Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Father's Day

We're back! Peter and I flew to Las Vegas last Thursday to meet my mom and dad, who drove in from California, and my brother, who flew in from Reno. Peter's family is also in Las Vegas, so it was so nice to have all the family together. My dad had several free rooms at three different casinos for different nights, so it was fun to visit them, swim in the pools and do the touristy things we don't normally do in Vegas.

We took this picture at (duh) Paris the afternoon we flew in. I kept looking through the many versions we have of this picture (with various eye closures in each), frantically trying to find the one with PJ, my brother, in it too. Stupid me, I forgot he came in at midnight that night, so of course he was missing! The nice German (?) old man took this and its 20 bretheren for us, since we took pictures for him and for every other tourist at the pool who managed to miss the little platform with stairs and a sign that said "Eiffel Tour Photo Spot" or something like that. Photo ops like these don't just happen, people!

While we were inching down the Strip (you mean, you actually want to get someplace?), we were lucky enough to be right in front of the Bellagio for the fountain show. I'm not overly impressed by most of Vegas' offerings, since I've come of age in Nevada and I've been to Vegas too often for work and family, but the fountains are one thing I will try to see if I'm in the area, and they are at their most impressive at night.

Equally impressive was the Bellagio conservatory, which changes quite frequently and is always lovely. I don't exactly know why, but they pulled out all the stops on this one. I can't explain it, but it's like a fairytale-esque miniature train set with American landmarks. Sound confusing? Somehow, it works. Peter's favorite part was the arching fountains that were so crystal clear they looked like Plexiglass. We're still not sure how they did it.
Here's the mini-Bellagio, complete with little fountains. You can see one of the many train trestles in the upper right. Each one was different and had a little sign explaining what kind it was. They had many different model trains running on tracks through the conservatory--overhead, through mini-villages, over the river and through the woods.

I couldn't get a good picture of it, but they also had an enormous banyan tree (I think) that was extremely old and had to be cut down in Florida due to poor health. So of course, they shipped the tree to the Bellagio! It wasn't whole like when it was a live, but you could still get a pretty good idea of its size from the huge trunks and limbs they had arranged (with trains running throughout, natch).

The rest of the weekend we mostly spent with family, swimming in pools (Paris, Red Rock and Green Valley, though Peter's family pool was the most fun with 5 people and 4 dogs in it at once), eating and watching movies. We never go to the movies, but we went to see Cars and An Inconvenient Truth. Both were quite good, but in different ways, obviously. It was so nice to be with family again, especially since this was the first time since the wedding that both of our families have been together.

Hope everyone had a happy Father's Day!

No comments: