Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Las Vegas

Abram and I had gone to Las Vegas in February of '06. We thought that it would be interesting to take the kids and show them some of the amazing architecture in Las Vegas. Paul Drebelbis, Abram's uncle who had past away in June, had a company that created the facades and internal pieces for the casinos in Vegas. I was told that the Excalibur Casino was a family friendly one, so we booked two rooms there. I was amazed that price of a room tripled from a week rate to a weekend rate.

Here is a picture of Excalibur at 9:30 at night. Vegas is pretty outside with all the buildings lit up. It is loud and difficult to negotiate with a family inside.

Our rooms across the hall from each other.  This is the view from one of the rooms.

The next day we ventured out to see other casinos and try to find some things to do.  Here's our hotel during the day.

Here's NY, NY.  I took the girls on the roller coaster.  I do not like roller coasters, but Rachel had never been on one before and I couldn't let her go alone or have Sarai be responsible for her.  I gave Abram my camera and pocket book and all loose items I could think of; one I forgot was my glasses!  The operators of the ride would not hold them for me, so I held them tightly in my pocket hoping that it would stay while we twisted and turned upside down.  All was fine, except for my elbow which was bruised.  The ride was more bumpy than anything. 

We played some arcade games.  We looked at show prices, but having tickets begin at $70/person with a seven person party we had to find other things to do. 

We walked into MGM studios casino.  In the middle of it were two huge lions!  These are real.  They are switched out half way through the day with other lions that are cared for at a reserve.  It was amazing to watch their behavior.  They acted so similar to our cats.  The grooming is the same, they care for each other in a similar manner, our cats lounge just like them.  It struck me how similar their instincts are yet we are comparing wild cats to domestic ones.

The Bellagio is a great attraction.  On the half hour, music plays and the water fountains move to the music.  We saw this site in '06 with our friend Dave.  Here are some great 2011 shots of the fountain display.

We decided to explore the casinos hoping to see some good things inside during the day.  A few casinos are connected by tram, but that costs too.  We walked in the desert heat of 105 between many casinos.  We got to the Bellagio around 6:30.  I was happy to find it since I really wanted the kids to see it.  Our walk through the streets provided an eye opening experience that none of the kids enjoyed though.  We were hot, hungry and tired and still needed to walk back.  Abram asked if I wanted to go into the Bellagio, I said "why bother, let's go back and eat". Well, he remembered that there was an incredible site of glass umbrellas lining the ceiling in the Baliagio, but I had not remembered that.  He also did not think to mention anything about the umbrellas, so it was a lost moment.

In '06, I took these great photos with a small camera.  I had said it would be great to take more with the newer, better camera.  That opportunity was lost and so was the chance to show the kids this great work of art.  In order to see anything inside of a casino, you need to walk through all the slot machine areas and other gambling spots.  You are allowed to walk with your kids, but they cannot stop.  I was chided for having the kids wait for me to use a bathroom, because they were starring at a slot machine!  This was extremely frustrating.  I decided to use the photos from '06 to show how beautiful the inside of the Bellagio is.

Imagine the whole ceiling covered in these glass umbrellas.

I have a print of this one in my bathroom. 

At night, Vegas lights up.  Here is a picture from '06 of the Sphinx with a blue beam coming out of its head.

I cannot remember at all which casino this is in.  (If Dave lets me know I will correct this.) Dave took Abram and I here because there is a thunder storm that happens regularly here.  The ceiling is painted like a sky.  You hear the thunder rumbling and then rain falls into the pond for the thunder and lightning storm.  They also have a Ben and Jerry's here so we had ice cream while waiting to witness it.

Back to our recent 2011 photos.  Here is picture of the Vegas sky line.

Out of the other hotel room we had, was this view of the Excalibur pools.  We floated in the upper right pool.  The upper left pool was an over 18 pool.

I don't have many photos of the pool because with the temperature being 105, I wanted to be in the water.  We also did not spend a lot of time in the pool.  The pool opened at 10 and closed at 7.  They really wanted to make sure you had nothing else to do but gamble.

There was one waterfall that was working. 

Las Vegas was an experience.  Tobin thought peoples' descriptions of Vegas were over exaggerated, but now he knows that they were true!  We had planned to stay two night in Vegas.  After spending Saturday night and Sunday in Vegas we needed to leave this city and do something else.  We chose to see the Hoover Dam.  That will be the next blog.

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