Reno, Nevada and My Summer Break Thus Far

28-Jul-2021 • San Francisco, California United States

I hate to admit it but I do not look forward to returning to work in three weeks.  After a year and a half of working from home, I really truly enjoyed teaching from the comfort of my home.  Not having to wake up at 6 am to make it to school at 8:00 am and doing the commute on the BART train in the dark in winter (sometimes in the rain) was a dream.  While it was difficult teaching via ZOOM at the beginning of the school year, it didn't take me long to get used to it.  As I reflect on the last school year, I can say that it was not easy at all.  Every day was a busy day teaching, getting in touch with parents, checking homework, and attending meetings.  There were nights when I stayed up until 12 midnight planning my lessons and going over my students' work online.  What was very frustrating was seeing a number of students so disinterested in learning and doing work.  I had one who actually often fell asleep during class time only to find out that the reason he was always so sleepy in the morning was because he stayed up late watching YOU TUBE videos til 5 am every single day.

Anyway, my partner and I certainly traveled to more places this summer compared to last.  Although we had had to cancel trips to Israel, Portugal, and the UK, we did manage to visit cities close to home beginning Memorial Day Weekend on the last week of May onwards.  So far, we've been up the California Coast visiting Mendocino, Fort Bragg, Eureka, Ferndale, Yosemite National Park, Columbia State Park, and the City of Reno and Lake Tahoe in Nevada.

Here are some pictures from the trip my partner and I took from of our latest mini vacation out of the city and to the neighboring state of Nevada.

Reno has definitely changed since our last visit last 2008.  Back then, many casinos had closed but there were still a few small ones that remained open.  This summer though, most casinos we saw open were inside hotels.  This facade of the nugget, a popular hangout among locals for their restaurant, had just closed first week of July 2021.

It was back in 1989 when I first saw this sign during a family weekend trip to Reno.  How the sign has changed.  Though the sign still lights up and glitters at night, I prefer the old one.  It was a lot more colorful. If there is something different about Reno this time around, the changes have been for the better without any doubt.  While casinos have closed other businesses like restaurants, movie houses, and retail stores have taken over.  There were lots of murals and artwork too scattered all over the city.  The streets were absolutely immaculate, not a single cigarette butt anywhere!

Here's the mining rig inside the Silver Legacy Resort and Casino.  This has been in this hotel for ages.  In fact, every time I think of Silver Legacy, I think of this attraction. 

The very tall Silver Legacy Resort Hotel and Casino in downtown Reno.  If you want a centrally located hotel stay, then this is the place to be.  We paid a whopping $170+++ a night for our stay here.  A bit expensive for our taste but during this pandemic, where can one stay for less?  Nowhere.  Anyway, despite its age, the hotel has been renovated and modernized.  Our room on the 25th floor had very good airconditioning and was huge.  Needless to say, it was clean and much to our surprise, it had housekeeping service every single day we were there. 

Here's a close up view of the Reno sign.  

The casino floor inside the Grand Sierra Resort in Sparks.  I looked forward to coming here while we were in Reno.  It was here where my family and I stayed during our visit to Reno together.  Oh what sweet memories!  The hotel had changed owners many times since the 1990s and much to my surprise, the huge lobby was no longer as huge.  Much of the space had been converted into restaurants and bars.  All of them very classy looking and very pleasing to the eyes, mind you!  I was floored!   

This was one of the many eateries and lounge areas inside the GSR.  It looks nice, doesn't it?  It reminded me so much of the Las Vegas glitz and glam.

This was the Tony Roma's inside the Silver Legacy Resort.  I took this shot early in the morning which is why it was empty and devoid of customers.  By the time we returned to the hotel late afternoon after a sightseeing filled day, there was a long line right by this restaurant's entrance waiting to dine in.

This was the huge picture of Marlon Brando which adorned the men's room entrance at the Grand Sierra Resort.  I have no idea why they chose him.  Anyway, I just had to  take a picture of the late Hollywood star and celebrity.  How he changed from when he was young and a big hit in the movies to the time he aged.  It made me think how looks can be very fleeting indeed.

This Old Post Office building has been converted and refurbished.  There were now retail spaces and restaurants inside.  We visited the West Elm store on the ground level and we likewise saw a number of chic restaurants in the basement.  

How Reno has changed!  This was one of the restaurants the city had.  Before, when we were hungry, we went to the restaurants inside casinos.  Not anymore.  Street level casinos, like I previously mentioned have closed, and more modern restaurants have sprouted all around the city center.