Sunday, February 15, 2009

Las Vegas, NV (with photos)

I had the opportunity to visit Las Vegas, NV on business in February 2009. Interesting place!

First off, don't let the cab driver take you on the "freeway route" to your hotel. It's about twice as long as going via the strip and therefore it's a rip-off. Welcome to Las Vegas!

The Mirage hotel was nice. As with all hotels in Vegas, it's huge with a centrally located lobby containing the casino, restaurants for every taste, plenty of shops and bars, etc.

The casino in the Mirage was one of the nicer ones that we visited. Some of the others were a little tacky, and as strange as it sounds, some of the hotels pumped these perfume and musk scents into their common areas. I'm not sure what the reasoning is behind that, but it smells awful after you're in there for more than ten minutes and everyone we were with was annoyed by it.

Needless to say that when visiting Vegas a nighttime walk down the strip is a must. If you have a camera with good high ISO capabilities you can get some great shots of the strip if you explore. If you have a lot of extra time (which I didn't on this trip) then exploring inside each hotel is nice because they all have their own character and the architecture work is great.

I attended a dinner atop THEhotel. The bar/restaurant on the roof offers wrap-around views of the entire Vegas areas. Great photography opportunity. We also grabbed a more down to earth dinner at the Harley Davidson Cafe...ribs, chicken, burgers. Tasty and reasonably priced. We were originally recommended to Olive's next to the Bellagio, but it was too expensive.

For photographers, there are many things to see within a few hours drive of Las Vegas. I couldn't work any exploring into this trip because it was too busy with business and the forecast called for snow to come in while I was there anyway, but some of the major sites in the area include:

Death Valley National Park
Hoover Dam
Desert National Wildlife Range
Sequoia National Park and Forest
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Mojave National Preserve
and of course....the Grand Canyon

The mountains and valleys surrounding Las Vegas are beautiful in the morning and evening light....a photographer's playground!

The landing at JFK in New York in a 50 MPH windstorm was a bear. The plane was tipping from side to side right up until we touched down, and I don't think both sets of landing gear hit the runway at the same time! Yikes! During the last 30 seconds, it was one of those flights where I was thinking, "Damn...Please let this guy get this plane on the ground in one piece"! I'm sure the people on this Lufthansa flight were also thinking the same thing!

All in all, it was an interesting trip and I hope to return to the region one day to do some proper and lengthy exploring.

Click the link below to see photos from this trip...

Travel - Las Vegas 2009

1 comment:

  1. Hey! Great night shots! You didn't mention what you used to get these. When I was in LV I also went to the top of The Hotel. You didn't take any pictures from up there? I don't see any here. Great views up there.