Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Las Vegas Notes

As I wrote yesterday, we had a really grand time in our Las Vegas weekend. The problem with Vegas, though, from the perspective of an old curmudgeon, is that it's just too much: too loud, too fast-paced, too bright, too everything. We stayed at the Bally's Casino & Resort, and every time the elevator door opened into the casino level, the thundering din of bells, whistles, clattering slot machines, electronic beeps and squeaks, and people shouting at each other over the general din was deafening. Interestingly, some of the other casinos we visited or passed through (the Venetian and the Bellagio, in particular) were much less noisy and seemed a bit more "sedate," if that word can be used in connection with anything in Las Vegas.

The other thing I noticed, as on our last visit, was that everyone over the age of two seems to smoke like a factory chimney. I've never smoked, Agnes quit years ago when we started dating, and I've gotten spoiled living in a largely non-smoking environment. The smoke level was very annoying.

Okay, enough of that ... how about a few pictures?

This is a shot of the marvelous dancing fountains at the Bellagio hotel. Each hour the fountains erupt for a five-minute show, synchronized with the music being played. In this photo, the fountain is dancing to Frank Sinatra's "Luck Be A Lady Tonight." A still photo can't capture the incredible fountain activity, but this one tries. That's the back of Agnes's head in the foreground (and a nice head it is, too).

Inside the Bellagio Hotel lobby is a beautiful garden with all sorts of wonderful displays of flowers, trees and assorted sculpted plants. This picture is a closeup of a display featuring Treebeard the Ent from The Lord of the Rings. I'm especially fond of this picture because this is what I look like before I've had my morning coffee.

We offered to take a picture of another couple, and they returned the favor - this is Agnes and I at the entrance to a beautiful flowered bridge through the garden.

We also visited Hoover Dam, which was very interesting and impressive. Pictures can hardly do it justice because it's so huge, but this is one of the best I took of the face of the dam itself:

We also took the tour down inside the dam and the diversion tunnels originally cut to re-route the Colorado River for the construction of the dam. This part of the tour was not for the claustrophobic or faint of heart...

This photo is of the inside of the generator hall on the Nevada side of the dam (there's another one just like it on the Arizona side). Each of those generators is seven stories tall.

And this is what the generator halls look like from the outside:

If you ever have the chance to visit and tour Hoover Dam, do it. It's beautiful and fascinating!

Oops...out of time for today! Time to pack my lunch and head to work.

Have a good day. The tour continues tomorrow.



The Mistress of the Dark said...

Great pictures. The Bellagio looks gorgeous. I've stayed at the sister casino, The Borgata in Atlantic City and it's incredible.

Gosh I miss Atlantic City. And I don't gamble..I just love the ocean and the lights...and all the restaurants!

La Chanson de Phoenix said...

I still plan on dropping in on my normal blog route too!

Having said that, I'm super jealous of your Hoover Dam tour! We have the Kinzua Dam locally, but after 9-11 they canceled all public tours. I miss them. I love these dam structures too! hehehe!

Amanda said...

I like that photo of Treebeard. The Ents were my favourite characters in LOTR.

The Dam looks very interesting too. Its amazing to think of those 7 storey high generators.

zero_zero_one said...

I really want to visit the Bellagio. The owner of the furniture shop that I used to work at would go to Las Vegas at least once a year and stay at the Bellagio, and he made it sound like the best hotel in the world.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Those pictures of the dam show the inside. Few have seen that before.

Real Live Lesbian said...

Cool pics of the dam! They cancelled our local dam tours too. Color me jealous!

The Insane Writer said...

Hoover Dam is awesome. I love that tree!!!!!