Here’s the part where, yes, we’ll be talking about food, as always, but I do want to dish about what actually went ON in Reno, besides eating. With Nashville coming up in April and our first-ever cruise in May, Auntie L has been ruminating, even more than usual, about what women love to do. In the precious hours we have for a gathering of pals, how do we spend the time in a way that rests us, fills us up, feeds us, strengthens us? What do you do with your pals that makes you smile every time you think back on it?
Lots of questions are coming my way now about what we’re actually gonna DO on that cruise, and exactly how much will that cost, and so on. So let’s start by reviewing what we DIDN’T do, in Reno, and maybe some of the pals where were there could chime in about whether that was cool or not. Because it was kind of an experiment, and because it was a fairly small group, we purposely left things kinda loose. There were only two planned activities, which both involved shopping, which is not one of Auntie L’s favorite things to do, but if you are going to shop, Reno is a great place to do it. AND (secret agenda!) it’s a fun way to push pals to see themselves in a different light, to try things they wouldn’t otherwise, to ask questions about how they present themselves to the world.
WHAT WE DIDN’T DO: drink. This kinda surprised me. A couple of cocktails, a couple of glasses of wine, and that was about it. Tons of water and tea were consumed. Boring, eh? We also didn’t see a show, go clubbing, play the slots (I think Diana said she won $40, but I forget if it was cards or slots) or go skiing or ice skating or bowling.
WHAT WE DID DO: eat, talk, laugh, walk. The breakfasts at Peg’s Glorified Ham and Eggs were, in fact, glorious, partly because the food was good and fresh and they let you have fruit instead of hash browns. But to me, what a delight to be around a table, eating wonderful food, with a bunch of friends. I think it’s something missing for a lot of us. Food is SO much more glorious in good company, unhurried, at a real table, on pretty dishes, with real knives and forks. And teapots.
DID WE WORK OUT? Yes, in a way. Miss B led the group for one session in her fabulous 3,000-sq.ft. gym (#themontagereno), which of course ends up being as much laughing and yelling as huffing and puffing. A couple of the girls took off in the early morning each day for walk, brisk in every sense of the word in the late-winter Reno chill. One of the best parts about Reno, though, is that because we were downtown, we could walk to everything. By the time we’d walked to breakfast, lunch and dinner in different places, or walked to “#Dressed Like That,” we’d had the best possible workout, which is the one you don’t even realize you had because you were just having fun. Walking.
Our dinner at #Campo, right on the river two blocks from the #Siena, was so spectacular we had to go back for brunch on Sunday, which is the only day they serve it. The adorable person who’d waited on us at dinner the night before did a whole schtick when she spotted us again: said she thought she was hallucinating, because she’d been out dancing all night, only to come back to work to find the same crazy eight ladies at the same table.
THINGS WE LEARNED: beets really are fabulous, when they’re not in a can and prepared well. A “sunchoke” soup is a good thing, too, made from Jerusalem artichokes (which are neither from Jerusalem or artichokes) and truffles with olive oil on top.
Maybe the most delicious thing of all, though, was being welcomed by proprietor Cynthia Lewis into her one-of-a-kind shop on Virginia Street, “Dressed Like That” for a private party on Sunday afternoon. Not open on Sundays, Cynthia had invited us for a VIP party. We were greeted not only by her charming and adorable self, but by a lovely spread just for us: wine, chocolate truffles, petits fours — this is a woman who knows what women love!
Cynthia carries classic pin-up and retro clothes, so trying them on is a little like stepping back into an MGM wardrobe room in the 1940s and 50s. HUGE fun, and a great way to add some real sizzle to your sensible black wardrobe. With our VIP discount (I’m calling it that, anyway. Why not?) on everything in the store, including her sale rack, some of us were walking with INCREDIBLY cute items for less than $20.
And are we leaving anything out? Yep, we are. Our spa day at the #SienaSpa, our adventure at #Legends Outlets, and a few other things. Have I really even talked about the most important things that happened? No, probably not. But it was unforgettable for me, and I hope for everyone else who was there. Loved that you girls just took a leap of faith and showed up.
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