Friday, September 7, 2012

Sowing my oats in Reno.

My second morning in Reno was spent moseying up Virginia St. then down south of the river taking pictures and sipping coffee. After a brief rest at the the hotel, I ventured back south of the river again for brunch at Bertha Miranda's Mexican Restaurant [see blog post].

With half of my appetizer in hand I revisited Yvonne at work to share the wealth, then we peruse nearby Twin City Surplus. Afterward I visited the Amtrak station where I was able to get a sleeper upgrade for my segment to Salt Lake city for a mere $21.10, about a fifth of what's normally charged online. Giddy, I danced a jig right on the spot!

That night I sought out familiar places from my last visit to Reno in 2007, starting off with cocktails at The Patio, a friendly gay/lesbian bar where this stranger was once again greeted with smiles and left with well-wishes for my return trip home. My lone complaint was the cigarette smoke, a common feature in Nevada bars. I knocked down a well-poured gin & tonic, but intrigue switched me over to Three Olives Supercola vodka on the rocks. Surprisingly good cola flavor!

My next stop was the 5 Star Saloon, another gay haunt, where I enjoyed a pricey but stiff tall rum & coke. Needing a pep-me-up I popped into nearby Java Jungle for an iced Americano, pleased to see the same barista working the counter as the day before [see blog post]. Catching a good look at the pizza served here I thought I'd found where to eat that night, until the barista explained there was a 45 minute backlog on orders. I was crestfallen, as well as pert near deaf from the DJ's grooves.

I quaffed my last beverage – a bracing Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA – at the Sierra Tap House just down the hallway and a flight of stairs from Java Jungle.  A delightful, mocha-toned beauty with a lilting voice gave me pause to swoon, but the dude next to me with B.O. kept my focus grounded to finishing my pint and leaving.

Desirous of pizza I moseyed east to Slice of the Peak to find they had closed an hour earlier. Not keen on Pizza Reno nor the walk to J.J.'s Pie Co. I settled for a burger downtown, but not just any burger. I sought out the Awful-Awful at the Little Nugget Diner in the rear of The Nugget casino on Virginia St., in the shadow of the Reno Arch [see blog post].

The excesses of the evening – alcohol, caffeine, animal flesh, grease and second-hand smoke – led to a night populated with whacked-out dreams.

On my final morning in Reno I had resolved to skip breakfast and snag a carryout pizza for the train trip across Nevada that afternoon. Restlessness and unexpected hunger had other plans. And so I returned to the Little Nugget Diner for breakfast.

I killed some time idly riding around west Reno with Yvonne and Okie. It wasn't so much of the quality time I had desired before I parted ways, but it was what it was.

Later at the Amtrak station I absentmindedly set my sunglasses down at a water fountain, remembered them five minutes later and found they had disappeared. After some stewing I walked back to my hotel next door for a sixteen dollar pair of shades from the gift shop.

Aboard the sleeper I found many roomettes and deluxe sleepers empty. Even the family sleeper behind me was unoccupied for the duration. However I had a pair of Alabama-bound neighbors across the aisle fretting over their connection in Chicago so I pretty much kept my door shut the whole trip back.

“Highball Reno.” On-time departure.

That night I had regrets about the time I didn't spend with Yvonne and Okie, mostly of my design. I stretched my legs a bit at our brief stop in Elko before retiring for the night.

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