One of my favorite places to visit on the Las Vegas strip is the Conservatory & Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio Hotel. The current summer exhibit was whimsical and wonderful - an unbelievable gardening exhibit - filled with over-sized flowers and flower pots, gardening tools, bumble bees, ladybugs, butterflies, mushrooms, snails, frogs, and even hot air balloons suspended from the ceiling. I think I took over 100 photos while visiting the Conservatory. Bumble Bees and ladybugs are some of my favorite things...and seeing these large floral "happy insects" immediately made me smile!
One of our most amazing experiences was visiting Valley Of Fire State Park. This is the oldest state park in Nevada and gets it name from red sandstone formations, formed from great shifting sand dunes 150 million years ago. The vibrant colors and unique formations had us speechless. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to this park and stopped at each of the viewing areas along the way. At the Visitor Center, we were totally amused by the white-tailed antelope ground squirrels...we could see what seemed like hundreds of them running all over the rocks and formations. The most adorable thing - they would flatten out on the concrete to cool off (I spoke to a park ranger to find out about this - she also told me they can fan out their tails like umbrellas to shade themselves). I had so much fun watching them - they were super cute! But, the most awe-inspiring thing we saw was a group of four bighorn sheep in their natural habitat in the "White Domes" - we couldn't believe this sight!...and although we were not dressed in the proper attire, nor are we rock climbers, we couldn't resist climbing as high as possible to get an even closer look and some photos - it was truly a once in a lifetime vision. It was a phenomenal afternoon.