Saturday, October 23, 2004
Reno: Day One
As I mentioned earlier we didn't get to bed until after 2 am central time. As a result, we slept until 9:30 am. Reno time this translated as 7:30 am so we were still up well before most folks in the hotel. This didn't help the water temperature of the shower any. Even turned to the hottest setting the water was still quite cool. It sure didn't make you want to linger.
After showering we decided to hit the Chef's Buffet for breakfast. We figured we'd eat a big breakfast and then not eat again until close to dinner. The buffet was okay. They had a lot of fruit as well. Although the canned peaches, pineapple and pears didn't really qualify as fresh fruit for me.
Stuffed full of breakfast we went for a little walk down Virginia Street. First we stopped in the Reno Souvenir Station. I wasn't intending on buying souvenirs this early but I did want to check out the postcards so I could send a few right off the bat. I was hoping they'd make it to Oklahoma before we did.
While there I found three sheep things. Didn't buy 'em though. I may pick up one. It's a puppet that actually baa's. I also purchased post cards, some betting chips for Duncan, a shot glass for Gayle and a thimble for Mike's grandmother.
After that we made our way to Virginia Street, Reno's main drag. The city is currently in the process of digging a big trench to make a tunnel for the train that runs through the middle of town. This will allow for a freer flow of traffic since everything won't have to be disrupted when the train makes its way through Reno. This means there's a big mess right in front of the glitzy neon sign that proclaims Reno to be the "Biggest Little City in the World".
To bypass the construction, we went through an overhead tunnel that leads directly into Fitzgerald's Casino. I never thought we were going to find out way out of that place. The casinos construct their slot machine areas to be worse than a rat's maze. And let me tell you, I pity the people who are caught in a Casino fire. It's next to impossible to find Exit signs.
Finally we made it to the street, right on the main drag. Casino entrances were everywhere. There were also a ton of souvenir shops and pawn shops. Throw in a sprinkling of antique shops and wedding chapels and you have the main casino-infested part of Virginia street.
We were looking for Pirate Tattoo. Unfortunately we didn't bring the address with us so we weren't even sure we were headed in the right direction. We weren't in any rush though so we just walked and looked at the sights. We passed over the Truckee River, which runs right through Reno. I mailed my postcards at this lovely, huge art deco inspired post office. Mike got a coffee at a trendy coffee shop. We walked more and decided it might be a good time to head back to the hotel and actually get the Pirate Tatto address.
On the way back, however, we passed a movie theater. I looked at Mike and said we should see what was showing. After all, we had all day and didn't have to worry about finding someone to watch the kids. We could even see an R rated flick if we wanted to. So we checked and Shaun of the Dead, a tongue-in-cheek horror flick from the UK about zombies. It was a hoot.
After the movie we headed back to the hotel. I sat down and attempted to upload photos from my digital camera to Ofoto. the Srint PCS card didn't like uploading those big files so Mike took his laptop downstairs to the El Dorado convention center to see if he could tap into some wireless hotspots. He was successful but he also had to pay the Hotel's fee for using it. He paid for the week so now we'll have no problems uploading the photos. The Sprint card is still great for accessing the internet from the hotel room.
Messing with that took far too long and by the time we were done with it I was really hungry. We decided to make the trek to Pirate Tattoo (now that we had the address) and look for some place to eat along the way. We walked. And we walked. And then we walked some more. Finally, we made it to Pirate Tattoo. By this time the sun was going down but we did our business there and headed back. We didn't find much in the way of restaurants on the way so we just decided to do the Chef's Buffet again. I was plenty hungry by this time and just wanted to eat and be done with it.
Sadly, the Chef's Buffet seems to think meat is all five of the basic food groups. If you wanted veggies you had to eat salad. That was disheartening but I was so hungry I didn't much care. By the time we finished the line outside the Chef's Buffet was long. It was around 9 pm Oklahoma time (7 Reno time) and we were pooped from our day of walking. So up to the room it was and time to put captions on the photos I uploaded to Ofoto. Mike went downstairs to upload a few more shots I took of the buildings all lit up like Christmas trees.
posted by Tamara - 9:54 PM -- Link to this entry
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