It was early 2012 when my friend Adele decided she wanted to "do Vegas" to celebrate her 40th birthday, and promptly sent an email round to friends and family to see who would like to join her!
Well, having taken redundancy in January, I thought yes I would love to go to Las Vegas - but not having a guaranteed income at the time I couldn't commit straight away.
When my work prospects improved, I made the decision to go for it - and so it happened, flights & hotel were booked way back in May or June 2012. Six of us plus some of Adele's family and other friends were geared up for a fabulous 6 days in March 2013.
As each day passed, the summer sun set, autumn leaves fell, Christmas came and went and a new year beckoned - we were all getting more and more excited as the days of March gradually reached the 23rd. Whoohoo we were off!
We arrived to glorious sunshine and warmth - lovely! We had planned to "do the Strip" by walking, skating and 3-legged racing to raise money for a UK charity that had provided support to someone dear to Adele's heart. Well Sunday morning saw us doing the Miranda Gallop and 3-legged racing along the Strip to Dennys to meet up with Adele's brother and sister-in-law for breakfast. Then on to visit the amazing themed hotels and taking it all in, from a Gondola ride at the Venetian to a ride on the curved escalators at Caesars Palace, dolphins, lions and tigers at The Mirage to sweets & roller-coasters at New York, New York (no I did not go on it!!). All the buildings appeared to be models but on a huge scale! So surreal.
Visiting the Grand Canyon on Tuesday including a helicopter ride to the river at the bottom and a boat trip to admire our surroundings - well words just cannot do it justice. I think the most used phrase of the day was WOW, WOW, WOW.
Cirque du Soleil "Beatles Love" show was the event planned for Wednesday evening - now I'm not into the Beatles music really, but wow (yes it's that word again) the show was brilliant! With hints of the Olympic Opening Ceremony and Alice in Wonderland weaving through the design and effect, it is definitely a show not to be missed.
We packed so much in, we all referred to that morning as "the other day"! :)
Well, whilst this was mainly a holiday for me and a chance to help Adele celebrate her 40th, I did of course have my camera with me to capture the skyline of Vegas and the greatness of the Canyon, and when getting lost in the Venetian, we came across a photographic art gallery - with images by Peter Lik an amazing photographer who captures the essence of the natural world like no other. Wow! I was hooked. This is just what I've wanted all my life - to have a gallery of my own images, huge images the size of the side of a house, on display for everyone to admire. The artwork seemed to bring the images to life - it was like standing in Central Park, or in the Grand Canyon and beyond!
Having taken images of the natural world myself, I wanted to expand on this and so I decided to create a collection called Aspects: fragments of a scene: a tree, leaves, water, and focus in on just a small section to create an abstract image. Available in 10"x 10" square flush-mounted prints or flush-mounted & sealed with a satin laminate in a box-frame, they can be displayed individually or combined to create stunning montages.