Posts Tagged With: drinking

Las Vegas – Special Feature!

Viewers, I’ve got another special post for you today, something new and different to spice up this travel blog!

I’m very proud and excited to say that I’ve teamed up with the legendary Travel Enthusiast, Former Orbitz Director of Communications and proud Mom : Kendra Thornton to share our knowledge, tips and experience about one amazing, energetic and vibrant city; a city that has something for just about everyone out there: Las Vegas!

First, Kendra will share her take on the city with us, then shortly after, I will share my tips, advice and secrets about the city.

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Kendra:

Hot Spots for Family Fun in Las Vegas

I love to travel, and these days, I usually bring my family along. When planning a family vacation, I always look for locations with something that my kids will enjoy along with my husband and me. One of our favorite spots to enjoy time together as a family is Las Vegas. It seems that this desert oasis always has something new and fun for us to do.

1. Miniature Golf

My husband is a golfer. The kids and I prefer the miniature version, and Las Vegas has plenty of options for us. We especially enjoy playing 18-holes at KISS by Monster Mini Golf. The glow-in-the-dark course features animated replicas of rock-and-roll memorabilia. The kids love putting into the giant Gene Simmons head. As an added attraction, the course also features a huge saltwater aquarium made by ATM of Animal Planet’s show Tanked.

2. Sharks

In Las Vegas, you can swim with sharks in the middle of the desert. My oldest loves sharks, so when I found out about Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay, we had to visit. The water park features North America’s only predator-based aquarium. Here, you can view moray eels, rare golden crocodiles, piranhas and 15 species of sharks. The kids and I also participated in the 45-minute shark dive.

3. Adult Beverages

Of course, Las Vegas has plenty of adult beverages. When traveling with my girlfriends, I once took the Sommelier wine class at the Michael Mina Restaurant. Guests get to explore the nuances of eight different wines. You’ll learn about the effects of soil and climate on grapes. This is a great way to spend date night as well as an awesome activity to enjoy during a Las Vegas bachelorette weekend.

4. Museums

Those who love to learn can have a great time in Las Vegas. My family enjoys taking trips to quirky museums. My personal favorite is the outdoor Neon Museum just off the strip. It displays the history of the city in lights with a park-like atmosphere and design. My kids love spending time at the Discovery Children’s Museum. Also of interest is the National Atomic Testing Museum.

Las Vegas is always good for a good time. I’ve enjoyed traveling there on business and with friends. Now I enjoy taking my family and exposing my kids to some of the wonderful treasures there. With so many places to stay and things to do it can get a bit overwhelming. Sites like Gogobot make it easy to read user reviews so you can better plan your trip. I hope you can enjoy this great vacation spot as well.

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Jordan:

Spontaneous Fun & Hidden Gems of Las Vegas

Las Vegas is always a blast, no matter who you go with, it has something for everyone. Myself? I am pretty open-minded and like to try just about anything, especially if it’s a new experience! I’m going to share with you some advice, tips and hidden gems of Las Vegas that I hope will be at some use for you. Here we go:

1. Restaurants

At one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, how could Las Vegas not have some of the world’s greatest restaurants?
One of my most memorable restaurant experiences was eating at “Gordon Ramsey’s Pub & Grill” at “Caesar’s Palace”.
If you’re feeling a little more on the Breakfast or Dessert side, then you HAVE to try the Crepes at “Le Creperie” in “Paris”. I’m going to let you in on a little secret as well… If you’re looking for a delicious meal that is a little more budget friendly, then look no farther than “Tony Roma’s” on Fremont Street. Seriously, Tony Roma’s! You can get a Steak and Lobster for $11.99 or a Prime Rib for $8.99. You can find details on this special here: Tony Roma’s on Fremont.

2. Entertainment / Shows

I’ve been to Las Vegas twice and without a doubt, my favorite thing to do is see the shows. There are shows that will suit anybody’s interest here: Comedy, Cirque du Soleil, Concerts, Burlesque, Magic and so on. Lots of famous people host their performances here: Shania Twain, Madonna, Carrot Top, David Blaine, Kris Angel, Penn and Teller.
Buying tickets for shows can really add up, so here’s a little tip to nab yourself free tickets and even a free dinner to go along with; walking down Las Vegas Blvd, you’ll notice that there are several individuals trying to grab your attention to sell “Timeshares”. Most of the time, you probably ignored them and walked right by them, but here’s the secret… If you decide to take the free tour that they are promoting, you will land yourself free or highly discounted Dinner and Show tickets; this is no scam, it is actually true! The catch is, you have to spend a few hours listening to their sales pitch and viewing the units, building and property that they are attempting to sell to you. At the end of the tour, a highly skilled sales associate will personally try and sell you a Timeshare – all you have to do is politely decline and then, VOILA! You will have your free Dinner and show!

3. Fremont Street

Most people are attracted to the Las Vegas Blvd strip and frankly, I don’t blame them! With the bright flashing lights, energy, music, street performances, erupting fountains and state-of-the-art architecture, who would not want want to be around all of that? What people need to know though is, Fremont Street is the “original” Las Vegas and it boasts a magic of it’s own. Let me tell you what’s special about Fremont Street! First off, you’re going to find MUCH better deals in this area, probably because they want to take the crowd away from the overpriced Las Vegas Blvd.  When you’re not playing at the Casino, you’ll find that it’s quite easy to find 1-2$ beers, 3$ Margaritas, 10-15$ meals at sit-down restaurants and best of all, the slots are known to be more “loose” on Fremont Street.  If you walk a few blocks up, you’ll find yourself in front of some original and unique bars and restaurants, for example: “Insert Coins” a video-game based bar – you basically pay to play arcade games with friends while sipping away at your favorite drink. How about “Heart Attack Grill”? A restaurant where all the staff are dressed in Nurse outfits and serving you the most unhealthy food that is known to man.  There is actually a large scale just outside of the restaurant that lets you weigh yourself, if you weigh over 300lbs, then you get to eat free!
Looking for cheap daiquiris? I’ll tell you where to get the cheapest in all of Vegas! Two words… “La Bayou”. It’s a small Dive Bar & Casino located on Fremont Street. You can fill up your meter long drink-holding device for pennies compared to the other places out there. The cool thing is, “La Bayou” uses the traditional-style “quarters” to play in their slots and when you win, spits quarters back out at you. Ever heard of those? They are small circular pieces of metal before the “cash receipts” were used in slot machines. A new piece of History for you!

4. Shopping

Las Vegas is probably right up there with London, Paris, New York and so on for it’s shopping scene, it can also get expensive very fast if you don’t have the budget for it. I found that I had the best shopping experiences at both the North and South “Premium Shopping Outlets”. There are literally hundreds of stores to choose from, it really does take a full day out of you. One of my favorite stores would have to be “Under Armour” which is located at the “South Premium Outlets”. If you’re shopping for luxurious brands, then you have nothing to worry about, Las Vegas Blvd is boasting with a nearly-unlimited amount of stores and malls to visit and it’s impossible to see it all in one day. For souvenirs, it’s always fun to check out the “M&M Factory” or the “Coca-Cola Factory”.

We hope this post was informative and fun to read as it was for us to write it!

If you wish to follow Kendra, you can do so by clicking the following link: @KendraThornton – she has a wealth of travel information to provide for you, so definitely check her out!

Please follow me for more adventures, travel tips and advice!

[This collaborative post was written by: Jordan Ilareguy & Kendra Thornton]

For more exciting articles on Las Vegas, visit GPSmyCity.com!

Categories: Destinations, Las Vegas, Nevada, Travel, Uncategorized, United States | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Long Weekend in Ontario

Like the saying goes: “Time flies when you’re having fun”. Well, that’s true, but I also believe that time will fly even if you’re busy and not having fun, but thankfully, this past weekend was tons of fun!

For most people in Ontario, this weekend was a three day weekend because of a provincial holiday called “Civic Holiday”.
I didn’t waste any time this weekend. I started off Saturday having a Breakfast out with Amy at a local restaurant called “Dapp’s Restaurant”. The restaurant has been there forever and the base of clientele they have established is immense! Almost everyone that dines in is a “regular”.  I don’t think Amy and I are too far from attaining that title; maybe just need to age another 50 years or so first to gain some seniority. The price of food is excellent, with the most expensive Breakfast meal being around 12.50$ and the cheapest I remember seeing was around 6.95$; you don’t find many deals like that these days, most restaurants overprice all of their food, especially the orange juice, don’t even get me started with the orange juice! Several restaurants have a machine that mixes a concentrated-juicy syrup with water to produce what you call your Breakfast orange juice; there are no free refills and they charge you about 3$ for a medium sized glass. Redonkulous if you ask me…

After a delicious Breakfast, I walked over to “Riverside Music” for my 3rd Piano lesson; I want to be modest, but truly, I am catching on very fast to the theory and of course the practical portion of the instrument. Maybe its because I have so much interest in learning? At the moment, all I have is a simple 150$ keyboard, without a full set of keys and the keys themselves aren’t even weighted, I’m missing the pedals too. I was looking at the “Casio Privia 350BK”, I think that’s the name of it… Anyways, it seems like a good bang for my buck and it’s somewhat affordable for a person that doesn’t have thousands to dish out but is still serious about learning how to play the Piano.

To finish up Saturday, I headed over to a coworkers house with my good friend Jon for a surprise Birthday party hosted for her husband’s 40th birthday. I picked up a bottle of wine for him named “Guilty Men”, I thought it would give them some laughs for sure, I’ll have to find out tomorrow. It was a good night, complete with good people, good drinks, good food and good fun. Jon and I played “Horseshoes” against a few other people, but had our asses kicked every time; I don’t think the game was made for us at all, or maybe it was, but just to have our asses kicked at it all the time!

I woke up early on Sunday to get an early start on a day full of “Antiquing” with my good friend Jon. We headed out into a town called “Bloomfield” (sounds like a name out of a “Silent Hill” movie), to start our adventure and worked our way out to Picton to finish it. The entire time was spent in what’s called “Prince Edward County”, where many vineyards and microbreweries/craft breweries are located due to the outlay of the landscape and excellent conditions in the area. I didn’t really find anything other than a “Banana stand”, which really isn’t an antique to begin with, but there were several of treasures that I did run into that I couldn’t quite afford at the moment; perhaps next time I’ll come back with more treasures!

As soon as I returned home, I packed up my gym gear and biked down to CFB Trenton’s gymnasium for a lengthy workout of about two hours. The bike ride to the gym and back was just shy of 8km too.

Today, Amy and I drove out to Belleville in search of a new, high-quality frying pan. Yep, we destroyed our old crappy one from Zellers… Let’s just say you get what you pay for. This new one we bought is a brand called “Panderno”, it’s apparently a brand that’s used amongst the professionals in the cooking industry. The pan is obviously non-stick, you can stick it into the oven at up to 750 F and it has a 25 year warranty; I guess that alone shows that “Paderno” truly believes in the quality of their own product if they’re willing to give a warranty that will last so long. Did you know? Apparently cooking sprays such as “PAM” are not good for your pan, it damages it! Apparently it’s better to just use cooking oil and nothing else.

Amy and I just got back from the base’s outdoor pool; nothing like a refreshing swim on a hot and sunny day!

Well, time to practice on my Piano, the next lesson is tomorrow!

Categories: Canada, Ontario, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cologne, Germany

I can’t count how many times I’ve been to this city, I’ll probably need more than two hands.

We arrived early morning and with the six-hour time zone change, it’s a wreck on your body. You have to make a decision: “Do I go to sleep, lose some of my day but wake up well rested to enjoy the rest?” or “Do I just stay awake through the day and make it as far as I can through it?”. I usually go with the first choice, because I like heading out at night with my buddies when I’m well rested so I have the endurance to keep going and stay awake with them. By the time I got to bed, it must have been 730am and I slept until 1pm, got up and went out for a good walk. I took some photos and got some shopping done then headed to a Vietnamese restaurant called “Cyclo” with my buddies. I can’t spell or remember the Vietnamese name of the dish I ordered, but man was it ever delicious and the cooks were just so generous with the portion size! The giant bowl they gave me was loaded with noodles that were coated in a hot peanut sauce. On top of the noodles, I had various veggies with some BBQ’d chicken pieces on top; mouth-watering I tell you, mouth-watering chicken deliciousness.

The only way to finish off a Saturday night in Germany is to wash down your Vietnamese with some good German Kölsch beer! We went to a “Beer House” called the “Beer Museum” where they literally feed beer to you, non-stop, without asking until you ask them to stop, or place a beer coaster on top of your class to show the sign of “please, I’m hammered, no more”. The glasses aren’t very large, which can be dangerous, not only because it’s delicious, but also because you can down them quite fast, which leaves you coming for more and more until you’re seeing double, or even triple! The best part is, the beer is really inexpensive too! They serve the “Kölsch” beer circular beer trays that hold about 10 beers per tray; really fast and convenient when you have hundreds of beer-thirsty customers!
“Beer Houses” and “Beer Gardens” are all over Germany, you’ll have no problem finding them, but I found that they were most prominent in Munich, Germany, which is in an entire different province: “Bavaria”.

I slept in a little more on Sunday, my body needed it, but also, there isn’t a whole lot to do in Cologne on a Sunday, almost all the stores and restaurants are closed, but it’s the perfect kind of day to walk-about and take some good photos without hundreds of people and tourists in the way of your “Kodak moments”. I imagine that most of Germany is like that, but I really can’t recall if it is. Maybe someone can leave a comment and explain?

I’ve been to Cologne so many times, I think I’ve done almost all the touristic things there are to do in the city, although I’m sure I’m missing a few for sure. I heard that the “European Space Agency” is also located in Cologne; if that’s true, I definitely want to see if they host tours of some kind and check out the place! How cool would that be? I’ve been following Chris Hadfield on his adventure through Twitter, same with a few other astronauts. It’s incredible to see the life they live and the things they are doing to make History. It’s very inspirational!

I’m back home now and my friend Julie passed down some extra furniture to me to add to our home, as we’re lacking in the furniture department. Thank Julie!
Tomorrow I start my second Piano lesson and get ready for my next exciting adventure and man, will it ever be exciting I tell you! Prepare for lots of photos!

Here’s a few snaps from the short weekend:

Massive Koln Dom (Cathedral)

Massive Koln Dom (Cathedral)

Kolsch Beer and Tray

Kolsch Beer and Tray

CF18s escorting my aircraft and troops for a warm welcome home!

CF18s escorting my aircraft and troops for a warm welcome home!

Categories: Germany, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Las Vegas: Day 6

It’s pretty much our last day here, we leave tomorrow morning for a direct flight back to Toronto and then a two hour drive home from there.

I think the week has been getting to us… Amy and I slept in until at 1pm! Our bodies were just fried from packing in so much sightseeing in one day, so much walking, starting early and finishing late; but hey, it’s all good, it’s not like I have to work throughout my time here, it’s all vacation!

Yesterday I was feeling a little under weather, but Amy and I still had a great time. We went to the “Tropicana Hotel and Casino” to meet up with our tour guide at the “Mob Attraction” for our “Mob Tour and Attraction”. It was only a small group of us, about 11 people or so. Basically, we hopped onto a small bus and we drove around the city where he explained to us how Vegas all started and then how the mob took it over to run just about every casino in Las Vegas. He drove us around the city and showed us exact locations where mobsters were assassinated and where some crime took place. He also drove us over to a house that was used in the movie “Casino”. Apparently almost everything that happened in that movie was actually true and did take place in real life.
The entire tour started around 5pm and ended around 9pm, since I wasn’t feeling so well, I figured that a nap should be enough to get me going for the rest of the night, but I just ended up passing out for the rest of the night and here I am now feeling better than ever!

Today, we’re going to check our the massive garden in the back of our hotel, where apparently exotic birds such as Flamingos and Black Swans rest; we’ve been in our hotel for nearly a week and haven’t even checked it out yet, but checked out almost every other hotel!

We’re also going to go eat at the “Bubba Gump” restaurant for Supper. It’s a shrimp/seafood restaurant based on the movie Forrest Gump; they play the movie on repeat the entire time that the restaurant is open. I’ve been to Bubba Gump in both San Diego and Hawaii and man is it ever delicious!

Today for sure, we’re going to go to the Stratosphere on sunset because my Sifu from Kung-Fu is insisting that it’s a sight that must be seen before we leave, so that’s what we’re going to do!

Here are a few snaps from yesterday:

New Vegas Strip

New Vegas Strip

New Vegas Strip

New Vegas Strip

New Vegas Strip

New Vegas Strip

 

Categories: Las Vegas, Nevada, Travel, United States | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Las Vegas: Day 5

Man, oh man… I’m exhausted. Amy and I spent a full day and night all over the city, didn’t come back until 3am.

We started the day off by visiting the massive M&M store, which extends a full four floors upwards. Each floor is just loaded with an abundant of M&M merchandise, it’s actually a bit overwhelming! They have a “candy station” where you can compile a bag of your favorite M&Ms with your favorite colors and the price of the bag is determined by the weight. It’s a bit pricey, about 11.99$ per pound.
If you’re a Coca-Cola fan, well, you’ll be happy to hear that is a monstrous Coca-Cola merchandise store directly beside the M&M one, selling the Coke label in just about every single product you can imagine!

We were bummed to find out that the “Sega Gameworks” arcade located beside the M&M factory was undergoing complete renovation. I’m not sure if they actually closed down and they’re opening up something else or if it is just renovation.

We picked up some M&Ms then walked over to “New York-New York” where we rode the roller coaster located on the top of the hotel; damn was it ever an adrenaline-pumping thrill! It’s about 14$ a person or 25$ for an unlimited all day pass, but if you’re Military, you only have to pay half price for each ticket. So take advantage of that!

We hit up Fremont Street again to play up the slots, get some more frozen drinks at “Le Bayou” and watch some live entertainment. It never gets old because there is always new performers doing something different than what you have already seen. We went over to the video game bar-arcade called “Insert Coins”; the music was pumping and I was so excited to get in, but then that idea went down the drain because they won’t allow you to enter the bar with a backpack on and they didn’t have any place for me to store it, so looks like Amy and I will have to try at it again tonight without the backpack.

Time to get some grub!

 

Categories: Las Vegas, Nevada, Travel, United States | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Las Vegas: Day 4

Already Day 4 in Sin City… Time flies when you’re having fun, that’s for sure.

Yesterday, Amy and I started off our morning by going to the hotel called “Paris”. A replica of the Eiffel Tower stands in front of the hotel and you can pay to take an elevator to the top. Walking through the casino / hotel itself, we noticed that they designed the interior to look like you’re walking in the streets of Paris; cobblestone streets, little bakeries here and there. The ceiling itself was impressive; they designed it seem like you’re looking at a real sky, but obviously, you’re not, it does play tricks with your mind though.
Walking through the streets of “Paris” we ran into a small establishment called “Le Creperie”. Basically, this little restaurant makes crepes, both Breakfast and Supper ones. Amy had a crepe loaded with cheese and shrimp while I wolfed down a crepe that was loaded with Parisian ham, cheese and some light cream sauce draped over top. The price was fair, being in the center of the New Vegas strip and all; about 11-13$ per loaded crepe.

After our delicious Breakfast, we caught the “SDX” bus to Old Vegas (Fremont St.) where we spent the day casino-hopping and walking back and forth on the strip admiring all the talented buskers. We gambled at a bunch of the casinos, you know, the classics like the: Golden Nugget, Sam Boyd’s, Four Queens. We didn’t win anything huge, but we did win enough to pay for our Lunch and a Supper of Steak and Lobster and Tony Roma’s and then break even at the end of the night, which I think is a pretty sweet deal; a free day of food and fun!
I just wanted to point out that it is true, the slots on Fremont Street are definitely more loose and the odds of winning are much higher than what I experienced on the New Vegas Strip. So if you plan to gamble on the slots, definitely save your money for Fremont St. Also, it is true that all the drinks are dirt cheap on Fremont St as well. Every casino is competing for the lowest prices so they can drag you into their establishment. Some casinos will have 1$ Margaritas and 2$ Coronas, while another casino offers a 5$ pitcher of beer! Another tip: Go to the casino called “Le Bayou”, it’s a very small casino located on the strip, featuring a frozen cocktail bar at the back of the casino. You can purchase a monstrous frozen drink for 14$, which lets you keep the tube that you bought and then afterwards, as long as you have kept that tube, refills are only 8$! Because the casino is so small, waitresses will always come by and serve drinks to you frequently when you’re playing the slots. I think this place is a hidden gem in the streets of Vegas.
If you really want to save on some good food, go to “Sam Boy’s on Fremont Casino”, they have a Tony Roma’s restaurant there featuring an everyday special on Steak & Lobster starting at 11.99$ I believe it was. Keep in mind, the special doesn’t start until 9pm, but show up at 840pm so you get in quick and get a good seat; trust me, that’s what Amy and I did and we got a cozy and comfortable booth in the corner of the restaurant.

Walking along Fremont Street, we ran into a restaurant called “Heart Attack Grill”, you can also eat free there, as long as you’re over 350lbs and there’s a scale outside to prove it too. All the waitresses are dressed in your typical hot nurse uniform and serving you food such as: Triple-Bypass Burger, Quadruple-Bypass Burger, Coronary Dog while you have to sit in a hospital gown. They also a feature a “Butterfat” milkshake, which they claim in the fattest milkshake in the United States!

Walking on from that heart-stopping restaurant, we ran into a bar called “Insert Coins”. Now this has to be one of the coolest places I’ve ever heard of, it’s a video game arcade-bar! You basically order up drinks while you play in an arcade full of classic arcade games, everything you can imagine! The only thing that was a bummer was the fact that it’s closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Amy and I plan to head back maybe tonight or some other time this week.

Tomorrow, we have what’s called the “Vegas Mob Tour & Experience”, gonna have a look back on Vegas’ deep and dark history.

Here’s a few quick snaps I took yesterday:

Four Queens & Sam Boyd's Casino on Fremont Street

Four Queens & Sam Boyd’s Casino on Fremont Street

Fremont Street

Fremont Street

Heart Attack Grill: Over 350lbs eat for free!

Heart Attack Grill: Over 350lbs eat for free!

 

 

 

 

Categories: Las Vegas, Nevada, Travel, United States | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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