Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Vegas, Baby! Day 2

Anyone who has visited Las Vegas in the last decade knows Construction is an ongoing thing. And I do mean Ongoing. No stopping for dark or respecting the "quiet hours". Instead, let's pour concrete all night long, across the street, for the foundation of a new building. Or better yet, the construction across the parking lot: let's utilize an AIR HORN to direct the comings and goings of our crane! And let's start at 4:30 in the morning!

Needless to say, this suburban girl was Sleepless in Las Vegas for most of the trip. Oh well, how important is sleep anyway?

Day 2 began bright and early (remember the air horn?), and after eating a quick breakfast, we all piled into the minivan for a short drive to Hoover Dam. We wanted to get there early, as the parking tends to be quite crowded, and no one wanted to walk any further than we needed to :-) Also, this way we could tour the dam, and get back at a reasonable time for Kyra's afternoon nap.

Because of 9/11, security is still high at places like the Hoover Dam, so like the airport, we went through yet another security screening. This time, however we got to keep our shoes on, but we still had to dismantle the stroller yak, only a little less loaded up than before.

We started the tour by watching a short video presentation, then went on a guided walking tour which was really cool because we got to see the turbines in the power house (each weighing 580 tons!).

Then we were on our own, so up to the observation deck for an overview. The Hoover Dam, named after Herbert Hoover, the 31st President of the United States, actually is half in Nevada & half in Arizona. In fact, the state line runs right down the middle, so of course we had to take a picture.

After the dam, we were all starving, so we stopped at this Hotel & Casino called the Hacienda for their buffet brunch. The food was decent, and in the lobby of the casino, was the largest slot machine I'd ever seen.

After lunch, we returned to the condo, and everyone had an afternoon siesta, except me. Sadly, I couldn't sleep, so I finally got to read my magazine.

Nap time over, and we were off to the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino, specifically to see their Shark Reef exhibit, as Kyra loves fish. This was one of their residents, the Lionfish.

They also have this really neat glass tunnel, where you can walk through, and all the sea creatures completely surround you on all sides. I took a video of it, but I don't know how well it will show up here. I apologize in advance for the video operator--this was taken with a small digital camera in a dark area...

After wandering around Mandalay Bay, we decided dinner was needed. We ended up at the Harley Davidson Cafe and here are some pictures I took.

Elvis Presley's bike~~The "Love me Tender"

This was the front of the restaurant

But wait, the night was not over yet. Grandma & Grandpa agreed to watch Kyra, and Beth & I were off to Fremont Street, with Starbucks in-hand. This is the original Vegas, which has been painstakingly restored to make you believe you've stepped back in time. Beth says they've really worked hard to clean up the area to make it more family-friendly, and I think they've done a really good job.

The most amazing part of Fremont Street is their Viva Vision. Created by LG CNS Co., Ltd., the industry's foremost authority on dazzling, state-of-the-art light and animation display technology, this $17 million phenomena has delighted visitors with larger-than-life animations, integrated live video feeds, and synchronized music – all delivered on a high-tech overhead canopy that extends the length of more than five football fields! I tried to take a picture of it, but again, small camera, large space.

Well, another day in Vegas for the books. Tomorrow, the town of Pahrump, Red Rock Canyon, a little gambling, and more touring of "The Strip".

Blessings, K~