Las Vegas Christmas — Inside & Out.

quiet VegasOn Sunday, my husband and I went to Las Vegas to watch Oglethorpe‘s golf coach, the irrepressible, inimitable Jim Owen, get inducted into the Golf Coaches Association of America’s National Hall of Fame.

Coach Owen winning the national D-3 title in 2012. Matt Marriott/NCAA Photos

Coach Owen winning the national D-3 title for OU in 2012!! (Matt Marriott/NCAA Photos)

But since we got there a day early, we had some time to cruise around the casinos. I am possibly the most hopeless gambler ever, because I obsess if I lose a quarter, but I love to gambol about the hotels looking at the people and the pimped-out decor… especially this time of year.

Subtle, but fetching. The Cosmopolitan, where we were staying, was a tad over the top.

Yes, you are in Venice... The Venetian was restrained in the lobby but quickly reverted to the lurid as it got its holiday glitz on…peacocks The Wynn, as usual, was tasteful and gorgeous. magicalOkay, the flowers were fake — horse…but they were $5 million worth of fake…two reds…which makes them almost as good as real. flower ornamentIt was freezing cold in Vegas, which I found bracing, but Larry was sick and needed to stay in bed the next day. I needed to see something natural, so I abandoned him (he was so relieved), rented a car, and headed up to the Hoover Dam. PT bridgeI walked across the new Michael O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Bridge which gives you a jaw-dropping view of the dam from afar… then gave myself vertigo looking directly down into the cavernous depths. looking downI still had a few hours to spend not being in Vegas, so I headed up to the Valley of Fire, Nevada’s oldest state park. To get there, you drive past lovely Lake Mead for about 30 miles until you find yourself basically all alone in the desert, surrounded by nothing but sun, sky and some distant mountains. on the roadThe Valley of Fire is 42,00 acres of clumpy red sandstone formations, formed from huge shifting sand dunes in the era of the dinosaurs, then beaten and gouged by the elements ever since. valley of fireIt is gorgeous…. even without tinsel.7 sistersThe sky was an unearthly shade of blue (probably because it was so cold) and there was not a cloud in the sky.rock & moonWhen I stopped at the ranger station, I learned that if I walked on one trail I might see petroglyphs….wowsa!petroglyphLater that night, as I watched Jim get anointed into the high holy roster of golf coaches, I was thinking how we all yearn to make our mark, like the Anasazi or Stephen Wynn. Or even the Outback boys.good signThere’s nothing like Vegas to make you philosophical!

(I’m off to Thailand tomorrow to spend Christmas with Lulu — so Happy Holidays, everybody!!!)poinsettia

12 thoughts on “Las Vegas Christmas — Inside & Out.

  1. Gorgeous photos, as always, Betty. I’ve been to Las Vegas only once, and it was 120 degrees. I can’t even imagine it freezing.

    I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and a great visit with Lulu.

  2. What a diverse trip you had. I would have been asking for the petroglyphs trail as well–that must have been a great experience.

    I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas, Betty.

  3. Betty, I enjoyed sharing bread with you at the anointing of my good friend, Jim. Did not realize you had ventured out of the smoke filled confines of hotel & casino. Rather enjoyed your photos, much better quality than a wet golf coach. Thanks so much for spending a delightful evening with Uncle Bill. God speed your trip to Thailand – my last visit there was in 1968 as a young military man – understand much improved over past few decades. All the best wishes to Larry and you in 2014 and going forward.

    Bill Wall
    Chocowinity, North Carolina

    • Thanks so much, Bill!! I had such a great time at the Jim Owen celebration – and really was so touched that he was surrounded by his mom & dad and such wonderful friends! I was really happy to sit next to you — and get to know you better! You’ve been such a great friend to OU and its golf program — can’t tell you how greatly we appreciate that!! Happy Christmas from Thailand!!! (wow, we will have to talk about your service years — would love to hear about that!)

  4. Vegas is a metaphor for some not very nice stuff about this world …

    Love the landscapes when you went ‘splorin’

    Have a marvellous Christmas in Thailand !

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