S: Fabulous Las Vegas 2013
1: To celebrate Doug's 50th birthday I surprised him with a trip to Las Vegas. Doug had been to Vegas before, but this would be my first trip... I had a hard time deciding if we should stay on the strip (at the Flamingo of course) or downtown. I chose to stay downtown on Fremont Street, "old Las Vegas". The Golden Nugget seemed like the perfect place to stay... full of history... just my style!
2: Interesting that we are leaving for Las Vegas and the tail wing had a picture of a swan named Grace. | Blizzard conditions as we are leaving Denver...many flights were canceled, thank God ours was not one of them! | Large snow plows used to clear the runways. | Heading to the deicing area for all flights leaving Denver airport. | Catching some ZZZs while we wait for our flight to leave.
3: We have arrived...
4: The Golden Nugget
5: Different views from our room
6: Who would have guessed that the Golden Nugget would have the world's largest gold nugget on display. | My first official boozy drink, gambling card from Vegas, and voucher for winning money...all in my first four hours in Vegas. | Doug HAD to play the large slot machine at the Nugget.
7: The lights at the Nugget were amazing, I had to take pictures of them... I did have to be careful not to take any pictures of people gambling... house rules.
8: Pool area at the Golden Nugget
9: "The Tank" was named one of the Travel Channels Most Extreme Swimming Pools-a waterslide goes through the fish-tank that is home to multiple sharks and other fish.
10: Fremont Street during the daytime. I love the look of all of the old builds and neon signs. | Fremont Street and the canopy above the street that projects music concerts at night.
11: Love the cowboy...yee haw! | This really cool light is just below the awning of the Las Vegas Club-there are three total-awesome when lit up at night.
12: Doug in deep though playing the slots. | Fremont Street at night!
13: All the NEON... | I'm in love...
14: Doug scoring some beads from his new friends at the Mermaid | The Mermaid is famous for their fried Twinkies and Oreos, we didn't get a chance to try them...maybe next time.
15: Is it supper or breakfast...hard to say with bacon, cheese, eggs, and hamburger on a bun...this was Doug's late night supper/breakfast. | The Fremont Casino was our favorite place for drinks...99 cent margaritas. If you look close at the right side of the picture you can see on the marquee the advertisement for the margaritas.
16: It wouldn't be Las Vegas if there wasn't ELVIS! | VIVA | Thank you,thank you very much...
17: The Fremont Street Experience is a mini concert light-show put on a huge canopy that spans about five blocks of Fremont Street above the casinos and hotels. We "saw" music from Heart our first night. Amazing first night for us in Vegas, Elvis and Heart. Needing a good nights sleep...big day tomorrow!
18: Good morning Las Vegas! | Up early, full day planned... | Today we rented a car, heading southeast to the Hoover Dam then on to Route 66. The lake in front of us is Lake Mead-created from the Hoover Dam.
19: As you approach the Hoover Dam you encounter the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge; A.K.A. Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. The bridge was completed in 2010 and spans the Colorado River between Nevada and Arizona. In the bottom two photos you can see the power plant for the Hoover Dam.
20: Winged Figures of the Republic | The Winged Figures are a spiritual thing...they guard the American flag that flies above them. The terrazzo floor surrounding the Winged Figures if the Republic depicts a celestial chart which shows the exact position of the stars on the day the Hoover Dam was dedicated on September 30, 1935 by President Roosevelt. At the entrance and sitting area of the Winged Figures is an eagle the represents the United Sates.
21: They say if you touch/rub the feet of the Winged Figures it will bring you luck...so that's what we did. They also say if you touch all ten of your fingers and toes to the Winged Figures at the same time you will definitely have luck...Doug said he'd hoist me up...maybe another time. | Signs of the zodiac cast in bronze.
22: Welcome everyone! I am your dam guide, Arnie. Now I'm about to take you through a fully functional power plant, so please, no one wander off the dam tour and please take all the dam pictures you want. Now are there any dam questions? National Lampoons Vegas Vacation-thank you Chevy Chase | Doug was so excited about touring the Hoover Dam, there was no way that we were going to take the small tour...we would take the whole tour or nothing at all. He wanted to be able to go inside the dam, see the power plant, and walk in areas that most people don't go (except the tourist that spend $30 instead of $11). Once we got the car parked and started walking around we found out that the elevators were not working so all tours small or large were canceled for the day... Looks like today we will be our own dam guides.
26: Nevada | Arizona | These are four in-take towers placed in Lake Mead.
27: Above the gold elevators on the Nevada side of the dam are sculptures of five bas-reliefs that show the benefits of the Hoover Dam: flood control, navigation, irrigation, water storage, and power. The Arizona sculptures depict different Indian tribes who inhabited the mountains and plains. | Fancy brass women's rest room sign. | Nevada | Arizona
28: The copper colored building in the photo to the left and the photo above is the visitor center and observation deck.
29: These are pictures of random stops we made on our way to Kingman, Arizona. It is a desolate area...I think the only thing that is green and grows here are different types of cacti.
30: OK, so my life long dream is to drive/ride what's left of Route 66. Since we were this close to part of Route 66 Doug is indulging/amusing me...we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.
31: I tried not to get killed by traffic to get this photo...idiots placed it in the middle of the highway. | Took these three photos at a cheesy museum in Kingman. Burma Shave signs were cute.
32: Yes, here we are on the original Route 66. This time Doug got a picture of me sitting by the Route 66 road sign and I didn't get killed...the road didn't seem too busy at all...that should have been our first clue of what was to come.
33: Scenic views while on our way to Cool Springs. Route 66 is flat, but very rough...speed limit is 45-50 mph. | These are the first images you see when you arrive at Cool Springs. Photo on the left is the rest room.
34: This is Cool Springs, it was a service station located on the east slope of the Black Mountains. It was build in the '20s, burnt to the ground in the '60s, and was rebuilt again in 2001.
35: Now the service station is a museum and gift shop. It was a nice little rest area before we headed out for Oatman, AZ | We leave Cool Springs to head down Route 66 to Oatman, hey it's only nine miles away...we're this close...let's go check it out... It took us over forty-five minutes to get to Oatman! Steep grades, narrow road, hairpin curves...drove about 15 mph.
36: Oatman is an old mining town, now famous for it's "wild burros". The burros freely roam the town. As we drove into town my window was open and a burro just stuck its head right inside...looking for food I'm sure. The burros even walk into the stores...no big deal! | This is April, yes they even name the burros. A store owner yelled at her and kicked/bribed her out of the store with food... she leisurely followed the store owner outside to get her treat... these burros are pets to this town.
37: This town sticks to a theme... | The inside of this bar/restaurant was completely covered with dollar bills.
38: This is the oldest two-story adobe building left standing in Oatman. They say that Clark Gable and Carole Lombard spend a honeymoon night at this motel. | They are everywhere!
39: Saying good-bye to Route 66... I will return someday...
40: After a long road trip, who doesn't want to dine at the Heart Attack Grill! You have to dress in a hospital gown while you eat.
41: The "last supper".
42: Fremont Street Experience BonJovi...AWESOME!
43: The Spazmatics were one of many groups that performed mini concerts on Fremont Street during our stay. They sang music from 80's, 90's to current time... also threw in a little naughty comedy, very entertaining.
44: All the glitz, all the glamor, all the neon, all of the history of old Las Vegas...yes! I was so excited to see these vintage signs of some of the first casinos build in Las Vegas. This is the Neon Museum and Boneyard.
45: The Neon Museum visitors' center is located inside the historic La Concha Motel lobby-constructed in 1961. The motel was saved from demolition in 2005 and moved to its current location in 2006 to serve as the visitors' center. The mosaic lobby sign was restored as part of the museum's rehabilitation efforts.
46: Tour guide Ian talking about the Moulin Rouge Casino sign
47: Some of the signs in the Boneyard are refurbished and functioning, while must of them will live the rest of their life here in the Boneyard to rust and to put a smile on the faces of tourists like me.
48: Sassy Sally's Saloon | One of many wedding chapel signs.
49: The picture on the left was part of the first neon Golden Nugget sign... looks more like a blob than a nugget. | Many of the sings show wear and rust, but still have some of their vivid colors.
50: The large pink neon sign is part of the original Flamingo Casino.
51: I liked the curve of this pink sign.
52: I took a picture of the "d" for Doug (photo to the left) and the starburst "T" for Tammy (lower right photo).
58: Ian stands in front of the restored La Concha Hotel sign before the facade was tore down and rebuilt at the Boneyard site for the museum.
59: "Reflection of our love"...
60: The Neon Museum has restored several vintage neon signs that are on display to the public in the Boneyard, around Fremont Street, and Las Vegas Blvd. The Golden Slipper was the first sign restored and is on display outside of the Neon Museum and Boneyard.
64: The Las Vegas Strip | MGM Grand
65: Of course we had our picture taken in front of the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign! However, we had no idea how far it actually was from the Strip... lets say we got our exercise... in the end it was well worth the walk. | The back side of the sign.
67: Mandalay Bay
68: Excalibur | The Monte Carlo | Wedding chapels are everywhere in Las Vegas
69: New York New York
72: Our time on the strip was short... we will return and spend more time here at the Flamingo!
74: M&M World
76: Caesars Palace
77: Treasure Island
78: PUCCI... my favorite designer... | so many awesome shopping options...
79: Fountains at the Bellagio
80: Fremont East is the newer, revitalized, up-and-coming area of down-town Las Vegas. There are nightclubs, coffeehouses, and art galleries in this area. The city commissioned vintage and new neon signs for the area.
81: Love, love, love neon... great mixture of old and new signs.
82: You see it all in Vegas... literally... | perfectly placed pasties... Doug asked if I thought "they" were real...what do you think? | older woman "working" her way too tight wild print leggings, panty line, and boots | if you look close at the inset picture the bartender has a bottle of alcohol balancing on his hat pouring alcohol into a glass that he is holding in his left hand as he is also pouring alcohol into a glass with his right hand... I think he has done this once or twice
83: dancing on stage in my furry purple leggings | all dressed up in my 4 inch stilettos and my size 2 dress (even though I'm not a size 2 anymore) ready for a big night out on the town...does this dress make my butt look big? | this couple just got married and were getting their picture taken under the "welcome to fabulous Las Vegas" sign | bumble-bee | Alan and baby "Carlos" from the Hangover
84: Things we didn't get to see or do, but hope to when we return... | *Grand Canyon *Gold & Silver Pawn Shop (Pawn Stars) *Flamingo Casino *Route 66- finish the rest of the route in Arizona *Hoover Dam- finish the "dam" tour *Neon Boneyard at night *Mob Museum *Count's Kustoms (Counting Cars) *The list goes on and on...