On Tuesday, June 8, 1971, we left Las Vegas for the last leg of our trip to Disneyland.
As we checked out of the Orbit Inn Motel in Las Vegas, Dad finally gave into our pleas to play the slot machine in the lobby. He pulled three nickels out of the little plastic coin purse that he always kept in his pocket. He showed us how to use the slot machine with the first nickel. I think he would have let Dale and I each have a turn, but the desk attendant reminded him that would be illegal. So, he played a nickel for each of us. We all lost. Which put me off casino gambling for life.
Dad taught me the phrase, “the house always wins.” That’s proven to be good financial advice and not just about casino gambling. Over a lifetime, it’s saved me thousands in over-priced insurance and warranty products and made me wary of ventures that seem too good to be true.
At the California border, our vehicle was checked at the Yermo Agricultural Inspection Station to make sure that we weren’t carrying any contraband fruits or other items that could carry plant pests into the growing regions of California. We received an inspection certification so that we could continue our journey.
When we reached Anaheim, California, we checked into Mecca Motel, a Best-Western “across from Disneyland.” There’s still a Best Western at this address, but it’s either been rebuilt or massively refurbished. I’m not surprised that the name Mecca Motel didn’t survive into the 21st century, but I wonder why they went with the boring name of Park Place Inn. They still advertise as “the closest hotel to the Disneyland® Resorts main pedestrian entrance.”
After swimming in the heated pool, we ate supper next door at Chao’s Chinese and American Restaurant (now an IHOP).
For $7.70, here was our meal as described in my mother’s travel diary: “Bob had sweet and sour pork. I had beef chow mein. The children ate hamburgers and french fries – as usual.”