Sunday, June 12, 2011

Las Vegas with the kids {New Braunfels destination photographer}

Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas sign, Las Vegas Nevada, New Braunfels destination photographySo we packed up and left the icy coldness of the Grand Canyon. On the way out of the park we drove right past the mounds of snow piled up around the trees that had us so excited on the way in the previous day. We passed the spot of our spontaneous snow ball fight. It had seemed so fun the day before. Now we were just ready to be warm again.

We hit Las Vegas -- and the warmth of the concrete oasis in the middle of the desert -- by mid afternoon. The kids perked up at the sight of our hotel, the Excalibur. It was a massive castle looming amidst the tall buildings. We were right across the street from the Statue of Liberty and the Sphinx and a short block away from the Eiffel Tower. My boy asked me if that was the real Statue of Liberty.

"No," I told him. "It's a fake. Everything in Las Vegas is fake right down to the grass," I said as I pointed down to the astroturf lawn around our hotel.

After checking into our hotel, we took a little tour of the strip, being sure to point out the massive billboards promising hot girls at your door in 20 minutes. "Look children! Half off admission to the Striptease today only!" We opted to forgo the cattle call that is the all-you-can-eat buffet at the hotel and instead chose a nice old Carl's Jr. where the homeless man panhandling outside held a sign that read "Why lie, I need a beer."

Homeless man, Las Vegas Nevada street photography, New Braunfels destination photographerWe took advantage of the hotel pool as much as possible to relax after being on the road for so many days. But when the sun went down, I tucked the kiddos into bed and left Jayme in charge while I strolled out on the strip with my camera. Vegas at night is one big freak show. It's where intelligent college girls (and guys) go to behave badly so they can blame it on the liquor and the lights and be assured by their counterparts that "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." Except that is when it ends up on my blog or Youtube. One of these drunken sorority girls grabbed Jayme's bottom and giggled to her friends "I totally just grabbed that guy's butt!"

A flaming homosexual man kissed me and told me he loves me -- even after I failed to fall for his sales pitch and go inside for a collagen injection. A cowboy on stilts asked me to marry him and THE Captain Jack Sparrow tried to get me to pay him $10 to pose for a photo with him. I was offered a foot massage for $20, free jello shots and "tits" lots and lots of "tits." But despite the sin my delicate eyes absorbed, I was assured by the preacher at the corner of Las Vegas Blvd. and E. Flamingo that a few dollars in his prayer pot would grant me eternal salvation. Halleluja!

Captain Jack Sparrow Las Vegas street performer, Las Vegas Nevada street photography, New Braunfels destination photographerGlitter Gulch, Las Vegas Nevada street photography, New Braunfels destination photographerI was disappointed to see the closing of the Sahara -- it's magnificent empty shell stood silent and dark. It's one of the last remaining old classic hotels, from the heyday of the Las Vegas Rat Pack era. The hotel we stayed at 15 years ago, The Stardust, was demolished a few years ago. I suspect the next to go will be Circus Circus, a remnant of the early 80s when Las Vegas tried unsuccessfully to market itself as a family destination.

Before leaving town, we made sure to visit the famous Las Vegas sign, where a nice Elvis impersonator charged us $10 for a genuine autographed photo of himself on cheap cardstock and posed for photos alongside his authentic pink Cadillac.

There were wedding parties galore having photos done in front of the sign and we seemed to keep running into the same bride and groom all over town. The wedding chapels were amusing to us. There was one on every corner. And for just a mere $100 Jayme and I could even renew our vows if we so chose.

When we hopped into the minivan to leave we made sure to pop in Sheryl Crow. There's nothing like a little "Leaving Las Vegas" for that drive down I-15 out of town. So long Vegas. See you soon, I'm sure! Next up, our trip to the damn dam -- Hoover Dam that is.

Elvis impersonator Las Vegas Nevada, Las Vegas street photography, New Braunfels destination photographer

Lisa On Location Photography

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