Serendipity Happens!

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware

Martin Buber

The Casino/Chip Hobby was born, but the parameters were still very nebulous. I knew what I enjoyed, but it was still more of a series of events to this point.

I had visited and played at twenty four Vegas casinos, plus two in Connecticut. So at this point I really only associated this fledgling pastime with my trips to Vegas. I didn’t have a plan, I didn’t dawn on me that I needed one. I figured, next time I go to Vegas, I’ll visit more Casinos and collect more chips. The seed was surely planted, but it hadn’t sprouted yet.

There was one more unforeseen event that would align the stars, so to speak. It takes place in the context of the last trip I took with my daughters while still in high school (at least one of them still was)

I always have had a bug for travel and adventure and I do believe both my daughters inherited it. With my youngest daughter, Dayna, just finishing up her junior year of High School, I got her excited for a different travel hobby that we might enjoy together. We were going to visit state capitals. Not just the cities, but the actual capitol buildings for each state. Now, that is a big endeavor and we knew it would take years to accomplish. So we took out maps and speculated and envisioned where our soon to be new adventure would take us. Flying to a destination, such as the west coast or southern states, sounded fun, but wasn’t realistic at the time, especially considering we hadn’t even started yet. So we settled on a drive to the Mid-Atlantic capitals, dipping into Dixie, with a special trip to Hershey Park on the way.

My older daughter, Chelsea, decided to join the trip with the caveat she have to fly back mid-way to get back to work.

We left early on the last Sunday in June, 2012 and we were off to Central PA to visit Hershey Park Theme Park. My girls love amusement parks and I love enjoying them while they are there, so it was a win/win. We couldn’t have asked for a better weather and it turned out to be a perfect day going on rides and just appreciating the time together. An awesome day with lots of fun and great memories.

After a long day at the amusement park we spent the first night at a local hotel with plans to change gears the following day. Next morning, goodbye Hershey and on to the state capitals. First stop, Harrisburg the capital of Pennsylvania.

PA State Capitol Building

The nice thing about state capitals is that they are grand and ornate and have enough interesting historical tidbits to even keep teen girls interested.  I think what made this endeavor even more fun is all the photo ops. How the heck did we Generation Xers survive growing up without cameras at our fingertips for everything?  We spent a few hours in and around the capitol building, took our compulsory selfies (about 10,000) and we were on our way to.

Our nation’s capital was next. We got to Washington DC late in the day so with nothing planned we bounced around and selfied our way between the White House and the Presidential Memorials. We also spent a little time around the hallowed grounds of our war memorials.

The next morning we headed to the US Capitol building itself, where we had a scheduled tour planned.  The tour took us to many areas of the building we wouldn’t have been able to go on our own. As fascinated I was with all the history and splendor I was equally enthused and grateful that my daughters were as so engaged in the spectacle of our nation’s history.  

After the tour and the compulsory photo ops we spent the early afternoon walking between a few of the Smithsonian Museums. With a little time left before we had to get Chelsea to the airport we made one last stop at Arlington National Cemetery. It was truly a treat to share in all this with my girls. (OK, trudging in Death Valley like temperatures for the eight miles between each Smithsonian museum after a lengthy tour of the capitol building didn’t exactly make the top ten list for them, but it was awesome nevertheless)

So it was off to Dulles to drop Chelsea to get her flight and Dayna I headed south to Richmond.

VA Capitol Building

Day four, Wednesday, was a long one, and by the end of the day Dayna was a bit under the weather. We started out in the AM by driving to Richmond, Virginia from DC,  then back up to Annapolis, Maryland in the afternoon, visiting the capitol buildings of both. We had dinner in Maryland and that’s when Dayna started feeling a little ill. We drove to Dover that evening and found a hotel not far from the Capitol. The idea was to get a good night’s sleep and hit it bright and early the next day (If Dayna was feeling better)

MD State Capitol Building

Ok, so almost 750 miles of daughters, capitol buildings and selfies and haven’t mentioned a thing about Casino’s.

As we drove up to the hotel in Dover I happened to notice Dover Downs Racetrack & Casino just a few short blocks away. Ok, not really interested in the ponies, but a casino, here in Delaware? Looked online and sure enough, table games, craps & roulette and most importantly, chips. Now over the years since this trip I have been accused and found guilty of contriving (ok, manipulating) an itinerary of a trip/vacation to coincide with a Casino(s) location. But not this trip. Remember, casino hopping was a Vegas only occurrence to this point and the hobby hadn’t truly formed. Serendipity!

With Dayna not feeling well and it being still early in the evening, I asked her if she wouldn’t mind if I shot over there for a bit. She had one thing in mind, bed, so there was no protest from her.

So with Dayna tucked in, and with her blessing I headed down the block and for the first time entered a Casino that was not in Nevada or Connecticut. I played a little, perused a little, played a little more then grabbed my chips and headed back to the hotel.

The Next morning (our last day on the road) with Dayna rested and feeling much better, we hit the road.

Inside the DE Capitol Building

To Delaware’s state house right up the road in Dover then to Trenton and the capitol building of New Jersey to complete the first leg of the tour (We still haven’t gone on leg two yet, but I’ve not put an expiration day on it)

NJ State Capitol Building

Eight states, five state capitals, one national capital and 1013 Miles. Oh, yes and one casino. Casino and chip number 27.

Now that seed planted back in April was poking its curious head out with the knowledge and ideas of casinos in many other places than just Vegas. Sitting now on the edge. Just one more nudge.

Up Next… Me, Myself & I-95

One thought on “Serendipity Happens!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *