When I lived in Seattle my friends and I would save our money and plan random weekend getaways to Reno.  It was always fun, we’d each plan a budget on how much money we could afford to lose, and only play with that amount, never hitting the ATM if we lost.

We were evenly divided on what sort of gambling we liked doing, some of us were hardcore slot machine players (nickel slots), and others (like me) preferred to hang out at the Blackjack tables and see if luck happened to be smiling on us.  I never liked playing slots, because I’d lose my money every time.  Blackjack, though, I usually end up playing for hours on the table’s money after winning a few hands.

Every so often we’d plan a weekend trip to Las Vegas – but more often than not we’d go to Reno, only because it’s smaller than Vegas (though no less fun and exciting) and we were able to walk from casino to casino rather than have to take a bus or cab.

We’d always have fun at either location, and usually end up breaking even by the end of the weekend (not counting on money spent for trinkets and sundries – so if you exclude those items we were technically ahead).  And sometimes I’d end up going home with an extra hundred dollars or two, which made me happy.

One year I was treated to a birthday trip to Las Vegas and given $100 to play with – for some reason I seem to do much better when the money isn’t technically mine to lose.  After playing a few hours at the $3 Blackjack tables, I decided to go big and try out the $25 tables when I was down to my last $25 chip.  I had nothing to lose, right?  Luck was smiling on me, because I turned that final $25 chip into $900 and decided I better stop while I was ahead.  Best. Birthday. Ever.

It’s been quite a number of years since I’ve been to either Vegas or Reno, especially since airfare from PA is much steeper than from WA – so I’m looking forward to taking the Southern route on our way out to Seattle and stopping in Reno along the way.  Bonus is that one of my best friends happens to live there.

I doubt we’ll get to do any casino hopping since we’ll have 2 kids and 2 dogs in tow, unless the hubby offers to watch said kids and dogs and let my friend and I go to town… literally.  We shall see.  The main thing I’m looking forward to is seeing my friend – hanging out in downtown Reno would just be the icing on the cake.

Princess Nagger is a little disappointed that we won’t be making the drive even further South to go to Vegas since she really wanted to stop in at Gold & Silver Pawn – made famous (or would that be infamous?) by Pawn Stars.  My sister got us completely hooked on that show during one of our visits to their house, since they never miss an episode.  Princess Nagger was hoping to negotiate something of hers to sell them and have a little cash in her pocket.  Maybe next time.

Which brings me to this week’s question:

Have you ever been to Reno or Vegas? If so, which is your favorite – and what’s your favorite thing to do there?

Have a great weekend.


Happy Aloha Friday!

From Kailani at An Island Life:
In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So on Fridays let’s take it easy on posting, too. Ask a simple question…nothing that requires a lengthy response. It’s a great way to make new blogging friends!


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  1. ooooooooooo Girl you’ve asked a loaded question for me. VEGAS ALL THE WAY. My most favorite place is Rio because of the shows they put on and it’s free. My Mom & Step-Dad use to live there from 1991 until 2004 I believe so we went there every year at least for Christmas. We were always surprising my mom & sometimes she would come in and stay with me. We sure had fun though I’ll tell ya. Have a great weekend. Oh never been to Reno. Talk to you soon.
    Xmasdolly would like you to read ..Weight Be Gone! One Woman’s journey back to good health!My Profile

    1. Circus Circus is a circus, isn’t it? We’ve walked through there to get to another casino – and stopped to play, since some of us were kids at heart and had to play some of the kid games, too. 😉 I haven’t been to Vegas in over 15 years, Reno it’s been about 10 or so since I’ve been. 🙂

  2. My husband and I went to Las Vegas just before we were going to officially start our family. Little did we know that I was already pregnant there (knew it was a possibility). When we got home I found out my son was in fact the reason I was so tired and visited most restrooms in Vegas.
    Beth – TheAngelForever would like you to read ..My New Kindergarten KidMy Profile

    1. That’s too funny, Beth! We had a similar situation when we went to Punta Cana for our first ‘real’ vacation – after we got back is when I found out I was 2-1/2 months pregnant during our trip! 🙂 A very nice surprise… in spite of the extra restroom visits. 😉

    1. Oh me too, Melissa! I mostly hang out at the Blackjack tables and didn’t see very many shows for the multitudes of times I’ve been there – next time I’m going to make a point to see some shows! 🙂

  3. I’ve not been to Reno, but Darling Daughter lives in Las Vegas AND we have clients there, so we get there fairly often. Well, Beloved does, anyway. I only go once every couple of years, but that’s okay because DD comes to visit me every year.
    Jan’s Sushi Bar would like you to read ..The Foodee ProjectMy Profile

    1. Awww! No love for Reno, eh? There are people who love Vegas and hate Reno and vice versa. I like ’em both equally well, though I do prefer Reno due to it’s (slightly) smaller size, but mostly because my best friend lives there. 🙂

  4. So then my mouth fell open!! $900 wow. I love how you play though. Smart. Get up and leave 🙂 Awesome birthday! 😀

    And I’ve been through Vegas and Reno, but did not stop. It would be nice to visit for awhile.

    Happy Friday!
    JamericanSpice would like you to read ..Delicious DewMy Profile

    1. That’s exactly what the dealer said when I decided to stop – she saw me tucking away my larger value chips in my pocket every time I ‘colored up’ and only sticking with my lower value ones. I was actually shocked how much it turned out to be when I cashed my chips in, because I hadn’t been keeping track – I just knew I was ending it on a high vs. emptying my pockets. 🙂 Next time you go through either Reno or Vegas, you’ll definitely have to make a point to stop, even if only to soak in all the energy! 😉

  5. I’ve never been unfortunately! When we were training in California a lot of my friends would drive to Las Vegas for a long weekend. I was too young to bother going though, I turned 21 only a few months before we left, and we spent those last few months cramming for our big test so most people had stopped going. I’d really like to go though, my husband has gone a couple times and loves it!
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    1. The next time your hubby goes, you’ll have to see if you can go with him. If nothing else, you definitely should experience it at least one time! 🙂 See what happens when you’re a dedicated student? 😉

    1. I’d be happy to play with your money, Brian – you know, so long as you’re not sending a $4000 cashier’s check for me to cash and send you the rest… 😉 Oooh! Missouri – any fun plans? We’ll be driving through there on our way out West – only on the ‘to’ route. The ‘from’ route will be coming from the North. 🙂

  6. Oh what fun! I love to go to Vegas (but I am not a good gambler but I do love to play) My hubby and I did visit the Gold and Silver Pawn shop while we were there in February. Its fun but smaller than we thought, no regrets though. Thank you for sharing at Freedom Fridays.
    Evelyn would like you to read ..Freedom Fridays #6My Profile

    1. Heh, I’m like you Evelyn – I really don’t know what I’m doing aside from being able to add the cards and follow my gut if I want to take a chance by getting another card or not. Sometimes I get lucky, but mostly it’s just fun. 🙂 Princess Nagger is jealous you were actually at the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop – it does look big on the show, doesn’t it? 🙂

  7. Hi Stacy! 🙂 Thank you so much for your sweet words on my blog! They brightened my day! I’m glad to have found your blog and I loved reading this fun post! My husband and I got married in Vegas in January 2009 w/a wedding to follow in Oct. 09′. We had a blast…saw a show, ate @ so many neat restaurants, shopped, did a little gambling. We can’t wait to go back. Reno sounds like so much fun too!
    I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.
    Looking forward to reading more! 🙂

    1. Awww! You’re welcome, Maria! Glad you enjoyed your visit over here as much as I did at your blog! 😉 I remembered reading that you and your hubby got married in Vegas followed months later by an actual wedding – such a great idea. Maybe you guys should plan to go back in the future and have Elvis renew your wedding vows – I think that’d be such a kick! 🙂 I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog, too! 🙂

  8. Never been to Reno. But after Las Vegas I really have no desire for any other place. Las Vegas is really fabulous, as the sign says. It’s fun, fun, fun all the way. I’m actually not much of a gambler, but I really enjoy the shows… Cirque du Soleil, Blue Man Group and my favouriteTerry Fator.

  9. I’ve had some great times in Reno. It is such a fun place to go. Vegas is just so big and so crowded. Reno seems a little more friendlier and I’ve always run into more local people there. I enjoy talking with them and finding out more about the city outside of the hotels and casinos.

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