.All Trips / Nevada / North America / Southwestern USA

Downtown Las Vegas

16 Downtown Vegas 2015

Las Vegas is one of the most loved — and despised — travel destinations in the world.  Some folks bask in and are energyzed by its non-stop action and adrenaline, the gambling, the booze, the neon lights — everything you imagine when you think of Vegas.  Others visit once and never want to set foot in the city again.  I’m sort of in between these extremes.  I enjoy Vegas, especially if I’m there to meet friends or family, but only for short periods of time (a weekend visit is about perfect for me).

There are two main regions to Vegas that attract very different visiting clientele.  “The Strip”, or Las Vegas Blvd, has completely transformed itself these past 25 years: from …

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Pic of the Week, March 13, 2015: Fiori di Como, The Bellagio

28 Bellagio 2015 chandelier

Las Vegas is well known for its glitzy and glamorous megaresorts.  Of these, the Bellagio resort stands out for its beautiful architecture and art.  Famous for its musical fountain show on the Strip and its wonderful Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, the Bellagio resort also has a noteworthy chandelier in its lobby that’s impossible to miss and deserves close study.

Known as Fiori di Como, this beautiful glass sculpture was crafted by famous artisan, Dale Chihuly, whose studio is in Seattle.  Comprised of 2,000 hand -blown glass “blossoms”, these colorful plates have been carefully arranged to form an elaborate three dimensional mosaic.  This work of art was installed in 1998 and has been enjoyed by millions.

 

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“Pic of the Week”. December 21, 2012. Holiday exhibit, Bellagio Conseratory, Las Vegas, Nevada.

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One of my favorite stops in Las Vegas is the Bellagio resort.  Not only is it an elegantly designed building, it features the world’s best water fountain show, a wonderful Chihuly constructed chandelier in the lobby, a great Sunday brunch, but especially a delightful Conservatory and botanical gardens.  The Conservatory has exhibits that change every few months and I’m especially fond of their Fall (Halloween) and Winter (Christmas) themed displays.  These exhibits are clever and beautifully executed.  The hotel and it’s Conservatory was prominently featured in the popular Oceans 11 movie.

This photo shows a small part of the Christmas display.   The two polar bears were both made of mostly …

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“Pic of the Week”. November 23, 2012 — Thanksgiving display, Crystals Mall, Las Vegas, Nevada

November 23, 2012

I enjoy these colorful harvest displays, which are so very photogenic!  No one does them better than the folks in Vegas.  This was a rather small exhibit I chanced on while walking through the new Crystals Mall at the multi-billion dollar “City Center” complex.   The photo is framed so that you don’t notice the upscale shops, crowds of people, etc.  It seems a tranquil setting, even though it was quite busy.

To read more about Las Vegas please click here.

I want to wish all my American friends a very Happy Thanksgiving!!  Canadian Thanksgiving is in early October which makes sense because harvest is much earlier in this colder …

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.All Trips / Nevada / North America / Southwestern USA

Travels with Elvis. (Part 1) Viva Las Vegas! Viva Elvis!!

Las Vegas 015b – Copy-1

Every year my younger brother and I go on a trip together; this time is precious as it allows us to reconnect while sharing our love of travel. This year we decided to center our travels on places that were monumental in the life of Elvis Presley. Elvis and his wonderful musical legacy are very important to us and we’ve both been fans for over 40 years. Our journey will lead us to Memphis, Nashville and Tupelo, but the first step was a visit to Las Vegas.

Las Vegas was at the center of Elvis’ entertainment life during his final years. After spending most of the 1960s making movies, it was in Las Vegas that Elvis began performing …

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.All Trips / Nevada / North America / Southwestern USA

A visit to Great Basin National Park

A visit to Great Basin National Park

In a country with dozens of great national parks it makes sense that there would be some “orphan” parks that are only rarely visited. Such is the case with Great Basin National Park in Nevada. It gets 90,000 visitors annually compared with 3,500,000 for Yellowstone National Park. Part of the reason for this is the park’s remoteness; you REALLY have to want to visit it as there’s nothing else around for several hundred miles.

We traveled to Baker, Nevada from Twin Falls, Idaho, the drive taking us through one of the most unpopulated portions of the lower 48 states. This region is known as the Great

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