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Seniors on the Move…Laughlin Nevada
By Maryann Virack
I love to travel alone and as a single senior female, I find it an adventure. Occasionally, I will embark on a different kind of excursion. I just returned from a casino charter to Laughlin, Nevada which was a little out of my comfort zone. I’ve come to realize that the “single” tag is very deliberate; surely, a divorce at 53 is evidence of that. Single affords me complete control – no discussion as to when or where to eat, sleep, swim, sunbathe, tour or explore. I figured that travelling alone – in a group- was acceptable. I was still in control of my itinerary.
A casino charter is supposed to take the guess work out of the specific travel details, flight, hotel, and airport transfers. In the past, these trips have been very easy and spot on. Not so with this last trip.
Departure was on Allegiant Air from San Diego heading to Laughlin. Everyone onboard was a Harrah’s guest. For some reason, I was not listed on the flight roster, so I had to wait (one hour) for confirmation. My seat was “double-booked”, so I had to change seats when we stopped to pick up passengers in Long Beach, CA.
Harrah’s Casino Hotel seemed to be the busiest of all the casinos on the Colorado River. It was nice; but old. Laughlin is interesting with its River Walk and Outlet stores; but there is not much to do unless you are a gambler or a boater. A lovely boat ride on the USS Riverside is a great side trip. Longer full day trips will take you to the Grand Canyon or the dam. Laughlin is much slower paced and less glitzy than Las Vegas. It seems to cater to families and seniors. I enjoy sitting by the pool and reading a good book and I am not afraid of the sun. Harrah’s has an adult pool as well as a family pool – much quieter! My days were spent soaking up my vitamin D (in 100+ degrees) and nights were in the casino or leisurely strolling the River Walk.
On the return, after waiting an hour to be checked in, I was again omitted from the flight roster. Another hour wait for confirmation and then the attendant misspelled my name on the boarding pass and it did not match my ID…more delay. I was the last to board the plane – which by the way you must walk outside and up the roll-away stairs to do. To finish this travel fiasco the plane was grounded for maintenance and we sat onboard for another hour. I will rethink another casino charter. Too much was out of my control.
I am lucky to live in Southern California where in a matter of a few hours I can be in the desert, at the river, in the mountains or at the beach, all in the same day! I think next time I want to visit Laughlin, I might just drive.
Thirty years ago, charters were more popular, so I took them several times. Sometimes it was fine, or was I too young for it to matter? Other times, the attendants were rude, the seats uncomfortable, and the food truly inedible. Worst of all, once I missed a charter flight to Paris, and I had no recourse but to buy a traditional ticket for a flight the following evening. Your story about their getting your name wrong hit home!