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By 10PM the pool and hot tub close down, as does the bar and restaurant. It's hard to place exactly which corners were cut - slow service, freezer French fries, bone dry puff pastry on the signature chicken pot pie; but corners were cut. San Francisco came into view looking all sleek and evil and futuristic and awesome under low hanging clouds that hung ominously above her.

Everyone else went back to lose more money at the Graton " A few rows of machines away from me a visibly tweaked out man scratched at himself while he shuffled his gaunt body in my general direction.

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I wandered around being assaulted on all sides by noise and lights. My friend told me "hey, why don't you come up to the city meaning San Francisco for the weekend to take a break" and so I found some like minded pals and we piled into their shitty Honda and sped north.

One associates a resort with a variety of activities and amenities associated with luxury vacations: I needed to get situated at the hotel down the road, get my feet in a hot tub and get a good nap in me. As long as there was a bar and a pool, it didn't matter.

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Sunnyvale and San Jose where suburbs for middle-class latinos, many several generations native Californians, whose parents and grandparents surely worked the artichoke fields and peach groves that once occupied the space we now call "Silicon Valley". The old man has a sneaky streak, though, and I guess I do too. Rita is from Queens and she keeps it classy. A young woman sat a few seats down from me bartender - "how's your day?

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If you think I am being unforgiving, you should bear in mind that I hadn't eaten all day we pulled in at noon and I'd been cooped up at home for days battling this holiday season's microbial onslaught on my respiratory system. My phone beeped at me - the other folks were back from gambling and needed their room keys. The Kombucha Man was celebrating his last birthday in his 30s and I was being harangued to help plan something fun.

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Rita brought a bottle doubletree graton casino Jameson god bless Rita. Then the girlfriend made her preference clear - there was to be gambling involved. Rita thinks she is going to take pictures in the casino.

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I am not sure what qualifies the Graton as a resort. This has been a rough month.

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I'd been cooped up for days in my room, which is exactly unlike a hotel in many ways although both have effective means of blocking out the sun. I paid, asked "can I take my glass with me? Think about dining in Sonoma or Napa, however, because Hilton hotel chains aren't interested in Michelin or even Zagat stars. We sat down at the Daily Grillone of several dine-in offerings.

My burger was done to the proper doneness medium rareand I salute the line cook in charge of that station for doing their job, but the rest was so much "meh" and "sigh" on a plate. For a Californian with a car or ZipCaror absconded sibling SUVthis is a pretty choice locale for resting one's head without breaking the bank for a North Bay near-cation.

We shared a Dotsun that had to be started with a screw driver and frequently stalled out on I or CA87 or wherever it was I'd be zipping to for the day. We lived in these hotels because despite what we thought were pretty good paychecks at the time I had not seen a paycheck for more than a couple hundred dollars until that pointwe were poor as dirt - my buddy supporting a wife and a newborn.

An executive on the down-low? So plans were hashed Wanting none of that action I dove around a corner, dodging elderly Asian women, retirees and the other sad-sacks who doubletree graton casino the penny slots and parked myself in front of one.

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The marriage started to show signs of falling apart and I was caught in the middle of it. First of all, if you want to grab a bite to eat at Graton at least on the first floor - and at very worst in the mall style feed lot near the casino entrance: Rita is actually a gay man trapped in a tiny half Brazilian half Portuguese body. Of course, you can always just ask for room service to bring you stem-wear.

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They must have made me the second I walked into the joint. Let's speak towards the dichotomy of fun and planning for a second: It is a monster at four stories, big enough to fit a football pitch and doubletree graton casino with all the panache of a s shopping mall complete with "futuristic" design flourishes meant to conceal the fact that it is in fact a giant warehouse filled with people endlessly stimulating the limbic systems at the expense of Johnny or Suzie's college fund.

Snacks were laid out in the executive suite, bottles of whiskey and wine cracked, and after everyone had their turn getting some food out of the birthday boy's crockpot hotel money saving tip - forget about the ironing board grilled cheese sandwichjust bring a crock pot!

That would be enough gambling for me.

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This is something that I've tried to educate the plan-happy half of my family about this applies to my sisters, certainly, and my ISM: A series of jobs had me at extended stays in unglamorous locales such as Phoenix, Arizona and Thousand Oaks, California. I never had spent a lot of time in hotels again until the later half of my 30s.

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Rita can't wait to get into the hot tub! I'll use an actual old-timey camera That's why you won't be seeing any in situ shots of the casino. I began to feel an affinity for hotels - a cave with a flat screen in which you could be anyone you wanted to be.

After a few hitches we finally sped northbound on the toward Petaluma - the Chicken capitol of the West, and home to not a whole lot else. It's a hotel in Sonoma on a golf course. The Double Tree in Rohnert Park, California is adjacent to a golf course if smacking around whitey is your thing, but it is also a quick drive from Sonoma and Napa Valley and the Marin coastline. And good for you, because no matter what happens the house always wins, and most of the time, you lose.

Was I a mass murderer on the lam? Soon my friend in Doubletree graton casino Francisco made his real intentions known: That said, I picked up the planning gene somewhere along the way and despite my raconteur ways, my inclination toward being a gadabout and my being a certified International Gentleman of Leisure, I am a planner.

It was off to the penny slots with the " genpop ", and as soon as I sat down a comely tattooed blond came up to offer me a drink. She must have played it all on one bet I was up a couple hundred at blackjack, and I had to use the pisser, so I told the girlfriend to play my shit because she was the one telling me how to make all my plays away way, and by the time I got back it was all gone!