FATHER’S DAZE

Gambling – and winning – on a nephew’s wedding
Emmitt B. Feldner  for The Review

We went to a wedding last weekend and actually made money – and no, we didn’t have the rice concession.

It was another nephew’s wedding, this one on Terry’s side of the family.

The wedding was in a lodge in the middle of a national forest in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where our sister-in-law hails from.

To be precise, it was just outside Watersmeet.

Now, other than being made famous by ESPN for the high school’s basketball team, nicknamed the Nimrods, there isn’t much to speak of in Watersmeet – like much of the rest of the UP.

But they do have an Indian resort/casino there, and that was where Terry and I stayed for the weekend.

Apparently, under the Indian gaming rules, all you need to call your place a resort/casino is to have a few motel rooms and a golf course to go along with the casino – at least that was what we found.

It was a nice little motel and a neat casino, and they do have some great buffets, so it really made for a pleasant weekend.

We checked in Friday evening and were each given vouchers for $5 to spend in the casino, along with a buy one-get one free buffet coupon.

When we joined their casino club, we got a $5 voucher for each night we were there, so we both had $10 worth of house money to plug into the slot machines.

We also made sure to enjoy the Friday seafood buffet at half price, as well as the Saturday morning breakfast buffet.

Free – or at least half-price – food and house money to gamble with – what more could you ask for?

You did have to spend $1 of your own on the slots to get the $5 from the house, but that seemed like a small price to pay.

With that kind of stake, we naturally stuck mostly to the penny slot machines, but I did finish Friday night with $11 and change, and Saturday night with $4 and change, plus another couple of dollars Sunday morning before we left, so I came out ahead.

And I even did better than Terry, which made it the first time ever I’ve done better than her at a casino, whether here or in Las Vegas.

It was enough money to pay for our dinner and breakfast buffets, which made it even better.

Saturday was the day of the wedding, so we managed to tear ourselves away from the slot machines and headed into the woods.

Since the ceremony was in the main room of the lodge, attendance was limited to about five dozen immediate family, friends and relatives, which we were lucky enough to be included in.

After the ceremony, the catering truck showed up with the food for the reception and we all pitched in to help unload the food and set things up.

It sure beat having to gamble to win money to buy a meal, I do have to say.

There was also plenty of beer and wine to enjoy, making it even better.

And the groom’s brother – also his best man – brought along a bottle of good sipping Bourbon to add to the libations.

Needless to say, he quickly became his Uncle Emmitt’s favorite nephew.

By the end of the night, we didn’t need to go down to the other end of the road leading to the lodge to see the famous Paulding Light – we were all pretty well lit by that point ourselves.

It was only a 15-minute drive back to the resort/casino and I could say it was a good thing we were in the middle of nowhere in the UP where there wasn’t a lot of traffic around, but I would never admit that.

We made it to the champagne breakfast buffet the next morning – buffets seem to be the other prerequisite to call a place a resort/ casino – but we had to leave before they started serving the champagne.

That’s probably just as well, as we’d had enough libations the previous night and weren’t really ready to start imbibing again that early.

As well as we did at the casino over the weekend, we’d have to say that Nathan and Heidi were even luckier that weekend to be joined together in marriage.


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