The Trip to the Biggest Little City

The Trip to the Biggest Little City

Time for a road trip adventure with Brynna and Derrick. . .

Derrick was asked to be someone’s doubles partner to bowl at the USBC Open Championship in Reno, Nevada, so we decided to make a weekend of it because he was bowling doubles and also singles on Saturday morning. This isn’t Derrick’s first time bowling at Nationals, and it is actually the second time he’s bowled in Reno, but it was all new to me (although now I can add Nevada to the list of states I’ve visited). For people who haven’t been to Reno or who don’t live in California and see commercials constantly for Reno, they advertise the city as “The Biggest Little City in the World”

See, when you get to downtown Reno, they remind you:

I’m actually pretty pleased that this picture from the car turned out as well as it did

But I’m getting ahead of myself . . .

Derrick picked me up from work a little early on Friday so that we could get a jump start on traffic; you have to go through Sacramento and we didn’t want to hit at rush hour and leaving from my office actually put us a little closer to where we were headed compared to leaving from the apartment. The trip was supposed to take us 3.5-4 hrs, but we started out by hitting a lot of slow traffic, mostly because it was raining and apparently people in California get scared to drive like normal human beings when there is precipitation. And then Derrick’s bowling partner’s dad had left for Reno earlier in the day and had warned us that all the rain we were getting was turning into snow in the Sierras. And that we would get stopped by chain command and would either have to have snow tires and all wheel drive or we had to have chains to install on the tires when we got to a certain point. Thankfully, Derrick’s car is all-wheel drive and he has snow tires amazingly enough, so we didn’t have to try to pick up chains before hitting the mountain pass.

As we started heading up (and my ears started popping), Derrick watched the temperature on his dashboard drop into the 40s, then the 30s, and then we found the snow. I’m not going to lie, the drive through the mountains in the dark with the snow/ice was pretty stressful (I also had just finished drinking espresso which probably didn’t help me feel calm).





Everyone pulling off the road to put on their tire chains


There were really only a few times where we could both feel the car having some issues with the road conditions, but for the most part it was just slow and grueling. And I hate to complain seeing as most of y’all had some horrendous winter weather this year and we chose to drive into the yuck, but seriously, Nevada? It has barely rained/snowed all season and now, right at the end of April, it has to be in the 30s and snowy? Okay, well, happily, we made it through without any major incident and hours after Derrick picked me up at work, we made it to Reno.

Derrick’s partner’s dad’s friend (this is getting complicated to explain) lives in Reno and got us a room at a place called The Atlantis. It’s the first time I’ve ever been to a casino, so I was kind of on sensory overload when we got there.


There are a lot of neon lights, flashing signs, and the little musical beeps, dings, and various other sound effects of slot machines. I spent a whole dollar on a slot machine. It wasn’t very exciting. I’m not really sure how people can spend hours at those things, because it was kind of confusing what you were supposed to do (this wasn’t a normal slot machine with the big arm lever but some other game with multiple buttons to press and such) and I won back like 40 cents and that was it. Lame. But now I’ve done it, so I guess that’s something.

My favorite part of the stay at the Atlantis was that the partner’s dad’s friend hooked us up with a sweet room that had a jacuzzi:


I almost went to the spa and bought Derrick his own rainstick because he kept playing with the one they gave us in the room
I almost went to the spa and bought Derrick his own rainstick because he kept playing with the one they gave us in the room
Here, free booze so you will want to go gamble your house away!
Here, free booze so you will want to go gamble your house away!
This is such a cute bamboo plant....I'm sure my cat would eat it...
This is such a cute bamboo plant….I’m sure my cat would eat it…

And we were in a VIP room that gave us special access to the lounge on the 25th floor in the concierge tower. Our room keys had to be specially programmed so that we could use them in the elevator to get to the lounge for our free breakfast. How fancy, right?

So Saturday Derrick had to bowl and the National Bowling Stadium is pretty impressive. It’s 80 (I think) lanes and has stadium seats for spectators and you maybe can’t even fathom how big a deal bowling is until you’ve seen this.

The bowlers get to come out through a curtain in the middle of the lanes and file out to their assigned lanes and they play music and try to make it flashy and exciting
The bowlers get to come out through a curtain in the middle of the lanes and file out to their assigned lanes and they play music and try to make it flashy and exciting (Derrick is the one in orange)



So Derrick bowled 3 games for doubles, 3 games for singles. His singles series was really good and his partner’s dad figures Derrick might actually win some money with the score he posted. So that would be pretty cool (this things runs till July, so it’ll be awhile before we know). Derrick was happy because it was the best he’s bowled at nationals so it was a positive experience.

By the time they got done bowling, it was getting pretty late in the afternoon and we were both kind of tired from the day, so we didn’t do a whole lot worth sharing (eating dinner, watching some other bowling, etc). Sunday we drove back, but this time the weather was much more cooperative and we even got a chance to pull off at a few vista points to take pictures




I finally thawed out once we got back to California, and now I want to complain because it is too hot:


Well, I think our temperatures are going to mellow out to a nice mild 73 by the weekend at least.


Other than our trip, we went to another Oakland A’s game, I made a roasted rack of lamb for Easter which turned out pretty well


And got these gorgeous flowers from my aunt (the cat only nibbled on the flowers once or twice when I forgot to make sure that I could see either the flowers or the cat at all times)



Happy May, y’all!



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