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Sunday, December 31, 2023

Don't Dream It's Over

Realizing tonight is New Year's Eve, and I that get some sort of a fresh start with 2024 tomorrow, I thought it would be good to bang out this final post for this trip, and leave this year behind me.

The trip was not just a vacation, not just a Vegas trip, but a whole lot more. It was a coping mechanism, a pilgrimage, a ritual, a way of saying goodbye to places that meant so much to the Quad Queen and I, and by extension, a way of saying goodbye to her, of acknowledging that those days are done.

It was absolutely the right thing to go to Vegas for Christmas.

I got to see some old friends that knew Karen well, and some staff that knew Karen well. Breaking the news to them was extremely difficult, but I'm learning that facing and going through each of these difficult things is required in order to move along in the healing process.

It was also a good idea to blog the trip. People seem to enjoy reading my dreck, and it is really good mental exercise and relaxation for me. It's also work. It keeps me out of the casino each morning. It keeps my mind off what happened to Karen. (Well, except when I'm writing about that very thing.)

Did I have fun in Vegas? I sure did! I had some glorious success on stupid video keno! After 7 days I was even and then I started to get sick. (The sore lungs were the start of some sort of virus.) I think that threw me off my game, somewhat, but even so, losing $600 over 9 days is quite respectable.

One day I asked Karen, how many times can we go to Vegas? She said, "As many times as you want". We agreed 100 trips would be enough for a lifetime. Well, she made it to 60 some trips.

And I don't regret any of them, given where I am in life now.

Sometimes I would wonder when would the last trip be, would I know? I used to think about this upon departure.

That last trip with Karen, I pretty much knew it would be her last. And I was right, sad to be right, but it finally happened.

In Vegas, I did a lot of grieving. In my room, at random times, I would just talk out loud, asking nobody, "How can this be? Are you really gone? How is this fucking possible??? How can you not be here?"

And of course, there was never any (audible) answer. Sometimes I'd cry, sometimes just a little, sometimes a lot, and the tiniest portion of my being would move from the 'this can't have happened' side to the 'this did happen, she's really gone' side.

I remember after one win on Keno ($500 I think), I just stayed calm. I played to an even amount, cashed out, and headed up to the room.

And I walked in, closed the door, swung my fist and jumped up and let out a huge YAHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! I mention this so you know, yes, it wasn't all waaa waaa waaa poor me, part of it was celebratory and invigorating, and yes, those emotions in me are not completely snuffed out. I'm still able to have fun. All it takes is a boatload of hundies.

I got back two nights ago, loaded up with over the counter meds, and slept well. The next day, I knew I truly was ill. I just hung around and watched TV and did the minimum.

Today I felt a lot better. And I felt something else. A kind of peace. And a state of relaxation. I haven't felt this in a long, long time.

There are a lot of emotional hurdles you have to overcome when you lose someone you love. The first this. The first visit to some place. The first encounters with your close people. They all trigger that horrible, horrible emotional pain that I am so tired of.

But I've been back to Flusherville, I've been back to our house there, seen my family, seen my friends from the plant there, dealt with the paperwork. And now I've been to Vegas, to all the places where we had so, so much - well, not just fun, but LIFE. So much life!

With those hurdles crossed, maybe I am a few steps closer to some kind of peaceful existence. I'm no fool, I know this is really going to be heavy for a number of years, and will continue for the rest of my days in one way or another. Muted, but there. But the memories will become happy ones, not triggering ones. I'll see a photo and I'll think, oh man, was that a great day.

I just have to get there somehow. I've been through so much this year that I know I can do just about anything this hard.

I also recognize that I'm not alone. So many of you have reached out and shared your own losses, grief, sadness. And I ache for you. This is part of life. It's all around us. I'm not special. I'm just hurting and doing what needs to be done, just like all of you out there.

The main difference is that I'm able to make typey-typey about it.

Now about the details of the trip and the wrap-up.

I had a lower budget this trip, and I took a lower daily budget, sometimes $200, sometimes $300 if playing where there were good machines.

Video poker sucked for me. I would usually start with VP and when over half my money was gone, I'd switch to video keno and win it back. This happened over and over (Thank you to whoever was helping me with that).

Sure I had a few quads, and about 3 straights flush, but no real VP success. Well, I had a few $100 hands, but I think that was the most I won.

But look at these keno hits!

That's for taking away my Super Times Pay, Fremont!

And now, the nitty gritty.

Out of pocket costs were about $1,700. Comps received were $2,135.

I also received lots and lots of ko-fis and donations to support the blog. Thank you one and all! 'Preciate you 'Preciate you 'Preciate you!

I've certainly had worse trips than that. Not too shabby.

Well, I guess that about wraps this one up.

In a few months I'll post that reallllllllly old trip report from like ancient times.

After that... I just don't know what happens. I suppose I'll check in from time to time here so you can hear how it's going.

Until then, stay savvy, and get Royals - apparently I can't anymore!

Here's to a better year next year. From Flusher to you, from one Vegas pilgrim to another, have a Happy New Year.




    1. God bless you! Hope to see you on your next trip out!

    2. Thank you for the amazing (as always) trip report. I am always rooting for the big win for you, the Maker's pour from one of the Mike's, all the quad pics. You made Vegas real for us until we could get there the next time. Prayers and hopes for a good 2024

    3. BobbyG here. Well you said and expressed a lot here. All I can say is 💜 .
      Glad you took this trip, I think you needed it a lot, for a lot of reasons.
      Maybe you could start blogging about shuffleboard tournaments down there at Rusty Acres Country Club to keep you busy. 🤷🏻‍♂️😎💜

    4. Flusher, your journey and the publishing of it helps us all. JJ here. Although we've never met up I feel like I know you, and consider you a friend. Thank you for the wit and wisdom and for taking us all along in your journey.

    5. Thank you for sharing your trip with us. We all feel a part of your life, having read your reports for years. Please let us know how you are doing in 2024.

    6. Thank you so much for this. I started reading your blogs in the lead up to my first ever Vegas trip in 2010 and whilst things have changed a lot for me, and certainly a lot for you, I'm still reading them today. They mean a lot to many people, trust me. Now, don't be a stranger . Thanks again, Hol Calif aka Ade.

    7. Hubby and I were to retire to our happy place - Vegas - but he became ill. After he died, I took some of his ashes to Vegas with his son, and we let the wind take them from the top of the Stratosphere. Now when I visit, I know he is always there too. ((hugs)) to you on the long journey of grief. It will be up and down. It still is for me, 9 years later.

    8. Always enjoy your types although this was the saddest. But necessary. God bless , thanks for your reports always enjoy them

    9. Thank you so much for sharing your latest trip. I was really happy to see a new report, even though it made me cry a lot. Wishing you peace in the new year!

    10. Probably one of your best posts ever, Flusher. Really hits home and does a great job of explaining what you're feeling. I've bookmarked it for later down the line where it will inevitably be helpful to re-read it.

      So glad you made the decision to go there when you did. I hope your next Vegas trip - whenever it may be - has even more smiles than tears.

      1. the grieving process will take time day at a time my friend..hang in there!!

    11. You are all our vegas trips. I reread them like a journal from some great past explorer just found and relived. Until the next trip my backpack hangs here filled with pemmican, players cards and a stack of hundies waiting for our next adventure.


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