TARPON FEEDING GONE WRONG

An hours drive from Miami Florida on the overseas highway towards Key West, the Southernmost city in America, lies the small Island town of Islamorada. We first stumbled upon Islamorada while heading to Key West to experience some Hemingway / Buffett history, but stopped at Islamorada as we were fascinated by all the Tiki Bars dotted along the sand, and lets face it, there’s nothing better than feeling the sand between your toes, sipping a Rum cocktail from a coconut, while listening to the Beach Boys in the background (Kokomo moment).

Tiki Bar Islamorada

We checked into the Postcards Inn and headed straight to the Rum Runner, a Tiki inspired Tree House looking out over the blue ocean. We sat in one of the top decks sipping on local beer, and felt it appropriate to carve our names in the tree to hopefully one day come back to.

Islamorada

Rum Runner Islamorada

The Postcards Inn is a 3 story open style hotel with its own beach, marina, waterfront restaurant, swimming pool and bar and Tiki Bar.

Postcards Inn restaurant

Postcards Inn Firepit

We held up the bar one night and encouraged all to join us at the fire pit where we shared stories, bottles of Tequila and Moonshine and a few karaoke hits including John Denver’s “Take me home country roads” for the West Virginians, and Men at Works “Down Under” for us Aussies. It’s amazing how travel brings strangers together, releasing inhibitions in a unifying bond that does not discriminate or judge.

Fire pit, Karaoke and Tequila

Just over the bridge from our hotel was Robbie’s Marina where we went for a suggested “hangover” breakfast at the Hungry Tarpon, little did we know what was in store for us. The Hungry Tarpon is an unassuming Caribbean inspired, open aired cafe bar, situated at Robbie’s Marina. Our table was right on the waters edge with amazing views, and as we ate our Huevos Rancheros and Lobster Frittata, we noticed quite a commotion down by the water on the marina. Washing our breakfast down with Cuban coffee we headed over to investigate.

The Hungry Tarpon Restaurant

Robbie’s Marina

Walking through the bait and tackle shop we were stopped and charged $1 to enter the dock and sold a $3 bucket of dead fish and warned not to let the pesky Pelicans snatch them from our hands. I think the Pelicans were the least of our worries.

Pelican at Robbies Marina

Pelicans on the wharf

By the time we got to the end of the dock there was only one other couple there who mentioned we should lie down on the dock and dangle the fish over the side to hand feed the Tarpons. You have to watch the video below to get the full picture, but WOW what a buzz. These fish were huge. Ron held his dead fish out and teased the Tarpon a little, and suddenly out of know where a 6 foot Tarpon propelled out of the water taking the smelly fish and half of Ron’s arm with it. Injuries aside we repeated this for the next couple of hours, and before we knew it Ron had quite an audience of onlookers cheering for the Aussies.

Tarpon in Florida Keys

Tarpon takes hold of hand

hand bitten by tarpon

The Pelicans are annoying, and can cause some serious damage if they catch your hand when stealing a fish. As it turns out the Tarpon, who’s teeth are a bit like sandpaper, carry harmful bacteria in their mouth. Ron required some heavy duty antibiotics and still carries a scar where the bacteria ate away at his hand.

Robbie and his wife Mona have been feeding the Tarpon at the marina since 1976 and locals and tourist have flocked there ever since to continue the tradition.

I highly recommend a weekend at Postcards Islamorada with a visit to Robbie’s Marina, feeding the massive Tarpon is certainly unique, and at $4.00 for entry and feed, well within the budget. It’s sure to be a trip you will never forget.

WATCH THE VIDEO TO CATCH THE ACTION

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A JOURNEY THROUGH HAUNTED CALIFORNIA

Almost every city in the world has their own version of haunted houses, cemeteries, hospitals, streets. So on our latest trip to the US, we decided to check out a few of America’s “most” haunted. Starting in San Francisco, here is our road trip ….. A journey through Haunted California.

Journey through haunted California

1. ALCATRAZ

 

What better place to hit the road on our Ghostly adventure than San Francisco’s infamous Alcatraz. Alcatraz Island and Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary have been named as one of the most haunted places in America. Now this is a little hard to believe when you board the ferry from pier 33, with 500 other eager tourists who have each paid their $33 for the thrill, only to follow each other through the spooky corridors and tiny cells wearing headphones listening to the running commentary…. we decided to take the night tour for that little added extra spook.

Alcatraz from San Francisco

Ferry to Alcatraz

The moment we stepped off the Alcatraz ferry it felt eerie. Looking up the steep winding path, dark gloomy windows awaited us, accompanied by the almost deafening sounds of the 5000 nesting birds that hold residence on the island, and the overpowering pungent smell from the birds. We felt like we were on a movie set, it was hard to imagine that for some 30 years it housed some Americas most notorious criminals including Al “Scarface” Capone and Robert “Birdman” Stroud.

Al Capone Alcatraz

Alcatraz spooky windows

Alcatraz view of San Francisco

We gathered our headsets, and began our self guided tour through Alcatraz penitentiary. Its a fascinating place full of history, but we were more interested in the tales of those that still lurk in the shadows of the cold hallways. Alcatraz has often be called a “portal” to another dimension. Now if you allowed yourself to believe this, then it would be easy to assume that every cold breeze you felt on your back was the energy of one of the souls that came to this place and never left.

Alcatraz yard

The further we ventured into the prison the greater the sense of evil became (remember I am completely giving into it). The native Indians who first inhabited the island believed that evil was present, and as punishment some would be left alone to fight off the evil spirits sending them mad.

Alcatraz guard block

Many prison guards and some tourists have reported sightings of a women screaming and moaning in the hallways, or a man in a suit that would appear, followed by the smell of smoke.

Alcatraz cell

As we headed towards the notorious Alcatraz D Block, the most haunted area of the prison, I started to have visions of performing an exorcism on Ron to rid him of ancient Indian spirits picked up while on the tour. D Block was the isolation wing, and the place where most inmates met there often gruesome end. It was as promised, a cold, ugly, spooky place.

Alcatraz Cell Block

We spent about 2 hours exploring Alcatraz Island. My advice is firstly take the night tour, and secondly, completely give into it, the anxiety you build inside adds to the overall experience. Our rating on the spook-a-meter…. 6 out of 10.

 

2. WINCHESTER MYSTERY HOUSE

Winchester house

Next stop Winchester House, San Jose California. Born in 1840, Sarah Winchester was the wife of William Winchester, owner of the famous Winchester Rifle company. Sarah Winchester was plagued by death, her child in 1866 and her husband in 1881 from Tuberculosis. After a deep depression Sarah consulted a physic who told her that her family and fortune was haunted by the spirits of all those killed by Winchester rifles. The physic said that she needed to move to California, build the spirits a grand house, and as long as construction never ceased, she would have eternal life. And so it began. The Winchester mansion started out as an 8 room house in the Santa Clara Valley and become the 161 acre, 8 story, 160 rooms, 2000 doors, 10,000 windows, 47 stairways, 47 fireplaces, 13 bathrooms and 6 kitchens that it is today.

Winchester house ariel view

I am text blAfter Sarah’s death the house opened to the public in 1923, and various stories have since emerged of the resident ghosts that reside in the house. On walking through Winchester Mystery House as it is now known, it soon becomes evident that Sarah Winchester truly believed the house she was building did house all victims of the Winchester Riffle. Apparently she built the house with the intent to confuse the ghosts. She would never sleep in the same bed twice in a row, there are stairways that lead to nowhere, secret hidden doors and rooms, trick windows,and secret passageways hidden behind walls.ock. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Winchester House stairs to nowhere

There have been many spirit sightings, lights turning themselves on, and the often smell of chicken soup that comes from one of the kitchens that has not been visited for years.

So did we see or feel a spirit… the honest answer is no, but what a fascinating place to visit, just the sheer magnitude of Winchester House is enough to kick your imagination into gear. A great place to visit, not sure if I would like to spend a night, but so worth a visit. We took the Grand Estate Tour at $44, which also included access to the basement and many of the outer buildings.
Our rating on the spook-a-meter…. 4 out of 10

3. CREEK ROAD OJAI

 

Ill start by saying that this part of our road trip really lived up to its haunted past. Our rating on the spook-a-meter peaked at 10 out of 10. So what happened….

Ojai Valley California

We arrived at a notoriously spooky area of Creek Road Ojai at around 2pm, we drove up and down a little to take in the beautiful valley scenery before heading off to find accommodation for the night. When we checked into the motel in downtown Ojai, and asked about the legends of Creek Road, John our host, recommended that we stay away, or at least pay for our accommodation up front in case we did not return…great start.

Ghostly legends of Creek Road range from a fiery Char-Man, European Vampire, Bloodied Bride and a bus load of children that crashed under the bridge. Sightings are regular and each person we spoke to had a different story of personal experience.

Creek Road Ojai haunted bridge

We were told of a particular spot on the bridge that had the most sightings, so after dinner at 9.25pm, with much trepidation on my behalf, we headed straight back to Creek Road. On arrival we pulled over just before the bridge. We watched as a couple of cars slowly drove by, and a tourist bus that hovered around for a few minutes, then we were on our own.

Legend has it that Char Man becomes pissed off if a car parks on the bridge at night and challenges him, so that’s just what we did. Parked just before the bridge, I stayed in the car (chicken) and Ron got out and walked to the middle of the bridge guided only by the headlights from the car and sat down. As a joke I thought it would be funny to turn the headlights off, well……. I think I scared myself half to death, it was pitch black dark, and all I heard was Ron yelling….. what had I done. When my shaking fingers got the headlights back on (felt like forever), Ron was running at top speed towards the car and jumped in yelling a few choice words. I vaguely recall myself begin to yell, “hurry hurry start the car go go go”…. and off we went, all limbs in place.

Ron said that when I turned the lights off he felt a very cold shiver run down his back. Now that’s probably just what it was, a cold breeze, but add it to all the other elements going on at that time, along with the many crazy stories we heard that night and our Creek Road experience definitely tops as our most ghostly.

4. THE QUEEN MARY , LONG BEACH

Queen Mary Long Beach California

Number 4 on our haunted list was the retired ocean liner permanently docked at Long Beach, The Queen Mary. Now I’m not sure if we were just more spooked now due to our experience on Creek Road, but I truly believe that the Queen Mary is without a doubt a haunted ship, where the dead may not always rest in peace. The Queen Mary is now a restored hotel with several restaurants and a ship museum. She made her maiden voyage in 1936, and had 31 years to gather the hoard of spooks that many say roam the hallways, the first class swimming pool and inhabit room B340. To get us in the mood prior to boarding for our 2 night stay, we watched the following video….. probably not such a good idea.

Now as Im sure you can imagine, that video freaked me out. I spent much of the two days asking staff members and other passengers if they had had any encounters, but I got most of my answers during our ghost tour on the second evening.

The Queen Mary has a lot of recorded history as far as death goes. In total there are 49 recorded deaths (16 crew and 31 passengers) and that does not include 331 sailors that perished in 1942 when she collided with the Curacoa, causing it to sink and taking the sailors to there watery grave.

It is widely believed that the ghosts of the dead cannot escape the Queen Mary as they are enclosed by so much steel that it keeps them trapped inside. There are a few areas of the ship that have been reported as “most haunted”.

Queen Mary at night

The Bow area is the part of the ship that struck the doomed “Curacoa”. It has been reported that engineers aboard have heard noises that sound like the hull being ripped apart followed by the sounds of men screaming.

Watertight Door 13, where a man was locked in by a bunch of sailors and was crushed to death, is said to be haunted by the said man who paces the hallway just outside the door.

Queen Mary long hall

Cabin B340, where a lady was murdered. Prior to the cabin being closed, passengers reported being woken during the night by a voice saying “get out”, or the bed sheet being torn from the bed. The cabin has since been reopened, but only for the purpose of visiting during the ghost tours.

Cabin B340 Queen Mary

The First class swimming pool. Two drownings occurred here, one a young child named Jackie and another women. Jackie can often be heard singing and giggling and apparently will often perform for visiting guests. During this part of the tour unfortunately Jackie must have been sleeping, nether the less, the whole area creeped me out.

The Changing rooms. This is one of the most haunted areas in the ship, and from personal experience, gains a 9/10 on our spook a meter. Having already watched the You Tube video of the girl hiding in one of the rooms, we were not surprised to hear that a young women, Sara, was brutally murdered here. The hairs on the back on my neck stood on end, and I really could not wait to get out of there. The lady that was conducting the tour said that she had witnessed shadows crossing the halls, and faint crying from inside the change rooms. It was dark, it was creepy and I was scared.

Queen Mary

Overall our experience on board the ship was amazing and I am glad that we did it. A bunch of tourist did get stuck in the lift for 2 hours while we were there, and many joked that the spirits were playing games….. who knows. As I mentioned before, our experience on board the Queen Mary definitely gains a solid 9/10 on our spook-a-meter.

 

5. HOTEL DEL CORONADO

 

Firstly I would like to comment that this landmark hotel, this beach and this area of the Californian coast, truly is a magical place. As you step onto the beach the first thing you notice is that the beach sparkles….. literally. Due to the tiny flecks of pyrite that have been washed down the Tijuana River from the neighbouring Mexican mountains, the sands is ablaze with millions of tiny glitter flecks that love to stick to your skin. For this reason Coronado beach has been voted as Americas most beautiful beach. So far not so spooky, but we had yet to check into our very expensive hotel, Hotel Del Coronado.

Hotel Del Coronado

The Hotel Del Coronado was built in 1888 and was considered an architectural masterpiece. With a guest list including Marilyn Monroe ….. It was and still is frequented by the worlds rich and famous, and if you have a few hundred spare dollars, you to can stay at The Del, starting at around $350 per night, it certainly is a special occasion place, but one that we were keen to visit.

On arrival we quizzed the reception staff about its so called resident Ghost “Kate Morgan”.  We were told that she is most definitely real and has been seen, heard and felt by many of the hotel guests and staff. The most haunted part of the hotel is a section on the third floor, and house keeping now work in pairs when cleaning that are of The Del. With a slight smirk on her face, the receptionist informed us that room 3327, Kate Morgans room, was actually vacant that night, we could book if we liked but could not swap once we took it. Well unfortunately my nerves got the better of me and we decided that at $420 for the night, we would not to stay in room 3327.  Later that evening we went for a walk to that area of the hotel and meet a young couple who obviously had better nerves than we did as they had booked the room, after a few laughs we arranged to meet them for breakfast the following morning to discuss their experience.

Room 3327 Hotel Del Coronado

At breakfast Adam and Lola told us their evening was basically uneventful. They did however have someone knock at the door of their room at around 3am and found no one to be on the other side. This happened twice and apparently they were told by security that they cannot control when Kate comes a knocking….

So apart from the history and spectacular beauty of this hotel, it did not rate on our spook-a-meter.  Perhaps it will on yours.

At the end of our self guided ghostly tour of California, I can honestly say that although we had an amazing journey, and the road trip itself was as exciting as the 5 locations visited, I am not sure that I am anymore the believer of ghosts than I was at the beginning of the trip. It was however an unbelievable road trip and one that you must take, you never know you may just have a story to tell yourself.


THE MISSION RANCH, CARMEL CALIFORNIA

Nothing speaks romance, art and culture more than the picturesque Californian Sea side town of Carmel-By-The-Sea. Rated a top 10 destination in the US, the small town of Carmel is located on California’s Monterey Peninsular, a short 2 hour drive from San Francisco along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway. Half the fun of visiting Carmel-By-The-Sea is getting there.

Mission Ranch Hotel Carmel California

If leaving from San Francisco, leave early as there is a lot to see on the way. Heading Southwest on the Cabrillo Highway will take you along the Coast road to what should be your first stop, Half Moon Bay.

Mavericks California

Half Moon Bay is an easy 45 min coastal drive from San Francisco. There are lots of scenic viewpoints to stop at along the way, but the reason most people flock to Half Moon Bay is for the famous Surf spot Mavericks, where the waves routinely crest at between 8 and 18m high.

surfing Mavericks

Getting a look at the big waves is not an easy task as you need to take an uneasy walk around the cliff edge. We did this during massive winds which proved too difficult and had to turn back.

The walk to view Mavericks

Leaving Half Moon Bay, next stop Santa Cruz where you can opt to visit the Natural Bridges State Park or the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for some old fashioned fun. Ride the historic 92 year old wooden roller coaster and grab your authentic Santa Cruz singlet.

Santa Cruz Roller Coaster

This is a good spot to stop for lunch. We visited Aldo’s Harbour Restaurant and had amazing Clam Chowder in Bread Rolls.

Clam Chowder

Just short of reaching Carmel you have a choice to continue along the highway or take the 17 Mile Drive, a winding road that leads through exclusive neighbourhoods and magnificent coastal views to the beautiful Pebble Beach. Exit the scenic drive at the Carmel Gate and you have made it to the quaint little town of Carmel with beautiful fairy-tale cottages, arty tea houses, boutique shops and plenty of BnB’s to choose from. Our choice, the luxurious Mission Ranch.

The Mission Ranch was saved by Clint Eastwood and restored to its original beauty. A stay at the Ranch is an unforgettable, and expensive, experience. We took cover there during a fierce storm but was comforted by the open fire place, spa bath and comfortable California King bed. In the morning, after the storm passed, we were able to truly appreciate the magic of our surrounds. The grazing sheep and roaming deer amongst the cottages, and the smell of the ocean greeted us on our walk to the barn for breakfast.

The Mission Ranch, is in itself a bucket list destination. We give it a 9/10.

The Sitting area at The Mission Ranch


LAS VEGAS

VIVA LAS VEGAS

Last year Australia had 7,502,900 international visitors, the city of Las Vegas had 40 million.

Much has been said about Las Vegas, the opulence and extravaganza of the strip are a sensory overload to beat no other, but love it or hate it, it is sure to fill both your Facebook pages and dinner table conversations with exciting fun filled stories. So what has Sin City got to offer an Aussie so far away from home.

Las Vegas

I have been to Vegas 5 times now. With my 12 year old daughter in 2006, my sister Kate in 2007, with hubby Ron in 2011 & 13 and finally in 2015 when Ron and I went with my brother and his finance so they could get married “Vegas Style”. Each trip just as exhilarating and adrenaline pumping as the last.

The Hotels

 

The Las Vegas Strip is 7 kilometres of elaborate themed hotels, which you first spot when the plane is in its final stages of decent. Each time I have flown in I find myself whipping my head from side to side to see what I can spot, the tall sleekness of the Stratosphere, the pyramid shape of the Luxor, the sexy curves of Aria, the best decent being at night when the strip really comes to life, lighting up the desert sky with all its dazzling neon glory.kilometres of elaborate themed hotels, which you first spot when the plane is in its final stages of decent. Each time I have flown in I find myself whipping my head from side to side to see what I can spot, the tall sleekness of the Stratosphere, the pyramid shape of the Luxor, the sexy curves of Aria, the best decent being at night when the strip really comes to life, lighting up the desert sky with all its dazzling neon glory.

Night View Las Vegas

Notable hotels include The Bellagio with its 8 acres of dancing water fountains, the 7000 roomed Venetian Hotel, where Gondolas will take you on a singing boat ride through the man made canals of the 500,000 sq ft Grand Canal Shoppes, and Mandalay Bay Hotel which has an 11 acre beach and lazy pool complex, complete with its own waterslides, which in the eyes of a 12 year old Aussie is a major OMG moment.

Jayde at Mandalay Bay Pool

The Venetian Canal

The Venetian and Paris Hotels

The Bellagio dancing fountain

And my favourite, Aria Resort. We opt for the basic Deluxe room, which by no means is basic. For a mere $129 per night (this does change weekly), we had a 520 sq ft room with a modern 3 room granite bathroom, massive round soaking tub, computerised smart connectivity hub that will open and close your curtains and do just about anything in your room from the comfort of your amazing custom California King plush bed. The resort is conveniently located right in the middle of the Strip, and the pool side Margaritas, in my opinion are the best in town.
TIP: Take the $30 early checkin option. It allows you to skip the queues, which in a hotel with 4004 rooms can be very lengthy, collect your key at the VIP counter and head straight for your room.

Aria Resort

Pool side Margaritas at Aria Resort

The Food

 

I must confess that I do travel to eat. Las Vegas is now home to over 13 Michelin Star rated restaurants including the famed Nobu, Guy Savoy and Joel Robuchon, Michelin Stars aside, the food in Vegas is out of this world.restaurants including the famed Nobu, Guy Savoy and Joel Robuchon, Michelin Stars aside, the food in Vegas is out of this world.

Joel Robuchon at MGM Grand. Visiting this restaurant was high on our bucket list, and achieved while on our honeymoon in 2013. The meal consisted of a 16 course journey, and it did not disappoint, at $450pp you would hope not. It was all that we had expected, tasty, unique and decadent, from the array of breads presented on the bread trolly, appetisers, entrees, cheese and dessert trolly. There was even a choice of what herbs you wanted in your tea, truly a once in a lifetime experience. Our final bill for 2 people, $1100.

Entrance to Joel Robuchon

Gordon Ramsay’s Steak at Paris Hotel. As we did not prebook we could not get a table in the restaurant, but were told that we could line up at 5pm and take a table in the bar area. I am an avid fan of Gordon Ramsay and was not going to miss out, so we opted for the bar table. It was fantastic, the decor was modern and chic, and we were able to interact with other diners. From watching Hells Kitchen for years, i was very excited to try the famous Beef Wellington and it did not disappoint, tender, perfectly cooked and probably the best mash I have ever tasted. Together with appetisers, shared dessert and a bottle of wine our bill for 2 people $380.prebook we could not get a table in the restaurant, but were told that we could line up at 5pm and take a table in the bar area. I am an avid fan of Gordon Ramsay and was not going to miss out, so we opted for the bar table. It was fantastic, the decor was modern and chic, and we were able to interact with other diners. From watching Hells Kitchen for years, i was very excited to try the famous Beef Wellington and it did not disappoint, tender, perfectly cooked and probably the best mash I have ever tasted. Together with appetisers, shared dessert and a bottle of wine our bill for 2 people $380.i was very excited to try the famous Beef Wellington and it did not disappoint, tender, perfectly cooked and probably the best mash I have ever tasted. Together with appetisers, shared dessert and a bottle of wine our bill for 2 people $380.

Entrance to Gordon Ramsay Steak

Beef Wellington at Gordon Ramsay Steak

Gordon Ramsay Steak

Tacos and Tequila at The Luxor. After travelling for 30 hours jet lag had set in, all we wanted was some tasty food and a cold beer when we ended up at Tacos and Tequila. Carlos our waiter was awesome and made the experience even more enjoyable. He recommended the Queso Fundido, basically melted cheese with chile and Chorizo, it was unlike anything we had ever had and really hit the spot, coupled with Fajitas, jugs of Margaritas, beers and Tequila Flights, a perfect start to our trip. The atmosphere was exciting and was really starting to amp up when we left for a much needed sleep. Our bill for 4 people, $170.

Queso Fundido at Tacos and Tequila

Tacos and Tequila

Our Awesome Waiter Carlos

Finally I cannot forget to mention the Las Vegas Buffets, in particular my favourite Bacchanal buffet at Caesars Palace. This buffet is a massive 25,000 sq ft restaurant with 9 open kitchens serving over 500 items each day with seating for 600 and overlooks the Garden of the Gods pool complex.
Tip; Don’t plan to go at 5/6pm when all the families are lining up to get in, the food doesn’t run out so get there a bit later to avoid the crowds.

Bacchanal Buffet

The wine bars

 

If you are like me you will have a favourite bottle of wine, which you visit regularly. When you do venture outside of your regular bottle, you will often become disheartened that you spent that $20 – $50 on a substandard bottle that was not to your liking….. enter the wine bar.

 

Vegas is home to several wine bars that offer a huge array of exceptional wines by the bottle, glass or small pour. The Double Helix Wine and Whiskey Bar at the Palazzo, has about 100 wines on the menu with over 40 offered by the glass or wine flight, as does The Wine Cellar and Tasting Room at Rio with an amazing 10,000 bottles of wine valued at over $10 million dollars, and more than 100 wines offered by the glass, including Australia’s Penfold’s Grange. You can hang out at the bar and be entertained by the knowledgable wine stewards like we did, or sit back and relax on the luxurious leather couches. Another notable mention is the Hostile Grape at M Resort, with over 160 wines offered in small pours from the unique dispensing system. Simply purchase a card and help yourself.

The Hostile Grape

The Wine Cellar and Tasting Room

Wine Flight

Tapas at Hostile Grape

However my favourite is La Cave Wine and Food Hideaway at Wynn. As we entered the venue it felt like we were entering an underground hidden wine cellar in France, it is decked out with candles on pillars, leather couches, quiet nooks for romancing, wine walls and an intimate level of edgy music that wont offend. We spent about 3 hours there, and slowly worked our way through part of the tapas menu, and about 20 small pours of wine. The atmosphere was so laid-back yet exciting that it brought people out of their shells (or perhaps that was the wine), and new friendships were formed. This wine bar is unique and gets a 10/10 from me.

Tapas at La Cave

La Cave

The Shows

 

Britney, Ariana, Elton, Rod Stewart, David Guetta, the list goes on and on. Cirque du Soleil now has 8 shows in Vegas. We went and saw Criss Angel Believe at the Luxor, apart from the impressive custom motor bike display as you walk in, the show itself was boring, tired and full of lame jokes and sexual innuendos. The same went for Peepshow, The dancers were amazing as was the set and effects, but Holly Madison…. Hmmmmm. On a whole a Cirque du Soleil show is worth going to, my pick if you like all the acrobatics, smoke and fire is KA. Check online reviews before forking out any money..motor bike display as you walk in, the show itself was boring, tired and full of lame jokes and sexual innuendos. The same went for Peepshow, The dancers were amazing as was the set and effects, but Holly Madison…. Hmmmmm. On a whole a Cirque du Soleil show is worth going to, my pick if you like all the acrobatics, smoke and fire is KA. Check online reviews before forking out any money.is KA. Check online reviews before forking out any money.

Peepshow with Holly Madison

Activities

 

There is so much to do in Vegas that I could start an entire blog on the subject. From driving exotic cars on a race track, Helicopter flights from Vegas to the Grand Canyon, roller coasters and zip lines from tops of buildings or getting married by Elvis, Vegas has it all. One of the craziest things I have ever seen (thats seen and not done), was the Sky Jump located on top of the Stratosphere Hotel. People literally leap off a platform and plummet in a controlled free fall 829 feet to the ground, all while being watched by people on the viewing station inside. Purely for the brave.

Stratosphere

Stratosphere Sky Jump

Stratosphere Sky Jump

And if all else fails, grab a stool at the Cabo Wabo Bar, order a Tequila flight, bucket of beer and a side of wings, and people watch, its fascinating.

Cabo Wabo Bar

Tequila Flight

So thats it, many of the reasons why I love Las Vegas, and in a city that has approximately 200,000 slot machines, I did not mention gambling once. Vegas is not for everyone, it is what you make it, and with so many options, one thing I can confirm is that each visit, each person, each blog will have an entirely different experience when hitting the strip. Add it to your bucket list, you wont regret it.

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Good times