Did Disneyland. Lived through Death Valley. Time for Karen and me to reunite in Las Vegas before heading home from our Southwest tour.

It was the middle of the week and hotel rates were low, so we stayed a few days. What was the best thing about our stay- the gambling? Cirque du Soleil’s Love? The buffet at Caesar’s Palace?

The Neon Museum. It’s been around for a while, in a low-key way, restoring old signs around Fremont Street.

With the opening of its new visitor center just days before our arrival, the museum is making a much bigger splash as the repository for the neon (and non-neon) signs of Vegas’ past.

Tour guide Ian walked us through the boneyard, regaling us with the history of the signs (the Young Electric Sign Company leased signage to the casinos, reusing elements of older displays when possible) and the casinos (Moulin Rouge was the first integrated hotel casino in the US; African-Americans were not allowed into other Vegas casinos unless they worked there).

I love the look of old-timey signage. Add in some abuse from the elements, and these displays take on a lot of character.

We did see Love, and the buffet at Caesar’s was amazing, but the weekend was approaching and the road was beckoning.

Las Vegas in the rearview mirror officially means we’re on our way home.

IMG_5642 Vegas sign