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Friday 13 June 2014

Flashback Fridays: Las Vegas 2005

My parents will be arriving here in Berkeley later this afternoon, but right now they're in quite possibly the tackiest place on earth. That's right... Las Vegas!

So today I thought I'd share some shots from our 2005 trip to that glitzy, neon lit city in the desert.

Las Vegas really is such an odd place. We drove there from the north rim of the Grand Canyon. For such a long time it was nothing but desert, desert, desert and then suddenly, bam! A tangled mess of freeway appears and then a city in the middle of nowhere. And not just any city, but one of the strangest cities full of novelty buildings, skywalks for pedestrians (toting their oversized novelty cocktails) and slot machines everywhere you look. There were seriously even slot machines in the laundromat we went to!

While Las Vegas wasn't really my cup of tea it certainly is an interesting place to visit... once. Maybe twice. The themed hotels are a sight to see. Where else can you visit New York, Paris and Venice all in one day? Or see real lions in a hotel lobby? Crazy, right?

We spent two days in Las Vegas. We walked the strip and visited the famous hotels, took in the views from the top of the miniature Eiffel Tower, marveled at the music, water and light show of the Bellagio fountain, basked in the neon glow of the Fremont Street Experience,  took in a Folies Bergere show, got caught in a dust storm and visited Hoover Dam.

The glass flower ceiling in the Bellagio lobby

One thing we didn't do in Las Vegas was gamble. I know it seems like the thing to do when in Las Vegas but neither Kim or I are really into gambling, especially not slot machines. Kim being a math nerd, he likes to work out the odds of winning - which are always stacked on the casino's side. Me? I just find it boring. I don't mind the more interesting games like roulette or black jack but I couldn't think of anything more boring than sitting in front of a slot machine slowly feeding it my money. In fact, we both found the gambling culture of Las Vegas quite sad. No matter what time of day it was, the slot machines in our hotel's lobby were abuzz with activity. It was hard to tell what time it was outside when walking through the lobby and I'm sure that it's easy for many people to lose track of time (and their money) at those machines. The sheer number of people that we saw playing the slots at 8am the day we left was just scary. Did they get up early to gamble or were they still there from the night before?  

One place we really did enjoy was nearby Hoover Dam. I had no idea just how impressively huge it would be. Just like the world's most extreme skateboard ramp!

I also loved driving through the desert scenery and kept my eyes peeled for Joshua trees. I couldn't help myself and just had to stop for a cheesy U2-esque photo!

Ok, back to tidying before my parents arrive from Las Vegas...

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