Eight hundred and ninety-seven

Posted on | Thursday, December 30, 2010 | No Comments

Pictures, that is. I originally had nearly a thousand on my camera so you can imagine how long it took to whittle it down to less than 150. Quite the accomplishment, if I do say so myself. Especially considering these pictures covered the span of an entire week. In Vegas. For Christmas. And you know how trigger happy I am with a camera.

I originally had intended to blog a few times while on vacation so that I wouldn't have the dilemna of sorting through nearly a thousand pictures, but since my laptop irregularly decides to shut itself off (and Alex pointedly forgot to bring his) blogging about our adventures in Las Vegas had to wait.

I am sure you are all dying to know after me week long absence.

I tried to size the pictures since they kept loading onto the blog with ridiculously huge diameters, but after the fourth try I stopped trying to fix them. Ugh. So, sorry for ginormous pictures. I hope you enjoy them regardless!

This was a picture I took about thirty minutes after we took off from Oklahoma City. Please note that the sun is just beginning to rise. We had all been up for about three hours at this point in time.

Even super sleepy Kael who seemed rather confused about being woken before sunrise and stuffed into an airplane.

Why hello there, Salt Lake City.

After another flight we were in Vegas with Alex (and Mom and Dusty >.<). This is the very first picture I took with my new camera that Alex bought me for Christmas, a shiny Samsung TL210!

It has been raining like mad in Las Vegas for the past several days much to the bafflement of tourists and denizens alike. Since when was Vegas wet? Oh yeah, and that Mandalay Bay and the Luxor -- the hotels directly before ours so it was super easy to snag a picture.

Clark Ke-- I meant Superman!! I found it disturbing that he traversed the strip faster on foot than we did in the car. He looked very much in character, although I didn't see him posing for any photos.

Caesar's Palace, on the way to the Venetian to visit with Kaleigh.

Cheesy couple picture. We took a whole bunch of these. There are just too many cute/pretty/interesting things to stand in front of in Vegas!

Look at that ceiling. Pretty awesome, huh? According to Kaleigh, the Venetian hotel's ceiling frescoes are all hand painted (and they are re-done every few years) which makes the artistry all that more beautiful. I guess if you are imitating Rome you might as well go all out.

The darling Kaleigh and I looking like two beautimous grapes. Amazingly the matching shirts was not planned.

There are gondola rides INSIDE the hotel. This place was seriously like a small city. Walk ways, river walks, at least a dozen restaurants and twice as many stores. And to imagine, above us were floor upon floor of hotel rooms.

There were Italian marionette/puppet show things happening at random. That happens in Italy, right? Well, either way it happens in Vegas.

We ate diner here. So. Friggin'. Amazing. I can now say that I have been to a fancy pants restaurant. Woot!

My first every martini. Okay fine it isn't a real martini. I still think it counts.

Our dinners, don't they just look ridiculously scrumptious? Trust me when I say mine tasted even better than it looked. Alex naturally got pizza. But it's Wolfgang Puck pizza, that makes it gourmet, right?

We had dessert, too, of course. Chocolate beignets, with vanilla creme dipping sauce and caramel macchiato ice cream. It tasted incredible. I also had some wonderful dark roasted coffee that the waiter poured from an adorable miniature peculator and a tiny pitcher of cream and canister of sugar. I wanted to flail from the cute of it all.

While at dinner we saw this newly wed couple. The other tourists (albeit from I think China) were going crazy and taking a million pictures, so I asked if I could snag one myself. Don't they look adorable? They both had this ridiculously happy glow about them which sparked my need to ask Alex if he wanted to get married every time we passed a Chapel in Vegas. And being Vegas, there were a lot of Chapels. The man is incredibly patient.

Did I mention we also went to see the Blue Man Group? Because we went to see the Blue Man Group. Front row seating. Which, by the way, is far superior than that middle or far back seating where you don't get splattered with paint and twinkies. They don't even get a free poncho.

We weren't allowed to take any pictures or video during the show (the threatened us with rocket powered seats that would project us out of the auditorium). However! This is how the stage looked at the end of the show if that gives you any idea of the entertainment that ensued.

We also partook in the most epic toilet paper party in the history of ever. Can any of you imagine a waterfall of TP that it being slowly drug down to the front row of the auditorium while Blue Men bang drums doused in paint? Multiply that awesomeness by about ten million and you have this TP party.

Check out the Blue Man Group Band!

I had to get mean to get a picture with this guy. Not really. I awkwardly waited until I could wiggle my way in to snag a picture with him while Alex muttered random things about me needing a firmer backbone. Meaniehead.

Did I mention Blue Man signed my ticket? WITH HIS FACE?! How awesome is that!? And the security guard guy had these laminate stickers so that I could keep it forever and ever. Yay!

Most Blue Man mandatory mushie picture. Still in the Venetian, by the way.

A lot of the big hotels (Venetian, Bellagio, Paris, etc.) decked out for Christmas, making them look almost magical. It was absolutely gorgeous.

Did I mention the Venetian had a waterfall indoors as well?

After I finished oohing and aahing we ventured outside to find it surprising not raining. I was trying out the various photo taking capabilities of my camera when I snagged this picture. That weird blurry thing is Alex moving through the picture. Ghost fiance!

More of Las Vegas by night. About three seconds after this it began to mist, then rain in earnest.

My nose is blurry. I thoroughly blame the misty rain.

We made it to Caesar's Palace (note the picture of Poseidon's fountain) before Alex dragged me into a cab to take us back to the hotel. I think he realized if left to my own devices I would have walked all the way back snapping pictures merrily as I came down with hypothermia.

The next day we drove over the mountains to Pahrump to spend Christmas with the family - my grandparents, aunt, uncle, their six kiddos, and my parents. Definitely a full house.

I think I finally realize where intense need to collect pictures comes from.

D'aaaaw. Aren't my grandparents cute!

Heee -- wasn't I so gosh darn cute?

Christmas morning everyone came to the house early in an assembled chaos. Most of Uncle Charles' children are in this picture. From Left to right we have Livia, Carmen, Stuart, Arlen, and Madeline. Also in the background is the only picture I have of my Grandpa where he isn't hiding behind something. Silly man.

Livia is a rockstar in training if you can't tell.

A picture of my Grandma in her most natural state -- laughing.

You can kind of see Laura in this picture (Uncle Charles' eldest child). I honestly don't think I have met a more helpful ten year old in my life.

Stuart, police officer in training.

Baby Carmen, who was picked up by my a million times over. Isn't she too adorable for words?

Alex had asked for Finance for Dummies for Christmas from my grandparents and ended up getting the entire set. Hey, you can never have too many reference books, right?

He was super excite.

One of the gifts that has already seen a great deal of use -- my Kindle! Sharon and Bruce bought it for me. I know I had mentioned to Alex and Sharon both that I love to read, although I can't remember if I specifically mentioned wanting a Kindle, but I'm already almost halfway through my first book and excited to start the next!

The scarf that I made for Alex. He got choked up for a few seconds because it made him so happy. It also coincided with his previous scarf finally kicking the bucket, so this freshly crocheted replacement was just in the nick of time!

Kael wanted to try on the scarf, too.

We also found out while visiting my Grandma that she was giving us her wedding cake topper. It's fifty years old and absolutely beautiful. I love the detailing on it so much.

Alex joked that I'll need to bleach my hair blonde so that we match our figurines. Ha!

Hehe, well we ARE Mexican after all...

Grandma and me together. That necklace was also a gift from her -- it's from the Vatican Library Collection. I adore it.

Family picture! Although Mom had a ridiculously hard time navigating how to work the thing. *headdesk*

On the drive the Pahrump I slept most the way and missed out on how pretty the mountains were. So naturally I took a couple million pictures on the drive back into Vegas.

I was awe-struck at how beautiful the mountains where. There's hiking and helicopter tours of the canyon, it's maybe twenty minutes from the Las Vegas strip. I told Alex if/when we return I would love to spend a day admiring the natural beauty that we missed out on this time.

I cannot express the pains I took to get this picture. It was one of those I-only-have-one-shot-to-get-this-don't-goof-it-up! moments. Thankfully I succeeded.

Hello, Liberty. Beautiful as always, if shrunk down from her original size.

For some reason getting a picture of the MGM Lion was extremely important.

Alex took this picture when we got back to the hotel in Vegas. The elephants were another gift from him (which most of you should know/remember the importance of), and he thought it would be creative to have a backdrop of the Kindle, especially with it's definition and mentioning of love and mushy things.

Most hotels on the Vegas strip have some kind of theme, the Luxor's is 'Egypt'. If the giant Sphinx and pyramid didn't give that away.

They also have a giant obelisk covered in hieroglyphics. Or at least things that look like hieroglyphics.

Mandalay Bay had a huge aquarium that was very popular. And for good reason, it didn't disappoint. They had a lot of exhibits, including as the name implies, a shark tank.

I think we might have a future marine biologist on our hands.

Seeeeee? Shark!

And jelies!

And an octopus. I really wanted a better picture of this guy but I was worried if I used my flash he might ink all in his tank and that would not be fun for anyone.

Crazy psychedelic picture. I have no idea how I accomplished this.

Walking back from the aquarium we ran into this Chapel. I suppose if you are getting married in Vegas this would be the place to do it.

After a short rest we took a taxi to the Bellagio. Although the Oklahoma Museum of Art has the largest exhibit of Chihuly in the world this ceiling is still incredibly gorgeous. During such a busy season too few people full appreciate how pretty it is.

The Bellagio also has an incredibly Christmas display. The humongous ornaments had jets of water shooting over them in synchronized arcs. Everything had such infinite detail, if it weren't for the massive throng of people I would have stayed for much longer to fully appreciate it.

I can almost hear Donner saying, "Lol wut?"

On Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer, on Vixen...

Las Vegas is the only place in the world were you can look across the street from Italy and see the Eiffel Tower. And New York is just down the street.

The one other great perk about the Bellagio is it's water show that happens about very ten minutes. The water cannons are computerized so that every show is different, combining hundreds of different songs and designs in the water. It's really breath taking. And free!

After the water show ended we went back to the hotel, slept for a few hours, and then flew back to reality.



Photobucket I was born and raised in California. I have also lived in Hungary, Texas, Alabama, Oklahoma, and I will be moving again this summer. Kael is my incredibly awesome kiddo who is growing up far too quickly, and Alex is my fiance who makes me happier than should be legally allowed. I write about them a lot. I'm mildly obsessed with cooking and photography. I write about those things, too.