2018 Year in Review

2018 is almost complete and I have had a year of ups and downs I’d say. From the standpoint of the blog I’m please to say I have more followers and have enjoyed my blog so much this year! So thank you for making this a bright spot for me! Thousands of views and likes so I must be doing something right.

That being said, I went back to see what you all enjoyed the most this past year. It looks like the activity in my kitchen, and travel reviews are taking home top prizes for 2018!

Here ia a list of my top 10 post from 2018:

#10 Flamingo Hotel and Casino -review

#9 S’More Bites – Fall cookie series

#8 Fall Blog Series

#7 Chocolate Chip cookies take 3

#6 Cheers to 20 years

#5 Pumpkin Spice No-bake Cookies

#4Oatmeal Cream Pies with a Twist

#3 Kitchen Reveal

#2 Zak Bagan’s Haunted Museum-Review

#1 Strawberry and Cream Jelly Roll

It looks like the Fall Cookie Series was a huge hit and we will definately be doing that again! I’m think about doing a series this winter on Soups, Stews, and Chili let me know if that sounds good to you guys too!

Another big announcement…my BFF Amber and I have started a new adventure you can find us on instagram @tour_the_town. We will be visiting local restaurants, attractions, and events and documenting everything for you all to enjoy along with us! My “Inspiring Finds” tab will be converted soon after the new year to “Tour the Town” so no need to subscribe to something new you’ll get all that content right here or watch our pictorial review on Instagram! I can’t wait to get started with it!

Tomorrow I will update you on how my resolutions came out for the year and let you know what I’m thinking for 2019! Happy New Year everyone and Thank you so much dor following along with me!

Mob Museum, and The Underground Las Vegas – Review

I get a lot of positive feedback on my vacation reviews so I thought I would share another one with you.

The Las Vegas Mob Museum opened several years ago in downtown Las Vegas just a block or two away from Fremont St. It’s easily walkable if your already visiting downtown. The museum occupies the former courthouse house building lending further credibility to its contents as the courthouse was the scene of many Mob related prosecutions in Las Vegas.

The museum itself has added a lot of great interactive attractions since it first opened. It’s a great place to visit for all ages. He have historic memorabilia, video presentations, hands on experiences, and a nice gift shop with unique Mob related swag. Photography is allowed, and it is easily accessible for all ages and talents (meaning handicapped accessible).

Located in the basement level of the museum they have now incorporated a speakeasy bar called The Underground. This is a highlight for sure! They are currently distilling their own brand of moonshine in the basement that they offer free samples of, you travel from there into a very nice bar area with flapper style displays in cases built into the walls, unique art and a full service bar with era specific cocktails that have special presentation twists.

Andy ordered the underground old fashioned. He was presented with a book and glass of ice!

We quickly discovered what a good book this was 😂.

So all in all I’d say this is a Las Vegas must. If you enjoy the culture of the city itself then you’ll truly enjoy this, and the alcohol doesn’t hurt either. Enjoy!

Guy Fieri’s Las Vegas Bar and Grill- Review

Each visit to Las Vegas is like a little mini food vacation too. We always seem to find that one place that was just the highlight from a food standpoint. On this trip it was celebrity chef Guy Fieri’s Las Vegas Bar and Grill. You probably know of Guy Fieri from the popular Food Network Program; Diner’s, Drive-in’s, and Dives. Guy has traveled all over the world sampling the best of every region he visits!

diners-drive-ins-and-dives-15

The restaurant itself is located in the Linq Hotel and Casino, and features a large outdoor patio dining area that faces Carnival Court Bar, and Harrah’s Hotel and Casino. We have walked passed this place a thousand times, usually right after eating somewhere else and each time had said..” Ah, we should have eaten here!” It always appeared to have a fun, and relaxing atmosphere.

We found our way there right at lunch time, it was busy and there was an estimated 20min wait. We were patient and waited, they seated us within the estimated time. The staff was friendly and professional. The restaurant itself although busy didn’t feel cramped or chaotic. We requested patio seating, and enjoyed some people watching while we ate.

The menu was great, lots of options, they had gluten free, and vegetarian options marked. They had a full bar, and we enjoyed some beer with our lunch. My husband ordered the Bacon Mac N Cheese Burger, and I ordered the Vegan Burrito.

My husband talked about this burger for the rest of our trip lol. He loved it! He compared all other foods to it for the rest of our trip! I’m not even joking we ate at another burger place and he said it was good but not Guy Fieri good. So apparently the Mac N Cheese Burger is sure winner! The Vegan burrito was a little on the dry side some pico de gallo would have gone a long way, but it was filling and still flavorful.

All in all this is a great place to stop for a bite while in Vegas, I highly recommend it and my husband would definitely say order the Mac N Cheese Burger. The bill was reasonable for Vegas, and we left quite satisfied with our experience there. Enjoy!

Flamingo Hotel & Casino Las Vegas- Review

My husband and I made a recent trip to Las Vegas, for those who know us this is not an unusual occurrence as we frequently travel there for quick get-away’s and annually around the time of our Anniversary. This year we are celebrating 20 years! We made our trip decisions a little late this year as things were very busy at work, and we needed to coordinate our trip around various other commitments. That being said we decided to stay at an older hotel with a little more Vegas history to it, this would save us a few bucks and allow us to stay a little bit longer than our usual 4-ish days. We chose the Flamingo Hotel and Casino.

Flamingo Hotel

The Flamingo is an iconic Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. In 1946 mobster Bugsy Seigel opened the Flamingo in Las Vegas, his investment was said to be around $6 million dollars for the new luxury hotel. This was the third Casino floor to be opened in Las Vegas, and today now owned by Caesar’s Entertainment is the last remaining original Hotel and Casino. The pink South Beach meets art deco glamour theme is complete with a Large Casino Floor, Shopping areas, Wildlife Habitat with actual Flamingos, a beautiful pool area, and over 3000 guest rooms.

Now, for my personal experience at this iconic Hotel. We arrived late on a Thursday night, getting to the hotel at around 10:30pm. This is usually a very slow time at area check in desks, but not the case at the Flamingo… it was clamoring with people when we arrived. The desk was understaffed for the volume of check in’s, and we waited in line for almost an hour to get our room information. I’m going to rewind for just a moment. When we booked our trip we booked a standard “Fab” room. This was a mistake! The reviews on these rooms are terrible, and we called a few days before leaving to see if we could upgrade to a newly renovated room. At the time of the call we were told that we would be able to upgrade easily upon check in… ok now back to check in… We requested the newly renovated room only to find out that they were sold out for the night and there were no other rooms available at all of any kind! We were instructed by the staff to return to the mail/key line between 12pm and 2pm the next day to upgrade our room as people were checking out. We agreed and accepted the “Fab” room for one night.

First impression the halls and elevator areas were void of art, had sterile florescent lighting, no accessory furniture, and it felt like a creepy old hospital hallway.

The room was small, the furniture was heavily worn, the floor was dirty, two of the electrical receptacles were broken, and the air conditioner was not really working well. Upon entering we also realized that not only could we not upgrade but we had been placed in a room with two double beds instead of the king room that we booked! The room had newer wood look tile on the floor in the main room, but the bathroom had very old white tile everywhere. The fan in the bath area was so loud that we couldn’t talk to each other from one area to the other. We had a view of the High Roller, a large Ferris wheel, and the mountains.

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At 8:30a my husband went down to get coffee and stopped to request the upgrade, thankfully he did as they were already running out of upgrade options again! If we had waited until 12pm there wouldn’t have been any way to change rooms. We upgraded to a newly renovated room, and had to wait till between 12pm and 2pm to get the keys to give housekeeping time to clean. At 12:30pm we went to the desk area and it was overwhelmed with people again. We abandoned ship and returned around 2pm and were assigned our new room in the Habitat tower.

This was a night and day difference! The hallways were warmly colored and decorated with beautiful mural wall paper, and decorative touches. It was clean, the lighting was better.

Our room was so cute! Nice new furniture, everything was clean, and well stocked. The view was about the same but oh what a difference this nice fresh room made! Long story short, I’m glad to have stayed for the sake of saying I stayed there…but never again.

Flamingo Renovated room

Zak Bagan’s Haunted Museum, Las Vegas- Review

On our frequent trips to Las Vegas, we often look for new interesting attractions to visit. There is certainly no shortage of things to do in this city!

On our trip last August we noticed advertising for a new haunted Museum going in. We thought it looked interesting so we looked it up to find it was opening in the Fall so we kept it top of mind as an option for a quick visit on our next trip. Well here we are back in January and the museum is up and running!

Zak Bagan’s is well known for his television show Ghost Adventures, and while investigating a number of haunted locations he has collected items, and purchased items that are believed to be haunted, are tied to macabre events, or have a unique history about them.

Some of these items include…Bella Lugosi’s mirror, paintings of the crying boys, Dr Kevorkian’s death van, haunted and possessed dolls, and many many more!

This is a little off the beaten path but not difficult to get to. So venture off course a moment and visit. You’ll find a well versed staff of people to guide you through the 30 room mansion that is completely stuffed with items to look at!

Some rooms have specific themes, for example the puppet room, the celebrity collection, the funeral parlor, the doctor’s office, the library, and more! There are surprises everywhere you turn.

Before admittance they ask that you sign a waiver and swear an oath as items in the museum are said to be haunted by demons and ghosts that could attach themselves to you! And while interesting I never felt threatened by anything in the museum.

If items have a particularly devastating history then you are given opportunities not to view them. For example the Dibbuk Box in a room by itself it’s said to contain a demonic entity kept safely under glass surrounded by salt and sage it was a unique piece during the visit. Zak featured this item in one of his shows as well.

All in all this is a very interesting attraction. You don’t have to be a believer to enjoy this collection, there is certainly no lack of imagination in it’s set up, and display. Plan for about an hour to get through the guided tour. At $44/ticket it’s actually well priced and very entertaining. I feel like I could go again and see things I missed the first time, because there is seriously so much stuff in this museum. I hope you find this helpful, Travel safe and have fun!

Restaurant Review- Michael Mina Pub 1842, Las Vegas

On our recent vacation we decided we wanted to have a casual night out for dinner so we set off in pursuit of a tasty place to sit and enjoy a good burger.

On our last Vegas adventure we ate at Gordon Ramsey’s Burgr you can read my early post about that restaurant. This was a totally different experience. No posh restaurant vibe surrounded by fire features this was a truly casual Pub vibe with really good food, and best yet great service!

We were promptly seated in a comfy booth, there were TV’s playing basketball games, and the waiter greeted us and got our drinks right away. Although we had a waiter, we were consistently being taken care of by at least three staff members at any given time. Making sure glasses stayed full and everything was to our satisfaction. I have to say though it never seemed intrusive or over the top. Just polite, excellent service.

Andy ordered the pub burger and I ordered a Bourbon BBQ chicken Sandwhich, we shared and I have to say both were amazing!

The burger was thick juicy, well cooked with lots of flavor, and not over dressed and sloppy. It really was burger perfection.

The chicken Sandwhich followed suit. Coated with a tangy bbq sauce, and pickled cabbage it was really delicious and full of flavor!

Out side of excellent food and service costs were well aligned not too expensive but worth every penny, and the pub offered a little table side fun with drinking games, and fun info printed on the placemats.

I would highly recommend Michael Mina’s Pub 1842, it is located in the MGM Grand Casino Hotel, in Las Vegas! Enjoy!

Gordon Ramsey’s BurGR Restaurant Las Vegas

I don’t often attempt reviews but this place is great, and so I thought I would share. While on vacation recently in Las Vegas Andy and I had dinner at Gordon Ramsey’s BurGR restaurant located inside the Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino. The outside of the restaurant has a gorgeous fire feature within the wall signage you can’t miss it! 

There is a hostess at the door ready to seat you and although it seemed like a lengthy line we were seated quickly, in a comfortable table for two on the main floor. I will say this though…it’s very very noisy in here. The music and crowd noise from the casino floor coupled with the open kitchen format and busy wait staff. It was audibly a bit of an over load. 

The waitress was prompt took our drink orders and allowed us to peruse the menu for a few.  The menu has a nice selection of starters, and honestly the most delicious assortment of burgers you could ever ask for. Everything from the Hell’s Kitchen burger to the Patriot burger, they all sounded wonderful to me! If burgers aren’t your thing then he offers hot dogs and an assortment of other options but…you did come to a restaurant called BurGR lol! 

We started with an appetizer, the mushroom poutine sounded good. A poutine is a dish of French fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. Something a little different than we would normally get because hey we’re on vacation, right!! The mushroom poutine was awesome! It was flavorful the fries were crispy, the mushrooms were delicious, and it had these Devine pickled shallots on top that were seriously so good!! A++ appetizer you should definitely give it a try!

For our main course I order the house special “hog burger”, and Andy ordered the “blue cheeseburger”. We also ordered a side of truffle Parmesan fries. 

The Hog burger consists of a literal “ham” burger patty wrapped in bacon, and topped with pickles, pulled pork, cheese, fried onions, and slaw. Although awkward to eat because this thing is huge! Every bite was perfect, hands down the best burger I’ve had in a long time! 

Andy thoroughly enjoyed his burger as well, and the truffle Parmesan fries were so good but we were so full!!! We couldn’t even finish everything. 

Bottom line here great restaurant for a moderate price point. Hope you all get the chance to visit it sometime! Gordon Ramsey gets a big thumbs up (he’s probably been dying for my approval lol 😂) Enjoy!!