Friday, February 25, 2011

Adventures in Vegas::: Belaggio Fountains & Last Night

HDR Vegas2

There are many things in Las Vegas that I could live without, and a few that would make me want to stay there forever. One of the few that made the cut would be the Bellagio fountains. I definitely had to make my way out there on my last night in Las Vegas and check them out a couple more times.

Huge shout out to Chris for letting me stop and watch each and every time we walked by and the show was going to start soon. It seriously put a big smile on my face as I took a million shots of the beautiful show. He even spotted me so I wouldn't fall off the rail and die! That's true friendship! :D





I was sad to go but tried to make the most out of my last hours there. I finally got a chance to go to the New York New York casino and gamble a whopping $4 (of which I got to keep $3) and I yelled empty threats at Chris as we were shot up, down, and all around on the rollercoaster. It's a good thing it's so loud, so he didn't hear half of it... but it was pretty much "What'd I ever do to youuuuuuuu???!!!" All the way down the slope. It's a shame we didn't buy the picture: Him with a big smile on his face, arms up in the air, thoroughly enjoying the ride. Me: holding on to my glasses and with a priceless expression of my face that, again, says "It would be so fitting for me to die in Las Vegas."



HDR Vegas1



But I didn't die, and the next day I barely made my flight to Washington DC, where I would be flying back to Spain just 4 short days later. People can talk smack about Vegas, but when I sit at home and watch CSI... I miss it.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Adventures in Vegas::: "The Crazy Chicken That Saved My Life"

As I wearily walked, feeling every heartbeat pounding in my chest, and the unbearable thirst building within me with every step I took, I thought to myself "Adina, it would be SO you to randomly die in a city built on a desert." Seriously, it seems that my life is random enough that if it came to a sudden end in Las Vegas, it would just be fitting. But wait, what am I even talking about?

I felt like I was walking on this road...

Well, here's what happened: I hadn't had access to the internet pretty much all week, so I thought it was about time to get in touch with the real world. My friendly local, Chris, was helpful enough to tell me about a nearby library where I could go to use the internet. He even sent me directions in a text message. Sounds simple enough, right? Except I'm me, and I can't make simple things stay simple. Soooo long story short, I went left instead of right and got lost and walked around the desert city for 40 minutes. Did I mention I was wearing long sleeves and long pants? Yup. I'm not sure what got over me, but I went outside dressed like it was 70ºF weather when it was in fact in 103ºF outside and I was walking next to a black hot road the entire time. This was the first time in my life where I could actually feel the heat rising from the pavement. After about 30 minutes I started feeling really faint and slightly nauseous. It was then that I realized that I had accidentally left my wallet back in my room. Soooo... can't stop anywhere and get a drink. I tried to press on, but I actually kept feeling worse and worse. Eventually I couldn't take it so I walked into a El Pollo Loco just to splash some water on my face and sit in the air conditioned room for a bit. Clearly I wasn't even a customer, so as I walked in and straight to the restroom I felt super guilty about it.

So I am sitting on the floor in the bathroom hoping I'll be alright, when an employee walks in and asks me if I am OK. Nicest lady ever. I kinda broke down and said something like "I've been walking around lost for 40 minutes, I am wearing THIS, and I'm clearly not from here, and I forgot my wallet... and I just needed to cool down for a bit." She asked me where I was from and when I told her Spain I was convinced that she must be thinking I am a bloody idiot. But instead, the lady excuses herself, walks into the kitchen and comes out with an ice cold bottle of water and says "Here sweetie, I don't want you to get sick." I said "Bless you! Seriously!" and walked out. It was the most beautiful act of kindness by a perfect stranger ever, and I needed it so much...I almost cried.

I was out of breath again by the time I got to the library. It was only after I'd been sitting down for 15 minutes, still breathless and feeling my heart pounding in my chest, that I realized that I was actually at the beginning stages of a heat stroke. Fantastic. I just sat there praying and hoping I could ride it out. After a while I felt much better and carried on to surf the web and shoot a couple emails. Oh, and fortunately I didn't have to walk back. I texted Chris and he rolled in to save the day.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Adventures in Vegas::: "Train, Desert, Man."

Lomo (Original)

We only had one whole day to explore Las Vegas. Chris asked me what I wanted to do, and weird as it may sound... I didn't want to hit the strip. No, this was the only day where we could do whatever we wanted, and I wanted to drive through a desert. I'm such a weirdo, but it doesn't matter because we picked a road and headed towards Utah without a real destination. I actually kept saying I was going to visit my friend Ebeth, which would have been an 8 hour drive.


We were happily driving down the road, oh so thankful for air conditioning, when we suddenly drove past two abandoned trains on a track in the middle of nowhere. As soon as we passed by I looked at Chris and yelled "Did you see that?!" and we instinctively knew we had to jump out and do a mini-shoot.
We had a day full of sunshine, good car conversations, and happy shooting.











I bonded with his Sigma 10-20.


"Does this angle make my butt look big?"


Conclusion: The desert is fun. :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Adventures in Vegas::: First Night Out


The first surprise once I landed snuck up on me as I waited to pick up my luggage. They actually have slot machines EVERYWHERE! You can gamble your money away while you wait for your suitcase to show up. Crazy!

I couldn't wait to go exploring what had previously been described to me as the city that is "So tacky, it's cool" and taking pictures of the strip at night. My awesome photographer friend Chris was to be my tour guide and protector as I ventured through "Sin City." There's no way I would have gone on my own. We got some dinner and took a bajillion pictures of the strip.

That's an exact count, it was exactly one bajillion.

Here are some, but definitely not all.




Caesar's Palace Panorama


You can't not look at that butt, can you?

Viva Le France!! :)

As soon as I walked on to the strip I ran into "Exhibit A" or the first proof that I should never go to Vegas on my own. Just outside Caesar's Palace, this random guy walks up to me and is all "You have a nice camera...Take a picture of me!! No, REALLY!! READY?? GO!!" and he spreads his arms out and poses for me. I'm just standing there, too creeped out to even manual focus the shot, so it's all blurry. Then he says thanks and walks away. Chris was standing by the whole time and when I told him the guy just wanted his picture taken because I have a nice camera. He just laughed and said something like "I have a nice camera too. He just asked you because you're a cute girl with a nice camera." I'm sorry, but guys do that?!I am just way too naive.
This is why I need bodyguards.

The picture is no good, but I thought the story had to be told!

My favorite: the Bellagio fountains! :)