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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sin-City Whims

You've heard the phrase, "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." 

Well, truth be told, "what happens in Vegas, God knows." Best billboard slogan ever? I think so.

In June, a few colleagues and I drove down to Las Vegas to exhibit at the SHRM conference. It was... interesting. 

It started out innocently enough. We left on a Saturday morning, checked into our hotel quickly, and set up our booth. We headed back to the hotel and we started to notice things: the stench of the casino (old cigarette smoke, lingering in the air), scantily-clad women... everywhere, and the theme of the hotel overall that left something to be desired.

We ignored the tell-tale signs and grabbed dinner in the hotel. After dinner, we thought we'd check out the pirate show. We'd heard good things about the show and nabbed a spot in the "splash zone".

Lies. All of it. There was no "splash zone" only an eyebrow burn-off zone. Yes, it was that hot and fiery.

Oh, and the "show". Let's just say the old pirate show (that we'd heard about) was for families, and the replacement "Sirens" show was for mature audiences. And we are definitely not mature.

To repent, we woke up Sunday bright and early and headed to church at a Las Vegas ward where we met the wonderful family of the Ward Mission leader. (One of my colleagues has a brother who is serving in that mission and had been transfered from this ward only a week previously.) They invited us over for dinner, so we swung by the Las Vegas temple to snap a couple photos, and then enjoyed a great afternoon with new friends.


The conference started Sunday night, so we headed to the conference center ready to work.

Does anyone else think it's ironic that the BYU booth ended up across from the mini-bar where they served 1,000 martinis in 3 hours?

The trip flew by after that. I had an opportunity to spend some time with Ryan's Aunt Julie and Uncle Chris while I was there, it was a lot of fun. They lived about 20 minutes from our hotel--definitely a needed respite from the filth and smut of the strip.

My final night in the city, I actually got to enjoy Las Vegas. We walked the strip and explored the Venetian and the Bellagio gardens, shops, and fountains: definitely the highlight of the trip. I texted a bunch of these images to Ryan and his response was "Random, where are you?" Looking back they are really random, but completely whimsical and definitely the most family-friendly location in town.

The Independence Day spread at the Venetian

Umbrellas at the Bellagio Shops

The Chandelier at a shop

The "flower" painting at the Bellagio Gardens


The Independence Day spread at the Bellagio

I loved the carrousel and ferris wheel, it seemed so American and so appropriate. And, it was whimsical!

They also had hot air balloons hanging in mid-air which is perfect for the Fourth! 

Finally I snapped a couple pictures of amazing hydrangea because I love them (growing in Las Vegas of all places!)...

and real and fake birds for Adi because she loves them. 

On our way back, we visited... 

 the Lourve in France...

the Trevi Fountain in Italy...

And a random statue of Siegfried and Roy

The day after the conference, we got up bright and early and headed North. We stopped for breakfast in St. George and got to see the temple up close. Definitely a different feeling than the hustle and bustle and then some of the city. 

Until next time...

Viva Las Vegas!


Our Family

Our Family
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