The last day… so depressing.
Helaine had arranged for a 6:00 PM check out. We knew we had to return our car by 9:00 PM. We spent the vast majority of the day close to home at Mirage.
Helaine had awful luck at blackjack. I was doing better at poker, up another $200+.
By mid-afternoon she was looking for something to do and I invited her to play Hold’em at the same table I was at.
Listen, I love having my wife there, but we both started getting awful cards… fractions… suits that were green. In Hold’em, 2-7 off suit is the worst hand you can get. I had more 2-7’s than I can believe. Helaine too.
And we started losing.
I think, between the two of us, we gave back around $150 before finally getting up and walking away.
Whenever Helaine and I fly somewhere, we always comment on how happy the people look arriving, and how sad the departees are. No different here. And, we would have all day to think about it.
Because of the time difference, you don’t have many choices when flying west-to-east. You can leave midday, and waste the whole day, or leave late at night and try to sleep on the plane (good luck).
Since we had first class tickets, with room to relax, we thought the redeye would be acceptable, even with a nearly 2 hour layover in the formerly crowded Pittsburgh International Airport (USAir, in financial trouble, has cut traffic back heavily to its Pittsburgh hub, favoring Charlotte instead for most East Coast north-south trips).
Returning the car at Dollar was no problem. For some reason the area where you drop the car, and where the shuttle bus arrives are separated, and that meant bag carrying.
The airport itself was quiet. Helaine, once again, went without a shoe inspection (something that had become a family joke and Helaine tradition). The federal agent did notice I had a small set of diagonal wire cutters in my carry-on. I had brought them to cut the cable ties I used to ‘secure’ our luggage against baggage handlers posing as thieves.
The official rules say these wire cutters should be OK because they had blunt ends, but that wasn’t the interpretation at the airport. I’m not exactly the threatening type, but no matter. These cutters, called dykes by electricians, are now part of some huge federal stash.
The flight was uneventful. Sleeping was the order of the day. They didn’t even lower the TV screen in the First Class cabin.
We made Pittsburgh on-time, Hartford too.
While Helaine got the bags, I took the shuttle and picked up the car. By the time I got back to the terminal, Helaine was at the curb waiting.
And there you have it. Every year, in July… when it’s really hot. Every year, same hotel, Mirage. Every year, it’s a ball. And I’m looking forward to going again ASAP.