First an additional Saturday note: I missed the Awards ceremony due to another bout of the Hilton Revenge (or bad conference food). Some people are saying it was great as befits the 25th Anniversary celebration of RWA but I'm also hearing darker stories that aspects weren't what they should have been. If true, that's unfortunate.
Yesterday, I was able (though I had a few iffy moments of nausea) to take the Bay Line tour of Lake Tahoe, Carson City and Virginia City. Lake Tahoe is gorgeous!
Before we got to Carson City, our bus broke down (I think the transmission died). The guide called cabs to take us the the Nugget (a casino) for our complimentary buffet lunch. I managed to eat some but the Hilton Revenge returned. One thing that struck me as I wound my way to the restroom. I passed a line of slot machines completely populated by senior citizens. They sat like zombies, pressing the buttons, hardly blinking--good grief, hardly breathing!--as they lost their money. Now, I don't mind gambling. I've done it myself. But I kept picturing these little old ladies and gents throwing their rent/medicine/food money into the casino coffers. I just wanted to shout 'Hey, these people are in business to make money--not make you rich!' But...was it my business? Not really. The lunch came with a $2 coupon for cash to gamble with while we were there. My $2 went into my pocket and stayed there.
Virginia City was a typical tourist trap. Very picturesque...in a kind of seedy, run down fashion. There were the routine gift shops and casinos. There were a couple of tours I didn't have time for, ie an underground mine tour which I would have loved. Susan McClure and I did take a trolley ride around town which was rather interesting and we went into a bookstore that had some very old volumes in it that I would have liked to look at. But the temptation to buy would have been too strong and I wanted to keep my luggage weight down.
All in all, it was a very enjoyable day with lots of spectacular scenery--we even saw some wild horses--not sure if they were mustangs or not.
Today, Monday, I'm packing to go home. I've got my Maalox and Imodium in my carry on--Just In Case. It's been a good conference (well, except for the Revenge thingie) but I'll be glad to get home.