Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Memories of Las Vegas

Well, I hope you have enjoyed traveling around Las Vegas with me for the past two weeks or so. We have visited some beautiful and interesting places. Maybe the next time I stay in Las Vegas I can take in some of the attractions on the west side of Las Vegas Boulevard. Next year they should be close to opening the City Center. That place should be a very interesting and fun place to visit.

You know you are in a classy place if you walk into the "men's room" and find this decor. The following photo was taken in the Encore.

I am leaving Las Vegas and traveling to Barstow where I will be watching trains again for a couple of days. Then it is off to Apple Valley where I will drop anchor at Jim and Shonda's place until I leave for my summer adventure to Salim, Oregon next month. However, that does not mean the fun will stop.

In my next post, I will take you on a ride in a real fire engine. So get your boots ready to jump into.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


A very interesting and unique place in Encore is a restaurant called Switch that seats around 50 to 60 guests. If you were to go in and have dinner there without any knowledge of the place, you would be very surprised at what happens every half hour. You could be sitting there enjoying your meal when all of a sudden the large pictures on one of the stationary walls, the ceiling along with the chandeliers, and two of the walls all change. You have to be there to really get the full impact of these changes.

The ceiling has two states and the walls have three states. If the ceiling and chandeliers start out like this state:

They will change to this:

This is the shorter of the two walls that change and they can start out looking like this:

And when the change time comes, the walls disappear completely.

Then at the next change another wall appears that has solid stone work along with a steal supporting structure that has working doors. This wall weighs about 34,000 lbs. There are no hydraulics involved. Everything moves by an electro-mechanical mechanism.

If you would like to see all this in action, just stop by the Switch some evening and be entertained by a room.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Parasols at Pallazo

While waiting for night to come so I could take in the shows at the Lake of Dreams at the Wynn, I walked next door to the Pallazo Hotel. They are all set for rain with so many parasols hanging from the ceiling. This is a look at the main entrance.

At the south end of the shopping area are a collection of parasols of many colors. Along with a water wall. It gives you the feeling that there must be a hole in the roof.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Chandeliers of Wynn and Encore

In my last post, I showed you several views of the exterior of the Wynn and Encore. Today I want to show you some of the many beautiful chandeliers that are in the Wynn's public areas.

These two views are of the Parasol Bar in the Wynn that is located next to the Lake of Dreams which is where they have several very intriguing, although short, shows. I was able to attend two of them and I definitely want to go back and see the rest of them.

In the the Wynn's shopping corridors:

Over in the Encore, I enjoyed looking at these works of art:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wynn and Encore

One day I decided to take a my camera over to the Wynn and Encore Hotel and Casinos. I was looking for photogenic scenes and interesting decor. Just the exterior of the buildings have an interesting and eye appealing appearance no matter from which angle they are viewed.

The Wynn opened in 2005 at a cost of 2.7 billion and has 2, 716 rooms and is on 215 acres. While the Encore opened in 2008 at a cost of 2.3 billion and has 2,034 rooms.

So much for the exteriors. Next post I will show you what they've done with the place.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Exotic Animals

Upon reading in the Vegas 2Go magazine that the Flamingo Hotel has a 15-acre tropical paradise with ducks, swans, tropical fish, Chilean flamingos, peacocks, pheasants and other EXOTIC ANIMALS, I grabbed my camera and headed over there one morning. I found the "tropical paradise" with no problem, but most of it was an assortment of swimming pools hidden away in the lush vegetation. I kept on hunting for the animals and finally I came across an area where there were waterfalls and what looked like places for animal habitats.

I felt that I was getting close and I kept on looking for the EXOTIC ANIMALS.

After hunting around for a while, I heard this noise....that sounded like an EXOTIC ANIMAL. I tracked down the sound and found this EXOTIC ANIMAL? It was in one of the ponds that the swans use. Needles to say, I was not impressed!

I continued my search and in no time I found a real EXOTIC ANIMAL.

I found the ducks, tropical fish, and a few wild birds, but still NO FLAMINGOS. I finally gave up and was on my way back to my car when what should suddenly appear? You guessed it....flamingos. Not one, but two beautifully shaped and colored flamingos standing there as proud as could be. Only thing being was that they were cement.

Oh well, maybe someday the Flamingo Hotel will be able to obtain some REAL LIVE flamingos to add to their EXOTIC ANIMAL collection.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Some more interesting things around Las Vegas

The Bellagio has more than one famous fountain. In fact it is in the Guinness World Record book as The Largest Chocolate Fountain. If you go back in the shopping area at the Bellagio you will find it at the Jean Philippe Patisserie. It is 26 ft. 3 in. tall and circulates over 2 tons of chocolate at a rate of 120 quarts per minute. It has dark, medium, and light chocolate flowing from overhead in the display window. I imagine it runs 24/7 or it would harden.

Over in the Rio Hotel and Casino they have on display at one of their BBQ restaurants and Orange County Chopper that was custom designed. Would you believe a motorized Bar-B-Que.

Along Las Vegas Boulevard, you can rent one of these side-by-side scooters.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Venetion

I continued my walking tour of the east side of the strip by going into the Venetian. Right out front is a large pond where you can ride in a gondola. If it is too windy for you, you can go inside and ride in a gondola through the canals of Venice.

They even have a smaller version of St. Marks Square. On the real square, they feed pigeons. On this smaller square, they feed people.

When you drive up to the hotel entrance, you will drive under a huge carport (80 to 100 feet deep) with paintings overhead.

Once checked in, you will be walking down this beautiful hallway that has the floor laid out so it looks like the pattern is 3-D.

Once you are in the shopping area, you may find one of their famous mimes.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lions and Laborers

When I got off the monorail at the MGM GRAND (end of the line), I was walking through the casino to get to Las Vegas Boulevard when I came upon their Lion Habitat and I saw a big crowd around it. I walked over and saw that they were feeding the lions.

Speaking of wild animals. I must insert a link here to a Web
Album of my daughter and son-in-law's animals. My grandsons in Salem, Oregon are dying to see their dogs. You can click on "Slideshow" and adjust the speed to your liking. So here you go Andrew and Aaron:

After I took a few pictures of the lions, I proceeded out the front door and headed up the street. I wanted to check out what is being called "the biggest construction site in Nevada" that I have been following on the web for the past year or so. I have heard that it is costing over 10 Billion dollars and is scheduled for completion sometime this year, if the money doesn't run out.

NO your eyes are not playing tricks on you. You are seeing correctly. The two building in the center of the above picture are leaning. They have been named the "Veer Towers." The front one veers to the north and the second one veers to the south. All the floors are level. They are just a part of the City Center project. Very unique architecture to say the least. You can only imagine the number of construction workers or laborers it is requiring to build all these buildings simultaneously on this 37-acre complex. Every building you see here and then some is part of the project. Click on the following links to check it out further.

The next picture is a panoramic picture stitched together from three photos that I took. Again very unique construction. It is going to be called the Crystals, an entertainment and shopping complex.

Another interesting thing I came upon while on my walk was these spiral escalators at the Forum Shops. They are quite rare, although, I did find another pair in the Parasol Bar in the Wynn Hotel (I will post pictures of them at a later date.).

Things I found interesting in Las Vegas

After I left the Fountains of Bellagio, I walked up the strip to check out the volcano at the Mirage. On the way I walked past the front of the Venetian and caught this scene.

I waited across the street from the Mirage and I caught the hourly eruption of their volcano. I could feel the heat from the bigger blasts. If you click on the second picture, move back a little so you don't get your hair singed.

I keep hearing reports about how the tourism has dropped off in the past few months, here in Las Vegas. Well, by the looks of traffic on the strip, there is no shortage of traffic.

Las Vegas is famous for its bright lights and, of course, gambling, nightlife and overall accessibility of all things sinful. But, if you are my age or older, you will remember that Las Vegas was also famous for the atomic testing that occurred 65 miles outside of town. So I took a nostalgic tour through the Atomic Testing Museum.

The tour begins with a two-minute video that is presented on three screens and explains the reasoning for the establishment of the NTS (Nevada Test Site) and its involvement in the Cold War, as well as a brief history of the NTS. From there, a succession of galleries continue to bring to life the story of atomic testing with brilliant displays of safety gear, testing devices and a comprehensive list of all operations carried out at the NTS.

I was transported back in time to when I watched a live broadcast on KTLA of an early morning blast where they placed military personnel out in the test zone to see the effects. They do not allow a person to take cameras into the museum, so here is a picture that was in their hand-out you get as you enter.

Another place I found interesting is their monorail system. It is completely computer controlled and works great. When you ride you get to see what other people have to do a lot of walking to see....the back sides of a bunch of casinos!

On very fascinating thing to me was to watch the way the rails switch so that trains can reverse direction and get on the other rail. The picture on the left is a train coming north into the Sahara station. The rails then pivot to align the rails so when the train departs south out of the station, it will be traveling on the south bound rail.