Thursday, 21 May 2015

Road Trip Diary: Neon Wedding Bells in Las Vegas

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10/11/12
Wednesday May 13th - Friday May 15th 2015

We’re not into gambling or yard-long slushy cocktails or Britney Spears (shocking, I know) but the opportunity to attend a wedding in Las Vegas was something we couldn’t pass up, especially the wedding of two such good friends, Kirsty and Paul.
We were staying at the same hotel we were in on our first night, Excalibur. Somehow, we managed to get a MUCH nicer room this time which made us so happy. The last one had been a bit of a dive and we were here for three nights this time. At about £50 a night, it's one of these cheapest on the strip. It's within walking distance to everything and apart from the weird smell everywhere, it's not that bad at all.

We arrived Wednesday afternoon and met up with the nearly-weds to have lunch at The Park on Fremont (Tip: highly recommended, very good chicken burger!) and visit The Neon Museum, a place I had been desperate to visit since we missed out on tickets last time we were in Vegas in 2011.

The museum houses a lot of the old neon signage from infamous casinos and restaurants in Vegas that have either rebranded or have closed down. We booked tickets in advance via the website for a mere $18. This gets you a one hour guided tour slot in the ‘boneyard’. Tip: They are strict here- no backpacks past reception, no video or recording equipment and no additional camera lenses so bear that in mind if you’re planning a visit.

Your guide will talk you through the history of the signs, littered with anecdotes about Vegas, it’s residents and information about how the museum came to be. It was great but I did notice our small group didn’t seem to be listening that well, we were too interested in taking photos of all the incredible signs. This was the only awkward part- our guide was full of information but there wasn’t any breathing space to break away and take photos so we ended up having to do two things at once.

As a hardcore neon fan, this place was a dream come true. The are hundreds of signs all tightly crammed in to a relatively small space and the level of restoration is different on all of them. Some are in their original state and others have been fully redone with brand new LED lights. We're didn't visit at night (you can do a night time tour for a couple of extra dollars) so sadly didn't see any of them in their full glory, but the level of detail you can see in the day light more than makes up for it.

It is amazing how America is obsessed with neon signage. Every town and city we've driven through so far has at least one amazing example of neon artwork advertising everything from diners to gentlemen's clubs (Girls! Girls! Girls!) to gas stations.

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The wedding on Thursday was truly epic. We were picked up from the hotel in an open top bus and driven to the Chapel of Flowers, not one of your usual little white chapels, this was really beautiful and away from the main strip so nice and peaceful. We jumped back on the bus after the lovely ceremony and were serenaded by Elvis as we took a tour of Vegas, provided with beers and wine and made a stop at the famous sign for photos. It was such a great way to see everything! We were dropped off at Caesars Palace and headed up to a private balcony at the Planet Hollywood restaurant inside. We ate our meal overlooking the strip which was very special- nothing like eating a good steak under the glow of neon! Then the usual wedding fun ensued- speeches, dancing and lots of laughter as the night wore on. Sadly no photos as I didn't take my main camera but lots on our Instagrams which can be found in the sidebar just to your right >>

A brilliant day and a great stay in Vegas with friends but we were very much looking forward to our next couple of days. Some quiet time in Death Valley...
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1 comment

  1. All this is a great example of art. I love watching these photos. You know at various venues in DC such events have been organized annually and I love to be there with my friends.

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