We knew Reno had to be quick since we had an eight hour drive from Salt Lake City. No biggie, since Reno wasn’t so much a huge priority on our list as it was a good breaking point between Salt Lake and California. Since we can’t make it to Vegas on this trip though, Reno was a nice tease.
We had a gorgeous day for driving, but not really any time to stop, so we drove straight through. This destination was also different because it was the first time during our road trip that we weren’t couch surfing. I had a free night at a Marriott I needed to use before the end of the month (thanks to my Marriott credit card sign-up this Fall) so we decided Reno was as good a place as any. It’s always tough to couch surf when you have very little time to spend in a city and therefore to spend with your host.
Elliott was thrilled to see an In-N-Out Burger as we drove into town (as well as a gas station after once *again* pushing our tank to the limit… why do we *do* that??). In-N-Out is a West Coast fast-food chain that Elliott grew up with in California with morals and high standards – all the food comes from their farms and is fresh each day – which is why you’ll probably never find the chain expanding far off the west coast. It’s really pretty awesome to be able to get fast-food these days that is not frozen beforehand, not to mention chemically, genetically, and hormonally modified!
We figured we had to gamble in Reno even though we both felt like staying in and cuddling in our cozy hotel room. We headed to The Peppermill Casino, where Elliott redeemed himself by winning at the blackjack table – this time $37.50 in 15 minutes! The place was fun with statues and fountains on the outside but Reno is no Vegas. The casinos are very spread out and there was no strip that we could find. The thick smoke in the place also reminded us how lucky we are that Atlantic City and Philadelphia have gone smoke-free!
The next morning we enjoyed a wonderful, filling breakfast buffet at the Marriott before we left. This was quite a treat, with Belgian waffles, cooked eggs, gourmet muffins, etc. After filling up and making a doggie bag to go we took a detour up and then down the mountains to Lake Tahoe. Another tease! How we would have liked to stay there for a week. The scenery driving in was amazing, with snow-covered mountain peaks and views of the lake through the pine trees. Once at the bottom, where the weather was actually quite temperate, we stopped at a public park so we could walk out to the water’s edge, put our hands in the cool water, and admire the beauty everywhere. The sky was doing some crazy things with cloud patterns and designs. We had some fun skipping stones and watching the water make playful patterns with dark and light sand grains on the shoreline before heading back out of Lake Tahoe and onto our next destination.