On May 12, 2015, twenty-one Mature Friends set off for a three-day gambling trip in Reno, Nevada. As she’s done every year since the extinction of the dinosaurs, Marlyce plans a short junket for those who have the gambling fever as well as for those of us who just want to get away for a change of scenery. Our Horizon Air flight took off at about 3:30 p.m. for the brief 90-minute flight to Reno.
Horizon’s Q400 Turbo Prop
Upon checking in to the El Dorado Hotel and Casino, we met downstairs in the Roxy bar for cocktail hour. We took over three tall tables and immediately started crunching on the free pretzels. As we finished one bowl, someone in our group (who shall remain nameless) would snatch a fresh bowl off an unoccupied table. Martinis at cocktail-hour prices attracted the most attention. And from what the martini drinkers told me, the amount of gin impressed even the hard core among us.
Marlyce, Who Organized the Trip, Surrounded by Fans
In fact, every night of our three-night stay we met in the Roxy bar for cocktail hour, before deciding what to do for dinner.
Oh, No! Not ANOTHER Martini!
After the first night of cocktail hour in the bar, some of us adjourned one level down for a fine dinner in the Roxy Bistro. Check out the menu on the link to their web site to see the variety of dinners this establishment offers. After dinner, some of us called it a night, while others hit the slot machines, poker tables, or followed the brave ones to the black jack tables.
The next day, after savoring an extensive breakfast buffet, which was included in our package deal, some of us took off to visit the National Automobile Museum in downtown Reno.
Entrance to the National Automotive Museum
The Tucker, with Middle Headlight That Turns in Sync with the Steering Wheel
The museum laid out in several different room contains over 200 restored vintage cars with authentic street scenes. The cars come from William Fisk Harrah, who collected vintage cars and restored them over several years.
One of Our Group Poses with a Vintage Roadster
Tap Dancing ShowThat night, we went to the show in the El Dorado called TAP FACTORY! Not a fan of tap dancing, I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy it. However, the performers put on an impressive show and kept the energy and interest up for the whole 90 minutes.
The show began strangely, with a guy sweeping up in the aisles and between rows, where the audience was seated. At first, nobody knew he was part of the show, but the longer he performed, the clearer his role became. Although a clever way to start, the guy became a bit obnoxious by reprising his opening role far too many times throughout the performance. Yes, we got it. Enough is enough! But to his credit, he did partake in the dancing, rhythms, and acrobatics, showing that he also was an accomplished dancer, gymnast, and drummer.
Piquing our interest even further, the main show opened with the cast beating out a toe-tapping rhythm on oil drums. From time to time throughout the show, the cast beat out different rhythms, all catchy and uplifting. Added to the rhythms of the drums and tap dancing, the talented cast performed some amazing acrobatics. And believe me, they all had Greek classic, beautifully sculptured bodies. However, we did try to ignore their bodies and focus on the talent. To varying degrees of success.
To sum up, TAP FACTORY consisted of 90 minutes of spectacular, exhilarating displays of talent, anything but boring. I’d go again, in fact.
Nevada Museum of ArtThe next day, some of us took in the art museum. The museum is located a healthy walk away from the El Dorado, so walking the distanced helped in digesting another sumptuous breakfast buffet and in burning off excess calories.
A series of paintings done in landscape format truly captured the essence of crystal clear water surrounding islands. Unfortunately, one floor was closed because we came to Reno in between shows. Nevertheless, we had a good time wandering around, taking in what fascinating art that the museum offered.
As we left the museum, a taxi pulled up and disgorged another group of Mature Friends to take in the art.
Truckee River WalkOn the final day in Reno, we decided to take in the river walk. Although the weather threatened rain, we walked down to the Truckee River and enjoyed exploring the walk along the river’s edge.
On the other side of the river, we found a series of trendy restaurants with intriguing menus. Because our breakfast buffet was wearing off, we chose a nice-looking bar and grill, sat down, ordered a drink and some food. As we were finishing, another group or two of Mature Friends wandered into the same restaurant. Although they asked us to join them for a drink, we decided to walk off our lunch to do some more exploring of downtown Reno.
Dean Poses Outside of Our Restaurant after Lunch
But pay no attention to that man in the picture. Instead, direct your gaze to the detail in the sidewalk, gazebos, and chain fences. Truly beautiful, a lot of thought and expense went into designing this pleasant walkway.
As we were doddering around, it started to rain. So, we ducked into Starbucks on South Virginia Street to relax over some warm coffee until the rain stopped, which it conveniently did. Since the weather turned pleasant we decided to walk off lunch by strolling up to the University of Nevada, Reno campus. The beautiful campus appeared to have grown quite a bit since the last time. Although we enjoyed walking around the lake on the main campus, we avoided the bridge across it because the flocks of geese had laid down a none-too-appealing carpet of droppings.
On the way back, we hit a convenient Walgreens to buy snacks and pop and beer for after dinner drinks in our hotel room. Back at the room, we had time to put up our feet and relax for a while before it was time once last time to meet at — guess where!
Marlyce and Friends Enjoying One Last Fling in the Roxy Bar on the Last Night of the Trip
For dinner that last night, some of us wanted to try La Strada, the Italian restaurant in the El Dorado. Unfortunately, the place was closed for some odd reason. So, we all scattered to find alternatives. Two of us returned to the Roxy Bistro and ate a delicious dinner together for our last night in Reno. Everybody else found other restaurants in the hotel or nearby.
What About Gambling?I’m pleased to relate that gambling did go on, but no establishment got shut down (as in the movie Casablanca). I didn’t take gambling pictures because I was afraid my dissected body parts would end up six feet under in the desert somewhere. Although not completely smoke free, the El Dorado allowed smoking on one floor only. It escapes me how the others in the nonsmoking section could gamble without puffing on a smoke of some kind or other. Maybe the roving cocktail waitresses made up for the smoking with their complimentary libations.
In any event, I watched one of our members play a penny slot machine. He stuck in a dollar, betting nine cents. And on the first pull, the bells sounded as the change kept dropping into the tray! He had won a jackpot of four dollars and ten cents. Resisting the usual temptation to plug his earnings back in, he made his way to the cashiers' cage.
“I can’t believe it,” I exclaimed. “You aced it on the first pull! Amazing!”
The cashier carefully counted out the windfall. Seeing a broad grin spreading joy across his face, I suggested that maybe the teller should call security to escort our high roller safely to his room.
As for the other Mature Friends, a few came out ahead, but most managed to lose the money they’d slated for this trip, some up to $500! But I won't name names.
Where in 2016?And so where will Marlyce take the gamblers in 2016? Ever heard of Wendover, Nevada? That's where we will be going in the spring of 2016. So join Mature Friends and come along! We always have a great time, even those who don’t gamble can find places to visit, shows to see, and museums to wander through.
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