Jim's Las Vegas Pix

Page 3

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This page starts on Tuesday, 5/16 - The Star Trek Experience at the Hilton and the Fremont Street Experience.

Entrance to the rides and Quark's Bar downstairs thru the nicely themed SpaceQuest Casino, of course.  Starships Voyager and the Enterprise-D. No pix allowed past this point. :( One of the many alien characters, a Ferengi whose name I forgot. Good makeup job! Another slot had a jackpot of $14 million!  That jackpot pays in 20 yearly installments.  No, I didn't win it.  :(
The famous 4 Queens. Notice the speaker array above the "Q."  And the famous Binions. Notice the canopy over the 4 block distance. Saxophonist Carl Ferris doing a free show. That long canopy does a light show every 1/2 hour complete with music from those speakers.  Awesome!
More of the light show.  I should have had my video camera with me... but I didn't... know about this. Due to road construction work at night, the bus route changed, so I had to walk part of the way back to the Sahara and passed the Stratosphere on the way.  

Tuesday, 5/16...A very cool day in the hot town with the Star Trek Experience and, at night, the Fremont Street Experience (pix on that probably next week).  Both were great and well worth the effort. The $40 for both the Borg Encounter 4D and Klingon Invasion ride, part of it in a shuttlecraft motion simulator, was well worth it!  The Fremont Street Experience is awesome!  Info I found on the 'net is that the light show is called VivaVision.  It's composed of 12.5 million LEDs and the all those speakers run on 550,000 watts of power, all of  it controlled by 10 high-tech computers.  The thing cost $17.5 million in 2004 and was done by LG Electronics, the same company makes computer parts.  Link - www.vegasexperience.com/viva.cfm

Wednesday, 5/17...A very cool tour called Area51 which included part of the Mojave Desert and plant life, the Dry Lake Bed and a petroglyph boulder, the world-famous Little A'Le'Inn in Rachel, Nevada, and finally a ride down a seemingly endless dirt road to an entry point to Area51 complete with electronic eyes and G-Men in trucks watching us and making sure we didn't cross beyond the "No Trespassing" signs.  Pix from that will be on the slide show I'm going to do with Windows Movie Maker.

Thursday, 5/18...My wife, Annette, arrived for 3 days in Vegas.  She was tired of that Michigan weather and was happy with the 100-degree days.  After some sight-seeing, she "persuaded" me to accompany her to the Barry Manilow concert at the Hilton.  Good show, but his fans probably thought it was better than I judged it.  

Friday & Saturday, 5/19 & 5/20...More sight-seeing and plenty of pix.  It's really hard to choose just a few of them to put on these pages!  The flight home left at 11:20pm PDT and arrived in chilly Michigan about 20 minutes early at 5:45am EDT.  We spent about 3:45 in the air.  Most were able to sleep in the darkened cabin.  Have you ever tried to sleep in a plane during the flight?  Not easy!  Pink Floyd's "Echoes" on the mp3 player helped me catch a few winks.

Thoughts and recommendations:

  1. If you have never been to Vegas and plan to go taking a certain amount of money, my advice is to double the amount you bring with you.  Vegas isn't cheap like it once was for non-gamblers.  The food costs more than it did in '90 and there are plenty of attractions (distractions?) to entice you to spend money.  

  2. If you want to do a tour of the nearby attractions like the Grand Canyon, I recommend considering one from www.lasvegas.com and Adventure Photo Tours.  The parent company owns one of the area's daily newspapers.  Our tour driver/guide, Art, did an excellent job and was well informed, and he kept Ford Expedition's interior cool as the temperature snuck into the low 100s.  

  3. You should definitely do the buffet at the Bellagio.  $27 per person was a reasonable price to pay for the most awesome collection of delicious food I've ever seen in one place!  That's the Sunday thru Thursday price.  It's called the "Gourmet Buffet" and costs $34 on weekends, presumably with more food added.  I can't imagine the Gourmet Buffet being any better, but I have heard it is.  Do go there and don't eat lunch that day!

  4. Someone's going to give me hell for this, but a very annoying part of "The Strip," especially on the weekends, is that the sleazy strip joints in other parts of the city employ immigrants, probably illegal ones, to hawk "free shows."  They line up on the sidewalks between the casinos and try to hand you coupons and such.  I've never said "No Thanks" (or something less polite) so often!  There must several hundred of them working on the weekends.  Get a grip, Las Vegas, and ban that crap!!!

 New Stuff...My Las Vegas Trip Pix Slide Show is done.  Note that it is a 26mb file and could take a long time to download if you don't have a broadband connection.  Get it by clicking this.  3 Pix Pages and a slide show is enough!  Gotta get rested up for the Italy trip in September!

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