The new Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course opened in 2014 in Austintown Township, Ohio, a couple of miles from our house. Neither of us is a big fan of gambling or horse racing, but every once in a while we'll stop at a casino in our travels just for fun (we've been to the Hollywood facility in Columbus, Ohio, which is owned by the same company as this one).
Not long after this one opened, we visited, staying long enough to look around, blow 10 bucks on the slots (there are 850 video lottery terminals here), grab a bite to eat and check out the Rodeo Drive gift shop. Having seen some of the uber-expensive shops at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jeersey, I was hesitant to go in this shop (everything glittered); but it turned out to be a treasure trove with fabulous fake bracelets, necklaces, earrings and rings (and even tiaras, for those so inclined) selling for a flat $10 each. Since the next day was Sweetest Day, Jack bought me a ring.
Our next visit came a couple of days after Christmas, when the sun made an appearance after at least two weeks and the temperature hovered close to 60 degrees. Jack offered to buy me two more rings for Christmas, so of course I was chomping at the bit. We arrived about an hour before the start of a live thoroughbred race on the one-mile oval track, so we piddled around long enough to watch the first race of the day. Racing, for the record, begins in late November and runs through April each year - rain, shine or snow. There's a spacious indoor skybox for viewing (with dining available), but when the weather's nice, it's great to sit outside to see the ponies run.