Dragons in Vegas

During Chinese New Year Vegas was full of dragons. Here is an example of some of the best we came across back in February.

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Random Shop Windows from Las Vegas

I love a good styled shop window! I am attracted by anything that is different to what we normally see, or something that is full of colour. I cannot resist stopping and taking a photo, so here are some of my favourites from our last trip to Las Vegas; it never disappoints in the shop window department!

Chocolate Fountain (behind glass) near the patisserie in the Bellagio Hotel

The lovely display at the JSP store in the Bellagio Hotel

One of the displays at Tutto, opposite of the Main Tower guest elevators in the Bellagio Hotel

The Dior shop in the Bellagio Hotel

Not exactly a window display, but I just liked the idea of hiding a building site within the busy Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.

This I think we came across in the Miracle Mile Shopping Centre at the Planet Hollywood Hotel

Another Dior window

Not a real shopping window, but I love all the colours and there is something very satisfying in those neatly lined up bottles

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Do not feed the birds!

We came across this scene on the patio of our hotel in Las Vegas. It made me chuckle at the time and I still find it amusing now.

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The Art of Richard MacDonald

I love Cirque du Soleil shows and so we went to watch “O” when we were in Las Vegas last month. When you visit the “O” Theatre at the Bellagio you will be passing through the gallery of artist Richard MacDonald, who captures the Cirque performers in his wonderful sculptures. They are full of life and convey the movements of the Cirque acrobats, dancers, and contortionists. The gallery at the Bellagio┬ácontains more than 50 bronze sculptures, some of which took 8 years to create. Another display of his work is at Gallery Row, located just across the bridge outside of Crystals at CityCenter in Las Vegas.

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Las Vegas at night is still wonderful

After all our visits to Las Vegas, I am still mesmerized by the sounds and sights of this city at night; I don’t think I will ever tire of it. It has to be said, I wasn’t always a fan of Las Vegas, it grew on me, slowly. I love the whackyness of it all, you see things that you would only see in this city, and you just have to embrace it to enjoy it. The photos below are probably my favourite view at night; the Bellagio fountains and the Paris Hotel as a backdrop.

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The Bellagio Conservatory + Botanical Gardens

Each season, and some special events, the Bellagio Conservatory + Botanical Gardens undergo a 5 day transformation thanks to their very talented horticultural team. We have previously seen a Harvest display and their Christmas display, so seeing their Chinese New Year display this time around was great. The 14,000 square foot conservatory was decked out in everything from pigs (large and small) to lions and fountains. I always enjoy seeing their interpretation of the seasons and events, and the work that goes into this is astounding.

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Dinner Options

Dinner Options

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Hummingbirds

One thing I did not expect to see in Las Vegas were hummingbirds, so when we visited the flamingos at the Flamingo Casino and Hotel we were pleasantly surprised. A lot of people just walked past the feeders and didn’t notice these tiny birds darting back and forth. We do have hummingbirds were we live, but we have never been successful in attracting them into our garden or spot them while we are out and about; so to be able to watch them and try to photograph them was a real pleasure, so much so, that we visited the habitat twice.

The below photos are not some of my best, as photographing these birds without a tripod was a real challenge, but I like them nonetheless. I believe there are six species of hummingbird living in and around Las Vegas. I am not 100% sure, but I believe the below are Anna’s Hummingbirds, Black-chinned Hummingbirds, and possibly a Broad-tailed Hummingbird.

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Something different

Every now and then I dabble in creating photo composites in Photoshop. Since seeing the Cirque du Soleil show “O” at the Bellogio in Las Vegas I have had a number of ideas I wanted to explore further. I really loved the show “O”, especially the costumes and the set, the mix of water and land together with the always present steampunk influence gave me some inspiration to dabble some more.

After some trial and error of ideas, I finally had something I was reasonably happy with. All of the elements used in the below composite came either from my own photographs or from Pixabay, which provides royalty free stock photos that do not require any attribution.

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Traditional Dragon and Lion Dance

I saw my very first traditional dragon and lion dance last month as part of the Bellagio’s Chinese New Year celebrations. It was a really great performance despite the rather colder than normal temperatures in Las Vegas.

The dragon and lion dances usually take center stage at Chinese New Year’s celebrations. In Chinese Culture the lion symbolizes strength, stability, and superiority, while the dragon represents power, boldness, and excellence. The dances are meant to chase away evil spirits and welcome prosperous times.

As part of this performance the invited dignitaries were asked to perform an eye-dotting ceremony on the lions, which uses a brush and a red powder to give the lions spirit and bring them to life. Only after this ceremony has been performed does the dance officially begin. Apparently the eye-dotting ceremony can be dated back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220AD).

The lion dance was full of acrobatics while the dragon dance was so energetic that I really wondered how the kids could move this large dragon in such quick fashion.

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