Monday, March 31, 2008

Spring on the Strip

George and I met our friend Margaret for lunch yesterday. We haven’t seen her in a while and since George has celebrated his birthday recently, we combined the get-together with a birthday lunch at one of our favorite restaurants on the Las Vegas “Strip.” We met outside Tamba, an Indian restaurant, to enjoy their lunch buffet. We talked about this and that, catching up on the latest news, ate a lot of yummified food and had a great time.

Afterwards we decided to walk on the Strip for a bit and “play tourists.” It was incredibly busy. No sign of a recession here. A lot of Europeans were in town visiting, apparently taking advantage of the currently very weak dollar. Las Vegas hasn’t seen such an influx of foreigners since the 9/11 terror attacks. Since the Bush Administration implemented stricter rules and regulations on foreigners entering the United States, foreign tourists simply stayed away. It’s interesting to see how one country’s deteriorating currency can sway someone from never setting foot in one particular country, due to one’s political convictions. Money does rule indeed.

In any case, one of the many stops along the way was the garden conservatory inside the Bellagio Hotel & Casino. They had their annual spring exhibition on display, including a special aviary for live exotic butterflies. Some of the species were just amazing. Thousands of spring flowers were used to create a little natural paradise. Oversized snails, frogs, cranes and ladybugs were created from real flowers and plants, such as roses, moss and coffee beans. Throw in ponds, dancing water fountains and giant watering cans, and you have a perfect spot for everyone to be “ooh-ing,” “aah-ing” and “Oh my god-ing” about.

Below are some sample pictures of the Bellagio conservatory. We took a ton more photos but we will post some of them in the near future.

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