This blog post could be subtitled: "How To Go to Vegas for 24 hours and Not Enter a Casino"
I recently traveled to Las Vegas on a business trip. I photograph attorneys for a living and Vegas has a few in town. I arrived on Monday afternoon and departed on Tuesday evening. My hotel was north of the strip (between the "strip" and the very lonely looking Stratosphere Hotel and Casino) and did not have a casino. Here's a pictorial overview of my trip:
Departing Love Field in Dallas, TX. I was lucky to be in one of Southwest Airlines (www.southwest.com) new 737-800's. It's a very nice ride. Since I travel so frequently on Southwest I am usually able to grab a roomier exit row seat. However, those seats were occupied by the time I got on so I moved further back. This gave me a unique opportunity to grab a window seat far enough behind the wing to have a view...a rare occurrence for me. So, I grabbed my new Sony mirrorless camera to play around a bit during the flight.
As the captain pulled back on the yolk and the plane nosed up we began going over Dallas. I grabbed this quick photo of the new Parkland Hospital and the rest of the very large hospital district just north of downtown.
I'm unnaturally obsessed with winglets. I'm not sure why. And, I don't really care enough about it to seek counseling. But, I enjoy photographing them. Here's a "blended winglet" from the 737-800 with the new paint scheme. I believe that it's also referred to as a "fence" since it has a winglet both above and below the wing. Fascinating, eh?
The view from my hotel room. I don't see the roller coaster that used to be on top of the Stratosphere. Not that it matters...I wasn't going to ride it anyway.
After getting some work done in the hotel room it was time to grab some dinner. I already had a place in mind: Lola's Louisiana Kitchen (http://lolaslasvegas.com/index.html). Lola (or "Beth") is from New Orleans and has created a very authentic and tasty menu in this very small and hard-to-find restaurant. And, I highly recommend it. This would be my second visit to Lola's. I discovered it on my last trip and enjoyed the shrimp & grits. I'm sort of a shrimp & grits expert (very few people know this about me) and I can tell you that Lola's version is great. This time, though, I wanted to get completely out of my box...try something different, be bold, etc., etc., etc. So, I tried the blackened catfish & grits. OK, so I didn't get all that far outside the box. Actually, pretty much stayed in the box, truth be told. And, yes, I can highly recommend her catfish & grits. Your meal comes with grilled french bread. They gave me far too much so let your server know how many pieces of bread you'd like. There are a number of New Orleans brews on tap and more in bottles plus some good local options. This metal sculpture (above) was on display near the restaurant at a metal arts business.
For my adult beverage I selected a Pale Ale from a local micro brewery: Big Dogs Brewing Company (http://www.bigdogsbrews.com/home/). I found it to be quite satisfying.
Lola's is located between the strip and downtown near Las Vegas' Arts District. (Yes, Las Vegas has an arts district. Check it out here: http://www.18b.org). There are some interesting sites. I look forward to heading back to Las Vegas, avoiding the casinos, visiting Lola's and maybe I can check out this arts district next time.
I hopped on the 7:52 pm bus at RTC stop 5466 for the ride home. This is the Stop Request button that I pressed to let the driver know that I wanted to step off at the next stop. Exciting, eh?