Sunday, June 10, 2007

We're back!!

We made it back from Reno just fine at about 12:15 this morning. The plane ride was okay, and thanks to Dramamine and a powerful decongestant I managed to avoid a recurrence of my ear infection as well as motion sickness. I kept a daily journal of our vacation, and I'll be posting each day, along with pictures, in installments. So, without further ado, here's our vacation:

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007

I awoke early, almost fully recovered from the jet lag. We had breakfast in the unit, then headed out to the National Museum of Automobiles in Reno. It was very interesting; the very first cars from the early 1900s intrigued me the most. One thing that amazed me was the sheer size of some of the cars, especially from the 30’s. I can’t imagine driving one of those things in the days before power steering! The museum was very well put together and had many rare and one-of-a-kind autos.

A Winton Phaeton from 1899. It cost $1000, had one cylinder, and went an average of 15 mph. Yee-haw!

A 1908 Frayer-Miller. Cost: $2750. It got 18 miles per gallon.

This car was built in 1914 and was electric! It used 40 batteries and got 50-85 miles per charge. In 1900, one third of all cars in New York city were electric.

A beautiful hood ornament from a 1931 LaSalle.

The museum also had some family heirlooms, like this mother-of-the-bride outfit from 1908. Apparently in 1908 the bride wasn't the only one wearing white.

Close-up. I couldn't believe the handiwork.

I find this picture funny because Mike couldn't get himself all the way in the car.

After we finished with the museum it was time for lunch, so we stopped in the Great Basin Brewery. It was SO good! I had the fish and chips, and Mike had a sandwich with Italian sausage. I’m not usually much of a fried fish type of person, but I’m glad I tried it. They use fresh fish and a beer batter that is so good it doesn’t even need to be dipped. And the fries – oh the fries! They were garlic fries, with chunks of garlic right in with the potatoes. Totally worth breaking a diet for. Not that I’ve been keeping a diet since we’ve been in Reno J

After lunch we drove to the outskirts of Reno to the Animal Ark, a sanctuary for non-releasable wild animals. It was really neat.

The landscape around it was very southwestern, with sagebrush and very little green.

They had wolves, bears, cheetahs (one of which they brought out on a leash while we were there), and lots more. I really felt like they were respectful of the animals and their inherent wildness, and the animals were well kept.

The entire place tries to be eco-friendly, running on solar and wind power, and most of the workers were volunteers. The elevation was very high; Mike and I were huffing and puffing to get up the hills!

A cougar, aka puma, aka mountain lion, aka big kitty.

Some pretty flowers at the Animal Ark.

The directors of the Animal Ark live here. What a view.

After that we went back to the unit to put some chili on the stove for dinner and relaxed. It was nice to have a meal that I cooked myself, even though the food in Reno has been phenomenal so far. After dinner and a load of laundry we went to a bar called Chocolate Bar and had the best fondue ever. The atmosphere in the place was great. Then we went to the Atlantis Hotel and Casino and watched people blow money at the blackjack table. We also rode a glass elevator up to the 18th floor and got a great view of the city at night. On the way out Mike found a Star Wars penny slot and just HAD to play. I decided not to play, for two reasons:

1) I’m afraid if I gamble, even a little bit, it will release my dark side and next thing I know I’ve put up my car, house and firstborn as collateral.

2) The whole casino scene kind of repulses me. We walked through and most of the people at the slot machines were these little old ladies with a bucket of quarters who seem to be trying to medicate their dissatisfaction with their lives by playing video poker. I do NOT want to turn into one of the women!

Today was a great day. So far my favorite part of Reno has been the FOOD! They’re going to have to book me an extra seat on the plane on way home for all the weight I’m going to gain. Tomorrow we’re going to venture in Tahoe.

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