Wow, it has been nearly two month since I was out in Las Vegas and I am now finally writing this blog post. After going to the Las Vegas Strip a few years ago I never thought I would end up back there so quickly. But sure enough, two years later I went back for a 30th birthday party and the NCAA tournament. There is nothing quite like Las Vegas in March. The weather is quite a bit nicer than Wisconsin, the College Basketball tournaments are going on and it is not completely tourist season yet. While I may not have been able to take as many photos as I had hoped I still had a great time cheering on the Badgers, celebrating a birthday and spending quality time with friends and family.




The thing I find most fascinating about Las Vegas is how it is a destination for the entire world. I spoke with a woman on our flight from Denver to Las Vegas who grew up in Las Vegas and she told me that most people from the area try to stay away from the Strip. Although I am not surprised because of how overpriced everything is, I was still shocked people would not want to stop by the Strip with it being right in their back yard. Other than the people who work in and around Las Vegas it mainly hosts visitors from all around the world which is pretty neat to experience. I remember at one point on the trip I held a door open for an older couple who thanked me in French.






Wisconsin Badgers were represented along with all the other NCAA Tournament teams on Fremont Street. #GoBucky


While at a distance the Strip seems to be shiny lights and big advertisements, once you get in the heart of it, it is hard not to notice the poverty amongst the casinos and resorts. Walking down the sidewalk your senses are ambushed by designer brand advertisements and expensive shops. In front of these signs and stores are often unfortunate souls who are panhandling or sleeping on a bench or sidewalk with all of their possessions. One of the more sobering photos I took was of a gentleman sleeping on a bench in front of a designer clothing shop. The store casts a shadow over him and I felt it was a pretty strong metaphor for how Las Vegas is perceived as opposed to the troubles that actually exists in the city.


One thing that we did this trip that we did not do our last visit to Nevada was rent a vehicle to explore outside of Las Vegas. I highly recommend renting a vehicle if you decide to visit. Being able to drive to areas such as the Hoover Dam made the trip that much more exciting and the savings on time makes the effort well worth it. The following are a sampling of pictures from our visit to the Dam:




Once we got to the Hoover Dam we took the standard tour which was very interesting and educational. I am not going to lie, I had just as much fun photographing the surroundings as I did the actual Dam. Between the mountainous surroundings and the Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge I had plenty of opportunities to let my creativity run wild.Vegas_0084













Other than watching the Badgers win two big games in the NCAA tournament I would say my favorite part of the trip was visiting the Dam. After visiting Nevada twice in nearly two years I feel there are other places I would like to visit next. However, Las Vegas is a mysterious place so maybe I will find myself back sooner than I think; I most certainly did this time.