Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Vegas 2013 – Day 16 – Hooters!

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Today started with some packing and then leaving the Rio. It took two trips down to the car to move all our stuff! We appear to have rather a lot of bags already! ;) Then over to Hooters to check in :) Thankfully having a suite booked meant we could check in early and up we went to the top floor to our lovely suite :) (Okay, so the top floor is considerably lower than we were staying at Rio, but it’s as high as the hotel goes!)

It’s a very nice room with a jacuzzi, more towels than we can be bothered to count and a dining table to work at :) It does suffer a little from old style air conditioning and being rather loud (clearly the hotel suites are more often booked by partying twenties rather than couples relaxing!)

At this point I realise it’s midday and we’ve not eaten and I’m starving! So we head over to Terrible’s to use some of Chris’ comp in the cafe there :) We ordered an appetiser of meatball sliders to share to start, and then I had a corn beef hash and Chris had a grilled cheese sarnie with bacon. Apparently the starter came with fries and was huge! Then Chris’ 99cents of bacon made us smile for being huge amounts! :)

It became all the more impressive when Chris’ very expired Gold card got us the 30% discount and all our food only cost $12 of comp! Super cheap free foods! :)

Since we were on the same road as the Sketchers outlet we obviously had to pop in there for our annual shoe replacement. Each purchasing 2 pairs of new shoes after much indecisiveness :) Mine are mostly purple ;)

We popped over the road to Toys’r’Us (mostly to use the restroom) and got distracted by board games! Whilst we managed to resist buying anything there… Chris did order one of the games from Amazon (much cheaper) and the other is on my list to try and play at Shire Games soon as he has Dixit and all the expansions listed online ;)

It was now time to head over to pick up our Bubble Run registration pack, but we were very hot, so we stopped at the Palms for some free Blizz first ;) Then went and joined the long queue of people to get our numbers and tshirts ready for tomorrow :)

On our way back we stopped at Walmart for a couple of things… 2 hours later we came out having spent $200… oops! New clothes, Blu Rays, random fun things, and drinks :) Didn’t manage to get the new bag we need (2 of ours are about broken, and we have a lot of board games to bring home!) but my feet were too sore to try anywhere else!

Back to Hooters and time for dinner :D

Mmmmmmmmmm wings! :D

Then to get the internet working in our room and to try out the jacuzzi :) Oh it is good to be back at Hooters :D

Vegas 2013 – Day 15 – Drive-In

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

Today started with some gambling to earn a free buffet at the Gold Coast :) For free food always tastes best ;)

So far, they are definitely winning on the bread pudding! It was a little untraditional in that it was full of cinnamon, but super tasty! :) Unfortunately, they totally failed to refill my drink which spoilt it somewhat :(

At some point during the morning Chris had come up with an idea for a card game, so next stop was to try and find some playing cards to graffiti with a Sharpie to try it out ;) We ended up at the World’s Largest Gift Store – “If it’s in stock we have it” is their famous tag line :D Used casino cards for just $1.50 a pack seemed the best option, and we chose a selection with different coloured backs so we could tell the various decks apart.

Armed with the equipment we needed, we headed up to the Diamond lounge in the Rio. Clearly everyone else was there for the free food, and we were a little odd just sitting, drinking water, and busily writing on cards and then covering a table in them! :)

I’ll leave the game to your imagination for now as we’re still playing with rule variations and trying to find the most fun way to play :)

Next up was using a Groupon for dinner at Capo’s Italian Steakhouse. It was a little weird to get in… hard to find the door and then being greeted in a silly way, and led through a different door… and then it was super dark inside! However, there was live entertainment and tasty foods :) I had a lasagne, except it wasn’t like any lasagne I’ve had before! There was only a little pasta, sandwiching together some ricotta cheese, crushed meatballs and italian sausage, with melty cheese on top, then swimming in a bowl of tomatoey sauce! Very odd, but very tasty :) Chris had a steak, and we finished it with a chocolate lava cake :)

Once our tummies were full, it was time to brave the daylight outside and dash over to the drive-in before it got dark! Tonight was customer appreciation night – free film! :) There were lots of people there to enjoy the free films, with 4 screens on, and a band playing whilst we waited for it to start :) We watched Wreck It Ralph which was great :) I really like the drive-in :)

Vegas 2013 – Day 14 – Laughlin

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

Today we drove over to Laughlin. It is a long and mostly straight drive, except for the last little bit when you wind between the hills down to the water. Then you get to go “Oooo, water!” :)

We wandered along the river walk, darting inside casinos to cool off now and then. The Colorado Belle is the most impressive, looking like a large ship and has nice theming throughout :)

Then there was a hunt for Taco Bell, which we both really fancied all of a sudden. On the Nevada side of the river there wasn’t anywhere much to eat outside of the casinos. Eventually we gave in and crossed the bridge into Arizona, no sooner had we done so than civilisation appeared! A little area of nice new restaurants! Hooray! Taco Bell :)

Once we had full tummies we headed off for a drive over to Katherine Landing. Once upon a time, there was a mining town named Katherine. There’s not a lot left of it now, apparently, but we never managed to find it. We did go down to the landing, past the closed booths where you clearly have to pay in the summer, and watched the water for a bit :)

Then we drove off on Katherine Mine Rd in hunt of the old town. Alas, the roads we thought we needed all stated “Private Land” and “No Trespassing” and we got scared ;) I’m sure at one point I found instructions on where to park and how to hike up to it, but with limited internet out there I couldn’t find them :( We stopped to take some photos of the cool road signs though :)

The road we were on turned to a dirt track for a number of miles, which was a bit random, given it’s marked as a proper road! Then at the other end, there’s a new Katherine Heights development of pretty new houses :)

We headed back into Laughlin to try and find some geocaches, but were thwarted by the river being too high (we would have had to go wading!) and there being too many people around and sitting on the benches we needed! So we only managed to find one.

Then it was back to Vegas, and time to grab some food on the way back to our room. We opted for some more buffalo fingers from the Sports Deli (free food!), this time with chilli cheese chips. We were asked twice if that was all, because how could 2 people possibly share just 1 main and 1 side? There was plenty of food, in fact we didn’t manage to eat it all!

Then we used the power of the projector to watch Evil Dead (we’re off to see the musical in a few days and thought we should see at least the first film before hand!) before bed :)

Vegas 2013 – Day 13 – Cheesecake Factory

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

Woke to a phone call – oh no! What’s up? Oh, just needed instructions on how to use the washing machine! Oh well, there went the lie in and now we’re awake :)

Had a bit of a business meeting whilst still in bed, hehe! Planning our next games and the day ahead. Then off to The Cheesecake Factory for an early lunch :)

We’ve been to The Cheesecake Factory many times. We’ve tried so very hard to fit all the foods into our tummies! We’ve tried ordering lunch portions of salad (still GIANT bowls!) or how about just sharing starters? Nope, there’s never space for all the cheesecake! It always, without fail, has to be boxed up to come home! Today was no exception :)

We shared a small mushroom flatbread (with garlic and cheese), the Buffalo Blasts (pastry triangles filled with spicy chicken and cheese and coated in a buffalo wing style coating) and an appetiser sized vegetable salad. There was still too much food! We barely managed the starters and didn’t even attempt the cheesecake, ordering it to go from the outset! :)

Mine is “Chris’ Outrageous Cheesecake” and full of coconut and pecans and chocolate cake and so yummy! I’ve had two attempts at it so far an there’s still some left! :)

We spent a little time in the Apple store, as we often do. Eyeing up the latest random gadgetry and pondering purchases, before declaring further research required online and leaving.

Then it was back to the room to do some work! Shocking I know, but necessary :) A new game – hooray! :)

Our evening entertainment was courtesy of Elton John at the Colosseum in Caesars. I’m not a huge fan and didn’t know a lot of the songs, but watching Ray Cooper the crazy percussionist waving his tambourine around kept me entertained :)

On the way back we stopped at In’n’Out Burger for a quick dinner of freshly cooked food :)

Vegas 2013 – Day 12 – Geocaching

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Today started with a trip to The Orleans for a free buffet there :)

Yes, that is all a bit pathetic, but my tummy still isn’t right. At least I had some vegetables :) Unfortunately, the bread pudding wasn’t nice there, it was covered in a sugar syrup! So I didn’t really eat much, opted for some sugar free apple pie instead, which I mostly dissected to get the apple out! ;)

Then it was off into the desert for some geocaching :) Alas, I forgot to take any photos of the crazy dirt track we were bumping along! The day involved a lot of photos like this one:

That one nicely shows the car in the middle of nowhere in the background too :) At one point we climbed up a hill and looked down over our car…

Then there was a very long train in our way…

Eventually we headed back into Vegas and went to the Queen Victoria pub for a very British dinner using a Groupon :) Well, I say British… the starter was a quesadilla (very traditional!) but then Chris had fish & chips and I had proper English sausages and mash – yum :)

Vegas 2013 – Day 11 – Penn & Teller

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Today started with a trip over to Sam’s Town to make the most of their 7x points day. We sat and played Video Poker for a couple of hours and between us earnt almost $70 of food comp! Yay! :)

Then we headed over to Rock’n’Ritas to use one of our MyVegas coupons for a free meal. We’d swapped the MyVegas coupon for an actual coupon when we were at Circus Circus yesterday, and unlike most of them, it was only valid for 3 days instead of 30! So we thought we’d best use it quick!

I had BBQ chicken with garlic mash and beans. The chicken was nice and tasty, as was the mash :) The beans were a little sweet for my still sore tummy though. The food was good, but the place lacked atmosphere. Despite the name, there was no music playing, just some basketball on TV screens no one was watching. The entertainment was mostly provided by a guy making a huge balloon sculpture for a kid, which turned out to be the tow truck from Cars and big enough to fit over the small childs head and be worn! It was fab! :)

As we were in Circus Circus and they had an offer on chips, Chris decided to do a little gambling whilst I watched. I appear to be a bit of a bad luck charm though, as I’ve never seen him do very well out of these “Buy $20 get $30 promo chips” offers. He turned $60 into $90 of chips, and then back into $30 via a Blackjack table, not the best demonstration of making free money ;)

Soon it was time for Penn & Teller :) We went up on stage and inspected the box and signed the envelope, like all good audience members should, and then enjoyed the show :)

Mostly it was the same show we’d seen last time. There was a new bit with Teller being a Teapot and Penn singing… which was a touch weird but funny :) Even having seen it before, the show was very good. They’re very enthusiastic and it’s not just about a trick. If you ever get the chance, you should definitely see them :)

Then it was back to the room and a quick game of Food Fight which I lost miserably before bed. The game is good fun mostly, but sometimes the cards are just mean and I just watched all of my troops get beaten, barely making a dent in Chris’ hand. Ho hum!

Vegas 2013 – Day 10 – Diamond

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

After a rather failed nights sleep thanks to still being rather ill, we had a bit of a slow start to the day. Eventually we decided to head down to Circus Circus as I reckoned I could probably manage a slow amble through the Chuck Jones Experience for which we had a Groupon.

Chuck Jones famously made many of those animated characters we grew up with :) Bugs Bunny and Road Runner and the like :) The experience wasn’t really all that exciting. Looking at the original sketches was kind of cool, but the interactive quiz was broken and there was no paper or pens around to play with the Zoetrope. Even the gift shop was lacking in anything to entice a purchase despite having 10% discount! The best part was watching some Road Runner cartoons ;)

Afterwards we headed outside to McDonalds as Chris was hungry. I delicately nibbled a few chicken nuggets, but still didn’t really feel like eating.

Then it was time for more shopping! :) We headed over to the Gamblers General Store and the Spinettis Gambling Supplies and spent a long time browsing :) The first shop has super static carpet, which I remember from the last visit! Even a few steps and the metal shelves caused sparks! There was a lot of browsing and inevitably quite a lot of purchasing too ;) Useful things like a card shuffler (for our deck building games) and card holders and a small roll-up card playing surface :) Along with some transparent cards, some Double 9 Domino cards and Slot dice.

Obviously we couldn’t resist playing some games once we got back with our new things :)

Then it was time for some dinner. We walked over to Palms and had some free Panda Express, which I actually ate! Hooray! :)

On our way back to our room, we stopped by the Total Rewards desk and finally Diamond was showing up on their screen! Woo! :) We collected Chris’ shiny new Diamond card and got our free tickets to Penn & Teller which we rushed over to the box office to redeem! One of the great benefits of the Diamond card is 2 free show tickets every calendar month! This means we’ll get to have another 2 before we go home too! :)

Vegas 2013 – Day 9 – Recovery Take 2

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Today it was my turn to sleep a day away. Chris set me up with Amazon Prime Instant Video on his iPad and left me watching Dr Who and Buffy for the day… except I mostly slept! A whole day of sleeping whilst Chris went out and played Poker. Eventually woke up and unlocked the door so Chris could get back in! Oops! ;)

We had a game of Rivals of Catan in the evening. This feels very similar to the board game Settlers of Catan but using cards and just 2 players. Obviously 2 players suits us and I was impressed by the use of square cards you rotate to indicate the amount of a resource you currently own :) The game is split up into Eras, so you play a more basic game your first few times and then add in different cards once you are familiar with them. This should give us some variety to our play for a while, which is nice, and meant there weren’t too many confusing rules to start with :)

It is a little deceptive on space required – starts small but you can expand quite a way! :)

Vegas 2013 – Day 8 – Cactus Gardens

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

After Chris spent all of yesterday asleep, he woke up at about 2am wide awake! Then I woke up shortly after and couldn’t get back to sleep! Oops!

So there we are at a silly hour of the morning and Chris, after quite some time of not eating, declares he’s hungry! But where will feed us at this hour? At about 4am we wander over to the Gold Coast to TGI Fridays in there and use some comp to get us a free breakfast. A tasty omelette :)

Rather impressively, Chris ate almost the whole thing! :)

We wanted to get on and earn Diamond with Total Rewards, but the day resets at different times, some time early morning, so we had to wait for a while to get started. So we headed over to Walmart to get some more drinks first. Then we spent a couple of hours playing some more video poker and getting us about half way there.

We thought we’d go for a bit of a drive and a shop for a break. We headed out to another of the Maximum Comic stores hunting for more boards games, and found one :) The store was bigger than their other location, but still didn’t haven’t many games. We bought “The Rivals of Catan” – a 2 player casual card game version of Settlers of Catan. Our board game pile is now looking pretty impressive :)

Next up was a trip to Ethel M’s Chocolate Factory & Cactus Garden. A slightly weird combination ;) I’ve actually been here before, but our last trip was on a Sunday and the factory wasn’t actually doing anything! Today we got to see some chocolate making in progress and wonder why on earth it goes through a metal detector just before packing?!

The cacti were pretty as ever :)

Then it was over to Angelicious Popcorn to spend a half price coupon on some tasty flavoured popcorn :) A helpful guy let us try some of the flavours and then we chose 4 small bags – white cheddar jalepeno, smokin hot, black cherry and white chocolate :)

Over the road was a Quiznos and a chance to use another Groupon we’d bought for half price, and tasty lunchtime sandiwches :)

We returned to the hotel with our purchases and then it was my turn to feel unwell. Oh so unwell :( A whole evening and night of unwell! Thankfully Chris went out and finished our day’s video poker playing to get us enough tier credits to get up to Diamond, otherwise we’d have wasted another day of play!

Vegas 2013 – Day 7 – Recovery

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Chris was not well. Today was spent by Chris mostly asleep and by me mostly reading.
We moved down to the pool area whilst the room was being cleaned and ended up with some random silly sunburn (the back of one of my hands, and one side of Chris’ nose!) but mostly the day was spent in the room.

An unexciting day thanks to illness. Ho hum! :(

Though I did read my way through the second half of Cloud Atlas which was awesome! Looking forward to watching the film soon so that I can discuss all the thoughts in my head with Chris :)