Las Vegas 2008
 
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Our Las Vegas Adventure

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 de Triomphe.
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 lake.
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 months.
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. Unbelievable!

 

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 perform.
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 Bay.
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 Queen.
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 Caesar's.
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 again.

   

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