Misadventures traveling

We were young, cheap, and had a ridiculous time in the biggest little city in the world.
My close friend and I were extremely cheap and he found an amazingly cheap travel deal for us to go to Reno. We would have preferred Vegas but we figured we could still have a lot of fun and visit Lake Tahoe as well. Taking the plunge, a few friends and I spent less than $100 each on round trip airfare and 3 nights in Reno.
Even the plane ride was a frightening and unforgettable event. It was something similar to a Beechcraft 1900. Having the capacity to carry 20-30 people, it was a jarring and bumpy ride. I spilled my ginger ale on my lap due to turbulence and one man seemed to be in the restroom the entire flight so held my bladder for longer than I would have liked.
We finally landed and had optimistic hopes for our vacation weekend. While checking in to our hotel, we asked about the shuttles to Lake Tahoe. She laughed and told us they were all broken down and due to inclement weather, weren’t expected to travel anytime soon.
Sighing with disdain, we grabbed our hotel keys and needed to set all of our stuff down. We knew they supposedly has a pretty amazing and beautiful indoor pool so that was something to look forward to. We doubled up on rooms and they were larger than expected, starting to see the silver lining. As an exclamation of joy and relief, we thought of jumping onto and plopping down onto the big bed. It instantly broke, we ended up having to switch rooms and finally got settled in a room with a functioning bed.
A couple of my friends who came were photographers so with cameras on hand, we perused around the hotel slowly heading to the pool. Stopping every few moments for a photo opp, we made it to the indoor pool. “Now be scared,” my friend said as we posed for photos. Little did he know how right he was.
Definitely at maximum capacity, it was overwhelmed with families and hardly any room for us to wade in. People were wearing clothes and others were hardly wearing anything. Out of our group, not everyone was on board for this expedition. We meandered around the pool, doing extensive people watching.
We crashed hard that night and we’re excited for a new day of adventures.
As we explored the huge hotel while smoking cigarettes(you can smoke indoors here?!), we stopped almost everywhere to take photos. Young, slightly naïve, and trusting. My one friend set her camera down to check out the slot machine crowd and when we turned around, her new and expensive camera was gone. Consoling her, we decided it was time to eat. As I reminisce on this trip, all I can really recall is eating at buffets. We would stay for over an hour at least to absolutely get our money’s worth though. Loading up on shrimp cocktail, random desserts, and appetizers, we stuffed our stomachs to the brim.
A smell of stale cigarettes and old perfume permeated the hotel and somehow the town as well.
The next and final day we ventured out to explore Reno. Not much to see to be honest other than the neon sign exclaiming, “The biggest little city in the world”!
It was snowing and I for one was unprepared, wearing sneakers and carefully watching my step. Filled to the brim with casinos and hotels, we looked for more to see but came up with nothing. It was freezing, we were too far from the hotel and a little hungry as well. A bright familiar steakhouse called to us and we strolled in. Shivering, broke, and hungry. Out of the few of us that we’re there, only one actually ordered a meal. We loaded up on free bread. Laughing and enjoying our independence, we warmed ourselves up in the poorly lit steakhouse. After the disappointed waitress left us our meager bill, we paid and headed back to the hotel.
Not sure what we were all expecting, but at least we spent a lot of time laughing and working on getting our amateur modeling careers off the ground thanks to one photographer.
I’ve never been back to Reno since, but maybe next time will be different? I should go check out Priceline.


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