Tag Archives: casino

Comings and Goings

I want to welcome Ron back to Activities. It is so good to have him back especially to lead ROMEO on it’s monthly excursions to different restaurants. Yes, ROMEO is back to its original form (the pen is mightier than the sword) . Now Activities can get back to his norm and on it’s luxurious way. Again, welcome back Ron.

As I have said before, it is so nice to be retired and to be able to go to places without worry of having to do this or that to your house. My wife and I went to our favorite casino places, Maryland live, Horseshoe and MGM casinos. We spent three days and two nights away without a care in the world. Who says you can’t do things when you are retired? That is what retirement is for, to do what you want to do when you want to do it. The only reason that we came back so soon was because we had another engagement Saturday evening, where I ran into a guy I used to work with more than twenty years ago. Again, good food, music and lots of fun.

Last Tuesday, as it is every Tuesday, the White Squirrel have it’s live music along with good food and fun. The Thunderbirds, who plays every other Tuesday, were really great in the music playing and selection. The White Squirrel have a new menu and the food was really good. I am glad to see the upgrade in the food because, for a while, the food was going downhill. I talked with James, the assistant manager of the dining facilities, who is back and he seem to be doing well. He is still crazy and it was really great to see him running around acting crazy with everyone.

Now that warm weather will soon be here, it is time to get my bicycle, and other things, ready for good weather so that I can go outside and get some pleasant exercise done. Being cooped up all winter have really gotten me out of shape, as if I was in good shape to start with. LOL Being in the age group that I am in, doesn’t take much to get me out of shape. Keeping myself active and not sitting around doing nothing should keep me healthy and vibrant ( I hope). Of course going to the casinos, like we do, and all the other things, doesn’t leave much room to cram in the exercising. I really don’t like going down into the gym and going through the exercise routines that a trainer would give. Good shows on TV does not help the situation any either (smile). I will keep trudging along and doing the best I can to stay in shape so that my wife and I can continue to go to the casinos.

Really, there’s not much to put in to today’s blog. I am just looking forward to the warm weather and the upcoming activities from the Activity Department here at the Imperial Plaza. The Activity Department have the cherry blossom/boat ride coming up as well as other exciting outings. I don’t know how many I will be able to go on because I know that some will clash with my schedule. But, of course, I cannot miss ROMEO. So I say to all, get out there and be active. Maybe I’ll see you somewhere along the way.

Casinos

Had another good week last week (this week was just for relaxation and recharging my energy) with a four day trip to Maryland. If you looked at my Facebook page you saw the picture of my wife holding our latest great-grandchild when we made a stop on our way back to Virginia. We were in Maryland to do our usual thing, gamble at the casinos. We headquartered at Maryland Live’s hotel which put us between Horseshoe and MGM. We get perks from all the casinos but decided to use Maryland Live’s because it was between the other two.

Look at it this way; four day stay at their hotel, their perks and our acquired points gave us all our meals and each gave us slot machine money. All I needed was the gas money and a little more to keep it interesting. In fact, we came back with money in our pocket. Can’t beat that for a four day stay at three casinos. Plus we got to visit the baby on the way back (got through Washington the day before the inauguration).

Thinking about that, this is what we ran into. Usually, on week days, the hotel does not have many people staying. I noticed the parking lot almost full and more cars were coming. All the other hotels had the same thing. Then I started calling myself a dummy because, after talking to a couple that was checking-in, I was told that they were getting the hell out of DC before the crowds hit. Then I noticed that most of the cars had DC plates.

After visiting the baby it dawned on me that it was the same area that The Last Graduating Tuskegee Airman (an article I wrote) lived. In fact, I am still trying to get the article printed for the general public. It have been approved by the MPP (Mighty Pen Project) and they have a copy but the Richmond-Times dispatch turned it down. The newspaper say it does not have a Virginia connection although the man live in Ashburn, Virginia. It does not make any sense to me, but who am I to say? Also, the man is Black and his wife is White, they had to live in Washington because of segregation, that is the same as the Loving story that hit the movies last year.

The highlight for this week came on Monday. Four of us from the Mighty Pen Project had a townhall type panel discussion, at The University of Richmond, for a freshman class that is writing about war. They included my two writings on protests in the 1950’s. The question and answering went well and, in fact, we could have gone on much longer than we had time for. This is our second time doing this. The first time was at the Library of Virginia and that went very well also. I hope to do it again.

This year I work on my birthday and my wife is out of town. As I get older, holidays, birthdays, etc. does not mean as much as it did when I was younger. I prefer peace and quiet plus time to read or write. I stay busy, although my wife say otherwise, and I believe staying busy help the body stay active, younger and spry. Inactivity bring on more aches and pains, more than usual, and it can be avoided without medication for that particular ailment. I see too much inactivity around here (Imperial Plaza) although there are so many programs and events for the residents. Most do not attend any of them. Alas, what can I say or do about it? Not a thing.

Until next time…Stay warm, keep on keeping on. I’m out!

Taking Advantage of Retirement

I will write, again, about being retired and all the fun that is out there to be taken advantage. But, there are others, in my retirement community, that want to just sit and complain about this and that and rarely, if not ever, take advantage of the magnitude of opportunities. I promised to give a little more of my travels and/or taking advantage of the opportunities, not only here at Imperial Plaza but outside the gates of the community. But, first I must say, there are numerous things to do and most are free and what is not free is very cheap.

Everyone here know my wife and I love the casinos and the last one was a stay at the Sands Hotel and Casino/Mall in Bethlehem, Pa. (Sunshine Bus Tours). To say the casino was huge is not a dream but the truth. Of all the casinos we have visited, that was the largest. The hotel room was very large and cleaned daily whether we wanted cleaning or not. There was a cards tournament going on and the number of people playing (must have been in the hundreds) would not fit in Imperial Plaza’s auditorium. It was a nice trip…

The Activities Department, here at Imperial Plaza, have been doing a great job. Among the many trips (I’ll name two) was the fishing trip at the mouth of the Chesterpeak Bay and the Atlantic Ocean and the latest trip was on (The Alliance) a schooner on the York River. We sailed out of Yorktown and, after sailing in the triple mast (sails) schooner, had lunch at Outback in Williamsburg, Va. This Wednesday is to the Maryland Live Casino/Mall, can’t miss that, and, two months from now, a trip to the casino in West Virginia (Charlestown).

I just found out that a Richmond Mayoral Debate will be held here and I am wondering how many residents will attend. People here have so much apathy toward so much yet they can sit around in the lobby area and gripe about everything. I didn’t care about Richmond politics until I started living here. Now that Richmond is my city of residence and where I vote (we have a voting precinct in house), I am very interested and there is a need to know before I vote. Since there is a voting precinct here, I wonder how many residents vote, especially the Black vote. I have found the Black people here show more indifference than most and participation is seldom, with the exception of very few.

A few days ago I was talking with a couple of people about cities and, out of the blue, I was asked “what makes a city a city?” and I had to stop and think a second. It came to me about a conversation I had with a ranking postal official in North Dakota. I had wondered what made such small towns in North Dakota designated as cities. Some of the cities in North Dakota are smaller than our large trailer parks here in Richmond. This man told me that all the place needed was an operating post office and it could then become a city on it’s own. Well, Imperial Plaza don’t have a post office per se, but it does have package pickup, stamps, mail delivery and mail pickup. To top that off, Imperial Plaza have a bank, store, restaurant, doctor’s office, pharmacy, etc. All the places some cities in the USA don’t have and that includes having police, buses, barber shop, beauty parlor, etc. The resident don’t have to leave the premises for anything that is needed. We are a city within a city but without our own zip code. Now I don’t want to hear anyone saying I didn’t name this or that because I purposely didn’t mention everything. There is so much here to mention that I don’t want to attempt naming everything because I know I will miss something.

So, until the next time, I want everyone to be careful out there because any bad thing can happen at any time. Just be vigilant and careful but don’t go off the deep end and take matters into your own hands. Let the proper people do that and respect them for doing a great job in spite of the miniscule few that put a taint on their name. Peace Out

facebook-20160918-101543(I’m hoisting the foresail by myself but the teenager, in the blue cap, was suppose to help me)

Vacation Cruise

We have returned (my wife and I) to land after nine days at sea, on the Grandeur of the Seas, with stops in Bermuda, Nassau (Bahamas) and Coco Cay (Bahamas), over twenty four hundred nautical miles, round trip. I loved it but I did not love what we returned to, the aftermath of a terrible storm. Trees down, roads blocked because trees were across the roads and power lines and no electrical power anywhere. I have been through and seen worst but that is something a person can’t get used to. It’s an inconvenience, to say the least, but I’ll get to that later.

First let me write about the cruise. We traveled from Imperial Plaza by bus with twenty six other people and checking in/boarding was a breeze. It was better than what I anticipated plus the weather was perfect. In fact, the only day we ran into rain was at the last stop, Coco Cay, Bahamas, and that was an off and on rain. In fact, when I took the picture of the sailboat with the lightning strike behind it, it was a sunny morning. When the off and on rain hit, I was reclining in a beach chair on the beach, letting the warm rain wash over me along with a gentle, warm breeze. What a relaxing day.

The first stop was at Heritage Wharf in Bermuda. We took a tour of the entire island with frequent stops included. That night we cruised the waters in a glass bottom boat, looking at the fish and the old ship wreck that was sticking out of the water which have been there a couple hundred years. This is proof that Bermuda is surrounded by a reef and there are only two ways past the reef. It was quite warm but a nice breeze gave relief from the humidity. Lovely place but it would be expensive to live there. Michael Douglas and a couple other stars have property there but they can afford it. While we were on the tour, we stopped in the capitol, Hamilton, and did a short tour downtown. We also did the same thing at the far end of the island, St. Georges.

The next stop was Nassau, Bahamas and it was a little hotter (I don’t mean that in a bad way. I love the heat.). We toured a cigar making factory, a chocolate factory and the Natural History Museum. Of course I had to get some nice, fresh, hand rolled cigars. Love a good cigar (I know smoking is bad for you but to each his own, I say). From what I could see, Nassau is small and densely populated. My wife and I concluded that the reason people there moved and worked slowly was because of the heat, humidity and the closeness of everything. The more (faster) you moved, the hotter you become.

The last stop was Coco Cay, Bahamas (owned by Royal Caribbean). As we were entering the port I took the picture of the sailboat and never saw a lightning strike. Later that night, when I reviewed my pictures, I was startled to see the lightning in the photo. Now it is one of my favorite photos. It was sunny as we were coming into port but it later turned into on and off showers. The weather was warm with a nice breeze. I lazed under an umbrella and, as the showers came and went, I only got wet from the knees down but was never cold. The cruise line had nice food (hamburgers, hot dogs, BBQ, fruit, and beverages). Then the seagulls started flying all around us and occasionally stole food. They were very aggressive and would get as close as a couple feet (can anyone say aggressively hungry?).

On board the ship was fantastic. I could write a book about the things that went on, the fine service, the wonderful shows and, of course, the duty free shopping. The food was greater than great and there was a different menu each day. The on-board casino kept me and my wife occupied (she won the slot machine contest. I came in thirteen out of the many people that entered) and the drinks flowed freely (not free). I love being retired and on a constant vacation. It was so wonderful that we signed up for a cruise in December 2017, but all good things must come to an end and it did.

Getting back to Imperial Plaza, via Imperial Plaza’s bus, was easy, especially with the traffic (only a couple slow downs). Then the bottom fell out. We knew there was a wind storm but we didn’t expect the power outage or the destruction the wind caused. Trees were down everywhere and electricity was out. Oh well, can’t fight Mother Nature, just cope with it. We returned on Saturday afternoon and Imperial Plaza’s power came back at four thirty Sunday afternoon and then the fun began. Saturday night we stayed in a hotel and returned Sunday afternoon. Then, forgoing unpacking, we began emptying the chest freezer and refrigerator/freezer plus cleaning both. Now we will restock with the insurance payout. The company we are with is making a fast payout for the lost food.

Monday, we walked the area taking pictures of all the devastation and carnage that had occurred. It looked like a war zone with so many trees down, broken trees, trees on cars, trees on houses, and traffic lights not working. There were many vehicle accidents because where the traffic lights were out vehicles had to come to a stop. Some didn’t and, of course, there was an accident (one death that I am aware of). There was even damage to one of the buildings of Imperial Plaza. The wind was a “straight line” wind, not a tornado, as I’ve heard some people saying.

Well, I’ll close this and say “stay tuned because it’s not over yet”. This year’s traveling is not over yet. This weekend we’ll go to Maryland Live (casino) for my wife’s birthday, then the following weekend is to Colorado for my grandson’s wedding. Then to Pa. for a family reunion and I don’t remember the rest. I’m retired and I love this traveling. I’ve worked many years to have and enjoy this time in my life. You all should do the same. I wish all a good summer and safe travels. Enjoy life!

Lightning Strike

Lightning Strike

Coco Cay, Bahamas

Coco Cay, Bahamas

Grandeur of the Seas showtime

Grandeur of the Seas showtime

A resident of Coco Cay

A resident of Coco Cay

A small piece of the wind damage

A small piece of the wind damage

I Am Retired

To be retired is greater than expected. To be able to do whatever, whenever and never have to worry about rising in the morning and going to a job. It is so nice to just lay in bed and think/relax. That is when I do my best thinking. I think about what time of morning (afternoon?) it is, what to fix for breakfast, what to wear today and dose off again, for however long it may be. Time belongs to me and not the job. Time is all there is now and I have worked a long time for this. I have been approached and chastised for not writing an article for the last two weeks. All I can say is I am retired. The article is not a job, it is pleasure, however, I ask “am required to submit an article each and every week?” I am retired and, this year, there is a lot of traveling that have been done and more to come.

While away, I do not carry my laptop, I-Pad and barely want to use my phone. There is a cruise coming up real soon and there will be very little communication for ten days plus, a wedding halfway across the country and much more. I am retired and deserve to go everywhere I can and enjoy myself without obligations to anyone (except my wife, of course) or anything. My wife and I just came from a week in Puerto Rico and I sent out, maybe, four pictures over Facebook. I really didn’t want to do that but to just stay in touch with anyone that was worried about why there wasn’t any communication. Again, we are retired. That is what retirement is all about, is it not?

Then there are people that wonder why I have a part-time job. First, the job is not hard work. Second, it is only four days a month. Third, it provides me with a tad bit of cash for my casino trips. Fourth, over the years, I have watched many people do one or two things and die. They continued to work and never had any real pleasure before or during retirement. They never retired or could not afford to retire. And those that did retire but just sat around and did nothing, passed away early and/or needed assistance to survive, never having enjoyed their retirement.

I said all of that to say this, or at least hopefully having this fact understood. The blog was to be about retirement, it is not a job to be done. The blog is to be done between my exploits, not a thing that causes everything to be stopped in order to write and print this. The blog is a pleasure writing, not a chore that is kept to a hardwired structure. And, lastly, it clears my mind for the true writing that I am into, novels and printed articles.

Hopefully I did not ruffle anyone’s feathers by writing this but truth is truth. I am on my own schedule, no one else. My wife and I do many things together and then we have our own things that are done separately. That is retirement. To do things that you want to do, at your leisure and not a calendar or clock in sight is retirement at it’s best. Most days I have to look at the paper or something else to realize what day it is and then check my pocket calendar (I have a phone appointment calendar also) to find out what I have to do today and what is coming up tomorrow. To me, today is tomorrow because tomorrow is not promised and, therefore, do whatever today because you may not be here tomorrow.

So, I’ll try to get out a blog on retirement every other week and one on religion in between that but it is not a promise or guarantee from me. If I recall correctly, when I first started this, I said I would try (I repeat “try”) to do this every week. Try is the optimum word. If there are other things you would like for me to write about, contact me and let me know. There is a comment box, use it. Until the next time…”Be kind to your neighbors because you’ll never know when you’ll need them. Also, ensure your words are soft and sweet because you’ll never know when you’ll have to eat them.”IMG_0234

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Busy, Busy, Busy

I have neglected putting out my blogs for good reasons. It is not because I am lazy (some may argue that is the case but I’ll never waver) but have been busy with my MPP (Mighty Pen Project) classes and with the board of the MPP. I am also getting together (finally) the website for the MPP that will give much more information than I could give to you here. As you know, it is geared to all active duty military, ex-military and the families and/or friends of each service. To go further, in case you have not read my other blogs, it is for writing. These papers can be for memoirs, books or just plain getting things off your mind. The course is a once a week, ten week class taught by an instructor from a college, university, etc. In other words, this is a free college level course Who can argue with FREE?

How can this be free? That is where the Virginia War Memorial come in. With their help and guidance, we have come a long way. Now we have our own board and is attempting to function (some day) on our own. I have the task of setting up the website and keeping it running. A daunting task, to say the least. I hope to premiate myself by accomplishing this in a very expeditious manner. Wish me luck and the fortitude to carry on.

As far as Brookdale’s Imperial Plaza is concerned, it is slowly but surely moving right along… making people angrier and angrier along the way. The director (I should say “ex”) is no more. She was fired (she say she left on her own) but the rumor mill is really humming. I strongly believe the rumor mill (I have my sources). I will not say what those rumors are because, if wrong, I could be charged with slander. There is enough going on that I don’t want to be in the middle and end up on the wrong end of the spectrum. I have not seen nor met the lady that’s holding down the fort until a new director is named but I hear she is nice. I don’t remember her name but I do know she is from another facility that is in the Brookdale family. And, I want to add, people are not happy with the changes at the Magnolia Room or any of the dinning rooms, to be exact. Like I said before. People are always against change, whether good or bad. It doesn’t matter.

I am also a member of the grounds committee and, just think, I am suppose to be retired. I am doing more now than when I wasn’t retired. I guess being busy does not give you time to think about your age. I think about it every now and then and cringe. Personally, I think the two guys that do all the grounds work does not need anymore supervision or oversight than they already have. They do a fantastic job. I’m one that believe in the saying “if it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it.” I am told that I am expected to attend the different building gatherings in order to get their input about what they want done on the grounds. NOT!!! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it plus I don’t have the desire or time to commit to such an endeavor.

Anyway, I’ll try to keep the blog going. I have so much coming up. A trip to Puerto Rico, a cruise, a trip to Colorado and, of course, the casinos. Add to that the MPP and I should finish my classes by the end of March. I forgot the Neighborhood Watch program, I am committed to that also. In order to be a good neighbor, commit your services to the neighborhood. If we all did a little, crime would be at an all time low.

Until next time…be kind to your neighbors because you’ll never know when you’ll need them. Also, insure your words are soft and sweet, you’ll never know when you’ll have to eat them. BYE!!!

Hear Ye, Hear Ye

I know I am late but things, from time to time, come up that can not be controlled. However, I am committed to continue my blog. There was a night time bicycle ride that had a few streets blocked off that infuriated many drivers. I was at my part-time job, filling in for a person on vacation, and saw the part of the ride that came down Monument Ave. I watched many vehicles making u-turns because streets were blocked off but the bicyclists were elated and having fun. I could not see much but what I could see made me wish I could have been out there. Alas, maybe next year.

We are still having great fun at the White Squirrel with more and more people jumping up to dance. The music is great, the food is good and Steve and Christy will play music in September. So, for the month of September the fun will continue. The room may be small but that is one of the reasons that make it great. I want more to join in. Not to just listen but to eat and dance.

Coming up is another fishing trip out of Virginia Beach, Va. and the casino trip to West Va. For those that do not know, the trip to West Virginia is an overnight trip simply because the horses run at night. This way everyone can take their time gambling and play or watch the horses that night. The last time we went fishing out of Virginia Beach, a lot of fish was caught and a couple of sharks (I kept one to cook the next day). It can not be said that Imperial Plaza does not take wonderful trips and many more are to come. Join in because a second bus can be added to accommodate the overflow of the one bus.

I see Imperial Plaza have many new residents and that is a good thing. There were too many empty apartments but they are filling quickly. I have seen new men and have asked a couple to join us men for ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out). There are many great eating joints, that we go to, that have very good food and we all have fun talking and joking with one another. If anyone know someone that want to go, tell him to sign-up and meet me at the bus. There is one thing that is good. I can drink and leave the driving to the bus driver. The women have started LIFE (Ladies In Full Effect) and they are to go to O’Charlies at the end of the week.

Well, I will close and I am sorry for being late but, as I have said, things come up that will either prevent or make an article late. Hang in there and I will get this out sooner or later (smile). During your retirement, just have fun and don’t just sit around and fade away. Life is short, take advantage of what’s left. I know I will.