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

USA Road Trip – Day 1 – Getting There!

I couldn’t believe that the day had finally arrived to start our 2 week USA Road Trip, along with our friends Megs and Fraser.

The 4 of us had talked about going on a trip together for a while, but then one Sunday afternoon we started joking about how fun it would be to go to the Rugby Sevens in Las Vegas. Well it started off as a joke but then we may have started looking into it in some detail and realised that due to the Sevens being in March (which is very early season for Vegas) the costs weren’t actually that bad. Then the next thing you know we’re looking into a complete West Coast Road Trip and a week later we booked it! Sometimes the most spontaneous trips are the best.

The plan? Las Vegas, San Diego, Los Angeles and finally San Francisco.

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We flew from Gatwick to Las Vegas on a dreary March morning, excited to begin our trip and hopefully enjoy some warmer weather!

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Our friend took this photo of our plane taking off as she works at Gatwick!

Surprisingly the 11 hour flight went by really quickly. We ate a lot of food, we chatted about the fun things we had planned and we watched as many films as we possibly could, finally landing at 1pm Vegas time to pure blue skies and beautiful sunshine.

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I love coming into land in Vegas as you get to see the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam and you get a great view of the strip which makes me so excited.

We stayed at the Aria Hotel which is one of the newest hotels on the strip. It sits in the centre opposite The Planet Hollywood Hotel. I had wanted to stay here for a while as it just looked so modern and had a great location and it really didn’t disappoint. On arrival the hotel reception was immaculate, the staff were friendly and check in was a relatively quick process for Vegas standards.

We had 2 standard rooms known as Deluxe King Rooms (they were incredible so don’t be mistaken they will be basic) The receptionist managed to get us rooms next to each other on the 15th floor with a view of Planet Hollywood opposite.

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But enough about the rooms we wanted to get out and explore, so we quickly freshened up and went for a walk in the sunshine along the strip.

Taking in all the new sights we pointed out shops, bars and restaurants we wanted to visit while we were there. Then we decided to find somewhere for cocktails that was still outside and we ended up at Bubba Gumps. To be honest this wouldn’t have been our first choice but it had the perfect location with a balcony terrace overlooking the strip, directly in the sunshine and had tables available. We ordered cocktails in light up glasses (when in Vegas!) and toasted to an amazing 2 weeks ahead.

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We were enjoying our drinks and the view when Matt told us we would have to make our way back to the hotel shortly for the first surprise of the trip – It had been an idea when planning the trip that as there were 4 of us and we were visiting 4 locations (Las Vegas, San Diego, LA & San Francisco) that we should each pick a location out of the hat and then plan something in secret for that place to surprise the others with.

So first up was Matt as he had chosen Las Vegas and he didn’t disappoint with his surprise. We were being collected from our hotel and taken to Las Vegas Strip Terminal ready for a helicopter ride over the strip at night. Excited was an understatement and an amazing way to kick off the first night of the trip!

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I must admit I was a little nervous at first. I’m not scared of flying or of heights but I really don’t like sudden drops and as I was sat next to the door and all I could see was the strip below I did have a little freak out thinking we would drop out of the sky! But after I got over that thought and decided to really take in the view of the strip, it was just incredible. Completely lit up and twinkling all around you, it was just stunning.

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On the ride back to the hotel we all became really tired, I guess jet lag had finally kicked in. So we decided to grab a bite to eat at one of our favourites Blondies and then called it a night ready for tomorrows adventures!

Love, Chloe x

 

Honeymoon Day 10 – Unusual Utah & Viva Las Vegas!

A 3am wake up call is never fun but we were both excited for the next adventure and exploring somewhere new.

It was dark driving to the airport, but we managed to drop the hire car off with no issues and made it through security in good time – considering how busy the airport already was, with everyone trying to escape the hurricane. We bought a couple of hot drinks and boarded the plane to Utah, ready for our 6am departure.

It was roughly a 4.5 hour flight to Salt Lake City, Utah, but as we were both pretty tired we decided to try and sleep the best we could and actually the time flew by.

Utah are 2 hours behind Orlando so when we landed we had a couple of hours free before our connection flight to Las Vegas. We found a nice restaurant for breakfast and then had a look in a few of the gift shops.

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The airport was really busy. Clearly a popular connection stop and we were shocked to learn that the temperature was only 3 degrees outside. Crazy when Orlando had been so hot and then Las Vegas would be hot too. By 11am it was time to board our final flight of the day.

The last time Matt and I visited Vegas was in 2012, over Thanksgiving weekend. We met up with a few of Matt’s friends and partied every night, which was a lot of fun but quite crazy. So during our flight Matt asked me how we wanted to do Vegas this time around. Should we relax, go to the spa and try to bring The Bahamas to Vegas? Or should we just embrace Vegas, go with the flow and find some fun things to do to make it memorable?

I think you can guess which option we chose seeing as we started drinking at 11am…

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A bit sleepy but a couple of vodka’s soon woke us up!

The views from the plane were stunning and I got a bit snap happy, especially when I spotted the Hoover Dam! But the flight was over so quickly as it was just less than an hour from Utah!

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Salt Lake City, Utah

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The Hoover Dam

It was so nice to be greeted with pure blue skies and sunshine and once off the plane we headed straight to The Encore Hotel which is where we would be staying for the next 5 nights.

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As usual, check in in Vegas is always super busy but we were just so happy we were there and couldn’t wait to see our room and go and explore.

The receptionist was very excited that we were on our honeymoon and actually bumped us up to a suite on the 63rd floor, which was just incredible. We had a full view of the strip from our floor to ceiling windows and we could open the curtains from a button by our beds, so we could enjoy that view each morning and night.

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The view of the Strip from our room 

We quickly freshened up and then headed down the strip to Planet Hollywood Hotel, as we remembered from last time that they had the miracle mile shops and a vast range of bars and restaurants to choose from.

I love the relaxed but party vibe of Vegas, it just makes me so happy. I always feel like you can do whatever you like and no one will mind. It’s most definitely my happy place (this was my 3rd visit and we actually went back again in March of this year as part of our US West Coast Road Trip!)

I always say to Matt if I had to live anywhere else in the World it would be Vegas, but I don’t think that will ever happen!

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So amazing all lit up at night!

After a little bit of gambling and window shopping, we ended up in one of my favourite places. Blondies. It’s basically just like Hooters but the girls wear cheer leading outfits and there are way more screens around the place showing all the sports imaginable.

We noticed that they had an all you can drink for $20 offer on and were shocked when the waitress said the drinks included spirits as well as beers. So as Matt wanted to watch the football (American) we decided to find a spot to settle into for the rest of the evening.

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We decided to share the Blondies Sampler which included all of our usual American favourites – chicken tenders, buffalo chicken wings, onion rings and jalapeno poppers with a large basket of curly fries on the side.

In the end a mixture of lack of sleep and booze hit me and I was sound asleep in our huge bed by 9pm!

Love, Chloe xx