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Vegas Highlights Part II

Posted on December 22, 2011 by Holly Hayes
Part of: California and Vegas Road Trip

Greetings from Reno! Vegas was super fun, but it's nice to be moving on. After packing up and bidding a fond farewell to our lovely hotel room this morning, we drove to Aria, a neighboring hotel with a Wolfgang Puck cafe David found yesterday. He loves the coffee and oatmeal cookies, I love their pomegranate iced tea, and for breakfast I got a freshly made ham-egg-cheese bagel sandwich. YUM.

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Aria, by the way, was our favorite hotel as far as architecture and design goes. It's beautiful!

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Another place I particularly enjoyed was New York New York, one of several casinos I visited alone yesterday because David got a bad blister on his foot and couldn't walk very far. He was especially bummed to miss New York, because he remembered they had great food - he was right! Fun place, too. Like the Venetian, it's a weirdly sanitized, fakey version of the original, but an impressive undertaking - Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, streets with mini air conditioners in the windows, and a selection of the Manhattan skyline. And a roller coaster!

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After bypassing several appealing options, I had lunch at Greenberg's Deli and it was delicious. Reuben, potato salad, and New York cheesecake. Whoa. The reuben wasn't quite as good as Phil's Deli in the L.A. Farmer's Market, but very close. I sat in a little "alley" with the roller coaster rumbling overhead. Good times. I sent David a photo text - probably not very nice! :)

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And finally, one more place worth mentioning is the Luxor, which probably wins for most unique architecture! It has a giant Sphinx, which, in a slight departure from the one at Giza, functions as the valet parking area, and of course the famous black pyramid. David has been up in the rooms and says it's really weird to look down from them!

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**Road to Reno**

So, after breakfast this morning we got on the road for Reno. Boy, was that a long drive through the desert! But it went smoothly, and faster than I expected, and I actually enjoyed seeing Death Valley and all the desert landscape. It's certainly barren, but beautiful in its own way. I saw a coyote trotting through a dry river bed once, but otherwise there were no living things visible for miles and miles. We also passed through a few ghost towns and small towns, which were interesting. What a different life people must live in these extreme, isolated places!

David had marvelous endurance for the drive - he didn't accept my offers to take over, and we didn't stop much. Traffic was light (though the roads weren't as empty as David had remembered and hoped) and it took about 7 hours. Although the landscape looked hot and sunbaked, it was very cold - around 35 degrees and very windy. That's one reason we didn't stop much!

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We arrived in Reno around 5:30 PM and checked into a Homewood Suites, a chain which we discovered on our road trip to Minnesota and were thrilled to find here. It's great. We got a huge room with king bed and kitchen (the smallest room they have) for cheaper than any other room on this trip.

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And the place really is homey, as advertised. A nice girl, wonderfully calm and normal, checked us in quickly and easily. It smelled great in the lobby, and she informed us that a complimentary dinner was available in the dining room - a carnitas burrito bar. Awesome. There are lots of other conveniences, too - a little shop next to her desk has free stuff to borrow like paperbacks and DVDs, and stuff for sale like snacks, ice cream, milk, and frozen meals. The room itself has real dishes, a dishwasher, a full-sized fridge, free wi-fi, a comfy couch, big TV, and free microwave popcorn. It would be a great place for an extended stay.

We gave the free dinner a try, and it was great. It even included free beer and wine! We had the cozy dining room all to ourselves, and it was so nice to relax with a warm meal after our long drive. We then spent the rest of the evening watching TV, relaxing, making travel plans for tomorrow, and in my case working on this blog. Another reason it was nice not to have to go out for dinner is that it's cold here too - a low of 11 degrees tonight! Brrrr!

Neither of us care much about exploring Reno, so tomorrow morning we'll hit the road again and make our way towards home! It's about a ten-hour drive so we'll stop somewhere along the way, but not sure where yet. Maybe Klamath Falls, or maybe we'll get further than that. I'll try to post an update tomorrow night from wherever we end up.