Eric and I just got back from a really fun getaway to Las Vegas.
As you know, we go to Vegas a few times a year (because we can, and because my very favorite childhood hearthrob lives very close to there. *sigh*). And we pretty much know the place by heart. We have seen lots of great shows there and stayed at some of the best hotels.
My big, fat, Cuban family celebrates birthdays there and there has even been a renewal of wedding vows with an Elvis impersonator. Seriously.
This last weekend we were excited to visit a place that was kind of legendary but has up to now been so far off the beaten path that we've never been able to get there. And believe me, we have tried.
It's the place where old neon goes to die.
The Neon Boneyard.
Well, technically it's now officially called The Neon Museum and they're finally getting their act together and are organizing tours (by appointment only) and turning it into an official Place To See in Vegas.
(NOTE: I added watermarks to the photos because I signed a sworn and official-looking-document in which I promised a pint of blood and my first male child – sorry, Adam! – that I would not profit in any way from these images.)
We were able to take a guided tour through the piles of rusted metal and broken lights and I was in Absolute Vegas-Nerd Heaven.
Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable in Vegas lore which added to the fabulousness of the adventure. Although, I have to admit that because I've been going to Vegas since the 70's I recognized some of the old classic signs myself.
I dug up this old photo of me on The Strip in 1977. Notice the signs in the background.
(I have helpfully included arrows to call attention to the portions of the sign that I found at the Boneyard. And while I'm at it, what was up with all the photo paper in the 70's? It took me a ton of Photoshopping to make this image even visible! But that's not important right now.)
The Stardust happened to be my dad's favorite place to play. (Yes, I had to take it all in for just a moment.)
Isn't that just sooo accidentally cool?
Some of the history behind a few of the signs were new to me. I'm glad we had a guide to point stuff out. Who knew that the House of Lords Steakhouse at the Sahara was a regular hangout of the Rat Pack? (I know. Shut up.)
My favorite thing about the Boneyard was all the stories and history connected to the signage. I am old enough to have watched Las Vegas Blvd. (aka The Strip) change and grow over the years. So I felt a certain amount of nostalgia.
See the old lamp from the Aladdin? The diamond-shaped stars from the Stardust? See the portion of pink "feathers" from the Flamingo Hilton?
See the Uber-Nerdy Couple from California making fools of themselves among the rusted and twisted metal?
No? How about now? =D
Do you have Vegas memories to share? Tell me.