Last April, I went to my first casino. With my grandma.

I’m two months shy from the big 30. A lot has happened these past few months, to include an unplanned cross-country move. Though that move put some kinks into My 29 List attack plan, I’m still chugging along!

The Ironhorse Bar & Casino may just be the smallest casino in existence, but it was perfect for the first time gambler—me.

My grandma loves going to the casino, kind of like I love writing books or traveling. It’s serious business, too. She and her crew are regulars. Not the betting-the-house-away kind. More like favorite pastime, penny slots kind of regulars.

Having lived in Alaska for the past 10 years, I’d never gotten the chance to go with her. My visits home were usually rushed and filled with hundreds of miles of driving to see as many people as possible before the trip was over. I’d never made time to do something memorable with my grandma. I decided it was time to make this a priority, so on the list it went.

When we arrived at the Ironhorse, the doors were still locked. Going early has its perks, though. We were the first ones inside and had the place mostly to ourselves with a variety of slot machines and no lines at our disposal. Grandma gave me a briefing at the door, and sent me on my way.

We played for a couple of hours and grabbed lunch before we left. I think I came out six dollars behind. I was ahead, but Grandma was still having a great time with her slots, so I kept playing.

It was definitely money well spent.