Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Out of Practice

Lisa and I are on a "field trip" to Tonopah this weekend, partially to do some tourism to another place we would certainly never have time to go during Westercon 74. We also are doing something we would never do in most cases: change hotels during the middle of a stay in the same town. (We did stay in three different IHG hotels during our 2014 Worldcon trip, but that was a combination of moving between the convention site and hotels where we could make the most use of our IHG points, and in any event, we always stayed at least two nights in any one place.) We spent last night in the Best Western Hi-Desert Inn, from which we are about to check out as I write this, and will spend tonight in the Jim Butler Inn & Suites. Why would we do this, you ask? Because in practice it's the only way we can get the level of documentation we want of the hotels, and these are the last two of the four "downtown" hotels we'll be using for Westercon 74. We've already stayed and and photographed hotel rooms in the Mizpah and Belvada Hotels, plus the Tonopah Station, which is about 1.5 km south of downtown. (We're not planning on staying at the Old Brewery Hostel, so if you really want to keep your costs down, you'll need to look at the documentation on the Mizpah's website.) With an anticipated attendance of 200-400 people and around 200 hotel rooms in the "downtown four," we reckon most of our attendees will want to stay in these hotels. While of course staying in every possible room type is impractical, having representative photos seems like a good thing to us, especially inasmuch as in our experience most hotels' sites don't include all of the things we personally want to know when investigating a room. We'll have more to say about this when I write this up after we get home, and I'll update the Westercon 74 website with more photos later.

In the meantime, there's the practical matter that Lisa and I are clearly way out of practice when it comes to travel. With the exception of the trip we made here in July, we haven't been on an overnight road trip since January 2020. We both forgot a number of things for this two-night trip. Fortunately, none of them are critical, and in some cases we could back each other up.

Backup Supplies

For example, I left my primary travel kit, a rather nice hanging bag that I was given by a Menlo Logistics (yes, that long ago) sales manager that has been a regular companion when traveling and that is currently still now hanging on a hook in the bathroom at home in Fernley. Among the things that were in it was a toothbrush and a comb. Rummaging through my luggage, I found a heretofore never-used travel toothbrush about which I'd forgotten and a comb (also never used, still in its plastic wrap) from the hotel in Barcelona where I attended Eurocon a few years ago. Lisa had her toothpaste, so I didn't have to pop out last night and get some.

Of course, in this trip's case, I could have always gone to Raley's and replaced some of the things that I'd left behind. Also, I'd separately packed my bag of medications that I take for my blood pressure and diabetes, so I'm good there. I did leave my blood sugar meter behind, but for a short trip I don't think that's a big deal. However, I think I'm going to have to make an actual paper checklist of things to pack, because as we simply have not been traveling for a couple of years, things I used to do without having to think about it have dropped out of my memory. For some of our planned trips coming up later this year, I might leave behind something more mission-critical.
Tags: tonopah, travel, westercon

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