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Jun. 15th, 2008

I'm home from Reno and I still have my shirt. Well, at least most of it - I came back with about half of what I went up to gamble with.

Started out Friday with a trip to the cult gym. Picked up trektone around 9:45 and we went to Daimo for dim sum brunch. Siu mai, fish and mushroom jook, turnip cake, shanghai style dumpling, some kind of rice donut that Joey likes, another kind of bok choi and bit of this and that.

Stopped at Ikeda's for a break and some shopping - got some of their ginger soy vinegrette that I like a lot! Got to Reno around 3ish and were able to check in immediately at El Dorado. Picked up some new "frequent gambler cards" (they track your play and use it to get comp stuff) at El Dorado, Harrah's, and Silver Legacy. We parted ways and decided to meet at 6pm for dinner. Ka-CHING!!! El Dorado's machines did not like me. Neither did Harrah's. Silver Legacy finally decided to be nice - hit 4 Aces on a bonus poker machine for 400 coins.

I guess I haven't been up to Reno in a while - NONE of the machines took coins. Only dollar bills and cash out tickets. I had $35 in quarters which I finally cashed in (at least the cashiers still had coin counters). The other difference is the proliferation of penny machines! I only saw one bank of nickel machines and no dime machines at all.

We had dinner at a Basque restaurant which served everything family style. A peppery bean soup for starters, followed by an ice berg lettuce salad with a vinegar/oil dressing and a pot of beans. You had a choice of entrees - pork chop, breaded pork loin, steak, or a lamb chop. You also had a choice of paella or lamb stew. Plus lots of french fries (which made Joey very happy). I had the paella and the breaded pork loin (bland - but the green tabasco sauce helped a lot) and Joey had the paella and the lamb chop (very tasty). Dinner also came with a bottle of red wine and finished with a dish of vanilla ice cream. Waddle, waddle, waddle. All for $19. I think I would have been happy with the very tasty soup and salad. =)

Gamble, gamble, gamble.

Saturday, we yakked in the room until 10:30? Then we had brunch at the cafe in Silver Legacy. Quick trip out to Sparks to a favorite used book store of Joey's. Bought a few books. As we were leaving the owner mentioned that he'd gotten a shipment of 3 boxes of mostly science fiction/fantasy books. He then said we could go through them if we wanted to and... Another 30 minutes, another $20 of books.

More gambling - there had been talk of going to the movies but we gambled instead - we had 7pm dinner reservation at Roxy's - belated celebrating Joey's birthday.

Very yummy dinner, starting with bacon cheese bread. I'd gotten the tempura soft shell crab for starters and the paella for the main course. My paella was supposed to have a lobster tail on top, but Joey got them to switch to a king crab leg instead. Me and my hives. Joey had the fois gras and the duck. Joey picked out a red wine flight for dinner - one of which was a cab blend, but I don't remember the other two. There was a riesling with the fois gras and a merlot(?) too. Dessert was an apricot souffle plus a mini ice cream sundae with a lit candle in honor of Joey's birthday. I like the crust part of the souffle, not crazy about the innards.

I spent about an hour playing a penny machine called Davinci's Diamonds. It took me about half the time to figure out the pay outs. 20 lines at two cents a line. I only made it to the bonus screen once.

I played another penny machine called Super Happy Cat. It had a Maneki neko (good luck cat) and if at least three of them lined up in the first three rows, something happened. I did something right and the cats lined up and started dancing and running in place on the screen. Then a spin of the reel and more cats were running and more... Whatever I hit netted me 2,780 coins or $27.80 for less than a 20 cent bet. Oy. My eyes! Happy, playful, kawai kitties!!! I gave up after that and went to bed.

Sunday, stayed in bed until 10:30 or so. Got up, showered and packed. Joey had gone out to gamble by that time. Took some stuff out to the car. Read for a bit. Joey came back, we checked out of the hotel and dropped off the rest of the stuff at the car. Brunch at Tivoli Garden. I so did not want eggs, so I got roast duck noodle soup. Big bowl - I even gave some to Joey and there was still some left.

Deposited another $40 in the machines and then left around 1:30. Stopped at the Nut Tree (now a little theme park and a bunch of stores which looked very much like the shopping mall near Balticon). Tried out the Fenton's there - I think the black and tan passed Joey's standards =) - though the first one that came to the table was served in a bowl and not a parfait glass. Turned out that somebody had specifically ordered one in a bowl and as Joey had been busy taking pictures of it and not eating it, it was switched out for the correct style one. I just had a scoop of cherry vanilla ice cream with sliced bananas.




Walked in the door and got there in time to answer the phone. Cousin Anne was calling to pass on the news that her husband's mother had passed away Saturday. She'd been in the hospital the past week and had just gone home on Thursday. The last few years, I'd only seen Grace at Christmas dinner. She leaves behind her son Craig, daughter in law Anne, daughter, Lynn, grandchildren Dave and Holly and Luke and many nieces and nephews. She had lived most of her life in Michigan - she'd been living in the Bay Area only the last 5 years or so?

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