A northern California driving trip.

Leaving Home

As we prepared for our short trip north, our main concern was the dog. Cats you can put down large bowls of food and water, and they will forgive you eventually when after you return home. The dog, has to has a keeper, fortunately my mom is retired and is always willing to puppy sit. Thanks, Mom. We usually rent a sedan from Hertz when we do road trips, to avoid putting the miles on our own car. Hertz has yet to disappoint us with a car powerful enough and road curve friendly for any of our trips. We packed up the car, packed up the dog and his travel pack to go to Grannie’s, and we were on our way.

Heading to South Lake Tahoe

After dropping the dog with Grannie we picked up a quick McDonald’s breakfast and hit the highway. Since my Grandma and my Aunt were at the family cabin in South Lake Tahoe, I wanted to stop by and visit prior to our goofing off in Reno. This is the first time my wife has ever seen the family cabin in our 16 years together. Heading north on Interstate 680 and across the Benecia bridge, we then took a right to Interstate 80 North that eventually leads to Highway 50 north. Hwy 50 takes you right into South Lake Tahoe. As a youngster I spent a lot of school breaks and almost every summer running around the area so I know the shortcuts pretty well. So instead of following Hwy 50 which is the long way to the house, I turned up Pioneer Trail which takes about 20 minutes off of the drive.

Now here is what is odd, my wife and I have had a converstion before about how many times in the past we have been in the same place at the same time, but we never knew each other when we were younger. That conversation came up again on this trip. I spent my time at the Tahoe Meadows, fairly close to the stateline between California and Nevada. My wife spent her summers working at a KOA that faces the lake from Hwy 50 working for a friend’s family. We went to the same cinemas in Tahoe and so on. We just find the universe odd in that way.

(as a child we were allowed to dive off of this pier)

After arriving at Grandma’s and chatting for a few minutes, showing my wife the summer house of my childhood, I took her around the grounds and showed her where my cousins and I played, the summer activities and the beach. Then we went back to Grandma’s and we all (Grandma, my Aunt , her husband and us) went to lunch at the Red Hut, less than a mile from the house. The Red Hut is set up kind of like a 50’s diner, with an old fashioned soda shop attached to it. The food was good, but the temperature was a little warm in doors.

After lunch we said our goodbyes and headed off to Reno.

The Reno Drive

The drive from South Lake Tahoe into Reno starts out very scenic with views of the lake on the left, the mountains on the right and passing through Zephyr Cove, which if you are ever there stop at the Zephyr Cove Lodge Diner for a meal, amazing food! Eventually the drive leads you into more desert like scenery as Hwy 50 shifts into Interstate 580 into Carson City then into Reno. It’s been quite some time since I made this drive, and there were definitely changes along the highway. Not only all of the new construction of businesses and homes, but the unique art work Nevada has added along the roadside. It made the drive more peaceful noticing all the new things.

Eventually in about 45 minutes we arrived at our destination, The Atlantis Resort Reno. We had played here years ago, and all our old player points were still in good standing. It was great, when we checked in we got bumped to a tower room, and all the goodies that come with it. Goodies like the free breakfast on the 25th floor lounge, as well as dessert and hors dourves.

Playing in Atlantis

The casino at Atlantis is fairly spread out with several smoke free zones. We acutally prefer the smoke free zones since I have asthma. For 3 days we played off and on, different types of slots from the old days of 7 and cherries across a straight line to the newest in the bunch named Sinbad. Sinbad can be played alone or with a partner. We played doubles and did fairly well. We came home a little ahead in cash than when we left. There were other new games, or at least new to us, but Sinbad stands out as our favorite.

As I said, I have wimpy lungs and after several hours even the minimal smoke started to get to me, so we went back to the room so I could shower and breath easier for a while. That’s when we realized we were both tired. We settled in for naps and missed hors dourves and dessert, so we ordered in room and had dinner while we watched a movie. It was the 2nd time in my life I have ever done room service.

We dined one very late evening at the Parrot Room, Atlantis’ 24 hour cafe. The food was good, and plenty of it, the service also was good, we no sooner sat down and the server was there ready for drink orders. Later after a little sleep we decided to have lunch at the buffet. Whenever we do casino travel we do the buffet at least once. This buffet is named Toucan Charlies. With player points the meals weren’t much, but the drinks just be aware that anything besides soda, iced tea or water will cost you extra.

Heading Home

It was time to come home. All of smokey clothes were in a plastic laundry bag in our carry all, and everything else repacked. We got our car from the Valet, who handed us 2 bottles of water for our drive as he handed over our keys. We stopped at a local pop shop and got a few snacks for the drive, and it was back to Grannie’s to get the dog and go home.

Would we do this trip again? Of course we will, in about 5ish years or so.

Anyone has a casino trip to reccomend?

Until next time!






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