Last weekend, Neil and I went to Las Vegas to celebrate his brother Scott’s 30th birthday. I had never been before, but I like food, drinks and sparkly stuff, so I figured I’d have a good time. Once we stepped out into the heat, I felt like we were in some kind of imaginary fantasy of what America seems like from movies. It’s loud, fast, gaudy and a bit lawless. Like New Orleans, it’s a city of excess, but with less history and more bling. Definitely worth checking out once or twice in your life.

I had just bought a Sony a6000 mirrorless camera, so Vegas gave me a lot of great chances to try it out in different light settings. I’m still learning how to use it, but it made capturing the trip a lot more fun. Here are the highlights:

The plane ride to Vegas features some lovely views, and lots of drunk people shouting, “Vegas baby!”

The airport is remarkably close to the strip.

My life-long travel buddy.

The X-Scream, on top of the Stratosphere. We rode this and survived.

The top of the Stratosphere.

My sister-in-law Caroline living her best life.

I played with my new Sony a6000’s b&w feature after the ride.

The Stratosphere’s restaurant will leave you feeling peaked, especially if you’ve just been on all the rides. I suggest a cheese plate.

A game in Paris.

A shot I snuck at Cirque du Soleil’s “O.”

We went to Yardbird for dinner, which is like a slightly-less-good version of Minneapolis’s Revival.

Did I mention yet how insanely expensive everything in Vegas is? It’s tasty though.

We stayed at the Mirage, where they’ve branded the pool “#Poola.”

I got to enjoy an açaí bowl for breakfast.

We went to Momofuku, which I’ll write about more in a different post.

What I really loved was Milk Bar.

This is the Cinnaswirl with corn flakes. It is life-changing.

Plus the sign is photogenic as heck.

Platinum Jackpot

The lights in Casino Royale.

We paid $16 for drinks too many times.

We watched the fountains go off in front of the Bellagio hotel, to the tune of “Viva Las Vegas.”

The decadent lights in the Cosmopolitan hotel.

This indoor sky reminded me a lot of Odaiba in Tokyo.

I’ve never seen golden-er arches than in Vegas.

Did you hear Coke Zero is now Coca-Cola Zero Sugar? I tried that for the first time in Vegas. It really does taste like Coke.

More lights in the Cosmopolitan.

Vegas feels like if the Mall of America was a city.

This M&M guy is having a hell of a night.

Thx Vegas!