Donner/Tahoe development, Truckee, California

I don’t know if it’s the elevation, being on vacation, or some other factor, but we seem to be sleeping a good deal more than normal. I, for one, have been taking long afternoon naps, and my total sleep hours per day must be easily in double digits. That’s an observation not a complaint. I love my sleep time.

We headed into Reno this evening, a return to Circus Circus so that we could eat dinner out and so that some of the folks could gamble a bit. For several reasons which I shan’t go into here, I’m not a gambler, so for me the evening was sociological research and fairly interesting sociological research at that. 

The first and most obvious thing to report is that for an activity that’s supposed to be fun, there don’t seem to be many happy gamblers. Our party excluded, I never saw a person at slot machine who even remotely looked to be having a good time. I was able to find several folks both at craps and blackjack tables who were enjoying themselves, so one could say on that basis alone it might be worth recommending those games if you’re going to plunk down cash in Nevada. I don’t know if there’s a correlation, but I seem to recall craps and blackjack as having the best odds for winning money as well. (Ultimately all games favor the house, which is why most people lose money.)

Above the casino at Circus Circus there’s a midway with various carnival games and the occasional circus-style performance. We watched a couple trapeze acts and a balancing act in which tables and chairs and such were piled high. The carnival games were varied, though all shared the consistent themes of being harder than they look and of offering prizes which look much more expensive than they really are. Joe won a cute little stuffed animal for Helen which they called their “$10 bear,” an accurate description of just how much money they had to plop down to finally win the thing. Like on the casino level, flashing lights and loud sounds are everywhere. For the occasional visitor the cranked up atmosphere charges the area with excitement. I would think it would be a headache-inducing place of employment, however. 

Erin, Liz, Jared, and I headed back in the first car. Tired trooper that Jared was, he made his displeasure at leaving Christine at the casino well-known. Even Erin’s continual efforts—and Erin and Jared got along otherwise like peas in a pod—were unable to calm Jared’s fears. As most every parent knows, a big part of the Terrible Twos is baby learning that he or she is not in control of the universe. That’s a hard lesson to grasp when fully rested. When tired, it’s darn near impossible. So the Jared siren just gradually wore himself out on the ride home. The upside is that he slept well having expended so much energy, and of course when he awoke yelling the next morning, Christine was right there again, so he was instantly back to his old happy self.