I’m finding myself short on time, and on words, as I attempt to juggle the writing of this post with the impossible task of packing piles and piles of Christmas purchases into luggage which is clearly inadequate for the task at hand.
Rather than stress out over the luggage situation, I have decided to think happy Christmas thoughts while I share a little photo essay depicting one lovely day in and around Las Vegas. My mission on the day in question? To restore Mr. Enthusiasm’s faith in Santa Claus. Well, no, not really. But sort of.
This past Sunday, after listening to him complain that he wasn’t ‘feeling the Christmas spirit” while wistfully watching news reports of snowstorms battering the north east region, I decided an an outing was in order. One designed to prove that the holiday spirit need not be tied to cold and snow.
I planned an itinerary of several Vegas area spots where I hoped we could find some holiday magic.
The first stop was a mandatory visit to the Bellagio Hotel’s Conservatory. If you’re not impressed by their holiday display… well, you clearly share DNA with Ebenezer himself.
It really is remarkable how they transform this huge atrium, once every six weeks or so, into a completely different experience. Their holiday display always makes me smile (it’s different each Christmas), and the 2013 version was no exception.
Check it out.
But I didn’t even have to make it into the Conservatory to be wowed. Right there at the check in counter were a row of gorgeous tall urns filled with beautiful floral displays.
I’m a sucker for roses, so I zoomed right in on these guys.
The Bellagio changes up the flowers every couple of days, and this includes hundreds and hundreds of poinsettias strewn all over the foyer area.
We saw them replacing the old batch as we walked through to hit Las Vegas Blvd. But the ‘old’ ones still looked perfectly healthy. It made me wonder where all the old ones were headed. I hope it wasn’t to the trash.
No room for negative thoughts. Let’s look at the tree decorations up close.
Oooh…I feel the holiday spirit breaking through that cynicism. 😉
Can’t wait to check out the next display at the Conservatory, tied to Chinese New Year. That will be spectacular, if last year’s display was any indication.
Just as we were rounding the lake in front of the hotel, the famous fountain show began.
I wasn’t planning on taking pictures of the dancing fountains this time, as I was focused on getting to my next destination, but as I looked over at my shoulder, I caught a beautiful rainbow reflected in the water’s spray. I couldn’t walk away from that Kodak moment.
So here you go:
As cool as the rainbow was, my mind was focused on one thing and one thing only: Pain au Chocolat. And not just any chocolate croissant either. Mine has to come from the genius Chef Thomas Keller and his amazing Bouchon Bakery.
I made a bee-line to the Venetian Hotel, rode down a couple of escalators, et voilà!
Like heaven in a paper bag. This truly hit the spot.
With a happy belly it was time to continue on, stopping briefly to snap a few pictures in the Grand Canal Shoppes connecting the Venetian to the Palazzo. Lovely holiday displays there too. Opulent but classy. Just like the hotel.
Okay, so maybe the iridescent white peacock was a little over the top, but hey, better to go overboard with Christmas décor than to bah-humbug it, right?
My next planned stop was outside of the city, so we made our way back to the car.
Forty minutes later we arrived in lovely Boulder City, Nevada.
I just love this quaint little town, with its charming antique shops and wonderful history.
Boulder City was originally built in 1931 as housing for workers who were building the Hoover Dam.
It is one of only two cities in Nevada that prohibit gambling. And when you’re in a place where gambling is available everywhere from grocery stores to gas stations, it’s pretty cool to discover a slot machine-free zone.
What I love most about this town is the focus on art. All over the old town area you’ll find beautiful, fun and whimsical sculptures as part of the public Art Scape.
I love this one, which poses the age-old question, “Which came first?” 🙂
But I also fell in love with Humpty…
And no trip to Boulder City would be complete without a lunch at the Southwest Diner. All that antiquing works up quite the appetite.
We shopped, we ate, we drank. And so it was time to make our way back home.
As it turns out, the holidays have officially hit Red Bluffs. Here is what greeted us just past the entry gate.
I smugly looked at Mr. Enthusiasm and asked, How you like me now, biz-natch??
He begrudgingly acquiesced that the holiday spirit is indeed alive and well in the desert. Snow is highly overrated, in my humble opinion.