Deciding that we couldn't endure another day of snow and cold and falling into ditches, my husband and I took a junket to - of all places - Reno, Nevada. Many people have wondered "why"? I guess we choose not to think that through, we just went. It was sort of my idea, I admit. But we got a super deal on the hotel, and they have a wonderful pool. That's the part we really enjoyed.
My husband told me that the hotel actually is leasing its land from Southern Pacific railroad, and sure enough, a railroad ran right next to the hotel. That was okay, because we liked the sound of the trains, and we were up on the 26th floor, so it wasn't that loud. But on the subject of sound, beside the rail yards was a car dumping and reclamation site with various piles of smashed cars; metals; cranes and smashers, basically everything that's a jinx to Feng Shui. Unfortunately each morning, probably as a way to get even with the hotel (who is very bad at paying their lease - my husband told me this too - who knew?) they smash a car into a flat pancake at first light of dawn. This sound is guaranteed to wake the dead, or at least gamblers with nasty hangovers! That was the down side of our trip. However we discovered that if we ran the fan connected to the heater/AC it's white noise drowned out any noise from the reclamation yard. (Ha Ha) Also, as is common now for hotels, we were in a completely hermetically sealed room. After all, we need to be protected from ourselves, don't we, just in case we lose everything gambling, jump out the window, and sue the hotel? Can't have that. Who'se protecting who? I wonder if it is possible to sue a hotel for very damaging Feng Shui? The windows could not even be opened a crack! But my husband told me that they pipe lots of fresh air into gambling places, as it enables people not to stray from their slot machines, which all had enticing names like, "Lone Wolf", "Harvest Moon" and "Larry's Lucky Lobster".
Actually, we were mostly safe from the enticements of the noisy and colorful slot-machines, as who really needs to waste money on such terrible odds? We had planned to try the blackjack, or 21 tables, but the minimum bet was five to five-hundred dollars. They MUST be kidding. So for about an hour I joined my hubby at a table with poker slots. These require a modicum of brain power, as decisions have to made as to which cards you'll stay with, or which cards to replace. I had a lucky machine, as, for only one tiny dollar bill, I was able to play for the whole hour! Either my decisions were right-on or so stupid the machine got totally confused. My hubby must have been annoyed, as he lost his dollar bet in about five minutes, and he is a far better poker player than I. I was able to stop playing, though, after losing my dollar. High rollers we are not!
Also, we were under the impression that gambling establishments have very reasonable food, read: cheap, all-you-can-eat fare. Not great but will stave off starvation. We were dismayed to find that this is no longer true. The restaurants in our hotel were ridiculously expensive! However, there was actually a Starbucks inside the hotel which saved the day, especially because the Reno tap water tastes like arsenic and made me very sick until I figured out not to drink the water. I've never tasted arsenic but I think ant poison is made from it, and I've smelled ant poison a few times. Our hotel was totally off the beaten track, so we could not even walk to a nearby dining establishment, except for a Mexican restaurant with prices the same as the hotels. I think that is called "price fixing." We were captive consumers, and I'm sure, from the hotels perspective, that is the best kind of guests to have.
Okay, they did feature "well" drinks, oh joy, which I have come to learn are drinks that one gets during "happy" hour at a special discount. I guess that's what makes them "well", since there is nothing well or very happy about alcohol in my book. But my husband was happy to get a beer or margarita for only one dollar. It's obvious that the more "well" drinks a person imbibes, the more gambling the guest will try and the more money the consumer will subsequently lose. Ah, ha, it's a "profit deal".
It was basically to my advantage that I suffered from intestinal volcano after my first day there, so I never got taken in with the "well" drinks come-on. My husband pointed out that I "always" get sick when I get to a new location and drink the water. I know about Montezuma's revenge, but is it really possible to get it when traveling to different states and even cities in the US? I didn't think so! Good thing I never became an airline stewardess, which was a childish dream of mine. I really used to love to travel, but I guess if one gets sick at each new port-of-call, traveling ceases to be worth it. I couldn't even drink the water on the last cruise we took. It's possible that they make the water unpotable so captive consumers will buy more sodas, bottled waters or alcohol. Kind of a scary thought. I went for tea, as boiling the water seemed to do the trick.
Anyway, our room and the pool were worth every penny. We asked for a corner room in the west tower, and though the decor needed a lot of updating, the room was HUGE and extremely clean. It had a fantastic view of city lights, and airplanes making their final approach to Reno International Airport. These airplanes passed right in front of our windows. We had a whole wall of windows too. As long as I could get scenes from 9/11 out of my mind, it was okay. We spent alot of time down at the pool, which was very clean and mostly deserted.
Whew! It was a nice getaway and we did enjoy ourselves, but really, it is good to be back home. My husband and I decided this was probably a place that wouldn't warrant a return visit.