Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving at the track

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

We are once again at the Isle Casino and Racing at Pompano Park (map). We are among five rigs (and about a dozen trucks) here this beautiful Thanksgiving day; our nearest neighbor is a good hundred feet away, it's very quiet, and it's dark at night in the RV lot. We feel particularly welcome here since Isle Casino's brand marketing and PR manager (at their St. Louis corporate HQ), Elissa Plastino, commented on my post here yesterday.

Yesterday we had lunch at the Islamorada Fish Company, in the Bass Pro store. We couldn't find anything else we needed to buy in the store, and our friends opted to take us "off campus" Tuesday night, yet we felt we ought to at least spend a few bucks there since they provided us a parking space. The rain had let up by lunch time, but we still had to crawl out the driver door to avoid the giant puddle. After lunch we headed out; I was able to find the unmarked south exit from the property, to avoid the low-tree dodge and weave we did on the way in, past the fancy new commuter rail station.

It was dry and pleasant on the way here, and once we arrived we picked out our choice spot. Shortly thereafter, the rain returned, and an hour or two later, we again could not leave via the air door -- I seem to have a knack for finding the low spot in what otherwise appears to be a level lot. Odd, since I actually had to lower the right side to level out when we parked. For a brief while, even the driver door had a 1" deep puddle under it (still better than the 2" on the other side).

We had dinner reservations last night at the Tower Club downtown, and, as I wrote here yesterday, we could get there from here on a single bus that runs right past our parking space. By the time we were ready to leave, though, the rain was coming down in buckets, we could not get out either door without getting soaked -- something we were loath to do in the required business attire for the club -- and we'd face a half-mile walk in that weather at the other end. We ended up canceling the reservation, knowing we'll be back in town in a week or two and can take advantage of our "free" dinner then.

Instead, we waited until the rain had died down somewhat and the water had a chance to drain away, at least from the driver door, and wandered over to the casino for dinner. The casino is blissfully smoke-free throughout, and sports three restaurants. We opted for the early-bird (before 7pm) special prix-fixe menu at Farraday's Steakhouse. At $25 for three courses, it's an unbeatable deal for a high-end steak house, where typical entrees alone start above that price. Louise had shrimp over pasta, and I had the New York strip steak; both were very good and appropriately sized. By contrast, the deserts were enormous, and I ended up taking part of my cheesecake home.

While we were there, we noticed they are serving a prix-fixe Thanksgiving dinner menu tonight, for $33. That's in addition to the special Thanksgiving buffet option that Elissa wrote about in her comment, at $15 (weekday dinner at the buffet is normally $10 this time of year). Between those two options, we are seriously considering just eating here tonight as well, even though we have reservations at Todd English's da Campo Osteria, on the Intracoastal over in Lauderdale. The prix fixe is twice as much over there, and it's hard to imagine that a turkey dinner will be twice as good, besides which we'd have to watch our wine consumption since we'd be riding the scooters back.

Otherwise, we are just having a quiet day at home. We have much to be thankful for, not the least of which is to be here in the beautiful weather and just enjoying each other's company. If I work up some ambition, I might tackle a couple of the computer-related projects that have been languishing, and I am also on deadline for another magazine article, so perhaps I will get that started.

Tomorrow, we'll probably head south, looking for a place to stay just north of the Keys. We are expected in Tavernier Saturday afternoon.

Photo by nenortas photography , used under a Creative Commons license.

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