The reason why I boarded a Greyhound bus from Vallejo to Reno was so I could attend the wedding of my Uncle, the baby brother of my mom.
This Uncle was someone who stayed with us for a while so I’m quite close to him when I was a kid, before he moved to the US. He loves telling the story of how my cousins and I would kiss his armpits for 20 pesos. I neither confirm nor deny this story. He was forever the rascal, the ladies’ man… until he met his bride, Auntie Honey. They’ve been together for 19 years before deciding to get married. 19 years!
Aside from the wedding, my stay in Reno revolved around hotels and casinos. And jogging to Walmart. Once. Aira (my cousin) and I didn’t try again when we discovered that we can hardly survive the 2.something miles to Walmart from the house, much less the jog back. So after I drove myself insane with joy from the choices at the toiletries section, we hitched a ride with one of Aira’s neighbors who was fortunately done with his grocery shopping.
My “Welcome to Reno” was a buffet dinner at the Atlantis Hotel. It was the best buffet I’ve ever been to. And I’m not just saying that because I had a plateful
or three of strawberries and cream. Since my priority was, well, eating, I didn’t get to take as many pics of the buffet as I wanted.
The weak point of the buffet was the dessert station. There were a lot to chose from, but nothing really stood out in terms of taste.
Since my fortune cookie did not say “Go gamble and you will win a bunch of money.”, I preferred to check out the hotel while waiting for my grandmother to have her fill of slot machines (we would wait a long time, and repeat the process for multiple days. She really loves ’em machines!)
At this point, I didn’t know I would be staying at the Atlantis for a night so I took pics around the place that screamed “tourist!”
I did try the slot machines once, but wouldn’t spend more than $5 on it. Apart from that, I didn’t push my unbelievable horrible luck at gambling. I mean, this is me, I even lose against vending machines. (True story: I wanted a bottled soda, so I inserted $2, but the machine gave me NOTHING.)
With everyone busy with the wedding and with work (this last one included me), I didn’t have much time to tour Reno, but it’s fine. You know why? Because I got to spend time at random groceries and pharmacies at my own leisure. I love groceries. But I love it even more if it’s a grocery that contains things I can’t usually buy at home.
I spent a few days staying with my relatives and watching Euro games, in which both the team I’m rooting for and my fantasy football team won. Viva España and all that, and gracias for making me temporarily happy despite the 333 years of raping my country.
Oh, and one more thing a first world country has going for it: TiVo. But the advantage of living here in the Philippines instead of there in the US is that I can download tv shows with impunity. So, ha!
Anyway, after the Euro 2012 finals, I packed up a few clothes and a swimsuit and went to the Atlantis Hotel.
The suite was really nice and we had a view of the outdoor pool. Come to think of it, we had a view of the indoor pool as well. Too bad the wifi sucks in our area. It was really a downer not to be able to Instagram the shit out of everything, haha.
I went for a swim before nightfall, even though it was freezing every time I got out of the water. There weren’t many people around, but there were a couple of teenagers who tried to hit on me but was discouraged when I laughed at them when they said they were 17. I’m sorry, I know the Asian genes that make me look younger is a blessing but right now, it’s too early for me to become a cougar.
But what about Carl Jenkinson?
Then it was time for the rehearsal dinner. We went to the church where we just about gave the priest an aneurysm because apparently, we can’t follow simple instructions like maintaining a 10-foot distance from each other when walking and standing at a 45-degree angle when waiting for the bride to enter.
Thankfully, the ‘rehearsal’ part went by relatively quick and we went on to the ‘dinner’ part. It was held at a Chinese restaurant called “Top of China” and damn, I’ve never enjoyed Chinese food as much as I did that night.
The next day was the day of the wedding which was sweet and beautiful. From the my teary-eyed Uncle upon the bride’s entrance (which he denies) to the mother-son dance, where my grandmother was the one who led my Uncle, it was truly a happy occasion. Not gonna lie, it was made happier by the open bar. The piña coladas are A+!
I don’t have many pics of the wedding nor the reception. Left that up to the professionals! 😉
That night, I stayed at the Silver Legacy Hotel with my cousins (and Aunt & Uncle — not the ones who just got married). Silver Legacy has this old-timey elegance compared to the newer, more modern Atlantis. Our suite here was bigger though, and it had a hot tub. We also got free use of the spa with our stay so Aira and I made the most out of that. Man, I could have gotten used to that lifestyle!
This hotel is connected with two other hotels, El Dorado and Circus Circus. They’re all owned by brothers or similar. I got to explore the public parts of those two hotels too.
The third hotel that I got to stay at is the penthouse suite at the Sands Regency. The room had wall to floor windows with a view of downtown Reno and the mountains at the distance. The hotel itself is a little old, but the room was just grand.
During our stay there, Aira and I walked around downtown at night which was windy and a bit scary. And also fruitless because we didn’t do anything except get coffee at El Dorado. So we just went back to the room and enjoyed the hot tub.