Sunday, December 23, 2007

The scoop on Vegas... the general stuff -- and photos....

We spent three full days in Vegas... and that was just enough time... Keep in mind that I don't gambol and rarely drink. Hubby plays poker but no slots and neither of us are into the nightclub scene.... In short, we are typical academic nerds.

We had a really good time and are planning to go back, probably in the summer when the hotel pools are open.

We stayed here.... at the Mirage, on th 20th floor. That rock-like thing in the foreground is a volcano that goes off every hour on the hour 6:00 PM-Midnight. It shoots fire --and was VERY cool.

I think the best advise anybody gave me prior to going to Vegas was to wear comfortable shoes. Dammm... was she right. If you are staying on the Strip, your hotel will be HUGE. The walking you'll do in the hotel alone is quite a bit, and then if you want to go elsewhere, the easiest way to do so is to walk. They do have a bus, a monorail, a trolly and a large number of moving sidewalks --- which help, but plan to do some walking. Comfort over fashion!

We went to the Bellagio for breakfast --- these are their indoor fountains -- which don't photograph well, but are VERY cool. If you get a chance, you need to see their water show.

Also, be prepared for slot machines to be EVERYWHERE -- the airport, the hotel lobby etc... The Bellagio was unusual in that their slots didn't dominate the decor.

We took a day and went to Hoover Dam -- it is about 30 miles outside of Vegas and well worth the trip. It is amazing. Doing this trip takes a full day... we left just after breakfast and got back to the hotel about 6:00 PM.

Currently, highway 93 runs across the top of Hoover Dam... so there are a few security checks etc.

They are working on building a new section of road to replace the one on top of Hoover Dam... and dang, it is going to be high. This is a photo of the place where a spectacular bridge will be... you can see both sides of the bridge at the top. Yep, they plan to connect them...

This is one of many photos from the west side of the Grand Canyon. The fence you see is about the only fence we saw while looking at the Grand Canyon -- most of the time, you could easily fall over the edge.

The whole operation is run by the Hualapi Nation.

To get out to the canyon, you buy a tour for a minimum of $25.00, which includes a buffet lunch... they take you around on busses and you can stay at each spot as long as you'd like. Going on the Skywalk is a minimum of $75.00 -- and we opted out of that. The publicity photos look much more impressive than the real thing -- it is probably amazing, but we didn't think it would be worth $50.00...

On Thursday I went shopping. When we got there, Hubby told me he'd planned a nice shopping budget for me -- and then I also got to spend what he won at poker... and he did win. First, I went for some shoes -- since I had to replace the ones extra-toes puked on... and finding shoes for my wide feet isn't easy.

I ended up at the Wide Shoe Store.

I left with three pairs of shoes --- one for conferences (with an actual, gasp, small heel!!), and two for teaching... all very comfortable, AND my size.

After the shoes, I went to the Coach outlet.. there are two Coach outlets, I went to the one at the "Premium Outlet" -- you can find a bunch of other cool stuff there as well.

Imagine a normal Coach store, but with really good prices. I got a new wallet, eyeglass case, a smallish pouch and a small square purse (to go in my briefcase) for about $200.00 --- the purse alone is almost that at Macy's.... The place was really busy --

After my shopping trip, I got an amazing pedicure... and took a long nap.

Our flight left on Friday afternoon -- so we had time to go to the M& M store.

It is four-stories of M& M merchandise.... and a full wall of different colored M & Ms... we have them in pink, green, purple, black etc... you name it, they have it.

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