Posted by: jsmcfadden | February 21, 2010

Reno. Bad and Good.

Arriving at our hotel and checking in, we were disappointed at the fact that we were placed in a smoking room.  I don’t remember seeing an option for smoking/nonsmoking back when the reservations were made. We were offered the choice to change to a nonsmoking room, but it would have a queen rather than a king-sized bed. We figured we could manage the smell. The room was nice, but nothing special. The view was of the weather units on the casino roof. Not inspiring. We figured it’d be OK.

Dinner was nice at one of the restaurants in the hotel, despite the dozen or so TVs, each pointing at a slightly different angle, and tuned to different sports stations.  Then we just walked around through the hotels — they seem to merge into one another and before you’re even aware, you’re out of your hotel and into another. Strange.

In the middle of the night, though, it was just too awful. John tried going for a walk outside, and that was a good change for him, but then an hour or so later he couldn’t breathe well. He tried breathing through a dampened washcloth for awhile, but it wasn’t helping enough. So he called the desk and they told us they could cleanse the air with an ionizer or something but we had to be out of the room. They would get us a new room tomorrow morning. So we got dressed & went downstairs to the coffee shop for orange juice. At 3:00 in the morning. Lots of people still playing in the casino, and several tables of laughing people having dinner? lunch? breakfast? in the coffee shop.

After an hour we went back up and the air was much better so we slept until morning. Packed up our belongings, went back to the front desk and they gave us another room. In another part of the hotel. Up higher. Nonsmoking.

With this view:   

After gazing out the window for quite a while, we went down to enjoy the breakfast buffet — comped by the front desk last night! Wasn’t that a nice bonus for us?

The day was so beautiful, we just wanted to be outside in it. So we got our cameras & went for a walk. It was just a few blocks down to RiverWalk, along the Truckee River. We remembered enjoying it a lot the last time we had visited Reno.

It was warm enough for just long-sleeved shirts and no wind at all.  We walked for a while, stopped to see what was playing at the movies, then decided it would be more fun to enjoy the lovely weather. We had fun taking pictures of the river and the people enjoying it.

This is looking one way from the walkway near the footbridge, and this is looking the other way.

Don’t know if the fisherman caught anything. He had hip waders on, and went confidently from the steps up toward the bridge in the background of the shot.

There were small groups of people on the steps most of the time we were there; some had their lunches, some just sat and looked at the water. Those brave barefoot girls put their feet in the water, but only for a little while!

See in the top right corner?

Someone’s getting her picture taken at this lovely spot.

Later on there were big discussions about other locations and I was intrigued by the big reflective circle thingie the photographer’s assistant had.

From the footbridge we watched two young women catching some sun, laying out on the rocks in their short-sleeved tshirts and jeans. We watched this couple eating and tossing bits of food to the ducks.

Down the other direction we saw more people playing among the rocks.

A girl waved & then leapt back onto the shore.

On the other side of the river was a stage and a group of kids were there. They had their music nice & loud and had their skateboards. One girl was giving another kid a haircut. They made it clear they didn’t want their picture taken.

OK.

It was a wonderful afternoon.

Had dinner at the same restaurant, and one of the best moments of the evening came when everyone gasped at the same time as Ohno made his run for the lead in his first heat of the Olympics. What a wonderful shared experience!

We had to get up early to catch our train back home, so it wasn’t a late night for us on Saturday. Pictures of the Nevada leg of the trip and down the mountain will come next.

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