Las Vegas

My Love/Hate Relationship with Las Vegas part 2: What I Loved

Last time I told you about what I hated in Las Vegas. Let me tell you about the parts of Vegas that I loved:

1. Red Rock Canyon. GORGEOUS! We got up really early one morning and drove out there just after sunrise. It. Was. Gorgeous. I would go back in a heart beat.
(show photos!)

I might have to go back-- the combination of the cropped sensor camera and 85mm lens that I rented prevented me from being able to capture the amazing expansive landscapes. Thank God for the iPhone (you should see the husbands panoramas!)

I gotta give props to the husbter for taking this amazing panoramic shot!

2. I LOVED the Neon Museum! I have to go back. This is the place where the old iconic vintage Vegas signs either get restored, or retired and spend the rest of their days sitting out basking in the sun. This tour was fantastic. Great history, incredible signs. Again, I have to go back with my camera and lenses!

3. Fremont Street was pretty neat. The dome or canopy was cool, i guess. There's a laser light show and music. I wish that I had been to that section of Vegas before that canopy was created. I LOVED the iconic signs that would have been much cooler photos without all the light/noise behind them.

4. The hoover dam was amazing! Such a feat of human ingenuity! It was definitely something to see. I really didn't think I would like the dam and the dam tour (ha! the dam tour!) but it was really educational. I'm so glad we got to go!

5. The dolphin show at the Mirage! Seriously, I think that was one of the highlights of the trip (for me, anyway! The hubster's highlight was shaking hands with the old man from pawn stars) We went just before the show closed so it wasn't crowded, we had great views of the dolphins, and I got some pretty awesome photos! we were so close that i could have just reached out and petted them!

I know! So close, right?!!  

I had a really good time, especially when we weren't on the Strip. I'm really glad that I stopped fighting G and agreed to go!

Our next adventure? Monterey and Big Sur in California! We're leaving tomorrow for a little weekend getaway to celebrate our first anniversary. (HOLY CRAP! It's been a YEAR already!) I'm sure I'll have a few (ahem!) photos to share with you from this adventure and I'll be sharing some on Instagram, so follow me!!! In the meantime, if you know any place that I HAVE to see while I'm in Monterey and Big Sur, please let me know!!!


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My Love/Hate Relationship with Las Vegas part 1: What I hated

So the hubster and I decided we needed a little getaway and Vegas was one of the possibilities we were throwing around. Personally, I think it was all the commercials we kept seeing on cable TV… I never ever really wanted to go there. In my head, I thought all of Vegas was super seedy and dirty. Kind of like a combination of driving down the seedy area on Mannheim in Stone Park and the CSI: Las Vegas TV show. 

I hate to admit it, but I did have fun. Oh, don't get me wrong, there were parts that I hated and would never want to visit again --all those parts were the on or around the Strip… But there were also places that were super awesome and really fun that I would LOVE the opportunity to go back (this time, with my camera gear!)

The trip started out with getting to the airport & all the way through security and then realizing that I forgot my camera bag.  I burst into tears right then and there and wanted to turn around and cancel the trip. I wasn't going to have any fun without my camera. My husband, God bless him, is the problem solver in the relationship and went into "NEED TO GET APRIL TO STOP CRYING" mode and came up with a solution-- he would ask his dad to overnight my camera bag. Brilliant!! but…. I didn't want to wait for it (i would be in Vegas a whole day before the camera would arrive!) and i also was terrified that it would get damaged.  Again, husband to the rescue-- we could rent! I got on the googles and searched for places that that rented camera gear and I found one shop, B&C Camera. They were awesome! Great service. Great people. We had a teeny little issue when I went in the next day to pick up the gear I reserved, but they took care of it and I left super happy.

whew! crisis averted! I had a camera! I was a very happy camper!

so here's what I hated about Vegas:

1. We stayed at the Treasure Island hotel, which is now called TI. The husband had fond memories of this hotel when he was younger-- pirates, pirate ship, water slides, and arcades. Well, I guess the family friendly theme didn't cut it. We got to the TI and found a tired, theme-less, boring and old looking hotel. The room was… tired. the casino was… tired. The restaurants inside the hotel were lackluster and sub par. The giant pirate ship was still outside, but instead of an exciting swashbuckling pirate show there were super scantily clad women dancing on the boat getting rained on. 

Next time we're staying next door at the Mirage or the Venetian.

2. The strip was, well, overwhelming. (And HOT! Remind me not to go there in July ever again!) The part I liked least about it was every time we walked outside, not only did we have to worry about spontaneously combusting at any moment, we had to dodge soooo many people handing us smut, or trying to get us to see their smutty show, or sell us a smutty hotel room someplace. It was really obnoxious. Maybe it was the heat, maybe it was all the walking, but I seriously wanted to punch people when they tried accosting us with their smutty salespitch.

3. People were smoking in the Casinos. That was gross. I'm spoiled now that Illinois is a non-smoking state. You can't smoke in restaurants, bars, or public buildings anymore. We walked through the casino to get to the elevators to go up to our room and my clothes and hair smelled like cigarettes. I might go back when smoking is banned from public spaces. Or, if i feel the need to gamble, I'll just go to the casino that's 15 minutes from my house! 

Next time, I'll share what I loved about Vegas (which surprisingly, there were a lot of things!)

So, have you been to Vegas? Did you love it? Hate it? Let me know your opinions in the comment section below! I'd love to hear your thoughts!  


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