Saturday, July 01, 2006

One Quick Day In July

Well, July sneaks in with just one day for the week, but it gets a good picture anyway.This is a giant Luna moth on a very patriotic background. Hope you enjoy it, and enjoy it quick, because you get a new one tomorrow.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Meet The Locals

If there is such a thing as an iconic sign in Vegas, it would have to be this cowgirl and her cowboy. They live off the strip in Downtown Las Vegas at a place called the Fremont Street Experience. I'll share more of that Experience with you later, but for now, suffice it to say that these two neon figures have a hard time competing with the other sites around them. I'm sad to say that neither figure was in motion while I was there. Normally the cowboy moves his arm and the cowgirl kicks up her heels. I guess they were just tuckered out from a long day in the Nevada heat. The cowboy stands above the former Pioneer Club, while the cowgirl adorns Glitter Gulch. Ah-ha, her name is Vegas Vicky (formerly Sassy Sally), and his name is Vegas Vic. I love the internet.


There's something creepy about that rockface. It's almost as if it's watching me... (This was outside Treasure Island, which is towards the North end of the strip. They have a pirate show on that ship each night, but it's difficult to get a good vantage point without camping out for an hour or more.)

Four Is More

Even the commercials are bigger in Vegas. Why show an iPod commercial on just one huge screen when you can show it on 4 huge screens? I almost ran inside this mall to get one after being dazzled by so much advertising, but somehow I resisted and eased on down the road.

Do You Smell Something Burning?

Nothing is as it appears in Vegas. The nice calm waterfall in front of the Mirage is a good example. Most of the time it looks like you see it above. Folks with good ears might occasionally hear a deep rumble, but think nothing of it. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the fountain turns into a volcano, shooting lava and flame high into the air. Then in a few short minutes, it's over. Next show's in half an hour, please move on folks.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Sun Always Shines

The folks who designed all the casinos in Vegas are sneaky. They want to keep you inside as long as possible, and part of doing that involves making you loose track of time. There are no clocks anywhere, and the lighting is always set on high. To make you feel a little more at ease, they even decorate the ceiling like sky. This particular ceiling was in the Desert Passage Shops near Aladdin, but I saw similar skies in a couple of other places. All that painting on the ceiling has got to be expensive.

Life With Lions

These two lions are on display inside the MGM Grand. I'm not sure I agree with them keeping the cats in an indoor cage so that tourists can gawk at them all day, but they did seem to be having a good time. Both cats were active while I was there, wandering around the enclosure, but not pacing. Maybe they enjoy the people watching.

When In Vegas

I almost made it out of Vegas without seeing any showgirls. It's my own fault, I suppose, but I didn't make it to any shows during my trip. But thankfully I ran into this beauty outside of Bally's not long before I left, where she was promoting their new show. She was kind enough to pose for a couple of pictures, which I suppose she is used to by now. If any of you ladies want to make your guys showgirl fantasies come true, you can get this outfit here. Or just rent Showgirls, I suppose...


Perhaps you've heard of the fountains in front of the Bellagio Resort in Vegas. I remember them from the final scene in the remake of Ocean's 11 from a couple of years ago. Well, I caught maybe 5 shows out there, and it was always impressive. The picture above is from street level, where I was lucky to get close enough to take this shot. People wandered over quickly whenever a show began, clogging the sidewalk up for the length of the song. The only song I heard played twice was Frank Sinatra doing Luck Be A Lady. Other songs included Elvis-Viva Las Vegas, Gene Kelly-Singin' In The Rain, Lee Greenwood-Proud To Be An American, and a couple of operatic pieces I can't name. Oh, and some track from a musical with kid's singing that I can't place. The shot below is from the top of the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas. The fact that I couldn't fit the entire hotel and fountain into the shot with my shortest lens should tell you about how large this resort is. I was so high up that I couldn't hear the music!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Sunset In (Not) France

From my first full day in Sin City, this was the most interesting sunset I got to see. You're actually looking south, but these clouds were in just the right spot to be highlighted by the sun which had already set behind the mountains. The Eiffel Tower (at least in Vegas) is located at Paris Las Vegas, which is right next to Bally's, who for some reason hadn't illuminated their sign yet.

Bloomin' On The Ceiling

The high temperature in Las Vegas during my trip was 112. My flight came in around midnight, and it was still over 100 degrees. With temperatures like this (even though it's a dry heat), you can imagine I spent quite a bit of time inside when I could. The casinos make sure to have plenty of stuff to see inside, so I didn't have a hard time keping myself and my Canon busy. This floral display was on the ceiling near the check-in desk of the Bellagio. I don't remember seeing a sign or anything, but this could only be the work of Dale Chihuly. There were thousands and thousands of these glass flowers, each almost two feet across, covering an area maybe fifty feet wide by 200 feet long. It must take a week to dust, although I'm not sure how much dust can settle on the ceiling...

(Not) Live From Las Vegas

I know I have been slacking with the posts lately, but I've been busy. And the reason I haven't posted much in the past week was because I was in Las Vegas! Yep, I was burning up the strip with my little camera in hopes of bringing home lots of great shots. I don't claim the one above is too great, but at least it proves that I was in Vegas. (Note the helicopter at upper right. Those things were flying tourists around day and night. If I had only brought more money...) I had hoped to blog some photots while I was actually out there, but I guess free internet is not a money-maker in Sin City. So stay tuned for the next week or so, and you'll see what I saw.

The Week Of Ernie's Birthday

This spectacular sunset was on the lake out behind where I work. I knew it was coming just from looking at the clouds an hour or so earlier, but I didn't think it was going to be like this. I liked the shot so much, I made sure it was the calendar page during the week of my birthday.