Monday, July 31, 2006

Bellagio trains

My goodness, going off on rants again. I didn’t mean to make this a political blog, my original intent was to show off Las Vegas. But it seems I get so many more comments when I bring up a controversial topic than when I just post pictures of casinos. Kind of the same way I leave comments elsewhere, if things are pretty there isn’t much to say, but if I have an opinion then I’ll probably jump in. I try to leave at least a hello comment when I visit places, but end up doing it every second or third visit.

The home tour seems to have been a good distraction, but let me put up some Vegas shots to get your mind off of politics. I don’t really want to – I am incensed at the current political climate, and mad that I can’t do anything about what is going on in our country or the world today. The least I can do is get other people mad as well, either at the situation or at me for having ‘stupid’ opinions.

Thought we would get out of the house the other evening and do something. I wanted to see the current Bellagio conservatory show, as it is due to change again next week. The current show is themed a train tour around the country. There were landscapes of different areas of the US, with large garden sized trains going in loops around. Playing with trains I wanted to see how others did it. It was not a train show, more of a gardener’s fantasy world with trains rolling by. But it was pretty, and B really liked the use of bark to make mountains and buildings.

We started by parking over in the Desert Passage parking lot and wandered up to Margaritaville for a burger. I’ve got three ‘standard’ places to park when we go down to the strip. If we’re hitting places to the north I park in the Fashion Show mall lot. We drive right down Desert Inn which is a quick cross street, down an off ramp and right around into the back of the garage. It’s about 10-15 minutes from our driveway there, depending on the lights. If we head to the south end then I use the Luxor or Mandalay Bay lot. That too is easy to get, going down Frank Sinatra drive along the freeway behind the casinos.

For the center strip it’s the Desert Passage lot – for us again down Desert Inn, right on Paradise and right on Harmon into the garage. So we end up walking through three shopping malls – Fashion Sow, Desert Passage or the Mandalay bridge mini-mall. All have stores we end up walking through and places to eat. So we do leave money either on the way in or the way out.

But the Desert Passage is right across from the Bellagio. There is a traffic light and a pedestrian crosswalk there, one of the last few places you can cross the strip. Every big corner has a set of pedestrian bridges to keep you away from those horrible drivers and drunk walkers. This is the one on Flamingo.

That's Ceasar's Palace in the background, the little dome on the left at the end of the bridge is the entrance to the Bellagio shopping arcade.

Standing on the bridge I was able to hold the camera steady and try some night shots. Finally, a night fountain picture that almost came out OK.

The Bellagio has a very nice casino. We tried their buffet when we went to O last year. I was very disappointed – they had some strange meats (venison, buffalo, pheasant) but charged a lot and did not really have a large selection. I’d still recommend the Rio for their buffet. Somebody here at work loves the MGM, have to try that one soon. The Bellagio has two small cocktail lounges located at different places in the casino. Both are small nice places to sit and watch all the people walking by. One has a piano and live music at times, but we haven’t hit it when the player is there.

The conservatory show was interesting. They always do a nice job with the plants and flowers. At the front was a miniature version of the Bellagio, complete with working fountains.

There were about a half dozen trains wandering around different areas. Some overhead, others down below. There were interesting little houses and miniature landscapes, most made out of bark and twigs.

In the back was their big Banyon tree. It was cut down somewhere in Florida to make room for a road project, and there were some tv screens showing the process of cutting it up, driving it out to Nevada and storing it. This is the third show they have put the tree up for, and it still looks impressive, walking underneath and through the roots. Again there were water fountains, squirting overhead in big arcs.

That's B looking at the flowers, and the smooth arc of one of the water squirters in the lower left corner going over the walkway. There were some trains overhead in the tree also.

Around the corner from the conservatory, on the way to their newest tower and convention center area, is a chocolate and treats shop. Overhead is a chocolate waterfall.

Three colors, white, milk and dark chocolate. It’s behind glass, and always flowing. The cakes and treats at the shop always look good, and there is usually a long line. They’ve got gelato, and really pretty little cakes. We do get some at times.

I put together a little fountain out in our back yard. E plays in it most mornings, but after her morning nap and lunch it’s been to hot for her to go back outside. We’ve got a cool week predicted; I would say a cold trend, for us at least, but for the rest of the world still a little much. This morning it was only 79f when I left, and it’s not scheduled to go over 100f for the next few days,only 98 or 99 predicted.


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