Las Vegas - 2006

Updated: 11/30/08


w a lv1 dist 013.JPG (20627 bytes)Leaving Henderson, we could see Las Vegas in the distance. We visited Las Vegas as part of our trip to the Southwest USA. As this was our first trip to Las Vegas, we planned to see the city more than the entertainers and shows.

Arrival and camp site . . .

The Las Vegas Strip . . .            Downtown Las Vegas . . .

                                                        Transportation around the city . . .


Arrival and camp site . . .


w a lv1 vic lot 058.JPG (38424 bytes)When we arrived in Las Vegas about noon, we headed for the Visitor Information Center. Fortunately there was a large parking lot adjacent to it. We parked, gathered some information and had lunch in the HHII. Our first impression - it was a city like any other. w a lv1 pepsi 060.JPG (27648 bytes)Some interesting thoughts went through our minds when we saw how the Pepsi machine was protected. However, we experienced no safety issues in Las Vegas by staying with the crowds and not wandering off the 'strip'.





We camped on the grounds of Circus Circus Hotel and Casino. There were several campgrounds in the vicinity but only one on Las Vegas Blvd - aka, The Strip. We decided to stay 'on the strip'. We have stayed in quieter campgrounds. It did have a lot of the 'city noises' you would expect to hear. But, it was an 'easy' walk to the strip in the morning ... but ... not as easy a walk back after walking 'the strip' for several hours and returning home tired.  The campground office looked like a circus tent in keeping with the Circus Circus theme. From our window, we could see the Stratosphere and an example of one of the many construction projects in-progress in Las Vegas. New construction can be seen in every area of Las Vegas.


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The Las Vegas Strip . . .


w a lv1 cc sign day 184.JPG (39526 bytes)w a lv1 cc sign neon 198.JPG (41788 bytes)So, Circus Circus is where our visit to Las Vegas begins - the place where we saw day change to night.

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From the campground, we entered the Circus Circus building and got our first glimpse of the 'action'. We quickly noticed that there are signs outside the 'gambling areas' warning that minors are not permitted. There were staff and security everywhere.


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Poker tables ...



Farther into the building we walked through the Midway. There were several games children could play. In spite of the availability of some games for children, in our opinion, Las Vegas is an adult destination.


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Our first free show was a circus act inside  Circus Circus. This was one of only several 'free' shows listed on a page of 'free' shows we picked up at the Visitor Information Center.


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Closer to the front door of the Circus Circus building, the real gaming was in progress. 


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Leaving the Circus Circus building, we were on the Las Vegas Strip. While near the Visitors Information Center Las Vegas looks a lot like any other city during the day,  Las Vegas Blvd (aka: The Strip) is unique. It is unique during the day but its real personality shows at night. At night, the city became Las Vegas. What a difference darkness and neon lights made. The building are designed to be impressive at night - under the lights.


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Some buildings had very ornate and decorative facades and interiors. The theme selected for the hotel/casino is carried throughout the business complex. We were surprised at the size of the properties and the extreme level of decorating.


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Some were just out of this world.

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Another reached for the sky.

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Art work is everywhere . . .

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And sometimes you would see a celebrity.

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Is it really Robin Williams?




w a lv1 n ny 398.JPG (43792 bytes)No, this is not the skyline of Las Vegas. It is the New York New York building - designed to look like the New York City skyline. Its the theme thing.

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v lv2 ven 350.JPG (47824 bytes)The Venentian Hotel and Casino has the Venice, Italy theme, complete with gondola rides.


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Treasure Island had the tall mast ship and pirate theme.


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Another theme . . . Harley Davidson


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w a lv1 n 278.JPG (24266 bytes)Caesars Palace is another huge multi-building complex. It is very apparent what lighting can do to a building.




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The Paris theme included the Eiffel Tower.

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w a lv1 n 347.JPG (25371 bytes)Another free show we saw was the Fountains of the Bellagio Water Show in front of the Bellagio. It was Mary Lou's favorite. It ran frequently all night and all day.


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Of course, we saw it in the daytime. It was still a great show.


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Would you believe Las Vegas is a little commercial? Even Coke and M&Ms were represented.


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Did you know there was this many colors of M&Ms?                                                    



v lv2 wynn 402.JPG (39357 bytes)Do you want a little 'high end' shopping? A fellow on the bus told us not to miss the inside of the Wynn building. The outside looked very nice but he said you have to go inside. We found where the non-gamblers go while the gamblers play. Based o the shops we saw inside the Wynn, the gamblers had better be successful to keep up with the shoppers.

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v lv2 cubs 072.JPG (47531 bytes)As we rode the down escalator in the MGM Grand, we came upon a glass den with two lion cubs in it. The trainer told the audience that the glass was one and a half inched thick so the cubs would not hears us. Also, there are nine pairs of cubs so they do not get stressed by 'working' too long.

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v lv2 rf 110.JPG (23761 bytes)Mary Lou wanted to to the Rain Forest Cafe in the MGM Grand for her birthday.

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            This is a test, do you see Mary Lou looking at the fish?


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v lv2 girls 455.JPG (50318 bytes)As we stated at the beginning, we did not have a performer we wanted to see. At least, not at ticket prices. Nor, did we go to an 'adult' show.

We will close this section with a sculpture that drew a lot of attention. It was fun to watch the 'guys' and 'gals' (mostly guys) who wanted their photograph with it. Two older gentlemen asked Fred to take their photograph with 'the girls'.



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Downtown Las Vegas . . .     


w a lv1 ot cowboy 473.JPG (35775 bytes)Old Town Las Vegas is the location of the original Las Vegas Strip. That is where you see the historically known Las Vegas neon signs. You have seen these in advertising and featured in many movies. This is also where you find the Fremont Street Experience.


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w a lv1 otls 442.JPG (42669 bytes)One of the evening's Viva Vision Light & Sound Shows was ending as we got off the bus. We walked the Old Town street and then waited for the next show.

Fremont Street is covered with a curved canopy that doubles as a screen. It feels like an indoor event with shops, food, music, shows and casinos.

First they did a little testing with advertising and then the Viva Vision Light & Sound Show began.



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w a lv1 ot street 507.JPG (50638 bytes)While it feels like an indoor event, half-way down a cross street bisects Fremont Street. A traffic signal light controls movement of a lot of pedestrians and a few vehicles.





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Transportation around the city . . .

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We spent two fabulous days in Las Vegas. We used the city double-decker bus system anytime we did not walk. Our advice ... wear comfortable shoes. Plus ... there is almost no place to sit down in a public area - they want you sitting in a restaurants or in a casino. 

The shuttle bus system - pay $5 per person and ride as often as you want for 24-hours.  It worked great Wednesday night but Thursday during the day the system was clogged with people and it was difficult to get a space on a bus. Tempers were getting short as busses passed you by.  We waited for a fourth bus on one occasion to get a ride. The bus pass can be used on other city busses as well. 

Cabs were available. We were told they could only pick you up at hotels and casinos, not at the curb. Your own car or a rental could be used but parking at the various sights would be an issue. 


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