Upon our arrival in Laughlin, we went straight to the Riverside Casino and Resort and checked into our room in the south tower. As in September, our room overlooked the Colorado River and areas to the east, including the ridge of mountains we had just passed through and the northern portions of Bullhead City, Arizona. Again we were amazed by the clarity of the water in the Colorado River as we were able to see the bottom of the river from our 12th floor room.
The Riverside would be our home for the next 3 nights. Don Laughlin built the Riverside in the mid-1960s. This is the casino that started it all in Laughlin. Although the casino and hotel have been expanded many times over the years, it still retains its unique character.
I like the Riverside. It's a bit shabby and it shows its age, but hey, I'm a bit shabby and I show my age, too. The Riverside is a bit like the old casinos in downtown Las Vegas, like the Vegas Club and the El Cortez. What I really like about it is that it has something for everyone.
The Riverside is a maze. On the main floor, you can weave through the various areas of the casino to find numerous eateries, a gift shop, the"world's largest watch shop", at least 3 casino bars and 1 sports bar, and various little side shops. Slot machines are tucked away wherever there is room. Go upstairs and next to the sports book is another bar, a snack bar, and a full-sized bowling alley. There is also bingo, dance instruction, a cinema, and even a classic car exhibition. Outside is a river touring service, which I wrote about in September.
When I stay at a casino, I enjoy rising early and spending a couple of hours or more at my favorite video poker machine while I enjoy my morning coffee. This is usually the quietest time in a casino, and I really enjoy this time. To make it better, the Riverside has a non-smoking section in the south tower casino floor, so that is where I spend most of my time. Donna takes a little longer to get ready in the morning, so she usually joins me a bit later.
After playing a while, I often return to our room to read or watch some TV. One of the things I do not like about traveling is that I get "disconnected" from the world, so I try to allow myself some time to watch CNN news throughout the day to stay in touch. I also enjoy picking up local newspapers to try to capture some of the local color of the area I am in.
I like to eat a solid breakfast about 8:00 AM in a casino, then eat again about mid-afternoon. That usually is all I need for the day. After my mid-afternoon meal, I like to play another couple of hours before returning to my room to settle in for the evening.
One routine Donna and I got into this trip to the Riverside was venturing up to the bowling alley in the early evening and watching the local bowling leagues. We also explored the communities of Laughlin and Bullhead City to see how the locals live.
After 3 nights at Riverside, we awoke Thursday morning, December 1, to a cold front. As usual, we played downstairs for a few hours, then checked out to move next door to the Aquarius Casino, where we had reservations for the next 4 nights. Fortunately, we were parked in the parking garage, so we were able to stay dry and out of much of the cold as we loaded our luggage, but it was a dreary, overcast day.
We drove the block or 2 south along Casino Drive to the Aquarius, the next casino down, parked in the garage, and headed in to secure our room.