It's never long before we visit Great Yarmouth on the Norfolk coast.
A lot of people, including residents, question why go to ''Yarmouth'' for a holiday or weekend break. However, we have a long history of visiting this coastal town. It is a place our dad used to go horse racing, while, as children, we stayed at the Haven holiday park at Caister-on-sea. Such lovely times.
We visit every September for the Eastern Festival, which sees sparkling racecourse action over three days. A merry pilgrimage of family and friends which remembers those who are no longer here but always in our hearts.
Next week, I'm off to West Palm Beach, Florida to see my beloved Marlene. I wanted to visit Great Yarmouth before leaving as we haven't visited the town since September. We have stayed at a good few hotels. The best, if not most expensive, being the Andover House. The Embassy Hotel has been a regular haunt. Last night, the Nelson Hotel took centre stage. A family room, for the three of us, cost just £65, including breakfast. A great deal. The room had a view overlooking the seafront and the Grosvenor Casino, almost opposite the Wellington Pier.
We arrived at the hotel around 9:30pm after taking the train to Great Yarmouth, changing at Norwich. A taxi from the station to the hotel giving the driver a tip (to bring us luck).
A hundred-metre walk from the hotel to the casino at around 10pm. A decent meal in the listed building. Always exceptional service although the food can be a bit hit and miss.
Thereafter, we went downstairs to the gaming room. Sometimes we play three-card poker (not very often as the rake is high) so we favour roulette. The tables were busy so we played on the machines. I had never played on them before. In some respects, I wasn't keen as it seems a very private way to play and low key compared to the often hectic table with chips aplenty and chat from winners and losers.
Anyway, I played on the minimum £1 bet. I started with £20 and that was all I ever needed to cash because once again I got lucky. I always follow hot numbers which have come up a few times and thirty-three caught my eye. I routinely place a single bet and corner. Within five spins, the single and corner had come up and I had £50 or so in credit. A few more spins it comes up again and I am well in profit. I ended the night winning £80. I left with my two brothers at 2am. Tony won £230, while Gareth lost £40.
All in all, it was a great evening. A brisk walk back to the train station after a full English breakfast at the hotel.
Returning home a couple of hours later.
Feeling tired but an evening to remember and we'll be back soon.