I started 2005 in Las Vegas, so I guess being there for almost the end of the year only seemed appropriate. With it being Christmastime, and with Vegas being Sin City and all, I kept an eye out for lightning bolts the whole time I was there.
All of these pictures were taken by my new (at the time) Canon SD450 camera. My Canon S500 camera gave out on me on a trip to Samoa, so when I dropped it off to be repaired I picked up the SD450. I didn't want to go into convulsions or anything by being without a camera. The SD450 did OK, but the sensor, because it is a small sensor stuffed with 5 million pixels, was noticeably noisier when taking the kind of pictures on this page (i.e. low light) than my other digital cameras had been. Its main redeeming quality? Size. It was the smallest camera I'd ever owned.
Above is the Excalibur Hotel and Casino.
The casino was on the ground floor and a carnival/game area was on the floor below it.
The Excalibur's main attraction was the Tournament Of King's show.
Downstairs is a large arena which seats about 1000 people. For $55 you were served a dinner of soup, Cornish game hen, potatoes, a vegetable, bread and a drink while you watched a live show. One thing you were not given was silverware. The dinner show was one of Las Vegas' last dinner shows.
The setting for the show was medieval Europe. The kings of Europe gathered for a competition in honor of King Arthur's son, Christopher's, prince hood. There was fighting, jousting, singing, horse riding, juggling, tumbling, cheering, dragons, knights and an evil fire wizard. Of course, the king was killed, and the rest of the kings helped Christopher defeat the bad guys. The arena was split up into sections. One for each king, and the bad guys. You were expected to cheer for your king throughout the show. It was a great show for kids, and it was pretty fun for the adults too. No pictures were allowed.
We went for Christmas eve dinner at the Italian restaurant Buca di Beppo. After dinner we dropped by the Bellagio to see the what the garden display looked like for the Christmas season. That's actually the Aladdin Casino in the picture above.
Christmas trees, snow, poinsettias, pools of cranberries (those are all cranberries in the foreground)...
...polar bears?, snowmen...
...and animatronic penguins?
Back in 2004 this area of the garden was being worked on. The large staircase to the art gallery was removed, and...now it's not there. I don't know what the white pillar was all about.
A not so great picture of Mandalay Bay at night from a moving car.
An equally uninspiring picture of the light on top of the Luxor. At about a bazillion watts it was reported that it could be seen from the International Space Station.
MORE TO COME, SOMEDAY
DIRECT LINKS TO THE PAGES:
HERE AND THERE
LAKE LAS VEGAS
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2005
CHRISTMAS IN VEGAS?