Another great trip! Our Valentine’s Day Trip was actually on Valentine’s Day – it was nice of Cupid to put February 14th on a weekday for us. This was another one of those trips where everyone won something on the bus. Don’t get spoiled, we can’t do that all the time, but Debbie outdid herself in finding great deals to give away on the bus.
There was some confusion as to the buffet, but thankfully it worked out so that if you had the “regular” buffet you could use a coupon (coupons weren’t accepted for the more expensive special Valentine’s buffet). That’s one of the things to watch on the Calder calendar – when they have a special buffet sometimes they also have the “regular” buffet and sometimes they don’t.
We had our first Wednesday afternoon Calder Casino BINGO winner. It was the coverall game, split five ways so each of the BINGO’ers won $100 in free play. I seem to have fallen into the “almost” category, needing one number on one game and two numbers on two games. Oh well, maybe next time I’ll be able to tell you how much free play I won…
St. Patrick wasn’t as cooperative as Cupid, so our St. Patrick’s trip will be on Wednesday March 14th (wear green if you’ve got it!). Debbie’s got 40 people signed up already, so if you haven’t made your reservations yet you’d better call soon (239-247-0869). We’ve already got a couple of people signed up for our April 11th trip. That will be our one year anniversary trip as we ran our first trip in April last year.
What a trip! Did you miss out? Local businesses really came through with the donations (thanks to Debbie & Mickey for getting out there and working so hard to make the event a big success. Everyone on the bus won something, ranging from nice to really nice to fantastic. I’m pleased to report that I was able to write a check for $1,358.50 to Special Olympics of Florida – Lee County.
Our new system for getting free play pre-loaded on member’s cards is working pretty good. This time it wasn’t there until about 30 minutes after we arrived, so I guess that means it’s working pretty good but we’re not quite there yet. If you’re on a trip and don’t get the expected free play let Debbie know (text her, don’t spend all your time walking around the casino looking for her) and she’ll figure everything out for you.
Back to the fund raiser, thanks again to all our sponsors – check out this list!
Grand Prize: Wyndham Garden Hotel – Fort Myers Beach
AMC Theatre – North Fort Myers
Arby’s – Pine Island Road
Bianca’s Ristorante – North Fort Myers
Captain Tony’s Fishing Adventures
Chili’s Grill & Bar Restaurant
Costco – Fort Myers
Downtowner Car Wash
Duffy’s Sports Grill
Edison Ford Tickets & Guide Book
Everybody’s Brunch Place – North Fort Myers
First Round Draft – Cape Coral
Five Guy’s Burgers & Fries
Fred Astaire Dance Studio
Golden Corral – Cape Coral
Great Clips – Cape Coral (Pine Island)
Habanero’s Mexican Grill
HeadPinz Entertainment Center – Fort Myers
Jet’s Pizza – Cape Coral Parkway
Joe’s Crab Shack – Fort Myers
KJ’s Steakhouse – Fort Myers
Maria’s Italian Restaurant – Cape Coral
Mel’s Diner – Pine Island Road
Nathan’s Famous – Fort Myers
Nervous Nellies – Fort Myers Beach
Outback Steakhouse – Fort Myers
Pin Street Bowling – Fort Myers
Shell Factory – Nature Park
Sonny’s BBQ – Cape Coral
Stevie Tomatoe’s Sports Page – Fort Myers
Our trip this week was lots of fun! Congratulations to Queen Mary, our Queen for the Day. Heaven only knows what Debbie will think up for our next trip!
Depends on your definition of “big”, but we either had some big hits this week or at least a couple of nice ones. I was lucky enough to walk by at just the right time to see $400 on an 80 cent bet. I didn’t hit it big, but I did come home with a little more than I took with me.
Several people took advantage of the free BINGO that Calder now has on Wednesday afternoons. I came close a couple of times, but he just wouldn’t call the right number for me.
As some of you know, we had another trip a week ago. We took a bus full of Old Bridge Villagers to Calder on Wednesday the 10th. That was another good trip, but unfortunately the sound system on the bus wasn’t working correctly. The bus company is working on that issue now, and we had a different bus on the 17th with everything working properly.
BTW, January is a first for Fun Casino Trips LLC – the first time we’ve had three trips in the same month. We’re doing a Special Olympics fund raiser on Wednesday the 31st. The bus is full, but if you’re interested in going check with Debbie – we had a cancellation this morning, and filled that seat in less than an hour.
Looking ahead our next trip is on Wednesday February 14th – Valentine’s Day. I’m pretty sure that you can guess what the theme is for that trip. In March we’re going on Wednesday the 14th, and if you need help guessing that theme look about 3 days later on the March calendar. We’re already looking forward to April – we ran our first trip last April, so this will be Fun Casino Trips LLC’s one year anniversary trip!
I hope everyone’s 2018 has gotten off to a good start. We went to Miami and spent New Year’s Eve at Calder. We played BINGO Friday night – close, but not this time. During the day on Saturday & Sunday we got out and looked around. Checked out a few new things, including our first live horse race in Hallandale Beach. We met a couple there that have owned 30 horses over the years and they told us everything that a beginner needed to know. Following their recommendation Debbie made her first bet on a horse race, turning $2 into $5. She wrote that up to beginner’s luck and quit while she was ahead.
2018 will bring a few changes to Calder. On Wednesdays the Magic Carpet Hot Seat game has ended, and they now have afternoon BINGO sessions (win free play!). That includes sessions at 12:00 & 3:00pm. BINGO cards are free for points earned that day (check the Calder website for details). Earning enough points for a card by noon on our trips could be tough, but if you start out playing real money you might just make it (you don’t earn points while playing free play). I would think that just about everyone that wants to could earn enough points to play at the 3:00 session.
I hate to say that we’ve got some bad news, but the price of the buffet has gone up in 2018 (it’s now $16.99 early bird, $21.99 regular). If you get a free buffet you shouldn’t notice a difference, but if you get a half price buffet it will cost you an additional $1.50 (half of the $3 increase). And of course, depending on the dining deal you get from Calder, Lucky’s Cafe is still a great option too.
January looks like a busy, fun filled month for Fun Casino Trips. A first for us – 3 trips in one month. We’ve got our regular trip on Wednesday 1/17, a Special Olympics Fund Raiser on Wednesday 1/31, and we’re running a trip for Old Bridge Village in North Fort Myers on Wednesday 1/10. All three trips are nearly full, so if you haven’t made your reservations yet you’d better be calling Debbie soon!
Speaking of calling Debbie (239-247-0869), we’ve got new phones so please bear with us while we learn how to use them. If you call Debbie and don’t hear back from her fairly soon you might want to call her again…
One last note – they started replacing our sea wall today! They’re doing three houses on our side of the street and one on the other side. They came in today and took out several trees (to get their tractors in, cheaper than coming in by barge). They also took out most of the old sea wall. They got a few panels in at our neighbor’s today, and should work their way across our backyard tomorrow. It’s been fun watching them out there working, but we did feel bad for the guy in the water – it was cold out there!
Happy Holidays! We’ve been busy, but not that busy, which is a way of saying I’m not sure why we didn’t get anything posted after our November Gobble-Gobble trip. We did get the pictures posted out there on Facebook, including a turkey suit, a turkey tiara, and a turkey hat. We did our mini fund raiser on the bus for Oma’s Heart, and I’m please to say that we raised $115.00 for them to help needy Lee County families to have a better Christmas.
Our Merry Christmas – Make a Child Happy trip this week was great! Then again, the sound system on the bus wasn’t working quite right. Other than that the trip was great, and they’re working on getting that issue taken care of. We raised $122.50 for Oma’s Heart, and it got even better when half of the 50-50 winnings were donated back to boost that to $167.50!
Nearly everyone on the November trip donated toys to the Calder Toy Drive. Some brought their own, but most took advantage of Debbie’s good deals. You might have noticed several of our toys on display behind the Player’s Club Desk on the day of our November trip. Not too surprising as the toy drive had just begun. But on our December trip we saw that many of our November donations were still being prominently displayed – thanks to Debbie’s nose for great clearance deals and your generosity some kids will be getting a really nice present this year! And we added even more great toys to the cause on our trip this week.
BTW, when you take a look at the November pictures in Facebook you might wonder where the December pictures are. They’re still in the camera. They’re just about to the top of my to-do list so they should be out there soon. That’s assuming that Debbie was able to keep the camera on auto. It got bumped to another setting in November, so some of the pictures were too fuzzy (including all the birthday pictures). She put a piece of tape on the auto switch this time, but when she dropped the camera the batteries popped out. Oh well, we never claimed to be professional photographers…
Can you keep a secret? We’ve had several winners in the Magic Carpet Hot Seat game, and before that we had several winners in the Roundup Slot Tournament. It’s not on the Calder website yet, but we hear that the Hot Seat game is being retired for now and they will be adding BINGO sessions on Wednesday afternoons. BINGO cards are free, you get them for points earned that day. As you may know, we plan our personal trips to Calder around the Wednesday & Friday evening BINGO sessions. All of us Nelsons enjoy the evening BINGO sessions, and two out of three of us have won several times (I think Debbie won once or twice…). Anyways, we’re really looking forward to the Wednesday afternoon BINGO sessions!
Our Oktoberfest trip was yesterday, and I think it’s fair to say that it was another great trip! The Harry Chapin Food Bank was once again our nonprofit-for-the-day, and I’m pleased to report that we raised $127.50 for them. As Debbie likes to say, that’s not bad for a day on the bus! Add that to the $126 that we raised last month and it definitely adds up to a nice chunk of change.
For those of you that weren’t with us the middle of the casino was a mess as they are installing new carpet. The new carpet looks nice, and there’s some additional padding too. I was able to get to two of my favorite machines, but another one of my favorites was sitting there, with the screen turned on, just inside of one of the roped off areas, calling my name all day long! Oh well, maybe next time…
We do have one piece of sad news to pass along. Joanne Chapman was supposed to join us yesterday, but she passed away on Tuesday. We’ll miss having her on our trips, and our condolences to her family and friends.
Our next trip is Wednesday November 15. The theme is Gobble-Gobble. Debbie’s already got 15 or 20 names on her list, so if you want to go you’d better contact her soon (239-247-0869). Don’t tell anyone, but Debbie will be on the birthday list for our November trip.
The Roundup Slot Tournament on Wednesdays at Calder has been one of our favorites. But all good things must come to an end, and with any luck be replaced by something that’s even better!
As you may have noticed in the Calder Casino October Calendar, they now have the Magic Carpet Hot Seat on Wednesdays from noon-2pm where you can win up to $500 in Free Play. We’ll find out for sure when we get there, but they tell us there will be machine drawings every 15 minutes, and all you have to do is have your card in a machine to qualify. Hopefully we’ll have some winners on our next trip (Wednesday October 18). BTW, there are only a few seats left for that trip – now is the time to contact us (239-247-0869) if you don’t have a seat yet!