Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas at the Palazzo

Today I had one of those mornings when I was wide awake after sleeping only two or three hours, and couldn't get back to sleep no matter what I did. So I decided to try another early Sunday morning at the Venetian, the last attempt having been highly successful. This time I got hit with the deck and repeatedly got paid by opponents who didn't believe I could have it every time, made my money fast, and was ready to head home after less than three hours.

But the poker bloggers are here this weekend and still going strong--or, in some cases, not quite so strong, but going anyway. I knew that they had arranged for a private box at the Legasse Stadium at the Palazzo, so I decided to wander over and say a quick hello/goodbye while my fellow degenerates watched some football (something in which I have less than zero interest, if that's possible).

On the walk over, I encountered some impressive holiday decorations. I had received an email notice about the grand unveiling of this multi-part display, but had then quickly forgotten about it until I passed through the atrium between the Venetian and the Palazzo--at which point it's impossible not to notice what they've done.

The first thing that will inevitably catch your eye is what must be the world's largest Christmas wreath, except that it's splayed out vaguely like a snake instead of tucked into a neat ring. I went all around, trying to shoot it from as many angles as possible for you. I think you will want to click on the pictures to see them in full size:

In a couple of those pictures you might notice a red rectangle on the ground level. On closer inspection, this turns out to be billions (well, it seems so) of cranberries floating in shallow water:

Next you will pass two polar bears almost entirely covered in white poinsettias, as if ready for the Rose Parade:

Finally, there is another giant wreath thing in the main lobby of the hotel. With this one, you can't take an escalator to the second floor for a different perspective, but you can go down to the sports book level (an escalator ride down) and look up at it from below, as the last photo shows (though the sun coming through the skylight unfortunately washed out the picture too much):

They are really strikingly lovely decorations, unlike any I've seen in 48 years of encountering merchants' Christmas displays. If you're in the area, they're well worth a little detour to visit in person.

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