road trip day 1: la > sacramento > reno

i stayed up all night packing because i never do things on time.  also because i don’t like to wake up in the morning.  oh, and i don’t like to go to sleep at night.  we left los angeles on thursday morning heading for sacramento.  the first leg of our trip was mostly unremarkable except for a phone booth outside of a convenience store that was charging highway robbery for a bag of beef jerky.

not the mojave phone booth

not the mojave phone booth

the one thing we wanted to see in sacramento was fairy tale town.  we arrived in the city fifteen minutes after it closed.  i am not one to accept no for an answer without at least trying another option.  i could see there were still families milling the grounds.  i called their number and someone answered.  i explained that we drove up from los angeles and we would pay full price and we would be the first people to leave.  she hesitated but ultimately said she’d let us in and asked us to meet her at the front gate.  i was so excited i ran as eric rolled his eyes and strolled behind me.  she walked up to us and stopped.  “oh,” she says.  i’m waiting to hear the problem.  “you don’t have a child… we can’t let you in without a child.”  my brow furrows in confusion.  “we can’t let you in, it’s for the children’s safety.”  she doesn’t say anything else and sheepishly turns on her heels and walks away.  like creeps we walk around the outer perimeter and look in at storybooks hanging from trees, a pumpkin carriage and other assorted whimsical elements.

this squirrel taunted us by showing us his nut and his nuts

this squirrel taunted us by showing us his nut and his nuts

we stopped off to eat some barbecue and then we hit a chinese restaurant for road drinks.  eric got a peach smoothie.  i am a glutton and ordered two smoothies: an avocado and a honeydew.  all three of them were delicious.  we said goodbye to the city of trees (aptly titled) and hit the road for reno.

neither of us having been to reno, as we closed in on the city we were convinced every cluster of lights on the horizon must be the mini vegas oasis.  eventually one of those collections of lights opened up to us.  we pulled into an alley and booked a room at the circus circus.  i was really excited to stay there.

necessary neon photograph (if you look slightly to the right above the sign you'll see the moon)

necessary neon photograph (if you look slightly to the right above the sign you’ll see the moon)

we went into the hotel to check in.  we were blessed with a slavic woman behind the counter.  she asked us where we wanted to stay in her beautiful, thick accent.  “what floor has the most circus stuff?” i ask like a wide eyed five year old.  “it doesn’t matter,” she says.  i struggle to respond.  we finally come to a conclusion with room choice and we’re off.  it’s early enough that we have time to look around.

amazing neon "circus circus" clown

amazing neon “circus circus” clown

we explored the midway and hit the streets.  there was a biker gathering going on.  somehow there were vendors everywhere but it didn’t feel like the event was fully attended.  a few couple arguments broke out (which is always really entertaining to overhear) and the police took the streets and had the vendors close shop at ten pm.  but, not before eric pointed out a white pride booth to me.  something about it added an eerie emotional color to the event.

at one point we decided we were hungry and began touring the place in the search of food.  even though it was early, many of the restaurants were closed.  we asked some cops on the street for a pizza place recommendation.  they were jovial and joked with each other before sending us to a spot.  it was a great local location off the beaten path.  we grabbed menus and were excited to eat.  that was short lived.  the service was agonizingly slow and a few other patrons jumped in front of us in line so we cut our losses and headed up to the room to sleep.

i drifted off to a marathon of “project runway.”

make it work.


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