San Diego Wedding Photographers | Temecula Wedding Photographers

Vegas, Baby!

July 10, 2009

For our California trip, we spent the first half of the week in San Diego and then planned to spend the 2nd half up near LA to see some friends we had up that way. Rather than stay in LA and pay more for a hotel that may be in a questionable neighborhood we decided to stay in the Inland Empire. It’s a short drive away from LA and just a beautiful area with some quiet towns and beautiful landscape.

We ended up staying in Rancho Cucamonga at a modern hotel chain called Aloft (a vision of W Hotels). It was a pretty neat concept and quite the hangout because of the bar downstairs. The hotel and rooms, though, felt like a college dorm to me. Basic but stylish. We chose to stay there because it was really close to Mira Loma and we planned on going wine tasting with my friend Jess at Mira Loma (her photo shoot images coming soon!!). Plus as a Starwood Preferred Guest I got 50% off the 2nd night. If you’re not an SPG member, you should definitely sign up!

So we went wine tasting Thursday and chilled with Jess at the hotel bar the rest of the night. It was a PAR-TAY! The place got so packed. At first it was just us, but I guess on Thursday nights they have a DJ playing live music (DJ Diva – female DJs are so hot!). It was a fun time!

We didn’t have any plans for Friday. LA was going to be a madhouse because of Michael Jackson’s death, so we didn’t want to head out there. Plus we’ve both done the touristy stuff out there so we didn’t really have anything we were dying to see. Matt mentioned Vegas at some point (which he denies now, but he did!) so I suggested we head out there. It’s not a very far drive from where we were staying, but the day before July 4th trying to leave at noon to go to Vegas – stupid idea! Considering the traffic (which there was A LOT of) it wasn’t too bad. I think it took us a little over 4 hours and there were times where the traffic came to a dead stop! We were pretty frustrated because the drive to Vegas goes through nothing but desert and there were only 2 lanes!! Seriously? You have ALL the space in the world and you can’t put in more than 2 lanes on a highway to one of the biggest destinations in the country? Just kinda stupid!

But I tried to take advantage of the situation by shooting some of the scenery. The drive was absolutely BEAUTIFUL! It would have been wonderful to just cruise along at 70mph the whole way.



At one point we noticed the temperature was a sweltering 112 degrees! YIKES! So happy we didn’t break down!

We finally made it to Vegas and I was surprised to find that it didn’t feel all that busy. Definitely tons of people, but it wasn’t that bad driving around. I was REALLY surprised to find out you can park on the strip for FREE! Woo hoo! I was thinking we’d pay $35 or more for premium parking but nope. They want you to spend money in other places and the strip is much longer than it appears. Chances are you aren’t going to walk too far from where you park, so they know they have a good chance of getting your money if you park at their venue. We parked at the Bellagio and thought it was not only the most beautiful hotel in Vegas of all the ones we saw but also the most interesting site to see. The fountain show was so captivating! We could have watched it for hours!

I edited these images with the super cool Lightroom Presets from Camera Dojo. I usually don’t do a whole lot of editing but this was a fun trip and I thought I’d have some fun with the pics Matt & I took. I used the Super Pop 2 preset for the evening shots. Totally drives up the contrast and vibrance and is perfect for these photos! For the daytime photos I played with the Dazzle preset and made some manual adjustments.

Okay, I promise I wouldn’t talk so much and show more pics, but I just wanted to share this info for anyone who might be traveling to LA or Vegas. We did Vegas on $100 (that’s for gas and $70 for dinner). You don’t have to be a big baller to enjoy the brights lights of Vegas! : )


We took a TON of photos of the fountains. Since we can’t really post them all individually, we made a video! There are two video clips in this slideshow – one at the beginning and one at the very end. The rest are still images. The clip at the end cracks me up because the music for the slideshow was NOT the same music that was played during the show, but it times out so well! I just watched it with Matt and we were cracking up sooo hard!



Hope you’ve enjoyed our Las Vegas photos! We just have one more post on our personal adventures in California and one more photoshoot (a super hot one with my friend Jessica) and then it’s back to weddings & engagements! : )

4 Responses to “Vegas, Baby!”

  1. Matt says:

    Awesome slideshow bebe! Can't believe you found a song that timed so perfectly to the dancing water! Vegas needs to hire you for their publicity and dancing water shows!

  2. amie says:

    found you through stephanie owens blog. your vegas photos are AMAZING!!!! wow!!! i went with my husband back in march. you should submit these photos!!!

  3. Matt says:

    Hey Amie! Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words. Hope to get to chat with you in person sometime! : )

  4. Matt says:

    Oh my goodness… I'm on my hubby's laptop. This is Gwen, not Matt. LOL! Just didn't want you to think my hubby was trying to ask you on a date! : )

    Anyway, always love to meet fellow photogs! Hopefully you can make it out to one of our meetups sometime!

Leave a Reply