Visiting Los Angeles

The next stop after our stay in Las Vegas was California. We stopped in Los Angeles for 4 nights.
Our accommodation was sponsored by the amazing Sirtaj Hotel which is located in the heart of Beverly Hills and just off Rhodeo Drive. This hotel could not have been more perfectly located. Immediately after arriving in LA, we had already begun feeling like celebrities and knew that the lifestyle of the rich and famous was what we were meant for….just kidding! We certainly did not fit in with our Prius amongst Cadillac’s and Maserati’s which were all over. The decor at the hotel was amazing! It was a fusion between Indian and modern. The food was exceptionally good and I ate their Chicken Tikka almost every day.

So, what did we do in LA?

On our first day, we went on the Celebrities Hollywood Homes tour with Jeff from Star Track ToursIt was so exciting to get a feel for where the celebs sleep, play and eat. We went to the famous Runyon Canyon Park, where celebs are always spotted walking their dogs or going for a run. We drove by tons of celeb homes including The Kardashians…my all time favs. Even though they all live in gated communities, we got to see where Kimye lives as well as Khloe Kardashian. It was a great and informative tour through a stunning and very pricey area.

The next day was spent at the incredible Universal Studios. Although it isn’t as large as the one in Florida, it was still a phenomenal experience. From meeting dozens of characters to thrill seeking rides, it really was a special place. Jacques obviously went on every single ride…twice! Me on the other hand…I tried my luck with just two.

 

It was great taking a Studio Tour through the film sets at Universal and being a part of some of our favourite TV shows. We visited the incredible Wisteria Lane where Desperate Housewives was filmed, met some of the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park and even encountered the eerie plane crash from War of the Worlds. I’m a huge fan of Bates Motel, so it was so cool to come face-to-face with Norman Bates at the legendary Bates Motel set. The highlight, however, was the King Kong 360 3-D created by Peter Jackson – The world’s largest 3-D experience, only on the Universal Studios Hollywood Studio Tour. Two curved screens, each measuring a massive 187 feet wide by 40 feet high — the equivalent of 16 movie theatre screens — surround the Studio Tour tram. It blew our minds!

The next day was spent visiting the Hollywood Walk of Fame which was such an entertaining experience. This LA strip is filled with tourists, entertainers and just amazing sights and sounds. If you really want to feel the Hollywood vibe in LA, then this is the place you need to be at.

We visited the iconic Santa Monica Pier where we ate Churros, walked on the beach and watched the sunset. Although it signified the end of Route 66, our journey was not over yet.

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The last we thing did in LA before leaving was visiting the Dash store. Although it was Christmas Day and it was closed, it was still pretty awesome to have seen the store. I’m a huge Kardahsian fan so being here after following the Dash journey was incredible.

Next Stop….San Francisco

Meeting Penn and Teller…no it’s not Bullshit!

During our stay in Las Vegas we went to the Penn and Teller show. If you love “magic” and illusion then these guys are definitely no strangers. I love watching illusionists but love knowing even more how stuff is done.  Their showtime network television show Bullshit! takes a skeptical look at psychics, religion, the pseudoscientific, conspiracy theories, and the paranormal.

They are iconic entertainers who have been performing since the 70’s. Their show was amazing but definitely not as amazing as meeting them at the end. As soon as the show was over we quickly followed Teller who took a selfie of us with my phone….yes he grabbed my phone and quickly took a picture of us before letting us take a picture with Penn. Teller also spoke to us which was great as he is not known for speaking during his shows. It was the best moments of the trip….and we’re best buds with them now…okay, maybe not!

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Welcome to Las Vegas Nevada

Las Vegas was an awesome place to visit. We decided to stay outside of The Strip at the very luxurious Westin Lake Resort and Spa. They sponsored our entire stay in Vegas. The resort was a dose of heaven. The entire hotel is Eastern themed with a Moroccan influence. We were given the Suite on the top floor of the hotel. Our room was amazing with spectacular views of the lake. It featured a huge bedroom as well as a private lounge and balcony.

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The resort itself was breathtaking. I would love to come back during the summer. There were multiple pools to choose from, a hot tub and private cabanas with beds and TV’s. It’s the ultimate destination for anyone visiting Vegas. The Westin offers a free shuttle to The Strip which was so convenient for us.

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Las Vegas is great, maybe a little underwhelming if you are not a gambler but nevertheless an experience! We did so much in Vegas which included The High Roller, visiting the “Eiffel Tower”, watching the famous Bellagio Fountains and seeing the Penn and Teller show at the Rio. Jacques also enjoyed the thrilling rides on top of the Stratosphere. I just watched from the sidelines…!

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Visiting Arizona and the Grand Canyon

The next stop after Albuquerque was Flagstaff, Arizona. We arrived in Flagstaff and headed straight to the Lowell Observatory. Lowell Observatory is best known for the discovery of the planet Pluto. It was established in 1894, placing it among the oldest observatories in the United States, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965. In 2011, the Observatory was named one of “The World’s 100 Most Important Places” by TIME.


That night we slept for about 2 hours before deciding we were going to head to the Grand Canyon to watch the sunrise. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

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Before leaving Arizona, we drove to Page to see Horseshoe Bend. Wow! Words can’t describe how amazing this place is. This natural canyon formation which is surrounded by the Colorado river is surreal. Tons of people visit each year and we were so blessed to finally tick this off our bucket list.

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Driving through Arizona was magnificent. The canyons and different coloured rock formations that sandwiched the road was definitely the prettiest thing I have seen.

Staying at Studios Nob Hill, Albuquerque

Arriving at Studios Nob Hill in Albuquerque was a jaw dropping experience. I have stayed at many places around the world but Studios Nob Hill was so different. It literally felt as if it was a home away from home….but even better! Immediately upon walking in, one gets this “homely” feeling and you know that you are going to love this place. After staying at so many hotels, it was nice to just relax in an environment that was so welcoming. We loved the fact that the unit was self catering with a fully equipped kitchen, a flat screen TV with tons of channels as well as a laundry area…hello clean washing!

Award-winning designer, Gaye Roth, has helped Roy Solomon with a full renovation of this building in a contemporary retro style. She has designed and remodeled spaces for herself and others and believes that a fun, artistic, hip space will make a guest’s stay much more pleasant. Having traveled extensively, she knows what is needed in a space away from home.

As owner and manager of Studios Nobhill LLC, Gaye makes sure the property is eclectic, contemporary and comfortable in every detail. Her use of color has won attention and awards and has given her projects constant notice.

All 450 square feet of this beautiful studio has been fully remodeled and designed by local award winning designer. Silestone countertops and a fully equipped kitchen, hardwood floors throughout with slate floors in spacious bath. Shower with pebble flooring and accented with dalle de verre colored glass window. Contemporary furnishings by local artists and original art.

Eating at the amazing Amore Neapolitan Pizzeria

We are currently in Albuquerque, New Mexico and would have never imagined that we would find a little piece of Italy right here. Amore Neapolitan Pizzeria sponsored our dinner during our visit to Albuquerque. Their restaurant is located in Nob Hill. Nob Hill is a vibrant district bursting with eclectic shops, swank dining, and chic nightspots. Route 66 neon signs and  architecture combined with predominantly locally-owned shops, galleries and restaurants make Nob Hill a hip and fashionable area located just east of the University.

About the owners

Amore Neapolitan Pizzeria is owned and operated by Gabriel and Kimberly Amador. It’s a family restaurant that is certifiably, authentic Neapolitan — the only hand-made, hand-stretched, Neapolitan pizzeria in the state.

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The food

Gabriel started us of with a Caprese Salad which consisted of Fresh house-made mozzarella, fresh tomato, olive oil, basil and a balsamic reduction. It was so fresh and refreshing and the mozzarella was divine! The portions are so generous and you could definitely share this.

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For mains I had one of the speciality pizzas. I chose the Maestro “Roberto’s Burrata Pie” which had Pecorino Sardonic, Italian white truffle, porcini mushroom, grape tomato, house-made mozzarella, basil and olio. I don’t know where to even begin with this one. This was honestly the best pizza I have ever had. It was truly authentic Italian pizza. The grape tomatoes were so incredibly fresh and so delicious. The pizza is amazing and you definitely do want to share it with anyone…be greedy! It’s so worth it.

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My favourite part of the meal was definitely dessert! Gabriel made us this divine Dolce di Amore Dessert Calzones. It’s a airy pizza dough filled with your choice of filling and topped with confectioner’s sugar. I chose the chocolate hazelnut finished with confectioner’s sugar and fresh strawberries. It was different to what I would normally have for dessert but that’s only because I never knew this amazing dish existed. It was so good that I actually saved some for a midnight snack.

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On a side note, check out their awesome pizza boxes. I am in love with their logo and branding! Definitely the coolest place ever!

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Amore is truly a gem and I encourage everyone to visit this restaurant. The food is authentically Italian and you can just taste the quality. Gabriel is such an amazing person and just makes the vibe in the restaurant even better. He is definitely one of the nicest people I have met on this trip.

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Lunching at Bistronomy B2B in Nob Hill

Upon arriving in Albuquerque we visited Bistronomy B2B for lunch. Their food is served incredibly fresh with everything prepared in-house and all ingredients sourced locally! I tried the Pierre Wild Mushroom Burger with cheese and Cajun Fries. It was mind blowing! The flavours fused together so perfectly and the cajun fries was delicious. The dipping sauces, to go with the fries, was out of this world. 3 Dipping sauces included Smokey Ketchup, Curry Ketchup and Pesto Mayo (which was my absolute favourite).

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I love the personalized branded burger buns, which are also home made and served so fresh and delicious!

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The restaurant does not usually serve dessert but the chef treated us to some Almond and White Chocolate Macarons. I love macarons and these were so so so tasty! My only regret was not asking for some more.

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Get your kicks on Route 66!

Today our route took us alongside the Historic Route 66. U.S. Route 66, also known as the Will Rogers Highway and colloquially known as the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, was one of the original highways within the U.S. Highway System.  We visited some great sights on the road today and it was an amazing experience driving down Route 66.

If you ever plan to motor west
Travel my way, the highway that’s the best.
Get your kicks on Route 66!

Cadillac Ranch

 

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Route 66 Diner and Car Museum

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Visiting Dallas and Amarillo in Texas

We spent the past two days in Texas. Our first night was spent at the Magnolia Hotel in Downtown Dallas. Pegasus, the Flying Red Horse, shines brightly as the icon of Dallas, Texas from atop the downtown Dallas boutique hotel located in the Magnolia Petroleum Company Building, one of the city’s most revered structures. Built in 1922, this 400-foot high, 29-story building was the first high rise in the United States to have air conditioning and the city’s first skyscraper.

Our stay at the Magnolia was great. It was the perfect place for an overnight pit stop before we continued on our journey. The rooms were spacious, the breakfast was delicious and the service was impeccable.

Our next stop was Amarillo. We stayed at the Big Texan Motel which is also part of the Big Texan Steak Ranch. The Big Texan Steak Ranch is home to the Free 72 oz. Steak challenge. Designed to resemble a main street in an old west town, the Big Texan Motel combines the comforts and conveniences of today with the ambiance and decor of the late 1800s. Staying at the motel definitely makes one feel that they are amongst cowboys in the Wild West!

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