Saturday morning, I met Grandma Myrtle and we hit the road for Biloxi. The new car drives like a dream (despite the odd 'tic' it had every time the gas gauge flew from F to E and the 'low fuel' light lit up the dash - that lasted for just a few hours and then seemed to work itself out). We made it to Biloxi about 4pm, had a quick bite to eat and then hit the casino. Grandma knew her way around the Imperial Palace like the back of her hand. She pointed out all of her favorite machines and explained how the card works - you don't actually put coins into the slots anymore. And, you have to look hard to find a machine with a handle to pull; most just have buttons these days.
Since you can't take cameras into the casino (or at least cameras as bulky and obvious as mine), I was not able to take a picture of Grandma Myrtle sitting at a slot machine. (We took pictures in the casinos in Vegas when we went for my bachelorette weekend - I don't know if it was allowed or if we just broke the rules with reckless abandon - we took A LOT of pictures!) This is the only picture I got - the sign at the entrance to the Imperial Palace. I will say that I was horrified at the 'uniforms' worn by the waitresses. By uniform, I mean very skimpy lingerie. I was completely embarassed for the girls I saw walking in for thier AM shift. We also passed several groups of college-age girls who were also scantily clad. I tried to avert my eyes, but Grandma Myrtle wasn't the least bit phased. She's used to it, having been to Biloxi more times than she can count!
Bottom Line: It took me less than an hour to lose $40 (which was my absolute limit on how much I was willing to literally throw away) plus another $10 that Grandma gave me b/c clearly I was not lucky that night. Truth be told, I was happy for an excuse to go to bed - the smoke in that place was terrible!
Before hitting the road Sunday morning, we drove down the 'drag' to see a few other casinos and these very cool chain-saw sculptures made from trees that were destroyed by hurricanes in the past few years. Grandma also pointed out just how desolate and deserted Biloxi and Gulfport still are 2 1/2 years after Katrina. It was really sad, but at the same time, the beach seemed relatively clean and views are no longer obstructed by tacky t-shirt shops. I do realize that those t-shirt shops also represent jobs that are no longer available so it's really a catch-22. It's hard to believe that area will ever be what it was.
We made it to the interstate about 9:30 and had a great day for driving. We made it to Houston about 4:30 and were greeted by some happy yet tired children! Grandma Myrtle had mentioned along the way that she didn't know how to order Mexican food, so we took her to one of our favorite restaurants - Los Tios - for dinner. Olivia and McIver were happy to show her how it's done!