Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Sparking Away

Lisa and I spent several hours with my grandfather in Sutter today, heating up the wonderful Thanksgiving Day food that my mother made for us on Tuesday. We would have stayed longer if we'd been able to extend our stay in Yuba City, but the hotel is unaccountably sold out tonight, although it was empty last night. My grandfather said he was glad we were able to visit, but he understood why we needed to get going, as we wanted to get at least partway up the road before sunset. After a stop for fuel and at the ATM in Yuba City, we headed east through Marysville and into the hills toward Reno.

The last time Lisa and I drove up California Route 20, it was on the way to Denver for Worldcon in my van, and among other things, we saw a bear cross the road in front of us. There was no such excitement tonight.

The Holiday Inn Sparks doesn't look like a hotel focused on people coming to Reno for gaming or tourism, but instead looks focused on the business traveler and the people just passing through on their way somewhere else. We are unimpressed by, as the clerk explained, the "Holiday Inn Scent," which apparently all of the newly-remodeled properties (the ones with the new version of the logo) have to have in the lobby.

My room key showed that we were on the top floor of the hotel. I had a feeling I might have been given an automatic upgrade as part of my platinum status. If the place is as vacant for the next two nights as it looks tonight, it's no skin off their noses to do the upgrade. Getting off on the 9th floor, we looked for our room. We initially couldn't find it. There's no room with our room number on it. We only figured out where it must be by process of elimination of the rooms nearby it. The number plates of our room and some rooms nearby are missing -- possibly part of ongoing remodeling.

The room itself appears to be a "mini-suite." It's about twice the size of what I'd consider an ordinary hotel room of this class of hotel -- larger even than a Doubletree double queen on the party floor at San Jose, which is really saying something. But the room utilization is terrible. It doesn't have a closet, only a rack in the room. There aren't enough power outlets, and the ones that we have are badly placed (like behind the bed). I would have traded half the space for a refrigerator and microwave oven like the Express in Yuba City. (Indeed, if we'd known we would have those things, we would have taken some of the leftovers from Sutter; however, we knew we would have no way to keep or reheat them.) Lisa says that they basically took a standard room's worth of material and put it into a larger space without doing anything smarter with it. And as usual, these rooms seem to all be designed for only one person, regardless of how large they are.

Also unfortunately, it's a little bit further to the Sparks Nugget from this hotel than I thought it would be, and there are stretches of Nugget Blvd between here and there that do not have sidewalks, so it looks like we'll have to drive back and forth for dinner. Speaking of which, we may head down there in a few minutes to see if John's Oyster Bar is open this Thanksgiving evening.
Tags: family, lisa, reno, travel
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