This will mostly be a photo/video gallery post for each day, but we'll add some comments here and there to talk about some of the images and what we were doing. Some pictures are good, some may be blurry, but they are what they are, so please enjoy. :-)
Our plane left Atlanta around 2 PM and it was a pretty uneventful 4 hour and 15 minute flight. Once in Vegas at 3:15 PM, we took a cab to the hotel. We stayed at the "Paris" in a "Red" room on the 27th floor overlooking the Strip. Across the street was the Bellagio with its spectacular fountains (and buffet :-) ), and next door was Planet Hollywood and Bally's. These are just a few flight pictures as well as a couple of the Paris after we arrived. During the security check before the flight, they confiscated Chelsea's $25 hair product from her carry on baggage for our first loss of the trip. It won't be the last. The only meal in Vegas that day was at Ocean Grill in the Miracle Mile mall in Planet Hollywood. Mallory was about to perish...
The Flight there...
This was our first full day in Vegas and the 4th of July. Paris, as you can see, has a 1/2 size replica of the Eiffel Tower. It was originally designed to be full size, but wasn't allowed due to the close proximity to the airport. There is a restaurant and observation deck in the tower and we went to neither. Go figure. :-)
We spent part of the day at the pool and a little gambling playing roulette and blackjack at Paris and Luxor casinos before the show. I was feeling lucky at a $25 minimum blackjack table and quickly found out which kind of luck I had. It wasn't the good kind.
Across the street at the Bellagio, the fountains were awesome, and being the 4th of July, were themed to the Star Spangled Banner. When they really get cranking, they sound like cannons when they go off.
You'll also notice that some people couldn't keep up... Once we got back from Criss Angel (see below), it seemed the girls were a little bit worn out (first set of sleeping pictures). So Amy and I left the sleeping girls in the room, and went downstairs to a sidewalk restaurant called Mon Ami Gabi, a sidewalk cafe at Paris, and had dinner (see above). The sauces and the seafood were incredible, and our view couldn't have been more spectacular. The pictures of the fountain came from that restaurant except for the video, which was taken on the sidewalk facing the Bellagio.
Criss Angel "Believe"
The Pyramid and egyptian looking things are the Luxor Casino and Hotel. That night we went to see Criss Angel's "Believe" show. Mallory was picked to be in the show when Criss threw a scarf into the audience for three people, and she managed to catch the scarf and be in that part of the show.
The night time pictures were taken from the top level and front seat of the "Deuce", the Strip's transportation system. As far as I'm concerned, the only way to get around. It goes from Fremont Street in the north to Mandalay Bay in the south.
We were not impressed by the fireworks, and as you can see, the sleeping beauties never made their intended club crawl.
Bellagio Buffet and Garden
Busy day. We slept in a little late, but managed to get up and go to the buffet at the Bellagio across the street. Here you see three pictures from the Bellagio looking back toward the Paris and Planet Hollywood next door. You'll also see the indoor garden in the Bellagio. All of those flowers are real and the garden changes every season. Very beautiful.
Mirage and Siegfried and Roy's Secret Garden
The next part of the day took us to the Mirage, where we went to see the Siegfried and Roy Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat, but ended up seeing much more.
The Mirage is a beautiful hotel and casino. The gardens and waterscapes were great, we saw the 20,000 gallon aquarium in the lobby, and the girls took their picture in front of the 1 Oak club that they missed the night before... :-)
The Mirage host the Beatles Cirque de Soleil "Love", so there were lots of Beatles themed things going on, the Beatles Revolution Lounge, a nice store selling anything Beatles including a bass guitar signed by Paul McCartney, and Beatles music playing in many areas.
Next stop was the dolphin habitat. It was very cool getting up close and personal with the dolphins and their trainers. I think this was one of the highlights of the trip for everyone. They kept the males and females in separate pools and had several dolphins on loan from various Seaworld's to breed.
It was cool seeing all the cats up close. In one cage were two trainers and three white lions. Not sure I'd want to be in that cage. We were told that Siegfried was there and would normally come out and talk with the visitors, but we didn't see him.
The Venetian and a really fancy book store...
Later that afternoon, we went down the street to the Venetian. It's a beautiful place with an old Italian architectural style. You could even take gondola rides through the indoor and outdoor canel's. At many of the newer hotels and casinos, and this one as well, the ceiling is painted like a sky. It's very cool to see because as you walk, it looks like the clouds are moving.
While we were there, we found this first edition book store called Bauman Rare Books. Has to be the most awesome collection of rare books that I've ever seen. The most expensive book pictured below cost $225,000. I asked the guy (James Russell, Ph.D.) how much the most expensive book they sold was... $1,500,000. Check out some of those prices. It is just incredible how old and how valuable some of these books are.
Cirque de Soleil "O"
This show was at the Bellagio, across the street from where we stayed. The end of the evening and it was spectacular. I had seen a Cirque show here in Atlanta that was very good, but this was a major production. Unfortunately, I can't show any pictures or videos after the show started, but I do have the official trailer for the show below. I read somewhere that the production cost $85 million dollars.
There are a few pictures taken after the show looking back across the street toward the Paris.
We started the day by getting a rental car and driving to Hoover Dam. I have very expensive taste and decided I needed the appropriate car to tour in, so I picked this car. After several minutes of struggling, I finally realized the girls wouldn't fit in the trunk, so I had to trade it in on a Chevy Impala... not quite the same flair I was hoping for but it worked.
We took the power planet tour and walked the top of the dam so I could check Arizona off of my bucket list. If you go to Vegas, go to Hoover Dam. A very impressive piece of engineering to say the least.
Welcome to Las Vegas... proof we were here.
Welcome and come back soon!
Menopause and "The Top of The World"
Went to Harrah's to see Menopause. Before the show at Harrah's, Amy had a little luck gambling playing "Duece's Wild", and I practically had to drag her away so we wouldn't miss the show. For the finale, they invited some women in the audience to come up of stage, and of course, Amy was the first one up kicking like a chorus girl.
After that, we went to the Stratosphere's "Top of The World" restaurant for a 9:30 PM dinner. This restaurant rotates 360 degrees every 80 minutes to give you a spectacular view of the Vegas skyline. We took pictures but can't find them now. I guess I lost more than my debit card.
Red Rock Canyon
One of the most beautiful but barren areas that you'll ever see. Located just 15 miles west of Vegas, it's a spectacular mixture of rocks and landscape. We even managed to see wild horses (see pictures below) and Gila Monster, as well as a Joshua Tree. The pictures don't do the views justice. I also did a 17 minute YouTube video from my GoPro camera that I mounted on the hood of the rental car as we drove on the 13 mile scenic drive (below the pictures).
The video below is part of the 13 mile scenic drive through the Red Rock National Conservation Area. I mounted my GoPro camera on the hood of the rental car to get this video.
Beatles Tribute Band
That evening, we went went next door to Planet Hollywood to hear a Beatles Tribute Band and it turned out to be a very good show. They started with the old songs and progressed to the newest. I was surprised how well they did some of the later songs like A Day in The Life from the Sargent Peppers album. The theme was like an old Ed Sullivan show. Here are c couple of short clips to give you an idea what it was like.
Uneventful flight back as well. Almost... once again Chelsea had illegal hair products in her carry on... had to throw that away. Then... they were weighing our bags and Amy's was 6 pounds overweight. Did you know they charge $100 for an overweight bag? Come to find out, we just had to move 6 pounds of makeup to another bag and we were good.
I did have some great views of Lake Mead and the Grand Canyon from 36,000 feet. Incredible views even at that altitude.
We'd like to thank Ron Phillips Travel for helping to make this trip a reality.
This was our free day after deciding to not go on a marathon 15 hour Grand Canyon tour. We returned the rental car, had a great breakfast at Blondies inside Planet Hollywood, although I just realized yesterday that's where I lost my debit card.
The girls spent their day at the pool while Amy and I spent some time in Casino Royale where I struck it rich playing the Wizard of Oz slot machine. Amy and I had White Castles for dinner.. and I have to say they aren't quite as good as a Krystal. :-) Later we found out the girls had the Paris buffet and all you could drink. Living big...
Fremont Street Experience
If you've never been to Fremont Street... you have to go. It's called "experience" for a reason. You have the most varied population, street performers, overhead ziplines, the Golden Nugget Casino and Hotel, and the overhead Light Display, and it's the most diverse area in Vegas.
Speaking of the light display, here's an excerpt from Wikipedia:
The central attraction is a barrel vault canopy, 90 ft (27 m) high at the peak and four blocks, or approximately 1,500 ft (460 m), in length.
There is also Slotzilla, "that is a 12-story, slot machine-inspired zip line attraction. SlotZilla offers "flyers" two levels of lines, the lower "Zipline" (77 feet up) and upper "Zoomline" (114 feet up). The lower lines travel halfway down the Fremont Street Experience pedestrian mall. The upper lines go the entire length of the mall (1,750 feet). Guests on the upper "Zoomline" travel prone, or "superhero-style." SlotZilla cost $17 million to construct and features a launch tower with over-sized dice, a martini glass, a pink flamingo, simulated video reels, a giant arm and two 37-foot-tall showgirls."
We had the pleasure of a return trip to Fremont Street after Mallory left her phone in the Golden Nugget Casino... what happens in Vegas... stays in Vegas. Except her phone and Chelsea! :-) We finally got in bed around 2:30 AM Vegas time (5:30 AM here in Atlanta).