2022 Sep 18 | Vision Expo West (Atomic Saloon, Lavo, Cut, Minus5)

We were planning on going to bed at 8pm to get up at 4am to get to our flights from San Jose to Las Vegas, but Ogii worked until 8:30pm got home at 9pm, and since the new Rings of Power episode comes out Thursday at 9pm, we figured, what's another hour, and watched it.

Ogii working at the airport the next morning.

You can tell it's a Southwest flight if many of the center seats are open.

Arriving in Vegas.

Playing card symbols on the floor.

We needed some cash, and thankfully there were many ATMs right in the airport.

It's now a flat taxi fee from the airport to various locations on the strip, since before there were so many problems with taxi drivers taking longer routes to jack up the meter. It's approximately the same price or even a bit cheaper than an Uber or Lyft.

There were a ton of boarded up houses in a few blocks here. I wonder if some big company bought them to demolish to make another big building?

Nice palm trees.

Arriving at the Venetian. We've never stayed here in the past because it's so expensive, but we got a big discount through the conference this year.

Pretty artwork on the ceiling.

Live music.

We arrived at 10:30am and check-in isn't until 3pm, but Ogii wanted to work in the room, so we asked if we could check in early. They didn't have any of our rooms available, but they did have an upgrade for $50 per night we could get right into, so we took that.

We don't quite have to go through the casino to get to our room; we can kind of skirt around the edge of the slot machines.

Our room.

Our view.

You can see one of the small pools down there.

The bathroom.

While Ogii worked in the room, I headed to the Vision Expo West conference.

Gotta stop for a shoe shine before I go in to look extra good. It looks like they've only done about three an hour; that seems rather slow.

Checking in.

At the expo hall.

The frames are to the right.

Cute glasses cases.

Organic displays.

Bright colors.

A chess board. If you beat them at chess, do you get a discount on the frames?

Whiskey and frames.

Tons of bright frames scattered on displays.

A drop test for these frames.

A few years ago, wooden frames were the rage; this year it seems to be brightly-colored translucent plastic.

I like the asymmetric coloration.


Some funky designs.

In the back are the cheap Chinese frames.

More cheap frames.

A panel discussion area.

In the next area are devices.

I hadn't heard of these Dusk by Ampere glasses before. You can control how dark the lenses are with an app on your phone.

Early macular degeneration detection using preferential hyperacuity perimetry. That's what I did for research one summer, although this product was designed by other people.

Edging and similar supplies.

This was my favorite booth of the show. Just a ton of candy on top of the table.

This area had fake street lights.

Care Credit gives away these ducks every time, but this year they also had baby yoda backpacks.

Pretty entrance.


I like the lit-up smiley balls to display the eye masks.

Octopus has made a 300 (not shown), a 600 (on the left), and a 900 (on the right) visual field analyzer. As they go along, they get bigger and bigger.

Instrument resellers.

There are a lot of these virtual reality headsets for testing visual fields and other tests this year.

Another one.

Even some of the big-name brands are creating them.

An oxygen bar.

According to others, there are fewer vendors this year than previous years, but there were still a lot.

Fitting a frame via computer.

Lots of slit lamps and exam chairs.

Pretty exam chair covers.

For years, CooperVision had the only soft lenses with really high prescriptions. B&L recently released Revive, which also has very high prescriptions, although the oxygen permeability is really low and it's a 3-month lens rather than a 1-month one, so it seems like a much older design. I guess it's better than not having any other options at all, though.

Enter to win a painted jacket.

Some newly-painted ones.

I picked up one bag but ended up putting it back because I didn't find any free stuff worth taking. These women, however, had a ton of bags.

Up in the suites were some other frame companies.

Including Maui Jim.

Nice room; it even has a piano.


Automatic curtain opener and closer.

Ogii is impressed.

Hey, what's this TV remote doing in the bathroom?

Ah, there's a TV up there.

Ogii's earrings match her dress.

Lots of stores in the Grand Canal Shoppes.

Funky outfits.

In front of this big kinda-heart of flowers.

Kissing at the LOVE sculpture.

A gondola.

This bar always had good music playing and a huge screen in the back.

These two are dressed like they're going to a rave.

Dinner at Lavo.

Meatball and pasta.

Ogii getting every last bit of fruit out of her drink.

Cool lights.

Some of the Vegas strip: women in showgirl outfits to take photos with tourists, a bachelorette group, and people drinking.

This group of four skateboarding teenagers came to jump over the steps. They were very courteous of the walkers on the sidewalk, though; they always let the walkers go by before they'd start to skate. They were also very supportive of each other.

Gondolas inside.

At the Atomic Saloon Show.

We got front-row tickets.

They had a little GoPro clamped up to video the show.

Some popcorn and a drink.

One of the hosts riding a mule around the audience.

Some nuns came with communion.

Except they drank the wine.

Giving out shots.

Singing cowboy.

Hula hoops.

Some sexy stripping.

Before spinning around on a pole.

They were very interactive with the audience.

And they'd just about hit the people in the front row when performing.

Sexy cowboy.

Everyone liked the little dog.

The end of the show.

It was very dirty, but very funny.

Ogii woke up early and started working. To not wake me up, she took her laptop into the bathroom.

Beautiful ceiling painting.

We ate breakfast at PrimeBurger. We walked all over to find it because the location according to Google Maps wasn't even close, and then the food wasn't even that good.

I think these small roll-up shoes are brilliant. I saw a lot of women taking off their heels to walk.

Gondoliers coming to work.

We got some back massages.

This woman was playing Super Mario Bros at her kiosk. Guess that's a good way to pass the time before customers start coming.

Flower-covered baths at Tao.

We got free entrance to Tao Beach as guests of the hotel, although apparently this wasn't the entrance.

It was out here. Online it says it opens at 10am, but they staff there said it wasn't until 11am.

So we went shopping a bit.

Always enjoy checking out the Lik gallery.

Lots of awards.

Some people showed up for the Tao Beach light a few minutes before 11am. Guess we won't have to wait in a huge line.

The inner entrance.

Ogii at the outer entrance.

One of the pools.

A big statue.

There was almost no shade. Just a couple of spots from a few trees, and a spot under the lifeguard tower, which we grabbed.

They said we couldn't lie down, though, as it was a tripping hazard, so we had to sit.

Another pool.

The staff getting drinks ready.

A bartender.

That pool wasn't really what we were looking for, so we went in search of another one. Walking through the canal shops was rather disorientating because it was early morning but the lighting made it look like sunset.

A little shopping on the way.

We ran across the wishing tree.

Lots of birds.

Cool design.

From the other side.

Different performances around the area.

Under a gazebo.

Shiny outfits.

Two Skee-Ball machines.

This woman's pool coverup was very colorful.

Some angel wings.

A shower.

With colorful tiles.

The main pool complex is huge.

Ogii likes the chairs that are partially submerged.

Nobody in this pool.

Nobody in this pool either.

People laying out.

Finally some people in a pool.

The bar had a bunch of TVs with sports.

Going across a corridor.

Nice room.

The ceiling.

Uh oh, this woman left her ID and credit card. We gave it to a security guard; hopefully she gets them back.

Through this door.

Into the much smaller Venezia pools.

Not too many people here.

It's right by Bouchon, a French restaurant.


We found a quiet corner.

To nap in.

They cover the metal door handles with cloth so they don't burn you.

This woman has a strap connected directly to her phone. That's a good idea.

All of the expensive food in the fridge.

Don't even move it.

More on the desk.

These little tabs move the strip of plastic up a bit.

I guess to let fresh air in?

We had dinner at Cut by Wolfgang Puck.

We were the first to be seated in this back room.

Bread sampler.

We ordered the Tomahawk steak.

It's quite big.

There were pictures of various celebrities on the walls; we were under Wolfgang Puck.

Dinner is served.

The steak looks great.

Some big pieces of fat for Ogii.

Can't let any go to waste.

Baked Alaska for dessert.

The steaks in the freezer.

Artwork of a heart.

Some women gonaliers.

After dinner, we went to the Minus5 IceBar. We got some big coats first.

Acting like we're cold.

Although no acting in here; it's really cold.

Having some drinks.

Sitting down.

You had to put your drinks on the coasters or else the ice glass would stick to the ice shelf.

A western themed wall.

And a tropical one.

The fireplace was just a picture.

A shotski at the ice bar. Also, the gloves make it so you can't use your phone, but Ogii's nose still worked.

A tipsy robot bartender, coming soon

Then time for a little poker. Ogii somehow won this multiway hand with only a pair of fives.

Then she won KK versus QQ.

My turn to win; I flopped a full house and the other guy made a full house on the turn.

Sunrise reflected in the Mirage.

Breakfast in this little area of fast food restaurants.

Aw man, there's a pizzaria. That would have been good late last night. I still had no idea where to go in the hotel, from the casino to the shops. I was constantly lost.

At the airport. "What happens here, only happens here." I guess that's the city's new slogan as of 2020. It's not nearly as catchy as "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas."