Ramble On

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Las Vegas (monorail field trip)

Well, last night here and all...so I thought I might head down to the Hard Rock, but I decided to stick with the monorail instead. There is a station right in the Hilton, so I was good to go. Here's a photo from the station - there's the Hilton sign (if I haven't mentioned it, Barry Manilow is playing here). Across the way is the Sahara, where Charo is playing.

That was tempting but I decided to go to the Strip; the last time I was hear I had walked the area from Ceasars down to Luxor. Full disclosure: I was driving from DC to LA and my radiator finally gave out. AAA recommended a repair shop on the Strip - it's gone now, it was right next to Ceasars and was probably sited in what is now the Bellagio fountain.

That was 15 years ago, and the Strip area is really built up with those deluxe themed hotels like Paris, Bellagio, and New York New York. I got off the train at Ballys, figuring I might walk to some of these places.

Ballys is ingenious, as monorail riders have to walk through the casino to get to the strip. I didn't find that unpleasant - of the four I walked through tonight, Hilton, Bellagio, Planet Hollywood and Ballys - it looked like the best. Here are photos of the empty sports book, tables (these were the busiest tables I saw - the only action at the Hilton is the craps tables).
Once I exited Ballys I crossed the footbridge to the Bellagio, where I found 5,000 or so close friends waiting for the fountains. My luck was with me, and the show started when I arrived. I have to admit, I was trying to frame up the location shot they had for the fountains in Ocean's 11. They must have done that late at night and closed the Strip for the shoot, everything is way too close for the shots that were in the movie.
Here are views north and south (south has a ghost image reflecting me) from the footbridge. I had a daylight picture of this south view in a post yesterday. I walked on down to Planet Hollywood and grabbed some carnitas in the Mexican place there. Make that, carnitas and Dos Equis lager, thank you very much.

I guess I managed to take a lot of Vegas in around the trade show. I have to say it's an acquired taste - I don't think I would come here for the gambling, or even sightseeing on the Strip. If I could put together tickets to that Cher or Bette Midler show, along with a little gaming, boating on Lake Mead, and another Grand Canyon tour...well, I guess I'd have to get to know Andre Agassi to make that happen.

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