Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Las Vegas, Part 4

Obviously, I have shared photos of Las Vegas before and it can be difficult to only show new scenes. However, it is sometimes fun to revisit previous scenes to see what has changed. For instance, the MGM Lion is very much in need of a fresh coat of gold paint — currently, he looks a bit shabby.

What's old is new again. A '57 Chevy, an automobile from the era when I was becoming aware of cars — one of my favorites. One personal observation — in those days, cars were designed to look different from each other. No one my age would have confused a '57 Ford for a '57 Chevy. Today, who can tell different models apart from the body shape alone? One must look for the chrome logos displayed at strategic locations on the body of the vehicle.

This vintage set of wheels has the Tropicana logo on the door so I guess this is a showcase vehicle for the hotel casino. Out of curiosity I checked with Wikipedia and the Tropicana opened April 4, 1957. Now I understand the connection — both '57 babies.

Across the street is the Excalibur, named for the mythical sword of King Arthur, and incorporating the Medieval theme in several ways. Its facade is a stylized image of a castle. Interesting factoid from Wikipedia "Until 2007, a wizard-like figure representing Merlin looked out from a high turret (since replaced by a figure advertising Dick's Last Resort)." I did not notice the replacement figure.

The structure looks like a simple rectangular solid with every window lining up precisely with its neighbors left and right, top and bottom. I have only stayed here one time and was so overwhelmed by cigarette smoke (both in the common areas but also in the rooms) that I swore I would never stay there again (and I haven't).

Next door is the Luxor with the pharaoh overlooking the tram tracks in front. I have only stayed here one time but it was worth it one time to ride in the incline elevators which run on the inside of the pyramid where the adjoining edges of the exterior meet. This is much different than the vertical elevators which we normally encounter.

I believe this is a smaller replica of the statue of Ramses II which sits at Abu Simbel temple, south of Aswan. Wasn't this the one that was raised to preserve it from the rising waters behind the Aswan dam?

I thought this was interesting mostly because someone appears to have kissed the closest ram, leaving lipstick on its face.

Anubis is the Greek name of a god associated with mummification and the afterlife in the ancient Egyptian religion and is usually depicted as a canine or a man with a canine head.

On display inside Luxor is a model of the Titanic. They have an exhibit (costs to visit as does nearly everything in Las Vegas) with artifacts from the real Titanic. This part is free. The only thing missing were figurines of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet standing at the bow of the ocean liner.

This view is the stern of the ship.

Interesting bas-relief with painted accents. Looks like what I would expect the real thing to have looked when it was new. Cool stuff.

Next door is the Mandalay Bay Resort. I have stayed there multiple times when attending the Photoshop World conferences. NAPP (now KelbyOne) was always able to negotiate great hotel rates ($125 or so including the resort fee) with free Internet. In my opinion, this is probably the best property in Las Vegas at which I have stayed — both the rooms and the grounds.

Next week on to Lake Havasu City.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com