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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

March
30
2009
9:37 pm
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I’m going to say “holy cow” again.  Quick aside: I now realize what I did to completely and accidentally blow away this post earlier today, and that was to go to edit it, change the time of publishing, and then click “update” before the post edit box filled itself back up.  My tip to you?  Don’t EVER do that. Not only do you lose your post, but you lose all the post revisions!  I had to go into my Firefox cache on the disk, do some creative searching and editing, and here I have the post back.  What an ordeal!

And now… for your viewing pleasure, the original post.

I had tweeted recently that I was looking for a decent getaway vacation spot with my rapidly expiring frequent flyer miles.  I got a great reaction, and for that I’m thankful.

My first impulse, before sending the tweet, was to go to Vegas, the all-time gambling have-a-great-time what-you-lose-here-stays-here staple of the US.

But as I tried to piece together a 2-3 day vacation to Vegas with my miles, it was a losing prospect.  I’d either need to fly out one day and come back the next, or stay 5+ days.  Neither of those options fit into my schedule.

I’ve been to Vegas many times and have always enjoyed my visits.  Some visits had more gambling than others; we’ve traveled there for pool tournaments; I’ve been there for work; my wife and I spent a late honeymoon there back in 1992; some visits had a lot of shows like Blue Man Group and Cirque du Soleil; and even some where I didn’t have any money at all and just had to sit and watch other people win the money *I* was supposed to win.

Then I started thinking of some of the other enjoyable places I’ve visited over the years:

  • 2wk trip to Russia, with my high school band
  • Short stop in Shannon, Ireland (on way to/back from Russia)
  • Mexico
  • Puerto Rico
  • New York (I basically worked there for 4 days a week for 6 months)
  • Seattle
  • Denver
  • Pittsburgh (we lived there for a short time)
  • Bay Area
  • Los Angeles / Costa Mesa area
  • Atlanta
  • Orlando
  • Lived in Minnesota and Louisiana
  • Arizona
  • St Louis
  • Massachusetts

As I kept thinking about all these trips I’ve made, I realized that I’ve never – EVER – taken a vacation by myself.  I’m almost 40 years old, and I’ve never gone just to go.  For all the above jaunts, I was either with my family, with school, or going for work-related purposes.

Sure, I’ve always had fun (travel is what you make it, after all) but the gist is — I’ve always been on someone else’s schedule.  I either had a class I was teaching or taking, a spouse or kids to coordinate schedules with, boatloads of work to do, someone to meet, or some responsibility here or there.

I’ve never actually had my own vacation.

So that’s what I decided to do this time – use the last bit of my frequent flyer miles to go do something for myself – Just for Wayne.  And while I’m at it, I should probably do something for those two hotties attached to my legs – oh my, one of them seems quite frightened.  There, there, hottie girl.  It’ll be ok.

As I mentioned, valid dates for a Vegas trip were coming up dry.  I started thinking of other places I could go, and the only logical thing for me to do was to see if I could meet up with other bloggers (hey, isn’t that another responsibility? I thought you said you wanted to relax SHUT UP NO-ONE IS LISTENING TO YOU).

Cissa from cissafireheart.com spoke up about Connecticut and Foxwoods and this and that, and as it turns out my company has an office there so actually it would be pretty cool for me to see that campus and knock out some relaxing times up there.  I’ve been in the NE a couple of times and always liked the many colors, so maybe that would work out well.  I see Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun all the time on ESPN for 9-ball tournaments, so there was that.

As I searched for valid hits on my award miles, NOTHING could get me up to CT.  Not any of 3 different airports within the area were showing up on my award search.  It wasn’t looking good.  American Airlines just didn’t want me to go to CT.

I searched some of the other vacation destinations and they too were slim pickins.

Until I got to Reno / Lake Tahoe.  It was like I hit a jackpot!

All that green – that’s good stuff!  Those are days that I can depart (on the left) and arrive (on the right).  There were so many to choose from!

So I chose April 5th – 7th for Reno / Lake Tahoe.  YAY ME!

Now here’s where you come in:

  • I want a cheap place to stay – I’m not picky on junkets like this.  Any recommendations?
  • I’m looking to do more gambling than sight-seeing — I figure I’d wait until I could take my wife to see how beautiful nature is and stuff.  Any recommendations?  I like poker, craps, and table games.  I’d prefer non-smoking if they have it (I’ve done ZERO research on Reno/Tahoe as you can tell)
  • Anyone else going to be in that area around that time? (not that I’d want to burden my busy schedule not scheduling anything, but hey, you never know…)
And lo, the people did comment thus:

27 Comments

  1. Frog says:

    Hey Wayne, I really enjoyed your post and your writing is unique (in a good way)…you seem to be an avid travler, may I suggest Costa Rica as a future destination? It is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been and is filled with the nicest people imaginable (Plus Cheap BEER!) Anyway, I enjoy your blog and would love for you to check out mine TheFrogBlogg.blogspot.com—–Keep Up The Good Work!!!!

    • whall says:

      Frog – Never been to Costa Rica and I didn’t even think to see if my American miles would get me there – I just assumed it’d be too many miles.

  2. martymankins says:

    Lake Tahoe is a great place (my wife and I were married there last June). If you are looking for a cheap place to stay (sleep and shower), then look for places that are right next to the Calif/Nevada border. Get on Google Maps and look for the road next to the border. There’s a ton of motor lodges right next to there for under $100 a night. Since it’s the end of the ski season, you’ll still have some snow there, but not as many skiers jacking up the room rates. We were there last year at this time and it was nice, but still cold. So indoors at the casino is nice.

    Remember that Nevada has an open container law, but California does NOT. So make sure you leave your drink inside the casino before crossing the border.

    martymankins´s last blog post..Closing Time, One Last Call

    • whall says:

      martymankins – I guess it pays to do some research. All I know so far is that A) the airport is called “Reno/Tahoe”, B) one of the cities is in Nevada and one is in California, C) there’s a lake involved. That’s about it. My dad was saying something about how far away one was from the other, and I didn’t even know that.

  3. Hilly says:

    Lake Tahoe is my favorite “gambling” spot in the US, actually. I grew up in Northern California so we went to South Lake Tahoe more than Vegas or any of those other places. I actually lived in South Lake Tahoe for a year or so too!

    I agree with what Marty said…I’d recommended staying in Tahoe (not Reno, blech) and picking any of the motor lodges or motels on Lake Tahoe Boulevard. If you pull up a Google Map of the area, you can add in hotels and see what is what right there!

    Hilly´s last blog post..To Be A Rock And Not To Roll…

    • whall says:

      Hilly – I got a great recommendation last night from a pool league teammate, and that was to check my players club memberships from casinos in Vegas that also have spots in Reno and see if I can get some comp action. They gotta be hurtin to get people in, right? Is there even gambling in California / Tahoe?

  4. Sybil Law says:

    I LOVE that picture of you with the hotties! I had no idea you were so ripped! (And you play tennis, too?!)
    Anyway, sounds like a great trip!!! Can’t wait for the post about it!

    Sybil Law´s last blog post..I’m going to tap it, too.

    • whall says:

      Sybil Law – yes, I typically hide my suave ripple goodness. But on certain occasions when I feel a little cartooney, I’ll bare some of it for the good of the nation.

  5. Sybil Law says:

    You’re famous!! Are you gonna get bodyguards, now?!
    (And you guys looked great on tv!)
    I always liked Friday’s – I am not an Applebees fan at all.

    Sybil Law´s last blog post..I’m going to tap it, too.

  6. Faiqa says:

    Not to be a Debbie Downer, but I predict boredom. I prefer to go on vacations WITH someone. That way I have someone to boss around, and people won’t mistake me for a looney toon when I’m yelling “We were supposed to leave for the Museum fifteen minutes ago!!” at myself.

    Faiqa´s last blog post..Being Stoned By Teenagers And Not With Them

    • whall says:

      Faiqa – nah. I don’t think I’ve been bored in more than 20 years. I either have a blackberry, my laptop, a book, something to write on / draw with, the kids… I feel like I never have enough time to do stuff. It would take a LOT to get me bored, and it would probably take months in a place like Tahoe/Reno to do it.

  7. marilyn says:

    The last time I was in Reno, I was twelve and stayed with my grandparents. I can’t really help you. But I do remember that Lake Tahoe is cold. Very clear. Very pretty. Very refrigerated.

    marilyn´s last blog post..Manic Monday: A bird may love a fish

    • whall says:

      marilyn – I don’t plan on any Lake trips this time around. Or skiing. Or museum visits. Or meeting up with frigid 12yr old bikini-clad girls.

  8. marilyn says:

    Also. I think the wife should get to go on own vacation now. And she needs some hottie guys on her legs, looking all scared and adorable too.

    marilyn´s last blog post..Manic Monday: A bird may love a fish

    • whall says:

      marilyn #2 – if it helps, we’re going to South Padre next month for a whole week, and I plan on clinging to her leg while I try to look adorable.

  9. Sybil Law says:

    WTF?! How did my comment for another blog (Marty’s) end up here?!
    Ha!
    Sorry. That’s a first for me!!!

    Sybil Law´s last blog post..I’m going to tap it, too.

  10. Dragon says:

    Dude!? Really? You shave your armpits? That’s so not manly. 🙂

    Dragon´s last blog post..Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna

  11. Avitable says:

    Definitely stay in Tahoe – everybody’s right. I wonder if I can use my Coke Rewards points to get a flight there at the same time to come visit?

    Avitable´s last blog post..Don’t look!

  12. Jim_S says:

    Give VisitRenoTahoe.com a looksy before you come, and while you’re in Reno-Tahoe. And if you need anything on the fly, twitter.com/renotahoe — direct message any questions.
    – Jim

  13. Raganator says:

    Can’t believe you didn’t pull an April Fool’s prank on us

    • whall says:

      Raganator – I thought about it but couldn’t come up with anything grandiose enough to be worth your time. Next year, maybe. I’ll start on it in a few weeks.

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