Vegas II

Hey!

Have you been keeping up with our January adventures? Ready for the final installment? If you haven’t read the last posts, click here and you can catch up!

So, as the title says, this is all about our very unexpected few days in Vegas, it was our 2nd trip and we both had a really good time. The weather was perfect, not too hot, not too cold & it wasn’t busy at all, so we were able to freely and aimlessly wonder round the strip without walking along like cattle. It was great & I would definitley head back to Vegas this time of year again, but perhaps in a few years time.

In true fashion, here is a a few bits about our trip & hopefully give you some inspiration if you are thinking of heading that way on your travels!

Where did we stay?

As you know we booked last minute for Vegas, it was booked around 7pm Amsterdam time and we flew 10am UK time the following morning. We looked at staying at the Bellagio, but it was just a little bit (when I say little bit I mean like £20) too expensive compared to what deal we could get staying at The Mirage. We have stayed at this hotel before in 2015 (you can read about that here), so we knew what to expect, where it was and we just wanted a bargain and also something we knew wouldn’t let us down. Mind you saying that, all the hotels on the strip are amazing that I dont think you can ever feel disappointed.

I don’t think I took many photos of the hotel this time round, but not a lot has changed in 4 years really, so for us we didn’t need the photos. Our room was on the 14th floor, we had a king-size bed and a gorgeous views of the mountains (and trump tower). We didn’t eat at the Mirage this time round, we just didn’t fancy any of the restaurants they had on offer. Matt did some gambling at the roulette table and each time came away with more money than he started with so its always a win.

So details about the Mirage, its pretty central on the strip, opposite the Venetian & next to Caesars Palace. The casino area is quite large, but they are surrounded by various restaurants and bars as well as the large theatre for the cirque du soleil Beatles show – which I hear is fantastic!

Would we stay there again? Yes, I would have no problem staying there for a 3rd time, but if we went to Vegas again then we would definitely like to try somewhere new, perhaps Bellagio, Paris or Wynn (which is sooo beautiful!)

What did we do?   

Well, as we booked this with less than 24hrs notice, we didn’t really have time to plan what we wanted to do, but with 10hrs on the flight out there we were able to have a rough idea of what we wanted.

So, top of our list was to do bits that we didn’t get round to doing last time, so pictures at the Las Vegas sign was a must, going up the Eiffel Tower and Coyote Ugly!! So we didn’t have a lot on on our to-do list, so we figured we would fill the rest of our time wondering the strip, eating good food, shopping and drinking!

On our first day there, we had to get some dollars and new undies as we were drastically running low, so after dumping our bags we headed straight to Fashion Show Mall, picked up the bits we needed and bits we didn’t need and headed back to the room. After a quick change we decided to just venture out on the strip and go exploring, we were both quite tired so we ended up on the area called Off The Strip, which is part of The Linq hotel in a sports bar having a few drinks and some great food – Matt was even treated by our waiter to a free birthday desert!

Our 2nd day the weather wasn’t on our side, it was spitting with rain in the morning and we weren’t really sure what to do, we knew we didn’t want to do the landmarks in this weather so decided to buy a day pass for the deuce bus and head up to the North Shopping Outlet for a few hours. We ended up there for around 6hrs and the weather brightened up too. We got some really good bargains and spent quite a bit money, the deals were insane, heavily discounted as its an outlet mall but January sales on top were great! That evening we went for a late dinner at The Hard Rock Cafe followed buy a fun few hours in Coyote Ugly dancing, drinking and really letting our hair down.

Our last full day the weather was fantastic, no jackets needed at all and I spent the day in jeans and a cami. After breakfast we headed up the Eiffel Tower, went on the NYNY Rollercoaster for the 2nd time & took some photos at the famous Las Vegas sign. However, after a plea from my brother and Matt’s feeling that he hadn’t bought enough, we ended up back at the outlet getting more goodies! That evening we didn’t stay out too late, we had some good food at Bubba Gumps and enjoyed just walking up and down the strip.

Our last morning was spent getting last minute souvenirs, popping in and out of hotels & spending the last few hours having sweet tea and wings – my perfect combo!

What did we eat?

We sampled some really good food in Vegas, but I wouldn’t say we went out of our way to try new things and restaurants we haven’t been to, we went for things we knew we would love and make the most of the time there.

We hit up Denny’s for breakfast twice (we just needed a big hit of pancakes haha!) and our other stop was HEXX kitchen & bar which is part of Paris. All 3 breakfast’s were amazing, but my favourite and probably Matt’s too was HEXX, the atmosphere was so relaxed and chilled, the food was great and the service was really attentive.

We also ate/drunk at Yard House, Bubba Gump, Hard Rock Cafe, Virgils Real BBQ, Jamba Juice, Starbucks. I really enjoyed our time eating & drinking in the area called Off The Strip which is located at The Linq. The food at Yard House was soo good, the atmosphere with it being full of various different beers, sports on TV and just relaxed atmosphere was such a nice vibe. The same at Virgils, there was no rush the sweet tea was gorgeous, the service was great and the wings, oh my word the wings…..just sooo good! We are really big foodies so we want to make sure we eat good and I definately think we hit a good few spots!

So that’s it for our brief and unexpected trip to Vegas! 2 times we have been now and both times were so different and we experienced such different things and that is what I love about Vegas. Each time you go you can experience such a different holiday each time its brilliant. Just keep an eye out on deals and book your trip – you wont regret it!

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Amsterdam

If you have read my most recent post (if not don’t worry you can catch up here), you will know we recently spent 48hrs in Amsterdam. We had a lovely time and it was the first time we have been away together since my birthday last August, so it was good to just be away together exploring a new city.

I wanted to share with you a few bits about our trip & hopefully give you some inspiration if you are thinking of heading that way on your travels!

Where did we stay?

We spent 2 nights at Hotel Estheréa, which is located on Singel Canal. It is a BEAUTIFUL boutique hotel, the decor is simply stunning and they could not do enough for you. We checked in around 9 am, they took our bags offered us free tea, coffee and little sweet snacks in the butterfly room should we want it at any point, but advised that our room would not be ready until around 1 pm and to head back then. When we returned from our travels, we were a little early so took full advance of the butterfly room, free drinks and gorgeous log fire – it was much needed after spending a good few hours in the Amsterdam cold. We were given our room key and told that when we head out to hand the key back in, they are rather large and heavy so they don’t want them getting lost and to be honest I couldn’t imagine carrying it round all day/evening. Our room was stunning and I am gutted I didn’t get any pictures, but it was a lovely blue with a canal view, the bathroom was massive, it include a his & hers sinks and a full bath! I was in heaven and knew instantly that whilst Matt had a nap that I would take full advantage and have my first bath since we renovated our bathroom at home. What was really great about the hotel and I wish we had taken more notice was the free tablet that they give you in your room. We took a quick glance and it had some hints and tips and a map function, they even allow you to take it out the hotel, but we just didn’t bother – had we have had more time I think it would have been a really useful tool! Breakfast wasn’t included, but it was available as an extra, we didn’t take this up but the reviews on Trip Advisor are really good – so I would say its definitely worth a try!

 

What did we do?   

When I booked this trip, I took lots of advice from friends who had been there recently as well as doing my research online. I like to think that I know Matt pretty well and what he would enjoy, so straight away I knew I wanted to book us on to the Heineken Experience and a Cheese Tasting Experience. I was really interested in booking us on a canal tour, but I had heard and read mixed reviews & I wasn’t sure if it was something he would be interested in doing, so I had some reserve money aside should we wanted to have done that whilst we were there (turns out we didn’t!).

Anyway back to what we did do!

The Heineken experience, I booked us in for the last one of the day so that we could carry on our evening after having some free tasters! Almost classed it as pre-drinks haha! So the experience is completely led by you – you can walk round as fast or as slow as you want, it can be as interactive as you want it to be. If you want to get involved with activities as you walk round you can, but if you would rather just rush round and go straight to the bar then you can do that too. We had a lovely time learning all about how the Heineken brand came to where it is today, my favourite bit has to be when you are made into a pint (I think it was called). Its like a 3d ride, its brilliant, just a video really but you get to see lots of different bits and the room moves and vibrates which is pretty cool! All in all you get 2.5 pints, but you can buy more if you want to AND you can play for more pints in the pint pouring competition (which I have to say I won!)! By the time we left, about 2hrs later I was definitely a bit woozy, Matt can obviously hold his drink better than me.

It was really tough for me to book a cheese tasting experience, I looked at about 3 all in all, but what won me over and really swayed my decision was the trip advisor reviews. So I booked with Reypenaer Cheese, it promised an hour of tasting paired with different wines and other drinks, there were 3 time choices to book into and I chose the one at midday, thinking that would give us the rest of the afternoon to do some sight seeing. However, during our first day there I got an email asking for us to change to 2 pm as there was no-one else booked onto our tasting and that they would rather move us to 2 pm when others are booked in as the experience is much better in a group. After a chat between us, we agreed to be moved and I am glad we did, it wouldn’t have been the same if it was just the 2 of us. We had a just over an hour in a room dedicated to cheese tasting, overall we had 5 or 6 cheeses to taste, all Gouda cheese but some where goats cheese and I am not a massive goats cheese lover. During the tasting experience we were encouraged to note down the flavours we were tasting and smelling, we were taught the best way to cut cheese (thinly if your wondering!) and what to pair it with. I even tried (and loved) a red wine that we tried – I definitely need to give red wine another go and pair it with a few nice cheeses! At the end of the tasting, if you fill out your form and get it signed off your giving a certificate that if you present this each time you shop there you get a discount! That was the only 2 set things we did whilst we were there, obviously we were typical tourists and walked for miles taking in all the sights that Amsterdam had to offer!

What did we eat?

Firstly, don’t be mad! We probably didn’t really explore what food delights Amsterdam had to offer, but we only really had 3 meals there – but that is part of the reason I want to go back – I want to try more! So, we ate (as we always try to when we are away) at The Hard Rock Cafe, wherever we go we always try to eat there – its become a thing and we love it, even if it is generic! Then during a drunken haze after booking to go to Vegas, we tried to sober up with a late night McDonalds! However, the 1 independent place that we ate breakfast at and was truly amazing was The Happy Pig Pancake Shop, the pancakes were the best I have had in a long time and it was so filling and such a good price. It was just round the corner from our hotel and we both really liked the fact that you could pick your own fillings and see them being made FRESH there was none pre-made, everything was made fresh to order which was really great. Now we do love our sweet tooth and we definitely wanted to try stroopwaffels whilst we were there, so in an emergency purchase after our McDonalds on the way back to our hotel to pack we stopped off at a bakery, picked up a packet of stroopwaffels for us to try and a muffin each that was warmed up and drizzled in a chocolate sauce topping of our choice. I am gutted that I don’t remember eating this, but I am pretty sure from my face that I enjoyed it!

 

Well, that’s our time in Amsterdam in a nutshell really, it feels like a lifetime ago now. I guess one question I always get after our travels is would I go back? YES! 100% would love to go back to Amsterdam, perhaps in warmer weather so we can see the Tulip fields and experience the city in the summer, but I would love to go back with a bit more time so we can properly explore and take full advantage of all the different foods there are on offer!

New York Or Texas??

Since I have come back from holiday, I have been thinking about New York and if I really want to go again just to see some Christmas Lights and the Rockefeller Christmas Tree, now I know some of you will be screaming at your screens saying “yes, go!” and others will be thinking “new York – again?!” and I have to say I am one of the latter….

Don’t get me wrong I LOVE New York, every time I have been I have seen different things, but I feel like I am done and need to explore else where. On bucket list is number 20 is Experience Christmas In New York I am thinking about changing it to:

Have Fun In Texas

I have been wanting to go to Texas sometime now and several times I have written up a list of things to do and even blogged about it in my Sunday Wunderlust blogs earlier this year….. https://butterflybucketlist.wordpress.com/2014/03/23/sunday-wanderlust-part-ii/ Its just getting there and doing it that seems to be a problem. Realistically I need to start saving properly to move out, and with the next 3 holidays booked and paid for, I am thinking about celebrating my 30th in Texas?

What do you think?? Why not cast your vote in a comment below:

New York Or Texas???

Em xxx

Wishful Wednesday

Hello Butterflies!

I am sat here pondering over what to write to you all, but I have a couple of things that I would to share with you!

Firstly, I have never blogged about my job and I won’t go into any major detail due to patient confidentiality, but I just can’t stop thinking about a call I took earlier this week! I suppose you could say that I work in a call centre & I am a team leader. Unfortunately I had to call a patient who wasn’t too happy with one thing and another, they weren’t what I would class as an elderly patient as they are about the same age as both my grandads, but bless I ended up being on the phone to them for a good 30minutes. Thankfully just an apology from me was enough to settle the patient, but there was lots of other underlying issues with the patient and I genuinely think they just needed someone to talk to and share their pain and anguish with. The sad thing is that they told me they have no family, unfortunately there was nothing I could do to help the patient with their other problems apart from being there to listen. It just made me think that if for whatever reason my grandparents didn’t have anyone around or even when I am old that there will be someone who will sit there & listen even if it isn’t their job as I know that at the end of that call I relieved some of their anxiety and pressure, just by listening.

It just makes me sad to think that there are some of the older generation have no one and just rely on people calling them or neighbours or even just someone working in the local shop – such a shame as so many of them fought for our country….. Well I hope I made things a bit better for that patient even if it was just for a short time!

On another note……how on earth are we nearly in June?! I have got a list of clothes to pack and I also have a list of things that I would like to buy, but right now – I’m really thinking that I would like someone to pack for me, so I can just take my suitcase and get on the plane. I have lost the excitement that I had a few weeks ago, I am bored of waiting and just want to get to the airport and on that plane. On the other hand, I got myself in a bit of a state the other night as I realised that I won’t be seeing Matt for almost 2 1/2 weeks, which is the longest we have ever been apart. I will have access to wifi so will be able to text him or face time ever so often (I will also blog so don’t worry!) but I will still miss him!

Em xxx

Time To Knuckle Down……

Mum – if you are going to read this one, I wouldn’t because you get stroppy every time I mention a countdown to our holiday!

For everyone else – me & my family fly to NYC in 60 something days! That is 9 more weigh in’s and numerous gym sessions! I would love to be a 14 top and bottom before we go or at least hit 12st 7lb, I would love to be able to lose 1lb a week that would get me to nearly 12st! So I have started going to the gym in the morning and making sure I eat breakfast, I am trying to control my syns and try to ensure I make the right choices when eating out.

I have suddenly realised I don’t have long till holiday and I want to feel comfortable in shorts – I will get there I just need to work hard for the next few weeks.

I did a Pole Dancing Fitness class earlier this week and oh my word – it is sooo much harder than you can ever imagine! I was a bit nervous at first, however I got speaking to a member of the class who was really friendly and made me feel at ease and when we all started working with the poles, I looked around and there was women of all shapes, sizes & ages which really made me feel comfortable. I managed to do a couple of moves, but I have definitely found a fun way to exercise and I will definitely be going back! However I have to say, I have been aching all over ever since!

xxx

Sunday Wanderlust Part I

If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go? So many people bounce that question around and if you are anything like me you will struggle to answer it as there are so many places in the world you want to see…..so I have decided for the next 5 Sundays I will share with you the 5 places that I would love to visit!

Bora Bora:

For as long as I can remember I have always been fascinated with Bora Bora and wanted to visit! The clear blue water and the bungalows in the sea – it looks so idyllic and peaceful, perfect place to relax and enjoy a stress free holiday!

Where Would I Stay? St Regis Bora Bora, in a Premium Over The Water Villa. It includes a outdoor whirlpool, private pontoon (had to google what that was!), and covered daybed, as well as a larger living room with daybed nook! Not that you need all of those things, but why not have a few luxuries!

What Would I Do There? Relax on the beach A LOT! Snorkel – I found a love for this in Cuba and with the clearest waters in Bora Bora this would be a perfect location for this!

Who Would I Take? Matt, of course! Bora Bora is such a romantic location and I wouldn’t want to share that experience with anyone else!

Stunning

Stunning

A Girl Can Only Dream

A Girl Can Only Dream

Photos from St Regis Bora Bora Website

Tweeting Lovely!

I have seen so many people that I follow on various social media getting involved with companies that they really love or use quite a lot. As you know I am really into travel and thought

why not see if anyone wants to give me a free holiday?!

ok so the likelihood is really slim AND it’s highly unlikely that it would happen, but it’s worth a shot!

So I sent a tweet to Thomson, Expedia & Virgin Holidays asking if they would like to send me to Dubai in return for a review for them! The only response I got was from Virgin politely declining but wishing me luck in getting to Dubai! So it may have been a no, but at least I got a response!

I am going to keep trying though it would be amazing if I could get a free holiday or tickets to a tv show!

Although I enjoy certain aspects of social media and especially how nice it is that customers and companies can link together and really improve customer relations!

So if anyone out there is interested in giving me the opportunity to do some reviews for them after sending me on a holiday….I wouldn’t say no!!!

Emma xx