One Super Jump, Fall Foliage and crowds on Vegas Strip


My trip to Las Vegas was a mixed bag.

It was great spending time with Mallory. We had fun on the road trip portion of the trip, visiting Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon, Winslow, AZ, and Four Corners Monument.

Our first evening in Vegas was fun. That was the night Mallory did a controlled free fall from the 108th floor of the Stratosphere tower on the Strip. I was quite worried about her jumping from that high, but she’d done a similar jump in New Zealand during a vacation with her mom.


While the time she left the platform to the landing spot felt like an eternity to me, watching the video of her actual jump showed it was maybe 15 seconds long. Amazing! I am proud of her, and quite impressed with her adrenaline activities. I am very much the opposite. IMG_7788

The next morning, we started the day watching the Nebraska Cornhuskers-UCLA Bruins football game at the sports book at Excalibur casino. Since the game did not go our way, we agreed that the Huskers hadn’t played the Bruins yet, so it has become a running joke with us that we are looking forward to the game. IMG_7828

Mallory had lunch plans with an old college friend, who has lived in the Vegas area for about seven years. While the girls had their fun time at Paris, I checked out the Strip during the day.

IMG_7813I planned to have lunch at the Harley-Davidson Café. After getting seated right away, I sat and waited for someone to take my order. I waited. And waited. Several minutes passed and no one bothered to check on me. Waitresses and a hostess walked by my table. I decided to see how long it would take. After 15 minutes of sitting there and watching the staff pass by, I decided to move on.

Lunch at Fatburger was more interesting. I saw all kinds of people dining there. I chuckled when I saw three 20-somethings dressed to the nines having Fatburger for lunch. For some reason, that struck me as funny.

I finally started checking things out on the Strip. I walked southward toward Mandalay Bay.


I stopped and took a photo of two women dressed as showgirls. They work for tips, so I gave them some money. A minion from “Despicable Me” stood nearby, so he got a photo taken, too.


I made it as far south as MGM Grand. The lion atop the fountain in front of the casino is always a nice spot for a photo.


Across the street is New York, New York casino. They have some construction going on out front, so the casino didn’t make for a good photo opp.

I headed northward. I forgot how crowded the Strip can be. I knew it was packed at night, based on our previous trips there. However, I didn’t recall it being that busy during the day. It was Mexican Independence celebration weekend. Also, the Mayweather-Canelo boxing match was taking place that night. Explains all the people moving about. IMG_8260

I stopped at the Bellagio, one of my favorite casinos. The casino is home to a magnificent botanical garden. Seasonal exhibits are presented throughout the year. The current exhibit is the fall/harvest.


It’s a beautiful display of fall colors – brown, yellow, red, orange, and green. There are enchanted trees with faces that are computerized for movement.


Outside the Bellagio is the famous dancing water fountain. I timed it perfectly to watch the water dance to a Frank Sinatra song, “Fly Me to the Moon.”


I stopped outside the Paris Casino and grabbed a shot of the Eiffel Tower. Mal’s friend played a key role in the rebranding of the Tower’s observation deck. Quite a coup.


Mal and I met up at the Paris. We walked to Caesar’s Palace, so I could show her the animatronic gods. Unfortunately, the attraction was closed for renovation.


We then headed over to the Venetian. We checked out a couple of attractions, including a National Geographic presentation of its Top 50 photos of all time. We agreed with most, but there were a few photos that looked like anyone could have taken them. It was an interesting exhibit.


Later that night, we stopped at the famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign for some photo opps.


The Las Vegas Strip is a must-see for most people. I have been among them. My wife and I have been to Vegas twice before. However, this time around, I felt crowded. It seemed like people were ruder than before. I appreciated the trip with my daughter, but I am in no hurry to get back on the Vegas Strip.



  1. Tim –
    I am sad that my city was a less than stellar host. I lived here from 2002-2005 and then moved back in 2008 and I do see similar differences in the backdrop at the strip: people bustling about without regard for others, many new “attractions” dressed for cosplay but demanding money for you to gawk at the spectacle they’ve made of themselves, and a less welcoming feel than a few years back.
    That said, I love that you persevered AND that it seems you know all the best attractions 😀 The fountains of the Bellagio are a must-see and I love to stay for more than one song because the display is so entrancing. Caesar’s as well is sort of a must-see. Just the walk along the strip seeing the casino-fronts decked out like a world-tour is one of the best things you can do, day or night. You even introduced me to something I may want to check out at the Venetian… I didn’t know that National Geographic photo exhibit even existed!
    Such a great post and way cool to see my city through your eyes.
    Heather @ Exalted Peacock

    • Heather, we did make the most of it despite the crowds. The National Geographic exhibit at the Venetian is a limited time only event. However, it does not state when it will disappear. There is a note stating that it will be closed for 1 day on Dec. 6th. So, there will be time. You’ll have to keep us up to date on other new attractions that may get us back there sooner :).

      • Lisa, Thanks so much for the information. 🙂 I tend to spend my time away from the strip out at Red Rock hiking or up at Mount Charleston, but I can definitely let you know when I here of new things. 🙂

  2. Vegas is so fun! So much to do and it can actually be quite affordable if you work at it 🙂 Thanks for sharing some of the highlights. Brings back memories as I haven’t been there in probably 15 years.

  3. It has been years since I’ve been to Vegas – I was a teenager. I’m probably due for a visit but I just can’t seem to get excited about ever going. It seems like everything there is a really nice copy of something else and I’d be better off seeing the original. The city does fascinate me though.

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