Wednesday, April 04, 2007

How I've Spent My Spring Break Thus Far

My son and I took a 2-day trip to Reno and Carson City. Reno's not just for quick marriages and divorces anymore; there's quite a bit to do and see there. In the downtown area, very near the casinos, are very nice, in some cases older, neighborhoods. There are also new condo towers being built. Here's a very modern looking building right on the Truckee River. As always, to get a better view, left-click on the pictures.
It looks a lot nicer when you're not trying to take a picture into the sun:

The tower in the foreground used to be the Sundowner Casino. Now it's going to be the Belvedere condos. I suggested that the tower should go condo when the hotel closed down several years ago, and now my idea is coming to fruition, even though I had nothing to do with it. The tower on the right is the Silver Legacy Hotel and Casino.

Then we drove over to Sparks, about 3 miles away, just so I could show my son the pool area of John Ascuaga's Nugget. In the winter, the glass panels are closed and the pool is indoors. On a nice day, the panels are opened and the pool is outdoors! Also, note the four grave-sized tubs on the far side of the pool. They're about 8" deep and filled with pool water. They're for reading!

Eventually we made it to our hotel, Atlantis. Here's one of the glass elevators going up inside the tower.

Here's the exterior. The glass structure in the center is the Skyway Terrace, which crosses South Virginia Blvd. On the left is the escalator going down to Atlantis' very large parking lot. There's a parking lot over by the main tower, but it's not big enough to hold a hotel's worth of people.

Off to Carson City, about a half hour away. The Nevada State Museum is housed in what used to be the US Mint Building in Carson City. This plaque gives a little history.

In front of the museum is a replica of the Liberty Bell, below which is this plaque. The words are inspiring:
"Dedicated to you, a free citizen in a free land...In standing before this symbol, you have the opportunity to dedicate yourself, as did our Founding Fathers, to the priniciples of the individual freedom for which our nation stands."

This is the old Mint Building with the Liberty Bell in front.

Pay close attention to the center sign. See how it jibes with the Liberty Bell plaque two pictures above. Where else but Nevada?! Well, maybe Texas....

There's a large display of old slot machines in the museum. This one from 1909 caught my eye because of the swastika on the wheel. This goes to show that the symbol itself isn't evil, as its use on this slot machine predates the Nazis by well over a decade. In fact, it was a good luck symbol in several cultures.

This mammoth is 11,000-15,000 years old. It got stuck in the mud in a water hole, and marks where it tried to dig/claw itself out are clearly visible. Way cool.

Here's one of the coin presses used in the mint.

I couldn't believe it, but this sign was located in the men's bathroom stall! What the heck?!

We took the approximately one mile long walking tour of old houses and mansions. There were probably 20 or so that are identified, including this B&B. The neighborhood starts within a block of the main street through Carson City, which (until the bypass is finally built) is still US 395.

This is the Governor's Mansion.

I liked this view of the cupula on the Capitol.

The old St. Charles Hotel is closed. I hope it's being renovated.

In Nevada they never forget that the state exists because of mining, especially of the Comstock Lode.

Nevada's legislature no longer meets in the Capitol; it's housed in a new building across the park from the Capitol. The chamber formerly used by the state Senate is now a mini-museum (even though it's just about across the street from the Nevada State Museum!) and has these two old pictures of the Capitol. Based on the 2nd and 4th pictures above, the trees have obviously grown since the pictures below were taken!

This plaque in front of the Capitol gives a little more history:

There was a little bit of a breeze that day, and the temperature was about 70.

This is, if you can believe it, the former post office building! Now it houses the Nevada Commission on Tourism.

This casino was closed for renovations. You don't see too many of these types of signs anymore so it was worth a picture.

All over Nevada you can see letters up on hillsides. I've learned that they represent a nearby high school. This one caught my eye because of the American flag above it.

This is probably the nicest picture I've taken of Atlantis.

This is the view out our 17th floor window. The Peppermill is the large casino on the left, and downtown is about 2-3 miles distant. Why do I stay in Atlantis, if it's so far from downtown? Because they gave me a couple free rooms a couple years ago, and still give me 2-for-1 offers! If someplace downtown did, I'd probably stay there. But I'm now familiar with Atlantis' layout, the hotel rooms are very nice, and they have the best buffet in Reno.

And now we're home. Nice trip :-)

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