One of the most impressive things about my trip to Vegas to me was the sheer size and scale of the casinos and hotels that line the Strip. It was amazing to see what a little imagination, a lot of engineering, and a mountain of money could create. Then again, at times, it also seemed a little too much.
We were only in Vegas for a short time – not nearly long enough to see everything – but we toured several casinos. We didn’t do any gambling (it’s not my bag), but I did lots of oogling. And photographing, of course. Aside from the Bellagio, which was just beautiful, I really preferred the themed casinos. Many of the interior shots I took just don’t do the places justice, but I can tell you that New York New York and Paris both had very realistic street scenes inside. It reminded me a bit of Disney, really.
Beware the Air at the MGM Grand
To say that the scent that assailed me as soon as I walked into the MGM Grand was overpowering is like saying the Hoover Dam is tall. Imagine yourself walking into the average Abercrombie mall store – you know, the ones that you can smell from several stores away? Now multiply that by, oh I don’t know, 100? That’s the MGM. The air was so thick with vanilla-scented air freshener that it literally irritated my eyes and throat within minutes. If the air freshener had been any more overpowering, I think it would have knocked me down.
After walking around for maybe 10 minutes, I was more than ready to leave. My eyes were watery, my nose was running, and my throat was scratchy. Unfortunately, we couldn’t figure out how to get out! I should mention that these casinos do a great job of obfuscating all exits, skillfully drawing you back in to the sea of slots and tables. After wandering around for another 20 minutes, I was ready to throw a brick at a window and climb out. We finally escaped and promptly headed to the drugstore for some decongestant and cough drops.
Before I realized that I would spend 20 desperate minutes searching for a way out of this place, I snapped this pic of the iconic lion:
Presenting Paris! (Vegas Version)
Someday, I’ll get to go to the real Paris, but until then, I have the Vegas edition. I highly recommend a ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower for stunning views of the Strip.
Next Up: New York!
New York New York is probably best known for its roller coaster that starts inside the game room area on the second floor and ends up outside, looping around in front of the mock NYC skyline. The interior is designed to look like the streets of the city and there’s even a smaller version of the Brooklyn Bridge outside.
Saving the Best for Last: The Bellagio
One of the first casinos we went to ended up being I think my favorite. The Bellagio is all elegance, with tons of detail and style. And then there’s the famous fountain show – a must-see, especially at night. I took quite a few pictures of the show, and I put up a few in a separate post.
That flowered ceiling shot is one of my favorites. In a sea of generally dark casinos, maybe it was just an expected dash of color in an unexpected location.