Tips For The Best Vegas Trip

April 2015 Matt, I & another couple headed to Las Vegas for a week! 1 week in Vegas!

We LOVED every second of it, from the shopping, the food, the nights out, the attractions it was just fantastic. It is somewhere that we feel that we would love to return to one day as there is still so much we didn’t do that we would have loved to have done! Plus its constantly changing, there are new shows all the time and new exhibitions and hotels are changing so why not go back!

BUT this isn’t about my time there (although you will some of my snaps)! Its 10 things that not just myself, but friends and family would recommend for a trip to Vegas!

  • See A Show! We saw a Cirque Du Soleil show when we were out there and we both really enjoyed it. I also saw Britney Spears and I know a few people who have seen Rod Stewart as well as countless other shows and loved all of them. Quite often fantastic artists have residencies in Las Vegas hotels, so if you want the last chance to see your favourite artist Vegas is the place to go! 
  • Go To The Grand Canyon! Every single person I have spoken to about Las Vegas has said you cannot go and not go to the grand canyon. We went on a sunset helicopter tour which included a champagne picnic in the canyon, but there are so many different options and there is a suspended walk too that you can do which looks awesome!
  • See The Bellagio Fountains! Fantastic fountains that perform to music and they are spectacular, nothing can really prepare you for them at all! We saw them several times over the week were there but my favourite place to watch them was on the High Roller at The Linq. If you time it right, you can be at the top of the High Roller at the right time to see them in all their glory and it truly is a great sight!
  • Eat At A Buffet! Even if you do it just once, go crazy! We went for a breakfast buffet and had about 10 platefuls of breakfast each! You can could get everything from contiential cheese and hams to breakfast burritos! It was crazy but a good way to fill up until a late night dinner!
  • Downtown Vegas! For me it was probably the tackiest part of Vegas BUT you can’t got to Vegas and not experience it. Its the birth place and where it all began, go and eat at Heart Attack Grill OR Zip Wire through Freemont Street, place a bet in one of the oldest hotels. Honestly, its an experience you wont forget!
  • The Stratosphere! As a base its quite far out from the main strip for my liking, but as an oppertunity to get a 360 view of everything (a side from the high roller), it is the best place to go! Until I went up there I don’t think I truly understood just how much we were in the desert! Now, if you are a bit of a thrill seeker then there are rides you can go on at the top of the tower providing the wind isn’t too bad. It’s not my idea of fun, but it was a giggle to watch some of the rides.

 

  • The Hotels! It goes without saying that the hotels are truly amazing in Vegas, but the fact that your senses are catapulted into a completely different world in every hotel is just beyond belief. I loved the feel of the Bellagio but I also really liked The Venetian AND of course our hotel The Mirage. The fact that at every entrance there was a coconut smell, just tropical really set the scene for me! You could spend days just exploring what every hotel has to offer without doing anything else.
  • Have A Bet! Even if its just one, have a bet! I didn’t win anything, but Matt did a few times and we found a $100 dollar chip. You can do so much in Vegas and not place 1 bet, but I personally dont think you have had a true Vegas experience if you haven’t placed a bet! After all, its what Vegas is known for!
  • The Restaurants! Ok, I have already spoken about buffet’s but the amount of restaurants you can pick from is incredible! I reckon there must be well over 1,000 restaurants in Vegas to choose from so NOBODY and I mean NOBODY can say they didn’t find at least 1 place they liked! Here is just a selection of what we ate during our week there!
  • SHOP! If you are anything like me you love any opportunity you have to do a spot of shopping. If your man is busy in the casino’s and you have a girlfriend with you go and hit the shops, on the strip alone there are 3 malls I can think of straight away for you to spend hours in. But a short taxi ride away you have the choice of 2 outlet malls to explore and spend your money (or his winnings) in!

Well, there you have it, my personal 10 things to make your Vegas trip great! As with every holiday its your personal choice and some of these wont suit everyone, but isn’t that the beauty of getting recommendations? You can pick and choose what is right for you, or maybe even try something different and you might be surprised!

Love

Emma x

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New Favourite?!

Anyone who knows me is going to read this and think “has she lost her mind?!” BUT I am going to put it out there anyway, I think San Francisco has taken the Number 1 spot as my favourite US City! I know, NYC has always been top choice, but there was something about San Francisco that just made me really relax and enjoy it. It may have been the Pacific Sea air, the relaxed atmosphere or just the kindness of everyone that we met, but it definitely made its way into my heart. So I thought, just like with Vegas, that I would share with you a few things that we got up to!

We stayed at the Chelsea Motor Inn, which is on the corner of Lombard & Fillmore Street. I chose this location mainly because of the price and the fact that when I was looking to book it said there was free parking and we were potentially going to rent a car! Well I am glad I made the choice, the rooms were spacious and we had a great view of the bridge from our room. There have been a lot of reviews on Trip Advisor about the noise from the street, we stayed mid week, but didn’t hear a thing!

Both Matt & I are not always ones for eating at ‘regular’ resturants and like to try out where the locals eat, so on our first day whilst waiting for the Muni (best way to get around town by the way $2.25 for a ticket that lasts 90mins!), a restaurant caught my eye called Pacific Catch and one a bit further down called Noah’s New York Bagel’s, I kept a mental note and the following morning, whilst Matt was still snoozing, I did a bit of research on yelp & trip advisor to see if they were any good and we weren’t disappointed! We had a breakfast bagel in Noah’s one morning and it was a little bit of New York in San Francisco – warmed my heart a little! Now Pacific Catch, that’s a different kettle of fish entirely. We were sat, unsure where to eat, we didn’t want to go back to Union Square or Fisherman’s Wharf we wanted to stay local so I reminded Matt about the restaurant I saw earlier that week and decided we would head down there. We arrived at 6.30pm on a Wednesday and it was already booming, the few tables outside were full, the tables inside were almost full, the phone was ringing off the hook! We took a seat at the counter opposite the very open kitchen and had a browse through the menu. Watching the chef’s hard at work just fueled my hunger & trying to work out what they were cooking against the menu was great fun and looking at the food being produced we were expecting to pay A LOT more than we did! We had the Cabo Calamari for starters then for mains I had the Thai Coconut Shrimp and Matt had the 3 Taco Platter, the food was incredible the service was faultless. Just sat at the counter watching the chef’s and all the locals coming in to pick up their take-away’s and having a chatter with all the staff just showed how popular it really is! If nothing else in San Francisco, eat at Pacific Catch at least once! I do have another recommendation…..but I am going to save that for later!

If you fancy a nice walk and to get to see the scenery then head down to The Ferry Building Marketplace ideally on a Tuesday or Thursday, have a mooch round the farmers market first then head inside. Once you have had some free testers and maybe even some ice-cream, go back out side and turn right & start walking towards Pier 39! The views of Coit Tower and looking out at the bay is lovely, we just took our time and enjoyed a nice walk. When you reach Pier 39, its great to have a look round and look in some unique shops maybe have a corn dog or a churro. Don’t forget those cute Sea Lions, they are noisy and a bit smelly, but when you see them all curled up with each other they look so cute!

BUT I think I had the most fun on the day we cycled over the Golden Gate Bridge, the day was lovely and warm and it made the bike ride even easier! We rented our bikes from Blazing Saddles and headed off along the bay, we stopped took plenty of pictures then headed up a hill to make a start on the trek over the Bridge! We stopped a couple of times whilst cycling across to take photo’s, when we hit Vista Point we headed down the hill into the bay then back another GIANT hill. You start to cycle through a really cute seafront neighbourhood into Sausalito, we took a break and when you looked back at the houses set into the hills it reminded me a bit of Devon especially with the sun beaming down on my back. Sausalito is such a cute, quaint little town and reminded me very much of Nashville in Indiana. We had the best ice-cream there at Lapperts – make sure you take a visit and have the Cookie Monster flavour.

There is plenty more that I could share with you, but I think that is enough for now. Feel free to drop me a message if you want any more info or have any questions, I would be more than happy to share with you all!

Love

Emma

xxxx

 

VEGAS BABY!!!

Hello All!

I have managed to cross another something off my list…..VEGAS! we came back a few days ago now, returning back to work and getting into a “normal” routine has been hard work. Vegas is one of the most surreal place I have ever been too, there is just so much to do and so much to see its crazy! I have honestly never been so unhappy to return to the UK, I can well and truly say I have post-holiday blues! So I thought what a better way to get over it than by sharing some of my tips with you all. I am going to start off with Vegas and San Francisco will follow over the next few days!

Shopping

Best place on the strip to shop is Fashion Show Mall, there is everything you want there from Bath & Body Works, Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret to Nordstrom. Although if you don’t fancy walking that far, the shops at Caesars Palace are brilliant and make you feel like you are outside when you are undercover!

If you fancy a bit of discount shopping there are 2 premium outlets close by one North and one South of the strip. North outlet is the larger one with a lot more shops and I managed to come back a bargain from Kate Spade! If you fancy getting a really good bargain, you can pick up a VIP Discount Booklet from the Information kiosk at either local for $10. We did and we definitely saved quite a bit.

Don’t worry, I will be sharing my purchases with you all soon enough!

Food

Best place to eat on the strip in my personal opinion was TAO in The Venetian. The food was superb, service was impeccable and the atmosphere was brilliant. My favourite dish was the Crispy Coconut Shrimp with Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce it was beautiful, the mix of Coconut and Peanut Sauce was lovely!

The Yummiest Asian Food I have Ever Had!

The Yummiest Asian Food I have Ever Had!

We Had A Great Evening

We Had A Great Evening

I also really enjoyed eating at Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar, we love watching Diners, Drive – In’s  & Dives on the TV, so when we heard that he had a restaurant in Vegas we wanted to make sure we went in there. The drinks and food were amazing, I couldn’t eat all of my food but you could tell it was cooked to perfection.

My Yummy Sandwich

My Yummy Sandwich

Matt's Yummy Burger

Matt’s Yummy Burger

Nightlife

Initially when you are looking at how much it costs to get in clubs before you go it’s mad, it’s on average $70-80 per couple just to get in – DON’T pay it! Keep your eyes peeled for people offering the chance to get on the Guest List. We managed to with every club we went into, we saw Scott Disick at 1OAK, a DJ at Light and David Guetta at XS.

XS was just brilliant; we had such a good night as a group as a whole and seeing David Guetta was once in a lifetime! The club was mad, there was several “tables” that you could hire, a room with the DJ’s in AND a pool – which I can honestly say was very warm! Don’t worry, I didn’t go for a swim, just dipped my feet in!

Attractions

There aren’t many typical attractions to talk about with Vegas, but here is just a few things that I think you might fancy doing:

Gondola Ride at The Venetian – the indoor one is a must!

NY NY Rollercoaster – it’s only about 2 minutes long, but is brilliant

The Mirage Volcano – if it’s a bit nippy out, this will definitely warm you up

The Bellagio Fountains – a spectacular show

Cirque Du Soleil – we saw Mystere at Treasure Island and it was brilliant, you just don’t know where to look!

High Roller – the best view of the strip, it’s quite expensive, but I wish we could have done it during the day as well as the evening.

Finally, it’s not on the strip but if you ever get the chance to do Vegas then you have to book a trip to the Grand Canyon. We did a helicopter tour at sunset and it was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. It is simply stunning and so peaceful; it was lovely to share it with my partner, my best friend and her partner.

If you have any questions about Vegas feel free to drop me a comment and I will make sure I get back to you with any suggestions or recommendations!

Love

Emma xxx

Will I Leave My Heart In San Francisco???

In just under 3 weeks I will be saying goodbye to Las Vegas and getting on a plane to San Francisco. When we were planning our trip almost 2 years ago, I was quite happy to go to Vegas for a week and come home, however Matt was the first one to say ‘No, lets go somewhere else’ it was Matt who made the decision to go to San Francisco. If I am honest, San Francsisco has never been somewhere that I wanted to visit there was just nothing that really appealed to me, however Matt knew exactly what he wanted to do! So I thought why not show you some of the things we are hoping to do:

Golden Gate Bridge

When someone says ‘San Francisco’ to you, one of the first images that comes into your mind is that red suspension bridge (I’m still not sure why its called the Golden Gate Bridge when its red!). So of course this is definitely something we plan on seeing, we have gone over various different scenario’s of how we plan to go over the bridge. Initially Matt wanted to hire a convertible and drive across, we then discussed walking across or at least 1/2 way. Then when I was doing some research online, a lot of recommendations were pointing towards cycling across the bridge, you can rent a bike, cycle across stop off at vista point to take some snaps then cycle on a bit further into Sausalito have some lunch and a look around the shops before taking a ferry back to San Francisco.

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

Ride A Cable Car

San Francisco is famous for its cable cars, so this is definitely a must whilst we are out there. We may even take a trip to the Cable Car Museum! I love the pictures that you see of the cable cars going up and down the steep hills, I know for sure I wouldn’t fancy walking up them, so a cable car is for sure the way to go!

Ferry Building Marketplace

So this place didn’t come on my radar until a couple of weeks ago, I have been reading about the farmers market in blogs and people buying some yummy goodies and heading off for a picnic. I think it sounds like a lovely idea, the farmers market is on Tuesday’s & Thursday’s, so perhaps we will head down there the day before we leave get some yummy food and head to a park and just watch the world go by!

Looks Beautiful!

Looks Beautiful!

Food Truck Foodies!

So anyone that knows me and Matt knows that we are both BIG food lovers! When we went to NY for Matt’s 21st one of the things he really wanted to do was to eat Chinese out of a box, unfortunately we didn’t quite manage it, but we did go to a Chinese deli and order food which was just done by guessing as no-one spoken any English and we sat in a park in minus degrees with massive coats on eating Chinese food!

A fellow blogger Las has been tweeting and blogging about Food Trucks in Houston (http://www.lasandcolgotexan.com/things-to-do-in-houston) and it really got the foodie in me excited, so I did a bit of looking and found a website called Off The Grid, based in San Francisco it shows you where all the food trucks are and what food trucks are there. I am going to keep an eye on it and I have started following them on twitter as well so I can track them down!

Those are just a few bits we have planned, I will make sure I do some blogging when I get back of places we have been and things we have seen! I wouldn’t want you all to miss out!

In the mean time, if you have any recommendations, please leave a comment below!

Emma xxx

Yummy’s In Vegas!

As you know I am headed out to Vegas in just under 6 weeks with Matt, my bestie and her fella! I have been doing some research on places to eat as I love trying new restaurants and experiencing new foods. So I thought I would put together some info for you that I have gathered and maybe it will inspire your upcoming trip to Vegas too!

First Stop is Sugar Factory (http://www.sugarfactory.com/) I have seen a lot of pin’s about this place on Pinterest and when I found out they do a S’Mores Cocktail and Carrot Cake Pancakes as well as Pick & Mix I was sold! Now I am not sure if they do all of those at the Vegas Café, but I am sure there will something on the menu that will tickle my taste buds!

I have never been for brunch, buy whilst on holiday and in Vegas the question has to be “Why Not?!” So I did some hunting and found Buddy V’s (http://buddyvlasvegas.com/) It’s TLC’s Cake Boss star Buddy Valastro’s restaurant in the Grande Canal Shoppes. They don’t just do brunch, they also have Lunch, Dinner, Afternoon & a Desserts menu on offer! I had a look at the Brunch menu, firstly its served buffet style (in my eyes you can never go wrong with!), they offer an all you can drink option for $14.95 and the brunch is $34.95 per head, which considering how much is on offer and the good quality of the food I didn’t think is too bad!

Whilst I was looking at some Vegas bits on Pinterest, I stumbled across a pin about Peppermill Fireside Lounge (http://www.peppermilllasvegas.com/#home ). Initially the picture of a log fire in what looked like a club caught my attention & I thought let’s have a look to see what this is all about! So they have a restaurant and a bar, I have had a look at the menu for the restaurant and its typical American food at a reasonable price – you can’t go wrong! Then I had a sneaky peek at the drinks menu at the bar and their cocktail list is one to be challenged, they also host a happy hour. I definitely want to give this place a visit, even if it’s just for a cocktail!

One of mine and Matt’s favourite places to visit in the stats is Applebee’s we love the food and the atmosphere, so we will definitely make sure we visit one whilst in either Vegas or San Fran. We aren’t opposed to trying chain restaurants and there are 2 that have stuck in my mind from when I was in Indiana last year, Dicks and The Cheesecake Factory! When we had a Vegas “meeting” back in January I was really pleased when Steph & Dan mentioned Dicks too. So for those of you that don’t know, servers at Dicks restaurant pretty much abuse you from the minute you walk in the door. They are well known for their sarcastic comments and taking the mickey out of you! I just think it would be hilarious and something that you would never get in the UK! What is there to say about The Cheesecake Factory……it serves Cheesecake!

I hope I have given you some food for thought and PLEASE share any recommendations you have for me!

Love

Emma x