Eagle Pass is on the US side of the river with Piedras Negras on the Mexico side. It seems like a fairly modern, nice looking place, though by the time we got there, we were less interested in sightseeing and more interested in getting to the casino, the part of the trip Eva was eagerly waiting for!
Unfortunately, by this time, we were also about pictured out. I wish I had taken some pictures of the Lucky Eagle, or as our neighbor, a frequent visitor of the casino calls it, The Unlucky Buzzard, just to show how nice the place is. As you approach down a long, probably 2 mile drive which is no doubt destined for lots of construction in years to come, there is a sense that Eagle Pass is long gone and you are once again out in the middle of nowhere. Then, in the middle of the desert is the 5 or 6 story casino with nice landscaping and all the amenities of a high end hotel in San Antonio. I hesitate to compare it to Vegas since there were no visible hookers or people passing out fliers for strip clubs.
Inside, we found our room to be very nice, comfortable and a complete escape from the desert that surrounds the place. Eva has been wanting to go to the Luck Eagle for years and my hesitation has always been the idea of a smoke filled place full of senior citizens with oxygen tanks lighting up new cigarettes with the butt of the previous, gambling away their social security checks. In fact, the casino clearly is utilizing high tech air circulation systems and, though you can't completely avoid smoke from a person sitting nearby with a huge stogie, it really wasn't as bad as I expected.
And yes, during the day, they do bring in bus loads of people wanting to gamble, but by early evening, the crowd changed from busloads of tourists to people staying in the hotel like us, and probably a lot of locals.
After dropping our stuff off at the room, we were extremely hungry and went down to one of the several restaurants in the casino. For a total of $29.00 (for both of us), we hit the buffet which was very good. Again, sorry, no pictures. There was a huge salad bar, a huge meat bar - prime rib, brisket, chicken, all the essentials, a huge dessert bar (none for me, thanks) and people coming by to refill the iced tea which was really good. I stuffed myself then went back to the room and promptly passed out for at least an hour or so.
I did get a picture of something that made me giggle at the time.
So Eva and I have two different ideas on gambling. We both think it is cool to set a specific amount, then blow it with no expectation of even breaking even. In my mind, you can have even more fun if you put $20 in the machine and walk away with $40. In fact, I think at one point, Eva cashed out with an $80 ticket and in my mind, it was time for us to quit.
But on the other hand... with $3.00 Dos X's (okay, $4.00 since I always give a tip), I was fine with sitting back and watching Eva win just enough to play a little longer before losing it all. And this is how our evening went.
The one negative that I have regarding the Kickapoo was that, against Eva's advice, I ordered room service breakfast for the morning. Our breakfast consisted of some eggs and bacon, some potatoes, some toast, the worst tasting coffee ever, and some juice. After gratuity etc, it came out to close to $35.00. Keep in mind, we had stuffed our faces for $29.00 at the buffet, but I get it, it's room service. Anyway, it was absolutely horrible. I did eat the bacon and the cold eggs, oh, and the juice. If you go, skip the breakfast and head right back to the buffet.
All good things come to an end and this trip was both relaxing and interesting. I do suspect now that we have been to the casino in Eagle Pass, we'll make a return trip. Big Bend is a bit further and with so many other places we want to go (St. Augustine immediately comes to mind), it may be a while before we get back there.
For those that need more pictures, I do have a Tumblr that I will be posting the Big Bend pictures on, so feel free to check it out, here.