We’ve Got Spunk

This was not just a girls’ night out, but a girls’ weekend away. A friend and I went to a town near the state line of Nevada. We ate, drank, gambled, and were merry. Well, as merry as two quiet women who imbibe tea, cranberry juice, and water can be.

Friday evening was mostly spent standing in line for tickets to the Isley Brother’s concert (the purported reason we were there). Well, she stood in line. I wandered around, checking out the décor, though periodically, I would return to see how she was doing. I got rousted a few times by the security guards at the ticket booth — one barred my way and refused to let me pass, one wouldn’t let me in the door to get back in line, and another wouldn’t let me out again. Not exactly Thelma and Louise, but one takes one’s rebellious moments however they come.

On one of my forays around the casino, I discovered Zoltar, a celebrity from a Tom Hanks movie. Zoltar kept telling me he’d grant a wish, but I figured I’d just as soon grant my own wishes. That way, I’d have less chance of screwing things up and getting Big. Or little. Or some silly thing like that.

Tucked away in a corner, I found Pat’s Saloon. Dirty Pat’s Saloon, but who’s going to read the small print? It’s my kind of place — quiet, even moribund, and the drinks are dry. Literally dry. Not dry as in wine, but dry as in no drinking. Dry as in no liquid.


After breakfast on Saturday, we visited the outlet mall. The stores hadn’t yet opened, but it didn’t matter — I find shopping to be only slightly more appealing than stepping on Mojave green rattlers. Still, it was fun to do something I haven’t done in a very long time — wander around a mall.

The rest of the time, we spent gambling. (That, and eating.)

Playing the slots is not something on my list of things to do, not something I ever think of doing, but the two times I specifically went to Nevada to gamble, this state line trip and my Laughlin Adventure, I got into it. Yesterday, I sampled many different machines, but the Dragon Spin game was the most fun because it was the most active — lots of noisy wins, even more quiet losses. But all things considered, a cheap, and at times riveting, entertainment.

The Isley Brother’s concert was disappointing. I don’t know why it never occurred to me that an old timey band would play in a modern way, but they did — strobe lights, insanely loud volume, heart-stopping bass, skinny dancers that my friend and I (neophyte dancers though we might be) could outdance any day. The worst, though, were the fans. The much younger female in front of me kept standing up to dance, so much of my view was of her back end. Eek. And the very large fellow beside me had an extremely loud whistle he kept blowing. Even worse, he kept dancing in his seat, and with every move, his elbow slammed into me. Luckily, the seat next to her was empty, so we were able to move down a seat (and even more luckily, I remembered to bring ear plugs, which cut down the bass reverberation so I could actually hear the sung words.) Not surprisingly, a large percentage of the audience watched the performance on their phones as they taped the show. It almost seems that nowadays nothing is real unless it is seen on a screen or is recreated in a form that can easily be posted online. (I won’t even mention the vast parade of cleavage visible on so much of the female audience. Whoops. See how I am? I did mention it!)

But the disappointment was a mere blip in the quiet thrill of the weekend. My friend is pleasant to be around, generous, and a good sport. (She’s the first person ever to join me on any of my desert rambles.) That, coupled with a weekend that was far from my normal weekends, made this a perfect vacation for me.

I’d told her about my travel journal, and on the way back, she asked if I’d put our trip into the journal. I said yes, of course — although the journal was given to me for my May trip, I’d already planned to use it for all my 2018 adventures. Of which this was one.

The first thing that will go in the book is the birthday card she gave me: Who needs estrogen when we’ve got spunk? (It’s not my birthday, but we celebrated it anyway.) What an absolutely perfect sentiment for the beginning of my yearly adventures!

Since the card and the record of this adventure would be the first entry into the journal, it made me wonder if I’d forgotten anything, so I checked my web log (this blog) to see what adventures I’d had so far this year, and the only vaguely advendurous thing I’ve been doing is my faux backpacking trips on the weekends.

How boring can one person be?!

Apparently, I need more adventures, especially pleasant ones like this state line trip.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels UnfinishedMadame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.