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Monday, May 25, 2009

UPDATE RENO: Better Late than Never


Well, on April 20th, 2009, I arrived in Reno, NV to begin a new adventure with my darling Imaya. I know this post is over a month late, but I was too busy loving life with her to play on the innernets. Right now I am in a Holiday Inn Express in Fredericksburg, TX about to go to a real life batcave. How did I end up here? We shall get to that later, I have a ton of steps in between to cover first.

So let's start with going to stay with my darling Imaya in Reno, NV.


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Above is the map of where I traveled after my Coachella weekend in my freshly repaired car. I arrived at about 8:30 AM on April 20th, 2009 (no kidding, I got there on 4/20)

Imaya welcomed me into her home, and we kept busy. She was finishing college and working; I was learning about Reno. One of our 1st adventures was to Terrible's Rail City (my choice) to eat their famous 1 pound ham steak and eggs (I had a terrible's experience in Vegas before). While there we had some brews from the Ale House.

She showed me around, and took me to where she drums and fire dances at the River School. While it was very cool, it really made me feel old. I didn't know what fire dancing was until Imaya told me, which will come into play later. Her home is actually a dorm type place near the college, so to make me feel older, there were college kids everywhere. The bonus was the local gas station which has an enormous variety of good beers.

She also introduced me to her very good friends, Crystal and her family, Angela and her boyfriend Char, and all the while we sampled a wide variety of very good brews and tried some nice vegan food from the Pneumatic Diner.

Since I keep mentioning the beer, let me note that my favorite beer is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale... which is difficult to find in most places in this country. If a town has a 15% chance of having Sierra when I go out, it is considered very high odds. In Reno, it is the STAPLE beer, which made me very happy. Some places I went did not have Budweiser, but did have Sierra... I was very happy indeed. It seems like Reno is to Sierra Nevada as Coors is to pissbeer Colorado.

Anyway, I finally met Imaya's parents... I was quite nervous about meeting them as I told her, "I am a little old to be 'meeting parents,'" however, it went quite well as they seemed to like me and I liked them. They invited me over for a couple of excellent dinners (her dad is an awesome cook) and out for sushi. I helped them get ready for Imaya's graduation party.


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The week of her graduation was hectic, to say the least. On the Sunday prior, Imaya and I headed down to Mountain View, CA to the beautiful Shoreline Amphitheatre to see The Dead. It was her 1st time seeing them and we tested our business plan for making money during Phish tour. We had a blast, selling our wares (more about what we were selling after tour), I had no ticket but got in, and we made enough money to pretty much break even, pay for gas, grass, tickets, beer, and garlic fries. So we are confident that we will be able to support ourselves during the Phish tour. I had purchased a $5 straw hat for shade prior to Coachella, and was wearing it in the show and as I was leaving my seat, a dude offered me $50 for it. I told him OK, but all he had were 3 $20's and I had no change on me, so he bought my $5 hat off my head for $60... I can't even make shit like that up.

We would have made more money, but we kinda snuck backstaqe at the end of the show. We ended up in the hospitality section of Shoreline, next to the fire dancers who performed during that nights Rhythm Devils portion of the show. Yes, Imaya had out cooled me and, right after my arrival in Reno, she fire danced for me when I didn't even know who it was, and here were the Dead featuring some amazing fire dancers. We even gave an old timer hippy named Kelly who sold beads a ride to Berkley after the show. It was a LOONG day as we left Reno at about 9 AM, arrived in the parking lot around 2 PM, left shoreline around 1 AM and went back to Reno.

And yes, we saw the google campus while in Mountain View... we are geeks after all.

And we will be back for Phish in August.

Imaya had a lot of work for finals, and Friday night was her graduation party. I met a ton of her family and family friends and she had a great party. I ended up with her, her cousin, her brother and her sister at a hookah bar in the middle of the night. It was cool.

Saturday had her walking in her graduation and had us attending a family friends graduation party. By the end of the week, I had attended 3 graduation parties with her family and let me tell you, her family and their friends can party down!

All good things must come to an end, and so it was with us. On my last night in town, I met Imaya's good friend Stephanie when she invited us to watch the improv comedy show performed by the Utility Players in the Cabaret at Studio on 4th. Afterwords, we tried in vain to find some food still open and ended up drinking very good beers at Silver Peak Grill and Taproom. The food was great, Imaya had the Ahi salad, I had the crawfish jambalaya. They were both delicious.

And then we had my final day in Reno, which was spent running around trying to get a bunch of shit to do. I went to Imaya's work and said goodbye, and took a cab to the bus station. Why a bus? I hate flying. Although, after this experience, I now hate buses too. Where was I going? How was my trip? WTF is Mulch doing in Texas? The answer will arrive soon. To be continued...

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