USA Road Trip – Day 14 – Home Time

Our final day in San Francisco and our final day of the road trip!

We all woke up feeling a bit hungover and also sad that it was our final day. The past 2 weeks had flown by but also felt like we had been away months as we had visited so many different places and experienced so much.

We decided to start the day at Taylor Street Coffee Shop. This place has rave reviews online and seemed the place to go for breakfast. It’s tiny and we had to wait for a table but the food was delicious, more English breakfast and omelettes rather than the American traditions such as pancakes but would definitely recommend if you are in the area and need a place for quick food.

From here we had to head back to the hotel to pack up and check out, always the worst trying to squeeze everything back into your suitcases! Thankfully the hotel looked after our luggage for us so we could have one last walk around before heading to the airport.

We all decided to pop back to the shops just in case we had forgotten something or found a last minute deal. We also did the touristy thing and posed with the cable cars! Then finally we popped to a sushi restaurant for lunch where the food was so good and such good value!

Then it was sadly time to get a cab to the airport ready for our 11 hour flight back home to London.

It had been the absolute best 2 weeks away and I would love to do another USA road trip in the future – The Deep South, North California and East Coast are definitely on my bucket list!

Love, Chloe xxx

USA Road Trip – Day 13 – San Francisco has us now!

We woke up from a well deserved lie in and decided to eat breakfast/brunch at the little café next door to the hotel, American pancakes with all the syrup are the best!

Originally our plan was to hire bikes and ride over the Golden Gate Bridge, but unfortunately the weather had other ideas – cold, wet and grey. Not really the weather for bike riding or taking in the views. We were also pretty tired from late nights and busy days so we decided to take the day at our leisure.

After brunch the boys decided they wanted to check out the gym and pool at the hotel, so Megs and I took this as the perfect opportunity to go shopping! Our hotel was walking distance to Westfield Mall so it would have been rude not to take a look!

I don’t know what it is about American Malls or Outlets but they are just so much better than anything the UK has to offer plus everything is so much cheaper! This mall was huge with every shop imaginable. Of course I spent most of my time in Bath and Body Works (Seriously when will they open one in the UK?!) We could have easily spent all day there but we had to get back so we could find something fun to do all together for the rest of the day.

We met Matt & Fraser and decided to get a taxi to Fishermans Wharf. Along the bay From Pier 39, you still get a view of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge however this area of San Francisco felt very touristy and like a British seaside town (not that there is anything wrong with that!)

We looked around the souvenir shops and then found Musée Mécanique – a small museum filled with antique arcade games and quirky artefacts. It was a bit creepy but also fun to play the old games and try to beat each other at the racing games.

Even though the weather wasn’t the best we decided to walk from Fishermans Wharf to Lombard Street – the famous steep road with 8 hairpin turns! I thought it was one of those things you should see and get a nice photo of. Unfortunately as we were there in March it wasn’t in full bloom like I had seen in pictures, instead it was super busy and pretty hard to walk to – just working off those pancakes! But still look at this road and imagine living on it!

As we hadn’t done enough walking for the day haha, we then decided to walk back to the wharf and then all along the marina to the yacht club. We thought there may have been a nice place to stop for a drink or something but we couldn’t find anything. By this point it was super windy and cold and we just needed somewhere to rest our legs and have a bite to eat and some drinks, so we took to trusty google maps and walked inland towards The Tipsy Pig.

The Tipsy Pig was just what we needed, a modern but homely bar/restaurant and we seemed to be the only ones there, well I guess it was 4pm on a Wednesday! We were a little peckish so decided to order some snacks to share – Macaroni Cheese, Cheese & onion biscuits (like scones) with dips and of course fried shrimp – it was all so delicious! We also had a round of cocktails.

We said we were only going to stop for a break, a drink and a snack, but as it was so welcoming and all so delicious and I had bought a pack of cards with me (always prepared) we ended up staying for hours. Sampling even more cocktails and playing card games. What holidays (vacations) are all about!

Before we knew it, it was gone 8pm and dark! So we decided to get a taxi back to the Sports Bar we went to on our first night. We befriended some American guys and spent the evening playing shuffleboard against them and drinking even more cocktails!

A great spontaneous day, Love Chloe xxx

USA Road Trip – Day 12 – Alcatraz, Seafood & Basketball

We had to get up super early for our first full day in San Fran, as we had booked tickets for the first boat over to Alcatraz Island, so we needed to be at the marina for 8.30am! Thank goodness for cold pizza haha, but we also managed to grab a couple of hot drinks & muffins for the 12 mins boat trip over as it was pretty chilly at that time of the morning!

We were the first group of the day on Alcatraz Island and it was so nice to experience it all when it was relatively empty and quiet. As the longer we stayed, the more people that joined (as I think the boats bought people over roughly every half an hour) so I would definitely recommend visiting early in the morning as the island and prison are pretty small so it starts to feel quite cramped by lunchtime. Also book your tickets way in advance as they do sell out!

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We did an audio tour of the prison and it was so interesting but a bit creepy! We also met a former Alcatraz prisoner, William Baker which was really exciting as there are only 2 Alcatraz Prisoners left as the prison closed in the 1960’s. So he had lots of stories to tell!

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We got the boat back to San Fran around 12.45pm and then walked to Pier 39 which is quite famous as it has lots of shops and restaurants and also seals lay on the deck there so everyone goes to see them, they were pretty cute!

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We had lunch reservations at Fog Harbour Fish House and the food was absolutely amazing, I think we tried most things on the menu and the chowder was so delicious! We also had a great view of Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge.

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After lunch we mooched around the local shops and enjoyed the weather as it was really sunny but not as hot as the previous places we had visited. We then went back to our hotel and chilled for a bit, well Matt and I had a nap haha.

That evening we got a taxi to a place called Oakland which is over the bridge from San Fran as we had tickets to a Golden State Warriors basketball match. This was such a fun evening as its quite a fast game and there is always something going on like music and cheerleaders etc, so we all had a really good time, watching the game, drinking and dancing.

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We finally got back to the hotel about midnight! A long but amazing full day in San Francisco.

Love Chloe xxx

USA Road Trip – Day 11 – San Francisco

It was a bittersweet moment waking up on Monday morning. We were excited to fly to San Francisco and enjoy yet another new place, however we were sad at 1. giving the car back as it had been so much fun driving around and exploring hidden places and 2. It was the last stop of our trip and we felt like our time had just flown by!

I loved staying at The Garland hotel it felt like you were a million World’s away from the craziness of Hollywood even though you were only 10 minutes away and I really wish we could have stayed longer. I think if I were to ever come back to LA I would only want to stay here. We packed up, ate one last breakfast, said goodbye to the pool area and made our way to the car hire shop to begrudgingly give the car back.

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From the car hire building we got on a shuttle bus to the airport. The traffic was crazy (LA traffic is constantly crazy!) and we must of crawled for about an hour to get to our terminal building, I honestly think we could have walked faster! and then once we were finally through and into the terminal building our flight was delayed! Not a great start to our final location however it just adds to the adventure! Or so they say 😉

Luckily the flight from LA to San Francisco is only 50 minutes so by the time we took off it felt like we were ready to land again and I was starting to feel excited about our final adventure.

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We would have loved to have driven this final part of the journey and I know many people who have done this and said it’s amazing but unfortunately we just didn’t have the time. If we were to ever do something like this again I would definitely love to drive this part and explore more of Northern California.

Once we had landed in San Fran, we jumped in a cab to our Hotel – Handlery Union Square which is right in the centre of the city. It was weird to be surrounded by high rise buildings and be back in the craziness of the city when we had spent the last week surrounded by beaches and feeling pretty chilled out.

The hotel was in a perfect location though as we could walk to all the shops and restaurants, so after we had checked in and checked out our rooms we decided to go for a little wander and check out our new neighbourhood.

We ended up in a place called Tap Rooms, a really cool American Sports bar, with all the beers you could imagine and all the American games ready to play such as foosball and shuffleboard. The walls were covered in screens showing all of the sports imaginable. The boys were very happy and myself and Megs enjoyed relaxing over a few drinks. Then we decided to try and beat the boys at shuffleboard!

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We were having so much fun that we hadn’t even noticed the time but the boys were telling us it was time for dinner. Megs and Fraser decided that they fancied sushi and Matt and I fancied pizza, so after numerous meals together we decided to go our separate ways and after having a quick look on google Matt found that Tony’s Pizzas was the place to go.

We jumped in a cab and made our way to Tony’s where we were greeted with a bit of a queue , a queue that went out onto the pavement! It seemed like it was a pretty popular place and we were told that it would be roughly a 45 minute wait but that we could visit the surrounding bars and they would text us when our table was ready. We were happy with that and popped across the road to a bar for a few drinks. It was quite nice to have a bit of a date night just the 2 of us and explore our new surroundings.

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Back at Tony’s we were seated in a cosy corner of the restaurant and couldn’t help but look at all the awards which the chefs had won and the celebrities which had visited, it seemed like we had chosen the right place to go for pizza!

The menu is pretty big but they only make a certain amount of each pizza a day. So the original pizza I chose had already sold out but the waitress happily helped me pick another one and I wasn’t disappointed. I can’t remember the exact pizzas we chose but mine had crispy kale on top which was delicious! The pizzas were so huge though that we couldn’t finish them so we took them back to the hotel in take away boxes. I love that about America how you can get anything boxed up to take away.

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A fun first night in a new city and ready for more adventures tomorrow!

Love Chloe xxx

USA Road Trip – Day 10 – Lazy Days & Crazy Nights

As we had visited a lot of beaches and had seen the sights of Hollywood, originally our plan for Sunday was to spend the day at Universal Studios. However after having a bit of a crazy one the night before and all feeling slightly hungover and tired, we decided on a lazy pool day instead.

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Even though we had enjoyed the odd beach afternoon or a couple hours downtime, the majority of the trip so far had been go, go, go. Not that we were complaining as we were having the best time, but there is no better feeling knowing that you have no plans and can just take the day as you please.

I was quite jealous when I found out Megs and Fraser had enjoyed breakfast in bed, but Matt and I had already found a good spot around the very chilled out pool area and I was enjoying a snooze in the sunshine. (oh how I wish England would have reliable weather, sunbathing in March – the dream!)

We had lunch at the pool bar, which was so yummy and needed and then spent the afternoon either chilling in the hot tub, reading a book on a lounger or playing bat and ball in the pool.

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By early evening we were feeling revived and decided we should do something fun for our last evening in LA. So after a quick change we decided to get the free shuttle bus from the hotel to Universal Studios which was only 10 minutes up the road from us.

We had left it too late to actually visit the theme park, however they still have the CityWalk, which is an all day, all night entertainment area, which includes restaurants, bars, shops, nightclub and cinema.

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We had a little walk around and went into a few shops and then decided to pop into Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville for a drink and a game of cards (as was tradition on this trip) the cocktails were delicious and we ended up staying a little longer than we first expected as it was just so nice and chilled.

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It was starting to get dark when our thoughts turned to dinner. We could have stayed put but we wanted to have a little explore and see what else was on offer.

There were so many food outlets to chose from however nothing was taking our fancy, also a lot of the options were fast food places and we wanted something a little nicer than that. We made our way over to Tony Roma’s as we had heard it was meant to be quite nice place for ribs and steaks etc however while waiting in the queue for a table, we didn’t really like the atmosphere of the place it felt hectic and the food just looked like fast food. So we left still umming and ahhing about where to go. We ended up walking right to the front of CityWalk and found Saddle Ranch Chop House. It looked fun with its cowboy theme and mechanical bulls and there wasn’t much of a wait so we thought we would give it a go.

Unfortunately though we were sat right at the back of the restaurant (this is a huge place) and there wasn’t really anyone else around us. It really lacked any atmosphere (it all seemed to be out the front) and we were surrounded by creepy looking cowboy themed waxworks. There was a moment where we decided to leave this place too however we just couldn’t decide where we wanted to go and didn’t want to aimlessly walk around again, so decided to stick it out. Hoping for some good BBQ food.

In fairness my ribs and sweet potato fries were delicious however the rest of the group didn’t have dinners to rave about but they were nice. In hindsight we wished we had just gone to Hard Rock Cafe!

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We declined desserts and decided to go for another look around the shops we had missed the first time around, before heading back to the hotel, to enjoy wine under the stars and play perudo. THE game of the holiday.

Love, Chloe xx

USA Road Trip – Day 5 – Let the Driving Begin…

We all had mixed feelings about leaving Las Vegas. We had had so much fun over the past few days and had managed to fit so much in, that we didn’t really want to leave. However we also couldn’t wait to start the rest of our trip and explore new places.

We had planned on visiting the Aria Buffet for breakfast as one last Vegas treat, however the wait time for a table was roughly an hour and we just didn’t have the time to wait for that long. So instead we headed to the Aria Cafe for a quick bite to eat and then said our farewells to the strip, as we got a cab to the hire car building to prepare for the next part of the trip.

The car hire guy was so friendly and helpful and actually upgraded our car to something bigger than originally booked when he noticed how many bags we had and how big our suitcases were! So we ended up with what we called The Wagon, a huge Chevrolet Suburban – typically American and very exciting for our trip ahead.

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Suitcase Tetris! 

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Trusty Sat Nav

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Megs excited for the next adventure 

Ready to hit the road, Matt was the first to drive. Our plan was to drive the 4 hours to Palm Springs for lunch and to explore the area and then continue on the further 3 hour drive to San Diego.

We were told to follow this road for 147 miles!!

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It was so fascinating driving from Las Vegas into the middle of nowhere. We would go miles without seeing a thing apart from a few plants or a dusty track leading to somewhere else and then randomly we would see the odd hotel and we even saw a theme park, which just seemed so crazy as we had no idea who would visit.

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After a couple of hours on the road we stopped in a little town called Barstow, to get petrol and stock up on a few road trip snacks! Then Fraser took over the driving to Palm Springs.

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The views upon arriving in Palm Springs were amazing, palm tree upon palm tree and with a hazy sunshine mist it looked like we had stepped into the 1970’s. It was also really quiet, no one seemed to be about and the streets were empty.

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We had a little look around but nothing seemed to be that busy or open it was actually a little eerie. So we decided to find a place for lunch. We stumbled across a little cafe called The Sandwich Shop which as you can imagine had every style of sandwich imaginable and they were happy for you to mix and match creations and they even had all their own secret sauces.

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I opted for The French Open – Marinated Chicken, Hot Sauce and bleu cheese dressing. My favourite! We decided to sit inside and enjoy our spread, the sandwiches were delicious but huge, I could only manage half of mine!

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I’m unsure if it was just a bit out of season (Coachella was happening a few weeks after we left – if only we had planned better!) or if Palm Springs is just sleepy but it looked beautiful and I wish we had spent longer there or even just stayed for 1 night just to find out what it’s really like when it comes alive.

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The Wagon

I decided to drive to San Diego, I was a little nervous to begin with 1. because I had never driven on the wrong side of the road before and 2. because the car was so huge! I quickly got used to it though and we were soon making our way through little towns, watching the ever changing views and eventually watching the sun set.

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Tired after over 7 hours on the road, we finally arrived at Hotel Handlery.

We couldn’t wait to be greeted with a friendly smile, a big comfy bed and a nice restaurant to walk to. Unfortunately this wasn’t quite the case. I won’t go into full details but lets just say they couldn’t find us on their booking system, we had to wait around for a long time in the hotel reception and bar area which was very messy and hadn’t been tidied after a large group of people left, when we finally got keys to our rooms – the rooms were not as advertised and the service overall was just poor.

By this point it was almost 9pm, so all 4 of us went back down to reception to ask where we could walk to for dinner, they told us that nothing was in walking distance and that everything pretty much closed at 9pm! Instead of crying we laughed it off and walked over to the bar/restaurant area which was next to the reception area, only to be told that if we wanted food we needed to order it now as the kitchen closed at 9pm and that the bar would be closing shortly after. We couldn’t understand why everything closed so early but rules are rules, so we quickly ordered a few dishes to share along with 2 bottles of wine and a round of vodkas, well it had been a stressful evening after a very long journey!

We found the cleanest table we could, waited for our food and drinks to arrive, played cards and decided to forget about the events of the evening, hoping that things would look a lot better in the morning!

Love, Chloe xx

 

 

 

USA Road Trip – Day 4 – Final Day in Las Vegas!

After an amazing sleep in the comfiest bed (I swear Vegas hotels all have the best beds and bedding!) We woke up ready to explore more of Vegas, plus the sun was back shining once again, hooray!

We decided to walk to The Bellagio Hotel to check out their buffet breakfast, with a little jay walking along the way oops!

The Bellagio is a stunning hotel, with gorgeous floral displays and grandeur so we were expecting good things from the buffet. Unfortunately this wasn’t quite the case. It is a little old fashioned and even though the food options were good, the quality wasn’t as good as the buffets at The Wynn or Aria. Also the service was pretty slow.

After breakfast Megs and Fraser decided to explore more of the strip, however Matt and I decided to get a cab to downtown Las Vegas as we had never visited before and I really wanted to see the original old school Vegas.

Freemont Street was eerily quiet when we arrived. It was great to see all the original casinos and hotels such as The Golden Nugget and 4 Queens, however it really lacked any atmosphere. I guess it is a place best enjoyed in the evening when it is all lit up and really comes alive.

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We walked around and had a bit of a gamble but it didn’t take too long to explore it all. We wanted to try out the Slotzilla – A zip wire which goes over the casinos but unfortunately it wasn’t open.

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I really do think that we went too early in the day. So we decided to jump in a cab and head to the outlets which we had noticed on our way to downtown. Outlets in America are too good to resist!

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After a little bit of shopping we found Megs and Fraser, as we had booked to do an Escape Room with Countdown Live Escape Games.

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We had the choice of 3 different rooms; one horror, one sci fi and one Sherlock Holmes themed, we decided on the latter. You basically get locked in a themed room and you have 1 hour to look through everything, solve the clues and escape the room. Overall it was a lot of fun, but at times I did get a bit fed up as I found it tricky and not as easy as I thought it would be! However we did end up making it out with 5 minutes to spare!

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I have no idea why I look like I’ve just gotten out of bed!!

Afterwards we decided to head back to the strip to watch the Bellagio Fountains hourly show. It’s so clever and mesmerising and I love how they have different displays depending on the song. In 2012 Matt and I stayed at the Bellagio hotel and I loved being able to watch the fountains from our bedroom window.

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After a busy day we decided it was time for a cocktail and a bite to eat, so we popped into PBR Rock Bar and Grill, as we kept passing it and thought it looked like fun. It shows a lot of sport but also plays rock music and has a bucking bronco. We sat in the indoor garden area which has fake grass and picnic benches.

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Of course I ordered my usual frozen strawberry daiquiri. Then just look at these fries! Crispy fries topped with oosey cheese, crispy bacon bits and drizzled with buffalo sauce, yum!

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After the days adventures we decided to head back to our hotel to get ready for our last evening in Las Vegas.

Megs and Fraser decided to go for a Sushi dinner and they saw Zumanity which is an amazing Cirque Show.

Matt and I had late dinner reservations at TAO restaurant which is located inside The Venetian hotel. The hotel itself is very grand and luxurious and TAO brings Asia to Italy. The atmosphere is great, and with seats opposite the giant Buddha we were in good company. Our waiter was so enthusiastic and helpful and the food was amazing we shared dishes including satay chicken, tempura shrimp and miso glazed seabass.

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After dinner we decided to go for a look around the Venetian and ended up having a little gamble in their casino before calling it a night.

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Vegas once again you were amazing but it was time to begin the road trip…

Love, Chloe xx

USA Road Trip – Day 3 – It’s all about the food!

All completely wiped out from the day & night before, I think we finally surfaced around midday – hungry, hungover and in need of some fresh air.

We took a stroll along the strip from The Aria towards the New York New York Hotel. We were definitely hit with fresh air as it was a lot windier and a bit cooler than the day before.

We had barely got a start on our walk when we stumbled across Double Barrel Road House. Our bellies took over and insisted we check it out as the smell of BBQ sauce couldn’t be resisted.

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Feeling pretty ravenous, myself and Megs decided to go for American BBQ at its finest –  pulled pork, crispy fried chicken and lots of french fries. The boys on the other hand ordered salads…with a huge side of nachos! The food was delicious and just what we needed.

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Full of delicious food, we strolled along the front of NYNY and then decided to pop inside to take a look around. Since planning the trip, Megs had said that she really wanted to ride the NYNY roller coaster, so we went up to the arcade area to check it out. Me being the complete child I am (If you have read my honeymoon blogs you will know I’m not the biggest fan of big rides) decided that I would wait with all the bags, while the other 3 rode.

I went for a little stroll and then watched the roller coaster from the outside. It’s pretty cool how it goes through the hotel and then all around the outside of it.

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About half an hour went by and I was back in the arcade area where I said I would meet them but they weren’t there. I thought they would have been off it by that time as the queue wasn’t that big but it turns out the roller coaster had stopped running due to the high winds (it stops quite often because of the winds) so you could either wait for it to start again (no one knew how long this would be) or you could get a refund, which is what the guys did, as they didn’t want to waste all day in a queue for something they may or may not get to ride.

We decided to carry on our walk along the strip to Excalibur Hotel and then crossed over to the shops like M&M World and the Nike Store. The weather was getting colder and windier and there was even rain in the air. I didn’t know that Vegas experienced rain!

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We took cover inside Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile Shops and it would have been rude not to have a look around the shops.

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I also wanted to try the famous Fat Tuesdays frozen cocktails. Everywhere we went I saw people with them and they just looked so delicious and when on holiday you have to indulge with cocktails!

Fat Tuesdays is a simple hole in the wall drinks retailer but they have so many amazing flavours and you can mix and match and get anything from a shot all the way through to a huge super cup. After taking in all the flavours I finally decided on my firm favourite the frozen strawberry daiquiri, in a take away cup so I could enjoy it back in our hotel room, in a bubble bath. Yes seriously!

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We decided to head back to our hotel rooms to warm up and leisurely get ready for the evening ahead, as the weather wasn’t the best and we were pretty tired from the evening before.

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Later on we met Megs and Fraser on the casino floor for a little gamble before dinner. Megs and I were adamant we were going to win the big bucks on the Wheel of Fortune but we never did!

For dinner we had booked a table at Beauty & Essex which is located inside The Cosmopolitan Hotel which is just a quick walk next door from The Aria. Matt and I have visited B&E in New York but never the Vegas one so we were excited to check it out. The decor is amazing, hidden behind a fully functioning antique shop, you would never know that a bar and restaurant sit behind.

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The menu is comprised of lots of sharing dishes so we chose a mixture of things to all try including the grilled cheese dumplings (the most delicious thing ever!) Tomato Tartare, Lobster Tacos and of course we had to finish off with the famous Les NYC doughnuts (insert heart eye emoji here).

We celebrated Megs’ birthday (her actual birthday was a few days before we went away) and it was such a lovely evening. The food and drinks were incredible and I would definitely recommend visiting if you are in Las Vegas or New York. Now if they could just open one in London that would be amazing!

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We popped our heads into the Chandelier Bar, just look at how pretty this is! And then called it a night as we were pretty tired from the full on day before.

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Love, Chloe xx

Honeymoon Day 11 – When in Vegas…

After an almost 12 hour sleep, I clearly needed it! We decided to walk next door to the Wynn for their buffet breakfast. Believe me when I say that there is nothing better than a Vegas buffet breakfast. Last time we visited we fell in love with the Caesars Palace buffet. However as we were in walking distance to the Wynn, we thought we would give theirs a try this time.

There was a small wait for a table, but it didn’t matter as you had a lovely view of the whole restaurant which is beautifully decorated with the biggest floral arrangements I have ever seen, it’s stunning.

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The seating area is spotlessly clean and very open and airy, filled with all these amazing flowers, plus they had TV screens showing adverts of the shows to see and things to do, which I enjoyed.

Now for the main event…the food! I think I went up to the buffet 3 times in the end, as there is just so much choice and I wanted to try it all! It is also really good value for money as it will seriously set you up for the day. I started with some granola, yoghurt and mini pastries, then went onto pizza (who doesn’t love pizza for breakfast!?) and finally I ended on some mini desserts such as strawberry cheesecake and mint choc chip cones, which were just delicious! I really wanted to get an ice cream to take away with me, but I had already eaten way too much so went against the idea. Matt stuck to the more traditional breakfast items like toast, bacon, bagels, salmon etc. There is definitely something for everyone, whatever you fancy!

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Opposite the Wynn and Encore Hotels is the Fashion Show Mall, it’s not overwhelmingly big like some American malls, but has all the shops you could want or need, so we decided to head there after breakfast as we needed to walk off all those treats.

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The mall was pretty quiet when we arrived which was great, as it was like we had the place to ourselves! Matt brought a few more bits in American Eagle while I found a new love with the shop Express, which unfortunately we don’t have in the UK. The sales assistants in Express were so helpful. When they saw me carrying around a few items I wanted to try on they took them from me, set up a changing room ready and still allowed me to go around & look at more clothes, before trying everything on. They even picked a few things they thought I might like and added them to my cubicle too! Take note UK High Streets!

I also fell in love with the shop Hot Topic, where I ended up buying a lot of presents for my sister for her Birthday. We didn’t spend too long shopping though as we wanted to head back to the hotel pool for some sunshine before heading out that evening.

Back at our hotel, we did a quick change and then headed down to find a spot by the pool. It was quite busy but The Encore has a few pools to chose from so you should always be able to find a spot by the one you are after. Whether that’s the Encore Beach Club with it’s famous parties, The European Pool Area with casino tables, hot tubs and stage for live music. Or the smaller pool which we always found ourselves at, as it had the perfect mix of relaxation but you could still hear the music from the other areas so it wasn’t too boring. We spent the rest of the afternoon chilling in the sunshine, enjoying the yummy frozen strawberry daiquiris!

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That evening our hotel concierge had amazingly managed to get us a table at Gordon Ramsay’s Steak Restaurant located inside the Paris Hotel.

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On arrival we spotted the man himself which was really exciting, but we didn’t manage to get a photo with him. We did however get a photo with Chef Christina which if you are a fan of Hell’s Kitchen, like we are was pretty cool. She was so lovely and I think a bit shocked that a British person was asking for her photo!

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The food was absolutely amazing and we were shocked at the large portion sizes considering it’s a fancy place. To start Matt had the Shrimp cocktail, I have never seen shrimp so big they were huge! I went for the pork belly which to be honest could have easily been a main course, but it was super tasty.

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Then for mains Matt had the Wagyu American filet steak which I think is one of the best things he has ever eaten, as he has mentioned it a few times since! I had the fish and chips and was shocked when 2 whole fish arrived, it was delicious but I couldn’t finish it all.

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For dessert I had the sorbet as I fancied something light and refreshing and Matt had the baked Alaska. They brought our desserts out with candles, as a celebration of our honeymoon.

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After dinner we headed over to Omnia nightclub in Caesars Palace to see Calvin Harris’ DJ set. Not your typical honeymoon evening but we had such a fun time and Calvin was amazing.

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The views from the bridge on our walk over to Omnia 

 

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We finally got back to our hotel around 4am and decided to do some gambling, when in Rome Vegas… 

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Love, Chloe xx

Honeymoon Day 7 – Disney’s Magic Kingdom!

We had a super early start on what should have been our final full day in Orlando (more on that later!) As we had to get to The Magic Kingdom in time for our breakfast reservations at Be Our Guest Restaurant, inside the park.

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I felt like a kid at Christmas getting ready for the day ahead. Excited to visit the most famous Disney park, plus excited for my favourite meal of the day – breakfast, in the heart of my favourite Disney Film – Beauty and the Beast!

We got the shuttle bus from our hotel to Epcot, as they didn’t have an early enough one for Magic Kingdom, but it didn’t matter, as from Epcot we then got on the free Disney transportation bus to Magic Kingdom instead. Due to the change, we did have to power walk to make our reservation in time, as typically the restaurant is located in the furthest area/land from the entrance in Fantasyland!

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The look of the Be Our Guest Restaurant is amazing, it really does look and feel like the Beast’s castle.

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I had made our reservation online a good few months in advance and a couple of weeks before we went, we were asked to pre-order our meal & drink choices (I believe this is just for breakfast and not for lunch or dinner.) There were quite a lot of options to choose from, but in the end I opted for the waffles and Matt went for the Croque Madame. We also ordered 2 of the Master’s Cupcakes, as I had been told we had to try them! All breakfast items also come with a side of fresh fruit and selection of pastries.

When we arrived our reservation was checked via our Magic Bands (park tickets) and we had to pay up front for our choices. You are then free to sit wherever you like and they will bring your food straight to you. I still have no idea how the waiters/waitresses find you after you have sat down as there are 3 dining rooms to choose from!

The first one being the The Grand Ballroom. This looked stunning in all the pictures I had seen beforehand, however it was carnage when we entered, lots of screaming kids and it felt like a cheap canteen. I was gutted as I really wanted to sit in there.

 

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The Grand Ballroom

 

Instead we went into the second room, The Castle Gallery inspired by Belle’s library. It wasn’t as elaborately decorated as the previous room but it was a lot calmer!

 

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The Castle Gallery

 

You have to get your own cutlery, napkins and soft drinks from the dispensers but the food was delivered quickly. The meals were average, but the pastries were tasty. I didn’t really know what to make of the cupcake though, as it didn’t really taste of anything?

 

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My waffles, could have done with a lot more syrup!

 

 

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Matt’s Croque Madame & the pastries

 

 

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The Master’s Cupcake

 

Afterwards we ventured into the third and final dining room which is The West Wing, this looked amazing exactly like the film, including the enchanted rose!

 

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The West Wing

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The Enchanted Rose!

 

I may have a few moans about the restaurant but I’m still glad we visited, however next time I definitely want to go for dinner, as I feel the whole experience would be a lot better then!

 

After breakfast we took a stroll through Fantasyland to Story Book Circus. This may be a toddler friendly area but I really wanted to go on the Dumbo ride as it’s a classic!

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Afterwards we made our way down to Tomorrowland as we had fast passes for Space Mountain followed by Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.

Space Mountain was so much fun. As it’s in the dark you can’t see what’s coming next and there are a few sharp turns and drops, don’t think I have ever screamed so much on a ride!

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Buzz Lightyear was a bit boring and nowhere near as good as the Toy Story ride in Hollywood Studios.

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We then jumped onto Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress as it had no queue and is one of Walt’s original rides, great to see how it all started and features a very catchy song which we found ourselves singing at random times of the day!

The last attraction we decided on, in Tomorrowland was Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor. It’s a comedy show and is pretty funny for both kids and adults, especially if you enjoy the films, like we do! 😉

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We then walked through to Adventureland, but we just couldn’t get over how busy it was and the wait times for all the rides were roughly an hour each!

In the end we decided to join the queue for the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. I feel like they could make the queue a little more exciting as it’s quite boring, especially when you are waiting that long. The ride is fun though and I loved the new addition of Captain Jack Sparrow at the end!

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By the time we had left the ride, it was time to find a spot for the parade at 3pm. Some people had already waited for an hour to secure the perfect spot! But we grabbed a couple of snacks and found a space in Liberty Square to sit and wait ready for the parade to start.

We worked out pretty quickly though why the spot we had chosen was still free, it was in the direct sunlight and even just sitting down, we were melting. We stuck it out though as we had a great view for the parade and ice lollies definitely helped!

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I loved the parade, the songs are so catchy and seeing as we didn’t meet any characters (apart from Mickey of course!) it’s a great way to see them all. If you aren’t interested in watching the parade this is a great time to go on the more popular rides as the queues are much quieter!

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After the parade finished we made a quick dash to ride The Haunted Mansion. We still had about a 25 minute wait but was much quicker than the hour wait it had been all day! I loved this ride although a lot of it did make me jump! I love that Disneyland in California turns theirs into a Nightmare before Christmas theme for Halloween, I wish Orlando did the same, as that’s one of my favourite films!

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Finally we had a fastpass for Splash Mountain which was great, as we pretty much just walked straight on. Water rides are Matts favourite so he was very glad I managed to get a fastpass for this one! It’s a fun log flume ride with lots of drops along the way and a cute story with yet more catchy songs! Plus it cooled us down as we were so hot from walking around all day in the sunshine.

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Having rushed around for most of the day, trying to ride as many rides as possible, we decided to have a couple of hours chill time. We had a look in some of the shops, we met Mickey Mouse and then we ate an early dinner at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant. The food isn’t the most amazing but the pizzas were pretty tasty and huge!

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Before we left for honeymoon, The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was one of the rides I really wanted to go on, however I was unable to get fastpasses for it, as it is new and very popular! All day we kept an eye on the queue but it was always around the 2 hour mark which we agreed was too long a wait. So after dinner we made our way back over to Fantasyland with everything crossed to try to ride it, thinking lots of people might be at dinner! But unfortunately we had no luck, the wait time was still 2 hours, so it’s still on the list, along with the Frozen ride at Epcot!

Instead, I dragged Matt onto the Winnie the Pooh ride ha. It’s so cute and I think you have to act a big kid at Disney as when else can you?

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The weather had taken a turn for the worse when we exited the ride, it was very dark, overcast and about to chuck it down with rain, so Disney ponchos on we walked back around to Liberty Square to find a spot for the evening Electrical Parade. Again people wait for ages to get a good spot but we managed to squeeze in just before it began. Sadly they have now stopped this evening parade, so will be interesting to see what replaces it!

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We then made a dash to ride It’s a Small World before the fireworks started, again Matt wasn’t thrilled about this one, but I told him it’s a classic and he had to ride it at least once in his life! 🙂

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Still raining and now singing its a small world constantly! (Why are Disney songs so catchy?!) We found a spot by the castle ready for the fireworks.

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Disney sure know how to put on a fireworks display. They are just stunning and the songs and stories that go with it always get to me. I always start tearing up when ‘wish upon a star’ starts. There is just something so magical and special about it all. Sad but true!

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Love, Chloe xx