Phoadtography: Vegas and Zion Trip 11/2010 Pt 3 of 3

Hunger gnawing away the insides, thirst becoming unbearable, sleep deprivation making it nearly impossible to see, fatigue making it difficult to type, but muuusst … get .. . throuuuugh last part of Phoadtography post.  Just kidding, it isn’t really that much work, but thinking a Twinkie would really hit the spot right now.  This is the third and final set of phoadtography shots from last year’s Thanksgiving vacation.  Linda and I have been requested not to plan any vacations yet due to some corporate negotiations that are in flight, but hopefully we’ll be out on the road again very soon.  For now, enjoy this final set which appear to come mostly from the Vegas area.

Since we had to rent a vehicle to get up to Zion anyway, we decided to reserve it a few days early and take in some sites near Vegas.  First on the agenda was to check out Hoover Dam and the lake that resulted from the dam construction.  After a long slow trudge through traffic, we finally arrived at the lake.  The bad news is it was unseasonably cold the week we were there (in the mid 30’s for some of the days) so we did not spend a lot of time outside.

Instead, we decided to take the scenic drive and experience it from the car.  It is definitely a nice lake, but there really isn’t much to look at on the coastlines.  Most disappointing was the utter lack of wildlife beyond a few ducks scattered about.

Although we are pretty much burned out on the Luxor having stayed there so many times, it is rare when we actually get to see the front of the casino.  I snapped this as we drove by and it turned out pretty crisp.  For those not familiar with this casino, it has a light on top that can be seen from space and their elevators are actually called inclinators because they travel up the insides of the pyramid corners.  If you want a good physics exercise, try figuring out how they keep the inclinators level so you are not tossed all over the place as you ascend up to your floor.  It is a shame they have essentially removed just about all their Egyptian themed interior decor in place of annoying modern day club-style bars and nightclubs.

Hit the jump to see the rest of this Phoadtography set!

I always forget how tall the Stratosphere Tower is until it is seen in relationship to the other casinos.  We have been in the base of this, but never took the time to go up to the top.  For those of you wondering, there is no way in hell we are going to ride on the Big Shot or the spinning ride constructed at the top of the tower.

Can you see me?  I’m right over here….. behind the palm trees… wait a minute, up boy up… now I see you, welcome to Las Vegas.  So, what could be better than a large neon sign of a cowboy and a horse?

I know, a large neon sign of a cowboy on his horse all lit up at night!.  The palm trees came out nicely silhouetted against the darkening skies.  Although, there still seems to be something missing, something that would just make it picture perfect.

There we go.  Add in a giant neon glass of bear and you have pure gold when it comes to Phoadtography.

I mentioned the Pawn Stars reality show in Part two of this post.  The pictures in that set were actually taken on our second pass through the area.  The first time we came upon it, I ended up with this weak shot.  At least you get to see what it looks like all lit up.

When you think of Vegas, what jumps to mind?  How about gambling?  check.  Alcohol?  oh yeah.  Lights and extravaganza?  you bet.  Church?  ummm not so much, but one staple in Vegas is places to get married.  Most of the strip casinos have a chapel somewhere in them, but there are a number of places downtown that have a variety of themes.  This particular one was actually in a chapel.

Others are part of in and out services complete with theme rooms.  I think the word “Palace” may be an exaggeration here, but they took the in and out part to heart.  It is tough to make out in this smaller version of the image, but the words in the blue stripe are advertising their Drive Thru wedding service.  I would like a cheeseburger, no two cheeseburgers, some fries, a large drink and oh what the heck,  how about an “I Do” as well.

I thought this shot came out pretty neat with the combination of the street level signs contrasted with the towering structure of the Stratosphere.

Every NRA member’s wet dream, a chance to legally fire some full autos.  This would have been fun to do, but we had a pretty packed agenda.  Now that I have their number I can see if we can make reservations for the next time we are in the area.

Oops, missed one of the Wedding Chapel shots.  This one is intimate, elegant (probably not compared to the chapels in the strip casinos)  and legendary – how could you go wrong?

I wonder what the reason is for all the quick wedding services?  Hmmm, maybe, just maybe it is due to $1 shots.

We give this year’s “Truth in Advertising” award to Las Vegas Souvenirs.

This is unbelievable.  I travel halfway across the states only to find myself staring at a bar sign cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes.  Linda was busy rubbing this in.  Now that the games are done, my hat is off to the Hawkeyes and my Illini for not embarrassing themselves like most of the Big Ten bowl teams did.  In a side note, we were at a filling station off the strip when we took this photo. While filling up, some homeless guy tried to bum money off of us.  That was a little unsettling but he eventually left us alone.

This is the first time we had been out by the speedway.  Some of our friends (and Linda’s brother) have done a few laps there.  I am not sure we are ready for that experience, but if you are in the area, looks like there is a race out there in early March.

Looks like St. Judes has a nice complex out near Lake Mead.  This is a popular charity in our area and glad to see it is having successes in other regions.

Looks like someone had Dadda issues, but at least they are willing to help out their hungry customers in a tough economy.

After spotting this, for the rest of the car ride I was forced to repeatedly say … TACO ME! in every funny voice I could muster.  At one point I think Linda threatened to stop the car and make me walk the rest of the way.  Go ahead, yell it out, it will make you smile .. TACO ME!

Hmmmm, I wonder if they have bags of Cheetos in their waiting room.

We ended up passing by Oscars while we were in Zion National park.  To be honest, I took the picture because of the strange logo on the left side of the sign.  what is that suppose to be?  The best I can tell is it involves crossing swords and this is a direct violation of the Guy Code.

Thanks to The Ultimate Fighter reality show, Vegas has become a hot spot for Mixed Martial arts.  We were a few weeks early or we would have definitely caught this event.  I’m always on the lookout for the fighters that I know who train there, but no sightings yet.

Wanderlei Silva is one of those UFC fighters based out of Vegas.  Now I don’t know about you, but it may be in my best interest to avoid someone with a nickname of “The Axe Murderer”.  Although, maybe he just smashes ugly guitars (sorry, it was out there so I went for it)

That’s all folks.  It seems only like yesterday when I started this post.  Truth be told, all of these posts were done back in January and scheduled for the February release.  These tend to take a significant amount of time to get through and I don’t want to let my fans down.  I hope you enjoyed all the pictures!

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