So look who zoomed up beside us on our way back to Reno! Good ol' Jack. Heh. Actually, while waiting in the Jack-In-The-Box drive-through, I spied this poster, loved its quirkiness and asked Tom to take a picture. Is Jack cool or what?
Just prior to this, we dashed into WalMart for one tiny thing and wow! We met a couple from our hometown who, 27 years ago, lived across the street from us--their daughter used to babysit Naomi, even. I'd recently friended them on Facebook and now we happily caught-up, marveled at this 'God-incidence', then hugged one another good-bye. Tom and I picked up lunch at JitB then discovered a tiny park in a tiny town we'd driven past hundreds of times (literally), yet had never driven through. A minuscule desert town with this one patch of green lawn for the public. Quiet, tranquil place.
Eventually we returned to Reno where we stayed at the huge, too-opulent-for-us Peppermill (yet one more of Tom's super online deals). There in the brand new Tuscany Tower, our bathroom, alone, was larger than some motel rooms of our past, even having its own tv, which came in convenient the next morning when, as usual, I awoke three hours before Tom.
Oh, the leisure on this trip. The myriad hours I sat around--in pretty places--doing absolutely nothing except reading, drinking coffee and gazing around.
I am not ready for that life of leisure. Uh, no. Not yet.
What a place for pretending, the Peppermill. Some women dressed in slinky black dresses and hung on the arms of older men, others dressed in sweatpants or jeans and tiredly rolled their suitcases into elevators. Through huge windows I could see the sunny pool area and splashers outside and while Tom later napped, I wandered through the casinos in search of a place where we could meet our Reno/Fallon friends that evening.
Wow. When you live in Nevada you grow used to stepping through ringing, jingling casinos, but when you've been away 17 years you forget about the dark intensity of it all. And the more escalators I took downward, the more I felt as though I entered the bowels of hell, itself. But you know? I chose to just pray. In and around the machines and tables I whispered, "Oh Jesus. Help them. Help us all."
Then that evening! Oh, we met our dear old friend from our hometown days, Ginger, and her husband, folks we'd not seen in 25 years. We'd reconnected, also, on Facebook (love that place!) where we'd set-up this meeting. The four of us wandered through those ol' bowels of hell again down to a buffet where huge trees shook (were there monkeys up there, too?) and lightning storms passed through every few minutes. Wow, pretty exciting stuff they have in Reno. :)
Then came my good buddy, Connie, from Fallon, someone who always makes me laugh and feel twenty years younger, and who did she bring along, but our former pastor and his wife, two of the sweetest people on Earth. For 17 years we've all managed to keep in-touch as good, true friends will, and our conversations started right up, as though we'd visited in-person just last month, rather than six long years ago.
An enchanted night that was, all of us seated around that table, sharing, laughing and enjoying one another. When I'm an old lady, I'll remember those hours.
Next morning, Tom and I ordered one room service breakfast to share, returned our rental car, lolled around the train station for ten minutes then called Ginger and Reggie, who picked us up and took us out to lunch and to their sweet home, also. Then they returned us to the train station, waited with us for the train and then came more good-byes. Always, so many good-byes on trips like these.
Back into the train Tom and I climbed, this time into a larger family-sized bedroom (yay! Another of Tom's killer deals), and we were off again.