We made a brief stop in Las Vegas as we start our three-month road trip across the US. We don’t gamble at all, but we do enjoy being around people and going to our old favorite places there. Las Vegas was the same as ever, except there were more empty buildings than in the past, and of course, far fewer people walking around. It was very hot, around 100° F, so we didn’t spend much time outside.
Our friend Sol told us about the National Atomic Testing Museum, which we had never heard of or come across. It sounded interesting, so we bought tickets and headed over there. It is affiliated with the Smithsonian and is quite small, but very interesting. Besides atomic bomb testing, the museum covers a lot of other subjects, such as early research into atomic-powered rockets (!), the “Atoms for Peace” project, the Cold War, and technological and pop culture events of the 20th century.
As you can see in the first photo, we were thrilled to see Robby the Robot, a major character in several old tv shows and movies from our childhood days. And, they even had a Miss Atomic Bomb in 1957, which actually is quite jarring and strange, if you think about it. You can also see photos of some unusual soda names, for sale in the gift shop. The quotes from the men who saw the creation and first tests of the atomic bomb are most poignant, given that a combined total of 200,000 people died from the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Of course, that doesn’t include the injured, who lived the rest of their lives with burns and radiation poisoning.
Our two favorite casinos to visit in Las Vegas are, first of all, Caesar’s Palace, as walking through the Forum Shops and stopping to sit at the aquarium are so delightful. The second is the Bellagio, with the dancing waters show and the over-the-top Conservatory that they change four times per year. It is always so whimsical and just begs to be photographed. So, we did, and there you are!