This past weekend I had the great good luck to be in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Some friends and I drove down to Cajun Country for a wedding and stayed at L’Auberge du Lac Casino Resort. You know that in Louisiana (and Mississippi), gambling places by law have to be on water, so L’Auberge — billed as a “riverboat casino” — is built on a bowl-like structure that’s in the lake but you’d never know it. In fact, with the hotel’s dark wood and metal Arts and Crafts-like decor, you’d never know you were in Louisiana. I loved the massive fireplaces and the solid oversized furniture, but it reminded me more of the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina, than a Cajun casino. But then this was the first casino I’d ever been to, so what do I know? Since my only casino experience is from Ocean’s Eleven, I really didn’t know what to expect. The hotel part, however, was lots of fun. The two rooms we four women were in were lovely, with wonderful bathrooms (you know I always love a good hotel bathroom) and especially luxurious bed linens and mattress — a good thing, too, because due to an apparent twist of the air vents, we could hear everything said and done in other rooms somewhere in the hotel. Every. Little. Thing. Not so noticeable during the day, but at 4 a.m. when a bunch of drunk females wandered back to their room in a loud and feisty mood? Extremely annoying. We didn’t get much sympathy from hotel management, either. Oh, well. Isn’t a hotel stay always a gamble? And speaking of, I did try my luck in the casino under guidance from my more experienced friends. Unwilling to risk anything more than what it would cost to eat at McDonald’s, I plopped down in front of a 1-cent slot machine, making $1 last about 20 minutes and losing a total of $1.76. I just don’t get gambling, although I thought I had an addictive personality since I cannot leave any Mint Milanos in the bag and have been known to sit through an entire day of America’s Next Top Model reruns. Maybe if I knew how to play something that involved some skill, such as craps or 21, I might like it better, I think — although my husband was glad to hear that I found my gambling experience sort of boring. However, I did pick up some helpful gambling tips: Always get the machines close to the door, because they pay off more. Always get the machines farthest from the door, because they pay off more. Always get a machine that’s been paying off, because it’s hot. Always get a machine that hasn’t paid off, because it’s time is coming. Always play for big money, because you’ll win big. Always play for small money, because you won’t lose much. Good luck!!!
Check out the Web site for L’Auberge du Lac at http://www.ldlcasino.com