Perfect getaway in this recession

TRAVELLING had started sounding as irresponsible and s reckless gambling In recent months.

I have listened in total annoyance as my tenant related her work-sponsored trips.

There is nothing more demeaning than someone paying rent and living an equivalent of la dolce vita. Yes, I have wondered if she doesn't pay peanuts for rent.

So when Emerald Casino beckoned, I moved towards it with the vigour of someone loaded with cash. All I had in my purse was a measly R300. And I understand MTN has sent a hitman after me for R10000 I "owe" them. Lies!

I still moved forward with a bleached conscience. And when the Emerald opened her arms to welcome me and my little family, it was as if financial difficulties were a thing of the past.

We do live on borrowed time after all. We all need to get away from constant recession reminders every now and then.

The Emerald is a perfect getaway for sparse finances and quick escape. It's a mere 45 minutes (by helicopter). No, seriously and honestly, it's not as close as they make it out to be if you have a life like filling up and getting refreshments at petrol stations. And since fuel costs as much as diamonds and pearls, we opted to keep in the left lane most of the time.

Once you get there though, it feels like a whole new world. The rooms were spacious and warm once we remembered to turn the heater on. Before that, ours was like a deep freezer. That's because the Emerald is situated on the banks of the Vaal River.

First on the agenda was to take the resort up on their claim for "being unrivalled in delivering a thrilling gaming experience that also offers a host of accommodation and conferencing options, leisure attractions, dining and activities".

The kids loved the Animal World. We enjoyed the flea market which is adjacent to the Aquadome. Perfect for kids. Also the prices are very recession-friendly. The food at the Da Romano Restaurant and Pizzeria was exquisite and I still walked away with two thirds of my R300.

The evening was freezing and as soon as the kids found their favourite programme on Dstv, we ran to the Shooters Bar where we agreed Port was going to be our drink of choice. This came at a very reasonable price of R80. It sure kicked the threat of chills and flu away in an instant.

It also almost sent me gambling.

When the morning arrived, an impressive array of continental breakfast awaited us. Everyone on duty welcomed us with a smile and a comfortable table. I checked my purse and I was left with R20. Not bad for 12 hours of fun.