Las Vegas — like no other city in the US!(
(We are republishing this post from Christmas 2012 so you can take a look at one of the most over-the-top holiday rooms we’ve ever seen — the Bellagio Conservatory in Las Vegas. You just may get inspired to deck out your own abode accordingly!! :)
I’m one of those rare people who had never visited Las Vegas. Now, thanks to working with Discovery Communications and training teachers in Clark County, Nevada, I’ve been there three times since October!
And I like it! There’s nothing better for me than strolling through hotel lobbies, looking at sculptures (especially love Chihuly!), artfully decorated rugs and drapes, fountains that shoot sky high to the “Star Spangled Banner,” and interiors that imitate street scenes in Venice or Paris or New York!
And then there’s one of my favorite hobbies: people watching. Which, in a town like Vegas, is a 24/7 pastime whether you’re on The Strip watching the fashion parade or in a casino catching glimpses of folks caught up in roulette or the new “penny” slots.
Fountains of Bellagio, Las Vegas
If you follow my blog, you may remember that in November, the Bellagio Conservatory was decked out with three-hundred-pound pumpkins, towering scarescrows, and a talking tree surrounded by lines of people listening for his next phrase. It was, in short, “over the top”! (Click here to read “Fabulous Fall at Bellagio.”)
If I’m lucky, I’ll return again just in time to see the Chinese New Year display debuting January 9th, 2013. (Click here for schedule.)
The talking tree in the fall display at Bellagio’s Conservatory
But during the month of December, the Bellagio Conservatory was all Christmas and winter wonderland — in the best sort of way.
If you want magic, you can’t get much better than this Bellagio dream world. It begins with a centerpiece tree reaching almost to the top of the Conservatory’s glass dome. Silver and gold bells (hung by brave people in cranes, I suppose) draw guests and photo bugs into the expanse, inviting us to leave the grown-up world at the doorstep to become a child again. I did, for sure.
Visitors snapping pics of the Christmas bells and ceiling-height tree
Snowflakes, soldiers, and silver bells!
A wintry touch with snowflakes suspended mid-air
A soldier stands at attention near the centerpiece Christmas tree at Bellagio
In the center of room stood shoulder-high log houses resembling their miniature counterparts made of gingerbread. And through the village ran trains on winding tracks.
Hundreds of poinsettias form the landscape for artful gingerbread houses
Varietal mums (the likes of which we don’t see in my neighborhood greenhouse) formed the base of the village with tags proudly defining the blooms and bracts.
Beautiful variegated leaves in these Picasso Premium Poinsettias
Probably more than one child has asked a parent if he can ride this rocking horse that almost reaches the height of the stars. (Another popular photo-op, judging from the families using him as a backdrop!)
Rocking gracefully — this horse stands tall among the landscape.
And penguins moved, too, flapping their wings and taking a spin around the ice as they showed off their best moves under the crystalline trees.
Home for the penguins — a miniature pond for skating!
Costumed carolers added sounds of the season and then graciously posed with young and old.
What fun! A picture with the Carolers at Bellagio!
Polar bears danced, pranced, and swam to the delight of everyone. (An awesome sight made more spectacular when you realize they’re covered head to toe in white carnations!)
The center of attention — a polar bear of white carnations.
Later that week during the morning hours, we happened upon the “refresh” team cutting more carnations and doing balancing acts to make sure only the whitest whites would be visible to guests that day. (Reminded us of the Rose Parade preparations, if you’ve ever been to Pasadena.)
Cutting the stems of replacement carnations for the dancing bears
With thigh-high waders, this team works on keeping this bear lookin’ good!
And their efforts paid off. Here’s that bear in great form!
The Bellagio’s floating polar bear!
Other bears required more maneuvering, but the prep was worth it!
A bit precarious, if you ask me, but necessary to maintain that awesome white polar bear appearance!
Perhaps it was by design that the section with the postcard backdrop (all flowers, too!) had the longest line. Everyone wanted a family picture in front of Happy Holidays so that, I suspect, the photo could anchor their 2012 Christmas Card or, at the very least, be forwarded to Facebook and on to the folks back home. We loved it, too!
A very busy, very popular Happy Holidays backdrop
Photos weren’t just taken by the guests at the Bellagio Conservancy. Trains also got into the action. A camera mounted on the locomotive panned the crowd and then sent the images to a screen held high above the poinsettias.
An inset camera on the locomotive reverses the action by photographing the crowd!
Ohh, ahh said the crowd. And then they pointed to themselves and smiled at the fun technology can bring!
Look! Here we are!
Watching ourselves on the screen as the locomotive videos us!
Some people were definitely in the Christmas spirit. When we saw one person in front of a tree, bear, horse, etc., and one person readying the camera, we heard this quite often: Would you like for me to take a picture of the two of you?
And the answer was almost always Oh, would you? That would be wonderful!
People loved watching others being photographed. Some offered to take pictures for them.
It worked for us. Here’s our picture snapped by a very friendly visitor from Osaka, Japan!
Merry Christmas from Vegas!
So, from the Bellagio Conservatory to you, we wish you Happy Holidays and new travels in 2013!
Thanks to all of you for reading our blog this year. And a special thanks to those of you who clicked Like or Follow. (Your support meant a lot.)
We hope to bring you more Places to See in the coming year!
Rusha and Bert
Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
3600 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
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