We drove through the huge campus of Boise State University which was also pretty boring. In fact, it was so boring that I did not take a single photo. In addition it was pretty hot (in 90th) so walking around was not pleasant.
We were done with Boise and back to our hotel by 3pm (partially because of US vs. Belgium soccer game). We did not feel like going to a restaurant and had dinner in our hotel room. We bought some nice local artisan bread and fruits plus a bottle of Idaho wine (chardonnay). Last year we bought a bottle of Idaho wine in Washington and loved it. This time wine was pretty bad to almost undrinkable level. I also made sandwiches with leftover BBQ meat that we took as a doggy bag from Barbacoa. And we still had some good cheese left! It was nice and relaxing evening that we badly needed.
Unfortunately, I got cold and was suffering from runny nose and cough so ralxing and taking it easy was just what I needed.
All photos are clickable.
We started our day 18 with visiting World Center for Birds of Prey near Boise. It was small but had several very interesting birds. We also visited their Falconry Archives and listened to short but very interesting lecture about history of falconry. Unfortunately, we did not have time to wait for next live demonstration of falcons. The Center is operated by the Peregrine Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving birds of prey from extinction. Since 1984, The Peregrine Fund has been headquartered at the World Center for Birds of Prey, a 580-acre site in Boise, Idaho. Their campus includes an interpretive center, falconry archives and breeding facilities that currently produce chicks from captive flocks of endangered Aplomado Falcons and California Condors.
Then we had very long (over 425 miles and around 61/2 hours) drive to Reno. The drive was not as bad as I was expecting. We were driving mostly through high desert with occasional irrigated pastures with cows and horses. First we drove through Idaho, then through southeastern part of Oregon and finally through Nevada. The scenery was more or less the same through the entire drive.
When we reached Nevada we got into some kind of wind corridor. Wing was so strong that it you could feel it moving your car. Other thing they had there were small dust tornadoes moving through the fields around the highway. One such tornado touched our car and it was quite sizeable push we could feel.
Around 5pm we arrived to Reno. WE moved from Mountain Time to Pacific Time so we gained an hour.
This was Alex’s first time in Reno (I was there once on company conference) and our hotel (Atlantis) made our stay very pleasant. We expected regular room with king bed but we got really fancy suite. It had large living room with walk-in bar, flat screen TV and half bath and very large bedroom with large Jacuzzi tub, sitting area and second bathroom with a shower and TV. It was on 10th floor and had great view of the city and the mountains.
And casino! We do not gamble. More so, I cannot even grasp the concept and thrill of gambling on mental level. But casino was full of people playing all kind of games. To me it looked like a human zoo; definitely not my idea of fun.
We had dinner at Bistro Napa. While it was not bad it was not as good as we expected based on their Tripadvisor rating (#2 out of 763). We decided to limit ourselves just to soups and appetizers. Alex had Bouquet of Onion Soup (creamy five onion soup baked in colossal onion, crowned with Gruyere cheese gratinee) and I had Jumbo Lump Crab Chowder. Both soups we good but not outstanding. Then we had three appetizers - Crispy Buttermilk Calamari (Fresh Herbs, Zesty Marinara, Bistro Aïoli), Blackened Ahi Tuna, Fennel and Carrot Slaw, Citrus Ponzu Vinaigrette and Charcuterie Plate (Chef’s Selection of Cured Meats, Pickled Vegetables, Whole Grain Mustard, Wood-fired Crostini). All appetizers were good but again, there was no ‘wow’ factor you expect from so highly rated restaurant.
Later when it became dark we drove through Reno strip where all famous casinos were located. Everything looked very glamorous and flashy. We even visited one of them (Peppermill) that looked particularly interesting from the outside. Well, inside it was exactly the same casino as the one in Atlantis; nothing excited. It is still legal to smoke in public places in Nevada so many people at the casinos were smoking. Alex pointed this out to me but thanks to my cold and stuffy nose I did not even notice!
When we came back to our room I had nice and relaxing soak in our Jacuzzi.
To be continued....