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Unchained in Reno....

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Does this LilyJDragonfly broad write too long of a trip report?
Not at all - she's charming and should probably run for public office.
 53%  [ 7 ]
Totally too long - who cares?
 0%  [ 0 ]
What schumck authorized her board membership?
 7%  [ 1 ]
What's a trip report?
 0%  [ 0 ]
If it keeps her spending all her rent money in Reno, then write on!
 38%  [ 5 ]
Total Votes : 13

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Joined: 03 Mar 2009
Posts: 422

PostPosted: Dec Sat 25, 2010 9:05 pm    Post subject: Unchained in Reno.... Reply with quote

Our big plan was three nights in Reno at Harrah's or maybe two at Harrah's and one at Harvey's. We opted for three at Harrah's.

Bad bad bad weather was predicted for our drive from Northern Cal over Donner Pass into Reno so we prepared and bought TWO sets of chains for the car, practiced putting them on, and loaded up to head over the mountain.

We stopped in Grass Valley en route to pick up some fine port from Sierra Starr Winery and a bottle of ice wine. I'd forgotten to pack socks and we considered stopping at a store there to purchase socks, but decided we'd best get on the road before the weather took a turn for the worse.

So we drove up the highway and for the first time in my entire life, I saw big snow. The trees were flocked with snow. The road was cleared, but the sides had PILES of snow. Then it started snowing as we drove up towards Donner Pass. Here's a picture:

Then we got to the Nevada state line and the skies started to clear and within minutes, we were snared in traffic in Reno.... a quick stop at the Target for socks and then on to Harrah's!

Checkin was painless and we got the same room (#1232 - West Tower) as at least one previous trip and possibly two. The desk reported that the East tower was closed... hrm.. maybe renovations in progress? Or just not enough reservations to justify having it open? I didn't think to inquire further.

Bellhop took the bags to the room and we headed out the door to go swipe our cards at Eldo & SL. The Dog got immediately involved in a poker tourney at Eldo (didn't place, but he had fun) and I hit the slots, as usual.

And as usual, bad idea for the slots. I promptly lost in every machine I played at Eldo & SL. I was tired and figured I'd just head off to see if anything caught my attention in the gift shops (nothing did) and then I hit my favorite Davinci Diamonds machine at Harrah's and pretty much made up for my losses from Eldo & SL. Whew.

Harrah's now only opens the buffet for dinner Mon - Thu so we needed breakfast from somewhere as Cafe Napa at Harrah's is simply awful (see previous trip reports for details). We decided to go try out Peg's Glorified.

Simply put - delightful. Good coffee, easy parking, PLATELOADS of food. The Dog got the huervos rancheros and I had the Salmon Benedict. We rolled out stuffed. A bit pricey at $30 for the two of us, but it was damn tasty. En route to Peg's, I spotted a poster at a "theatre" for The Buttcracker Revival and I was thrilled to think that there was an old-school XXX theatre right in downtown Reno and planned to go shoot the place later that day.

Back to Harrah's and played here and there and at Eldo/SL, too. The Dog and I both scored comped buffets for dinner, thanks to the 100-point promo. I decided to go shoot a bit and investigate the Buttcracker theatre thing. Unfortunately, it was simply a campy version of the Nutcracker without anything X. <sigh> I did also discover the downtown ice skating rink! Who knew? Here's a picture of the Zamboni:

We played the $10 poker tourney at Cal-Neva - no money, but cheap fun for $10. We also got in the on the slot tourney - that was a mind-numbing ten minutes of banging the machines for nothing.

Here's a pic from our hotel window of the sunset:

And we had comped tickets to see the Shanghai Acrobats that night, so after dinner we went to the show. Oh my. No cameras were allowed so I don't have any pictures for you, but here are a few highlights: A Chinese Clown spinning a basketball, Tabletop Rollerskating, girls wiggling in and out of tubes, and "juggling tomfoolery" - my mouth was half-open the entire show. I still don't know what to think of all of it.

From all the zaniness, we headed down the street to Shooters. It was festively decorated. Angela was our bartender. She is charming and smart. If I lived in Reno, I'd totally go have lunch with her. We started the night out with "her" drink called the Once Blue. Tasty, but very sugary. We moved on to beers and Crown Royal, due to having met the local Crown Royal rep there drinking at the bar. Shooters now offers a HipHop open mic on Tuesdays (this was Wednesday now), leopard seating, and a pool table with zebra bumpers. Also, there are what appear to be bullet holes in the ceiling. We loved it! We stayed way past closing and finally made it to the room around 4am. Another also - Shooters offers password protected free WiFi access - just ask at the bar for the code. The pole on the bar has disappeared, but there are hula hoops. Oowee!

So sometime on Thursday we woke up. We got the car and headed to Scheel's in Sparks - wow. It's got a Ferris Wheel, a collection of lifesize wax presidents, taxidermy, guns, darts, skis, shoes, fudge, and more. It's worth the trip to cruise around and check it out. We got these cool spinning darts called Spinning Bees plus lots of dog toys.

From there, we went to JA Nugget to swipe our cards. Nada on the swipe and off to Atlantis to play that cool All Deals, No Reels machine. The Dog also somehow got $20 in free play on his card so we spent that in these amazing Star Wars Droid Hunt machines. Fun, but we walked out down even further for the trip. Eh la.

So back to Harrah's for some more play and then off for a nap in the room. We were close to tapped out for the trip. We decided to go swipe the cards at Eldo & SL and then The Dog wanted to play Pai Gow at SL. So we sat down and started to play. Pai Gow is fun and easy to play, but using that Fortune bet and the progressive bet will eat your stack quick if you're on a bad streak. We took out a marker at the table.

We played for another hour or so and then decided to get the buffet comps we had at Harrah's for dinner. After dinner, it was time for bed.

Friday morning (Christmas Eve!), we packed up the bags and checked out of Harrah's. We still had some of the marker left from the night before so we went back to SL to play some more Pai Gow. Before hitting the tables, we tried out the Eldo buffet - wow! 9.99/regular... 6.99 for Gold and up members and simply delicious. Low lighting, no offensive music, and a wide variety of stuff, including this tasty strawberry freeze drink stuff. yum. Alison - they had six "mix-ins" for the omelet station...

So we sat down to play some PG. The stack was quickly disappearing and I was down to $1 chips. I had one last $5 chip for a bet and borrowed a $5 chip from The Dog for the Fortune Envy bet and put my $1 on the progressive and reached over and put a $1 on The Dog's progressive button. He gave me the squirrely eye for the $1 bet on his hand (he doesn't make the progressive bet usually). The Dog had $15 on the regular bet, $5 on the Fortune. The cards were dealt. And then there it was.

The Royal. In The Dog's hand.

Yup. For real. The regular $15 bet netted him all of $14.25. However, that Fortune bet was worth $750 and $500 from the $1 progressive. I scored $50 from the Envy bet and all was right again.

Please note my additional 80-cent contribution from the slots at ElDo.

We colored up and went to lunch right away at Fairchild's - pan roasts!! We really needed to get going as it was almost one by now. We went to the cage to pay off the marker and then The Dog says, "Well, I guess we could head back to Marysville with all this money or maybe they'll comp us a room tonight." In spite of being "full", they found us a room on the 25th floor right away and we had our bags taken out of the car and sent to the room.

Did you know that SL has supersonic elevators? They do. From the lobby to the 25th floor in approximately 22 seconds. No lie. We timed it at least four times. Crazy fast. Also, they have a lovely woman who hands out champagne in the lobby to guests.

However, SL does not provide ice tongs for the ice buckets. Harrah's does. The beds at Harrah's are better. SL has flat screens with better channels. All things considered, they're about the same.

Anyway, we spent the evening playing Keno, more PG, and slots and then eating Awful Awfuls. I think they've stepped up their game for the AA since the TV appearance as the burgers seemed juicier and more messy. Here's also what was happening at The Nugget - they were making a Christmas tree. Out of a Styrofoam cup, lettuce, toothpicks, and onions. God bless them.

This morning (Christmas!), we woke up, played more PG, lost $$$ in the slots, and then had lunch at Brew Brothers. The grilled cheese cheese burger with bacon. Another sumptuous and tasty treat.

It was now almost 1:30 and really time to head home. We got our car and bags and stopped at the crazy Walgreens over the Interstate before we eased out. Walgreens was PACKED. We had to circle to find a parking space. Anyway, after that, we got on the road. It was sunny and beautiful and a great trip... for once, we went home with a few bucks... still down overall, but what fun!!

p/s -- after we crossed into California, the skies grew dark and then it started to rain. It rained all the way to our house. It is still raining. We debated turning around and heading back to Reno, but figured the dogs would be upset and probably eat the couch if we were gone any longer. Maybe next week!!

p/p/s -- I have one more adventure bit I want to post but I have to get clearance to post the pic....
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PostPosted: Dec Sat 25, 2010 9:47 pm    Post subject: Other comments and observations Reply with quote

So this stuff was noted by me, but not in the Official Trip Report above.

The Eldo uses a really awful air freshener. It always smells like a gas station restroom that has one of the automatic air fresheners. It's casino-wide. I think it makes my throat close up a bit.

However, The Nugget on Va. St. smells totally like strawberry shortcake, but not in an overwhelming chemical sense. It's kinda like someone actually made strawberry shortcake from scratch...

While I was hanging at SL in the Keno area, someone took their kids up to the Keno desk. The Oriental woman who ran the Keno said in an angry voice, "No kids on carpet! Get kids off carpet!" and she pointed to the walkway. I like the idea of no kids on carpet. In fact, I may start shouting that here at my house.

Speaking of kids, what the hell? There were TONS of them EVERYWHERE in the casinos. Don't these people have relatives they can leave the kids with?

The windows of the Fitz were painted over totally, but there was a tiny little crack at the edge and I could see lights on inside.

The Golden Phoenix has five or six lit video poker machines, but then a false wall behind them. Please to God, someone light up that beautiful neon again soon!!

Cal-Neva has matches, but no logo.

Reno does not have a Reno calendar. Maybe I should make one.

Is Harrah's kidding with their holiday decorations??? I mean, these people are professionals when it comes to lights and flashing things and decorations; right? Here's what they pulled out of the basement for Christmas:

And I didn't even bother to snap pics of the six crappy WalMart "reindeer" - you know, those wire frames wrapped with white lights... one half of one of the reindeer wasn't even lit up. And they thought this would be festive in front of the casino???? Depressing is more like it. Why try?

SL still has that Poker Pro stuff... they are now offering nightly?? bounty tournaments - $10 cash bounty! The Dog cruised over to see the start of the Friday night tourney. The eight (yes, EIGHT) players seemed confused but excited and exactly the kind of people he'd like to play against. We opted for AA burgers instead because of the Poker Pro. They've switched to a female announcer for the tourneys/poker play to perhaps lure unsuspecting visitors to that dreadful excuse of a poker room that they probably spent six figures on.

Speaking of poker, Cal-Neva moved its poker room from the left of the Va St entrance to the right side. More room now. This was completed Wednesday night. If you play there, make sure to get a seat cushion. They've also said they might get a wall for the poker room.

A huge amount of people were at the casinos Christmas morning and by the time we headed out at 2pm, it was like a Friday night in July in there.... busy!!

If you're thinking about visiting Reno, it's rocking! It's fun gambling, interesting people watching, and decent food at not unreasonable prices... save for breakfast - what's up with $8.95 for two eggs, bacon, toast, and hashbrowns????? That seems to be the price point most everywhere, including The Nugget...
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PostPosted: Dec Sun 26, 2010 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No trip report is too long (and I as the king of long trip reports should know!)

Thanks for looking for the calendar. That souviner store across from the Eldorado always has them in May for $1. It makes me wonder who has them now, so that the have the souviner store liquidate them later. I was able to buy two different Las Vegas calendars on Ebay, each for under $7, so it should tide me over until I get back to Reno in May.

Right under the Harrah's walkway in your photo, I can see the National Bowling Stadium. Sigh. I want(ed) to be there.

Last night after all the company left, my wife went down to the local Indian casino (while I stopped in at the hospital and visited my son, whose Christmas gift from God was an appendectomy on Christmas Day) and also reported how packed it was. I understand about entertainment destination options and discretionary income, but it still amazes me that THAT many poeple end Christmas evening at a casino. Lily is one thing (the end of a vacation that ended at home on Christmas) but I've seen the clientele at Potawatomi in Milwaukee, and nobody was making a vacation out of that.

I've rambled on long enough. Good post Lily, great hit on the Dog's royal flush, and thanks again for scoping out a calendar.
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Site Admin

Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Posts: 1163

PostPosted: Dec Sun 26, 2010 9:34 am    Post subject: It can never be too long... Reply with quote

Thanks for another informative and entertaining trip report. It almost makes me want to try out that Pai Gow thingie.

As a side note, head on over to NevadaMax for free Reno calendar desktops or you can buy a printed one in his store.
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PostPosted: Dec Sun 26, 2010 1:27 pm    Post subject: what chains? Reply with quote

great tr, lily, thanks for taking the time. enjoyed all the detail.

No chains, nor snow for me.
I tripped thru Reno briefly but arrrived late, had snow, cancelled all resvs and headed south in early a.m.
No chance for mini-board meeting, nor phone calls.

My email said I had new message here but it doesn't show up.
So, if John wrote me, I can't find it and you know where I am.

I am on liibrary computer and it's slower than dried molasses. So this is all you get from me.
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PostPosted: Dec Sun 26, 2010 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was me, Hawk, asking if I would get booted for posting a pic of a boudoir painting that has a story behind it from Reno.... can I post??
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PostPosted: Dec Mon 27, 2010 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great TR. Thanks for posting and congrats on the win (or is that the not losing so much).

I try to avoid the side bets most of the time, but I was lucky enough once to have one up when I get a straight flush in 3 card poker. Also saw a guy at Peppermill last week get 3 queens with $50 on the bonus in 3 card poker. Payoff was 30:1 so he raked in $1500 - then kept playing so I don't know what he ended up with.
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BC Dave

Joined: 18 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Dec Tue 28, 2010 12:59 am    Post subject: Great report Lily! Reply with quote

I'm glad you survived (and even enjoyed) Shooters. I guess John's dreg buddies only mug non board members.
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Site Admin

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PostPosted: Dec Tue 28, 2010 6:58 am    Post subject: More dregs? Reply with quote

Dave, we'll mug anybody. It's just that we can't be at Shooters all the time.

Lily, go ahead and post your boudoir painting. believes in promoting the arts.
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PostPosted: Dec Tue 28, 2010 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While in Reno, we like to scope out the local pawnshops. There is one right across from the Silver Legacy called Premier Jewelry & Loan. Within this rather austere establishment was a painting behind the counter. Reputedly, its provenance was from long-demised Mapes Casino. Anyone on this board able to confirm or deny this??

What is significant about this piece of art/Americana/Renoism is the absolute likeness of the model - particularly the eye... you know, the window of the soul....

For your viewing pleasure, I have enlarged the area of the "cockeye":

If you are inclined to want to purchase this fine piece of art (an original oil, you know), it can be had for $995... though they did indicate the price was negotiable.....
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PostPosted: Dec Thu 30, 2010 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice report. Don't you love those last minute wins in a casino? I am also glad to hear you made it to Shooters. Welcome to the Shooters survival club.

I am a little confused about the painting. Is that a portrait of you on your trip to the Mapes when you were 18? Eyes? I better take another look.
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PostPosted: Jan Mon 03, 2011 10:14 am    Post subject: Say it loud, I'm in Reno, and I'm proud! Reply with quote

Thanks for the feast of a trip report; you've put the rest of us to shame, once again.

That business of the super-duper-payoff hand at the Pai Gow from your last-legs bet is a classic! Talk about feeding the wells of casino lore...

I've long been a fan of those elevators at Silver Legacy; they are indeed Supersonic - trouble is, the nature of that four-way building means you're always getting a half-view vista - once you've been treated to a full-on panoramic facing Virginia Street from the El Dorado, you don't really want to go back. And I'm glad they still serve champagne at the check-in wait, but on the other hand, cheap champagne is always cheap champagne.

And those acrobats are always, always good - it's nice that they come to Reno; I've seen them in China, and they're even better over there.

Thanks, as always, for your highly-detailed recall of events; you're an inspiration to us all!
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PostPosted: Jan Tue 04, 2011 1:17 pm    Post subject: Ah, yes, THAT bar... Reply with quote

If I am not mistaaken, the lady in that picture is alive and well in Laughlin. In fact, she served me a Rusty Nail in the noted Cleavage Bar in Laughlin this week. Eat your hearts out, Terry and Chris.
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