Friday, October 14, 2011

Las Vegas

When my in-laws were here a couple of weeks ago, we all took a trip to Las Vegas. Even though I have traveled extensively through Europe, I have barely been anywhere in the US.

The views from the plane were amazing. The furthest west I had been before this was maybe 2 hours outside of Austin. I had never seen deserts before, nor canyons like what we could see from the windows.
I think the majority of pictures from this trip were shot from the plane.
Of course we had to get a picture in front of the famous "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign. It is a bit of a walk, though, from the main part of the Strip. Luckily mid-September wasn't terribly hot, but I was starting to wonder if it was worth it about halfway there.
Although tour buses were bringing people by the dozens, everyone was surprisingly polite and queued up so each person could take a picture without other people in the way. 

The first night we walked up and down the Strip watching the different free shows outside the casinos - the fountains at the Bellagio, the volcano eruption at the Mirage, and the Sirens at Treasure Island.

Although my plan was to stuff myself silly with food, it didn't take much before I was sick of eating. The first buffet we hit was at the Paris casino, but I barely managed some soup, bread, and crepes. I think if I ever go back to Vegas, I would stay at the Paris. I really liked the feel of the place. Of course everything on the Strip is so manufactured and fake, but if you squint hard enough, it could look like you were on a Parisian street on the inside.
Husband and I made it back there the following night because we had wanted to go out at least one evening and visit a club. We saw The Chateau advertising that Rupert Grint would be there for his "birthday party", so we thought "why not?".
Inside the club was really crowded, but their outdoor gardens were really nice, and provided a great view of the city. We were also right across the street from the Bellagio and could watch the fountains going off every 15 minutes.
Here is my one stalker photo of him. He came a couple hours after it opened and mostly just stayed at his VIP area. 
On the Sunday we were there we mostly just walked around more of the casinos. At the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace there is a little show about the Fall of Atlantis and behind it is an aquarium. I liked the stingrays because it always looked like they were smiling for the camera.
In the evening we got to see a Cirque du Soleil show - Mystére. I had never seen one before, and it was amazing! There is a show coming to Austin early next year, and I'm debating whether to get tickets.

I think three days was enough of a visit to see everything. We did so much walking that I don't think I could have bared any more
On the way back to Austin we had a stopover in Salt Lake City. I found it funny that they put black squares (typically reserved for dirty magazines) in front of ones such as Maxim and Cosmo.
The city looked nice, though. It was surrounded by mountains, and the pictures around the airport made me want to go back and visit some of the state parks.