Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas

January 2013

I've been to Vegas six times now and this is only the second time I've stayed on the strip, the last time was on my first trip in 1997 when my Grandmother and I stayed at Bally's.

So my mother and I decided to live large and stay at The Cosmopolitan in the City Center area.

I was concerned that it might be a little bit too trendy for us but it was perfect.



We stayed in the Terrace Studio with a Fountain View, and it was worth it.



The Bellagio fountains go off every 15 minutes in the evening, and the view on the balcony was spectacular, while the view from the bed wasn't bad anyways. The bed was also extremely comfortable (does anyone know which bed they have?).


There was one issue, with us getting woken up by a room service order that we didn't order and a very insistent delivery man but other than that it was a great stay.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Las Vegas, USA, 2013

January 2013


This will be my last post on Vegas for some time. This trip was meant to be to celebrate my Grandmothers 90th birthday (she lived in Vegas) but unfortunately she passed away at the beginning of the year.

We've never actually stayed on the strip and you can read about my other trips here.

I also spent a lot of time reviewing this blog - http://www.weezermonkey.com/ and got a lot of good ideas on places to eat and stay.

One night at the Cosmopolitan on the strip - it was stunning


Suncoast out near Summerlin

Roys, Summerlin


Lawry's Prime Rib


Serendipity 3, Caesars Palace


Mon Ami Gabi, Paris


Lindo Michoacan - great Mexican


The Cheesecake Factory - yes seriously, and no Penny didn't serve us


The Olive Garden


Cinnabon - you can't beat them when they're warm


Shop - North and South Outlets, Fashion Show Mall across from Wynns, The Forum Shops Caesars Palace and Meadows Mall to name a few
Walk up and down the strip


Friday, February 15, 2013

Waikiki, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

January 2013

Take this as a sign for my travels in 2013, it's going to be a big year.....


My brief stop in Hawaii was meant to be a quiet few days of rest and relaxation. But my parents met me there and we ended up with a busy itinerary that meant I got to see a lot of the Island.

Waikiki Parc, it was in a perfect location at Waikiki, my room had a great ocean view (at night you could hear the sea which I love) and it's meant to have a good pool (but I never got a chance to check it out!).



The hotel had a Nobu, but I never got a chance to check it out.
Across the street had a Roys, but we had already booked in Vegas
Shaved ice


Eat the street - once a month, I have no photos but the fish tacos were amazing...
Garlic Shrimp Trucks on the North Shore
Real Hawaiian food at Ono Hawaiian Foods - make sure you eat early, they shut at 8 pm


Iolani Palace - do one of the guided tours for a glimpse into Hawaii's history as a monarchy


Bishop Museum - has a great section on Polynesia in general, but I found the recent Hawaiian history section on level 3 the most interesting
Waimea Valley and the Waimea Valley Falls, there is also lots of native flowers



Laniakea Beach (Turtle Beach) - unfortunately we there was no turtles the morning we visited, but it's still a nice location


Hanauma Bay - looks like a great snorkeling spot for next trip


Halona Blowhole - apparently a popular spot for movies


Pali Lookout - the weather was horrible when we stopped here, but I imagine if it's not raining it would be a great view

The surf beaches of the North Shore


Waikiki Beach


Friday, February 8, 2013

Travel by view

We've been lucky to travel to many locations where the view just takes your breath away...

Yoesmite, USA

Friday, February 1, 2013

Tips for 1st time travellers

I've been fortunate enough to travel a fair bit and from a young age, but for many people if they're travelling for the first time, especially to a foreign country where the language and culture is different from home it can be a bit over whelming. So some of my tips for first time travelers:

Be patient
It's one of the things I've been able to pick up when travelling in the Pacific Islands. Be patient, don't expect everything to run to a schedule (even if there is one printed), don't expected everyone to understand your stilted Spanish or your frantic hand signs and don't be surprised when things aren't the same as at home. Relax, your on holiday!

Travel light
I've seen many travel articles where people say put everything you think you need and then halve it. I've never had this issue, and generally travel with the same for a 1 week trip vs a 6 week trip. How? I only take what I truly need, I pack clothes for about 4 days and then wash on the go (have you never noticed the repeat of outfits on this blog) and I travel for comfort.

Learn key phrases
DH and I suck at foreign languages  I tried to learn Mandarin in my younger years and it either gets greeted with giggles or looks of disgust. The thing is I am trying and those few key phrases can help break the ice (if you get the giggling response). If all else fails take a small phrase book.

Leave your comfort zone
I'm an overly organised person, too much perhaps. But when I travel I sometimes just have to go with the flow. For others it's trying a new dish, or talking to strangers or dealing with bugs in the jungle. Whatever it is take it as all part of the travel journey.

Respect the local customs
I've seen it on every trip. The women who go with their shoulders uncovered to temples and then mutter under their breaths when they're refused entry. The men who want to be able to drink in public during Ramadan in Muslim countries. Sometimes it is hard to know what the don thing is in each country, customs in one part might be different in another. But do some reading before hand, speak to others that have traveled there and when in doubt when a local says make sure you shoulders are covered in the temples of Siam Reap, don't debate with them why you feel that's an outdated practice.

Travel Insurance
We've been lucky and never needed it, but we purchase it on every trip. You hear horror stories of broken legs costing 10's of 1000's of dollars, of getting hit by another driver in your hire car and still being slugged with the cost or natural disasters hitting and the trip being extended with no way to fund it. Don't risk it, either purchase travel insurance or make sure your home insurance covers you overseas (I think some US companies do).