Pictures from Las Vegas and Los Angeles

I just got back from a week in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, where it was mostly sunny and warm. It was a slight change of climate from Waterloo, and by slight I mean a lot.

While in Las Vegas, I saw a white tiger! Fortunately, there was a thick plate of glass separating us. What a beautiful animal. Nice kitty. This was in a public viewing area at the Mirage:

White tiger, The Mirage, Las Vegas

Las Vegas hotels have some of the most magnificent hotel lobbies I have ever seen. I was staying at Caesars Palace (that's not a typo, there is no apostrophe) and all I could do while checking in was to gawk. They sure don't take any shortcuts with the architecture. More than any mathematical proofs I could offer, that right there is evidence of the house advantage built into every game of chance offered in the casino.

On my last day, I walked over next door to check out the Bellagio, which is one of the most upscale resorts on the strip. The ceiling in the registration area was filled with glass sculptures. It was stunning. Fortunately I had my wide angle lens with me; even so, the picture doesn't do it justice:

Hotel lobby, Bellagio, Las Vegas

The night I arrived in L.A., I decided to go for a drive and explore the city. I had rented a Nissan 350Z, which was quite the beast. It was a fun car to drive.

Unfortunately, I had a bit of a scare: my arm went numb from my shoulder to my wrist. At 33 and in good health, I am not exactly at risk of a heart attack, but I could think of no other explanation for the numbness. I pulled over and called 911. I was on hold for a couple of minutes, which was disconcerting. But after they answered, talk about sending out the cavalry! Two large fire trucks arrived within minutes, sirens blaring. They checked me out, but they couldn't explain the numbness. The only other symptoms of a heart attack were those that could just as well be explained by fear/anxiety over a scary situation. For example, my pulse was racing (120) even though I was sitting down the entire time.

On to the emergency room. After a few hours, they determined that the most likely cause of the numbness was temporary damage to a nerve in my shoulder. This could have been caused by pulling my heavy suitcase around Las Vegas earlier in the day, over a total distance of at least 4 km (2.5 miles). The nerve runs down my arm, so this caused a loss of sensation all the way down. Carrying luggage was not one of the travel hazards I had anticipated.

So, I'm okay. In fact, I was okay all along; I just didn't know it for a few hours. It was scary. Face to face with my own mortality, I came to many realizations, which I will try to blog about in the future (and resist turning into a big joke).

Back to the photos. The next day, I met up with some friends in L.A. who took me for a nice drive. They showed me a lookout over San Fernando Valley and Universal City. This view is off Mulholland Drive, about a quarter-mile up past Multiview Drive. I returned the following afternoon to take this picture:

San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, California

I also had a nice view of the hills from my hotel room, which was on the 16th floor. You can just see the Hollywood sign at the top of this picture, in the distance. (As with most of the pictures on my blog, click on the image for a larger view.)

View from 16th-storey window, Renaissance Hollywood and Highland, Los Angeles, California

Now that I'm home, the snow is gone, the weather is warming up, and spring is in the air. It's good to be back.


Deb said…
Wow.. impressive pictures. I'm glad you are okay.
that lobby is bloody awesome!

i recon your heart attach was induced by the raw power and beuty of the 350Z - what an ad that would make!

heh heh

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