Vegas!!!!!

I live in Los Angeles, which means I’ve been to Vegas a lot. As a kid, my family went once or twice a year, mainly because we had friends out there. Now that I’m an adult I don’t visit as often, but I do go sometimes and it is tons of fun.

Like San Francisco and Mojave, I don’t know enough about Vegas to do a top ten (although I imagine it would go something like: 1. Las Vegas Strip 2. Hoover Dam 3-10. Las Vegas Strip, with the Rio, Palms, and Fremont thrown in somewhere), so I’ll just throw up some pictures from my visits to the city of sin.

I don’t have any pictures from my Vegas trips as a kid. I actually only have pictures from my last two trips: New Years 2009 (when I met Inna) and spring 2013 (when I proposed to her).

Here are some pictures from these special trips. First, New Years 2009:

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My wife and I like to tell people we met in Vegas, but the truth is we met on the way to Vegas, through this group: my high school friends, her college friends, and the one guy (furthest camera-right) who was both my high school friend and her college friend; he was also the one who organized this trip.

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My future wife. You can see why I fell for her…

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Over 300,000 people come to Vegas for New Years, almost all of them to the Las Vegas Strip. To accommodate this, the Strip is shut down to cars and crowds fill the street. Even so, there’s so many people here that you can barely move. It is insane, but it is also awesome.

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Despite 300,000 people on the street, when midnight hit, nothing happened. No official countdown, no fireworks, no televised anything. All we had was one screen counting down from ten to zero on repeat, and because it was repeating we had no idea when the New Year actually hit. Eventually we all just figured midnight had passed, and so we started celebrating.

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New Years Eve in Vegas is superfun, despite the look on my face.

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It’s not the real thing, but the Eiffel Tower (and the rest of the Paris hotel, and the rest of the hotels on the Strip) is pretty cool, and it is gorgeous at night.

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How about some daytime pictures? Here’s Caesar’s Palace, the first hotel we visited on this trip. Five years later I would propose to Inna in almost this very spot.

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Inside the Venetian, Vegas’s Italian themed hotel.

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Red Bull ice bar in the Paris hotel. I don’t know if this is cool or weird; I think it is both.

These last three pictures are actually the only non-drunk, non-friend pictures I have from this trip. So without anymore pictures to show, lets move ahead to my proposal, Vegas 2013!

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Here we are, at the Venetian again. I don’t have any pictures from my actual proposal (at Caesar’s Palace) but we took this almost right after, when we tracked down Inna’s family to tell them the news.

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Inna’s family was so excited they paid for us to go on a Gondola ride. And while we relaxed on our boat and the driver serenaded us with his beautiful Italian accent (was it fake? was it gimmicky? who cares), someone else proposed on another boat.

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This picture was taken the day after I proposed, at some random spot in some random hotel. And despite it being a whole day later, Inna still can’t stop staring at her ring.

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Here’s a picture of actual Vegas. This is the Bellagio, both Inna and my favorite hotel, mainly due to its amazing music/water show.

And that’s all the pictures I have from this Vegas trip. What the heck? Normally I’m a picture taking fiend, why do I have so few from these trips? To make up for my lack of pictures I’ll throw up some my wife took on her Vegas trips; I didn’t take these but I could’ve and I’ve basically had all the same experiences that these pictures depict.

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The Sphinx, outside the Luxor hotel. This was my favorite hotel to visit as a kid.

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A lion at The Mirage, my other favorite hotel to visit as a kid. In addition to animals, The Mirage has in my opinion the best pool on the Strip.

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The MGM Grand, at one point the largest hotel by room count in the world (currently it is the third largest, this despite it being more than 20 years old), has its own theme park in the back. However, I’m from the land of theme parks, Southern California (Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Magic Mountain, Universal Studios, Sea World, Raging Waters, and Hurricane Harbor) and so I’ve been spoiled; I never found MGM’s theme park to be all that fun.

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The Las Vegas Strip is very different as an adult vs as a kid. As a kid, the Strip is all about theming, junk food, games, and entertainment; as an adult, the Strip i all about partying, buffets, gambling, and entertainers. Actually that adult list is just the adult versions of the kid things, so maybe Vegas isn’t all that different for adults vs kids.

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One difference of being an adult in Vegas: you get to appreciate all the attractive people (and maybe even marry one five years later!). 

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Sometimes, for some reason, they build Strip-caliber hotels off the Strip. Palms is one, Rio is another, and there used to be another one, name unknown, at the top of some mountain outside the city. I know this because one time a thunderstorm struck while my family was visiting, so my dad and I went to this resort to watch the lightning show. It was amazing. Also, while I’m telling old Vegas stories, another time we visited in the middle of a locust attack. It was crazy, it was like the ten plagues!

Well, that’s all the Vegas pictures my wife and I have. I don’t know why I have so few, normally I have tons to choose from! Maybe it’s because “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” so I didn’t want incriminating evidence? No, that’s not it, after all, Inna and I met in Vegas and that sure didn’t stay there!

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