Las Vegas    Dec 2007

Yes it was Vegas again. This time for a dance competition for Louise. It was a regional competition in Country and Western Dance and included everything from Waltz to Two Step. Louise did very well in her own age and skill bracket placing 5 firsts and 1 second her group of 3 ladies. She also received 4 firsts, 1 second, and 1 third in the Age group below hers, which was good enough to get her first place in both the Open Novice and Crystal Novice groups. (They divide the competitors by both age group and skill level. Open, Crystal, Diamond, and Platinum for the ages groups and Novice, Intermediate, and Expert for the skill levels)

The Competition was held in the Riviera Hotel on the Strip. For a competition or conference the hotel was fine, but I would stay elsewhere if I was just going for vacation. The location is good, but the food choices are poor and the gambling not very good.

The Dance Comp

Various pictures from the Dance Competition. Louise and her instructor Albert. In each age and skill group there were six different dances. All of the competitors danced with an instructor. Each dance lasts about a minute and a half and has between 3 and 8 couples on the floor at the same time.

Picture wise, I'll have to get a better camera for events like these. This is the limit of what your basic consumer digital camera will do under low light and high movement conditions.

The Vegas Strip

The Wynn Hotel in Vegas. Yes 2.7 Billion buys a very, very, nice hotel. Thankfully its free to walk through and see the sites. Just look at the table minimums very carefully before sitting down. We saw a $100 minimum table in the general area, so I can only imagine what the high roller tables are like. The design philosophy here was "indirect light good", "direct light bad". The entire hotel eats and breathes class and expense. Well worth a walk through.

Eating out in Vegas is a hit or miss affair. Whatever you have heard in the past about cheap food is just that, "in the past". Prices are definitely up everywhere we went. The only "deals" we saw were for high-end dinners. You could have an OK dinner for $15-$20 anywhere or spend the extra and have a $30 main course at the Paris restaurant that was absolutely stellar. Likewise, you could have the standard buffet at the Circus Circus for $15 or have the best Brunch buffet I've had in my entire life for $30 at the steakhouse in the Circus Circus. Champagne, cooked to order filet mignon, and a host of other items. Outstanding!

Also of note is the Peppermill restaurant (picture 2). Think Neon diner with good food. Good food at a reasonable price relative to other Vegas eats.

No title required. There are some pictures you just have take. I didn't notice it at the time but a guy at work asked why all the statues had shiney butts. I'll let you figure it out yourself.

The Venetian. The Big Three ritzy hotels in Vegas include the Bellagio, the Venetian, and now the Wynn. All are expensive, and all are worth your time to walk through. This time in particular we did the walk through at night. Highly recommended as they all really look outstanding in the evening.

The Stratosphere. Yes, more pictures of the Stratosphere. It looks very cool at night and in the second picture I finally captured the ride on the top that slings you into the air in action. You can just make out the people on the tower if you look. Again, expensive but well worth the cost.