Mike and I went on a short trip to Las Vegas in
January 2008. We made a surprise visit to my friend Terri's house and
then proceeded to our timeshare near the strip. Our days were packed with
activities from "dawn to dusk", just the way we like it!
Terri's husband Mike and I planned the surprise visit. He kept Terri
at home on Sunday afternoon to watch the football game with him telling
her he wanted to eat lunch when it was over. Mike and I parked in
their driveway and I proceeded to go to the house door inside the garage
and knock. Jade and Chester their dogs started barking furiously. I
could hear Terri in an irritated voice yelling at them to shut up as she
came to see who was knocking. She opened the door just a bit to peek out
and stared at me. Suddenly she opened it wide and let out a shriek "what
the hell!" and started screaming. I do
mean screaming. Mike captured this moment. It took us and hour to
recover from our hysteria. I was the last person she had expected to see
at her door. We did finally go and eat a late lunch.
The inside of our condo on Decatur Street not too far from the Strip.
Monday the first day we started exploring the strip which is about 3
miles long. Since each hotel is a unique experience, it took us the week
to see it all. The Paris Hotel is complete with an Eiffel Tower, Champs
Elysees and Arc
A stroll along the indoor Champs-Elysees with its shops, restaurants
and climate controlled comfort.
The Bellagio Hotel is elegant and beautiful. We saw the Cirque de Soleil
production of "O" here Tuesday night the second night of our stay. It was a
treat of a lifetime for me. Since the first time I saw them on TV
probably 10 years ago I have dreamed of seeing them live.My
dream came true and it was truly dreamlike. The imagination surrounding
every aspect of the production was "over the top".
This oriental display in the atrium of the Bellagio hotel was made of
a variety of colorful exotic plants and flowers. This area is
changed at least quarterly with a new "garden" theme.
This small lake in front Iof the Bellagio contains hundreds of
fountains. Every 30 minutes they go off and are choreographed to
different songs. The music is piped thru out the area by hidden
speakers. The evening is the best time to see the "dancing" fountains as
they are also lit. Walkways with shops and eating areas surround the
A shot looking over the Bellagio lake north toward Caesar's Palace.
We had perfect weather chilly with clear blue skies. Excellent for strolling
around outside. The climate is brutally hot and dry in the summer
A huge section in the middle of the strip is under construction. A
city center is being built which will be the largest architectural
endeavor to date in Las Vegas.
Mike near the Bellagio lake .
The gaudy yet beautiful MGM hotel with its Golden Lion taking center
stage in the entry!
Kathie gets her picture by the lion. There is an actual lion habitat enclosed in glass
nearby where we saw the lions being fed and sunning.
We make our way to the New York -New York hotel. This place has
a Coney Island amusement park inside with roller-coaster and the works.
Mike outside the New York. The building is made to
represent the New York skyline. There is a Statue of Liberty, Empire
State building, Rockefeller center, Brooklyn Bridge, along with Times
Square and Broadway. We prowl the area for the day and end up at the
Riviera Hotel in the evening to see the "Russian Ice Skaters"
Tuesday Mike and I start out early. We explore Planet Hollywood and
pick up our "Stomp out Loud Tickets" for Thursday evening. We check out
the Excalibur Hotel and end up in the Luxor where we see the 3D Imax
production "Sea Monsters". Wow. I went with Terri to lunch at her
special friend Bonnie's home while Mike went to see "Bodies" at the
Tropicana. Then on to the Bellagio and "O" that evening. Quite a jam packed day.
Wednesday we headed to Red Rock Canyon about 30 minutes west of Las
Vegas on the way to Mt. Charleston. The day was a bit overcast so the
colors of the red rocks weren't as spectacular as they would be on a day
of sunshine. The visitor center had several informative displays
concerning the geology and wildlife of this area.
The Red Rocks
A view southward down the valley
Wednesday evening we made our way to the north end of the strip
visiting the Venetian Hotel first. This is where the Blue Man group
Strolling along the indoor walkways in the Venetian it seemed so much
like outdoors that I would forget
that I was inside.
Indoor waterways in the Venetian Hotel where gondola rides were available
for a price. The guide would steer and serenade the riders.
Mike stops for his photo as we stroll and stop at an outdoor
cafe for a dose of caffeine to prepare us for Mamma Mia at the Mandalay
The Palazzo Hotel just opened during our stay. A fantastic water fall
and pool with fountains is at entrance.
After the Palazzo we make our way to the Wynn Hotel. This place has
3 acres of exquisitely landscaped gardens and pools. It hardly seemed
possible that we were in the middle of the Nevada desert while being
surrounded with the lush greenery.
Mike by one of the waterfall displays outside the Wynn Hotel
The enchanting walkway inside the Wynn.
We make our way south bound on the strip as dusk overtakes us. The
Mamma Mia production was TREMENDOUS ! We are still singing Dancing
Thursday we stopped at Terri's on our way to the Hoover dam about a
40 minute drive south east of Las Vegas. This time Terri was warned of
my visit. Mike took this picture of the four of us calmly posing. I said
my good byes to Terri. This was our last day.
The Hoover dam intake towers. The lake is 120 ft lower than normal
due to drought conditions. The high volume of traffic in
this area has also caused a by- pass to be constructed which we
could observe from the dam.
We took a guided tour into the interior of the dam. These are the
huge electrical generators that produce electricity for much of the southwest.
We head back to the city to arrive at dusk and see the construction
on the strip at night. I guess it is a 24/7 operation.
Before going to Planet Hollywood to see "Stomp Out Loud" we hurry to
the Mirage Hotel to their "must see" out door volcano. We make it
with just minutes before the eruption. Breathtaking.
We make a quick walk through Caesar's Palace. Here
is just one of the spectacular fountains found inside.
As we hurry down the strip I get a shot of the fountains outside
The "Stomp Out Loud" production was better than I anticipated. I was
stamping my feet and clapping my hands afterwards wishing I had more
talent. After seeing a week of highly gifted performers I realize I am a lamer.
Here is my last shot of the strip at night as we head back to the
condo. We leave Friday morning for Texas.Pick up the Musties and home