawa. While we normally stay in Ottawa, we wanted to mix things up a little this time and stay in our predominantly French-speaking province.

Across the road and down a long drive from our hotel sat the Casino du Lac-Leamy, part of the Hilton Lac-Leamy complex. We didn’t stay at the Hilton, because I was skeered. Skeered, I tell you, that once I popped my casino cherry, I might become a casino thrall or casino buckle bunny or…

Casino Entrance
I was leaning over Mr. G, who was driving at the time, trying to get this shot. Ignore the big swatch of our car interior in the upper right corner.

We did hop in our car one evening and zip down that long drive to make a donation to the gods of gambling.

Casino Drive
Part of the drive. We’re heading away from the casino, and I’m leaning out the window to get this shot.

I knew nothing about casinos. This one is 15 years old and has a capacity for about 2500 guests and over 1800 slot machines. This was good, because the slot machine was my cherry-popping choice.

First, they’re open 24/7, and the parking goes on forever. There are security greeters at the door wishing you a good evening. The first thing you hit is the concierge desk for Casino Privilèges members. I wasn’t one of them. Hence, no valet parking for me either.

Moving along to the cloakroom. Everyone must check their coat, and nothing larger than a purse goes into the casino proper.

The first thing you see is those 1800+ slot machines, with their blinking lights and humming sounds. I began to dance on my toes. What to do? What to do? Mr. G, honey was more interested in the courtesy coffee carts roaming the aisles.

Okay. Most of those machines looked way too complicated. I went down one aisle and up the next looking for the newbie, neophyte, greenhorn machine.

Finally! A few dozen rows in, I found machines which took cash, as well as tickets, and had only a couple of buttons to push — one if you wanted to do single plays, and one if you wanted to do multiple plays.

I looked over at Mr. G, honey, and with glee in my heart said — Gimme five bucks!

I was standing in front of a slot machine called Wild Money, and I was feeling a little wild woman moment coming on. For five bucks, I got 20 plays. I have no idea what I was playing for but it was wild, baby, wild, and I had 20 plays.

A few dizzying button-banging moments later, and I had zip. Zilch. Nada.

Moving on.

Stopping in front of a machine that said Double Money, I looked at Mr. G, honey and said — Gimme five bucks!

Double Money looked exactly like Wild Money. It sucked-up my five dollar bill and gave me 20 plays.

A few dizzying button-banging moments later, and I had zip. Zilch. Nada.

Looking to my left, I spied another Wild Money. I looked at Mr. G, honey and said — Gimme five bucks!

Mr. G, honey looked at the slot machine, looked at my face and said — No!

And that was that.

No casino thrall status.

No casino buckle bunny badge.

I dodged a bullet.