Las Vegas is best known for its casinos - but there are lots of other things to do there besides gamble. There are bunches of elaborate themed hotels all next to each other along ten blocks of the same street, known as "The Strip". Each hotel has its own set of attractions, the restaurants are outstanding, there are always a lot of great shows going on, everything is open extra-late, and best of all: all the parking is free. If one ignores the glitz, all of these things fit my idea of a great place to live (if only I could afford it).
view of the Stratosphere Hotel
from a 26th-floor Circus Circus hotel room window
two views of the Eiffel Tower in front of the Paris Hotel
the Excalibur Hotel
the Statue of Liberty outside New York New York Hotel
At Mandalay Bay, they have an aquarium called Shark Reef. There were indeed sharks in it, lots of different kinds, but they all swam too fast for my cheap automatic-everything camera, so here are some pictures of other fish I saw.
The trick to capturing aquarium fish on film is to use flash at an angle to the glass - otherwise the flash bounces back and glares everything out. (Not using flash results in blurry pictures.) (Possessing a better camera - one with manual focus - would've been an even better trick.)
Star Trek: The Experience at the Hilton basically consists of two immersive "shows" where the audience is given a part in the story. In one, we were a bunch of civilian lab guinea pigs participating in an experiment run by Voyager's doctor that got hijacked by the Borg, and in the other we were civilian travelers inadvertently beamed into the future - and then chased by Klingons. The transporter effect was the best part of the latter - it was totally real. One minute we were standing in a square blue-gray cargo bay, then it went pitch black and there was a whoosh of air, and then we were standing on a bunch of lit circles in a circular beige room. The walls, ceilings, and doors were all completely different. They also had the Enterprise-D bridge, and I badly wanted to go sit in the captain's chair - but we got hustled out of there too fast.
On the way to the shows, they had a small museum and an extremely detailed timeline listing everything that any key character had ever done. I spent a lot of time reading it. Outside the museum, there was a realistic Quark's Bar (I didn't try the food, just walked around in it) and a gift shop where I spent too much money on a blue TOS science officer's shirt that I probably won't ever wear. But I own a Spock shirt now! My life is complete!