On the Way to the Wedding Roadtrip: Reports from Jim — Vegas Lite (aka Reno)

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The Road to Reno

Vegas was 9 hrs from the wedding and cheaper to fly into than Reno, so some of our upcoming wedding guests had made plans to do that. We wish we could have warned them about the drive, though. Unfortunately, we didn’t know how boring it was until we did it ourselves, too late to do anyone else any good. The drive was through uninteresting desert with few small towns that each had a gas station, a McDonalds and a Dollar General.  Occasionally we would see a brothel in the middle of nowhere. These places were little more than shacks and were pathetic looking. A friend who did the same drive suggested doing a coffee table book of Brothels of Nevada.

Since we left Vegas so late we did not make Reno and were getting desperate for a place to stay. Since we did not have cell service much of the trip we were travelling in the dark. We did get to Fallon and stayed at a nice Holliday Inn. It was a bit expensive but the desk clerk did agree to nock $10 off so it was $119.  Many nice things about this place, a laundry, a pool open 24 hrs. We walked to a small casino next door and had dinner. Fallon is the home of the US Navy “Top Gun” program.

The place had two pools, an indoor and an outdoor. While the indoor pool was open 24 hrs, the outdoor pool closed at 10 pm.  I was swimming indoors, no idea what time it was, but the outside door was open and I decided to swim outside for as long as I could.  Stepping out the door outside I was shocked how cold it was, too cold for me to even make it to the outside pool. It was the first time I was cold in a long time. I kinda liked it.

The next day we decided to look for ghost towns before we got to Reno.  We found a few listed on the internet but were unable to find them.  We did have an exciting drive through the mountains to Virginia City, near the Ponderosa. Virginia City is far from a ghost town, it is a town that embraces its history. It had a lot of tourist and some cool things so we enjoyed walking the town.

More mountains and we finally arrived in Reno where I booked a room at Circus Circus for under $60. Room was nice. Since we missed all the shows in Vegas we looked to see what was happening in Reno. A hypnotist show at Harrah’s caught our attention and the price was much cheaper than Vegas shows. We decided to do the Reno River Walk, find a place to eat then go to the show. Turns out the River Walk isn’t, just a marketing thing for places in vicinity of the river. But we didn’t find that out until the next day. Harrah’s had a dinner package to add to the show tickets (essentially $40 of food for $20) so we went to the Japanese Steak house in Harrah’s. It was good and we, as always enjoyed the show and the food.  We had some time before the show so we played some slots. Kelly did well and made some money while I lost a few bucks.

The show was good, the hypnotist was good natured and the show was not too mean. We also had topless dancing so I was happy.

Reno, Redux

Since the room was so reasonable we decided to spend another night in Reno.  We looked for another show and nearby casino had a Michael Jackson show (Man in the Mirror). While neither of us were big fans the show sounded like fun but it turned out to be dark that night.
We walked the various casinos (three are connected to Circus Circus). Two of them have interesting gimmicks. One has a mystery mansion where you slide your player card and choose a room, a short video ensues and your character  collect some trinket. The machine then dispenses a piece of paper with a prize, such as a free dessert with entrée.  I did get a 2 for 1 lobster and steak dinner that was pretty good.

Circus Circus had the best gambling deal. I signed up for their player card and was given $5 of slot cash. I spent it all on a dollar machine with a supposed 99% payoff. I won nothing, 0, zilch.  I got another $5 for giving them my email address and played the dollar machine again. I won nothing, 0, zilch.

They also let you buy a “win card” which had directions in how to play table games and, more importantly, $15 in chips for $10.  I found a $2 roulette table and proceeded to win nothing, 0, zilch. But I had fun.

Kelly is a writer, a mom, and a reading tutor for children with dyslexia. Plus, she is totally addicted to her iPad. Curse you, Steve Jobs.

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