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!
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.
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.
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…!
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.
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.
Driving through Arizona was magnificent. The canyons and different coloured rock formations that sandwiched the road was definitely the prettiest thing I have seen.
The amazing team at The Shop Breakfast and Lunch sponsored our breakfast during our stay in Albuquerque. The food was amazing and the vibe in the restaurant was perfect!
Take a look at what we had for breakfast
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On a side note, check out their awesome pizza boxes. I am in love with their logo and branding! Definitely the coolest place ever!
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.
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).
I love the personalized branded burger buns, which are also home made and served so fresh and delicious!
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.
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!
Route 66 Diner and Car Museum
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!
New Orleans was not originally on our route but after hearing about how amazing this city is, we decided to change our plans completely and made sure to include it. We spent 2 nights in New Orleans at the Dauphine Orleans Hotel. The hotel was perfectly located right next to the famous Bourbon Street. It is an unforgettable boutique hotel in New Orleans’ French Quarter. This historic French Quarter Hotel features buildings that date back to the early nineteenth century.
Exploring the city
We had one full day to visit all the sites this city has to offer. One day was definitely not enough but we made sure to see as much as we could. We decided to use the Hop On Hop Off Bus to get around the city but before boarding the bus we joined famous New Orleans Tour Guide, Ernie, on the St Louis Cemetery No. 1 tour. St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is the oldest and most famous. It was opened in 1789, replacing the city’s older St. Peter Cemetery (no longer in existence) as the main burial ground when the city was redesigned after a fire in 1788.
Famous New Orleanians buried in St. Louis No. 1 include Etienne de Boré, wealthy pioneer of the sugar industry and the first mayor of New Orleans; Homer Plessy, the plaintiff from the landmark 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision on civil rights; and Ernest N. “Dutch” Morial, the first African-American mayor of New Orleans. The renowned Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau is believed to be interred in the Glapion family crypt. Delphine LaLaurie, the notoriously cruel slave owner, is also believed to lie in rest here. What is more fascinating is that in 2010, actor Nicolas Cage (who is very much alive) purchased a pyramid shaped tomb to be his future final resting place.
It is not the tour company that makes the difference, it is the tour guide. If you want to guarantee quality, you need to know your tour guide. Ernie conducts cemetery, history, voodoo and ghost tours. He is especially passionate about the cemetery and history tours. If you want to hear fantastic and important stories about New Orleans history, then Ernie’s Tours is perfect for you.
Using the Hop On Hop Off Bus, we visited many parts of the city. New Orleans has so much to offer. We spent the afternoon at the French Market which is located in the French Quarter. From the perfect meal to countless market stalls, the French Market has it all. We explored some of the oldest neighborhoods and drove past houses that were so huge, it warranted its own block!
As the sun went down, the night was coming alive. We were so lucky to be staying only a stones throw away from Bourbon Street. We spent the night walking up and down Bourbon Street just taking it all in. The atmosphere was incredible and the sound of music and smell of Cajun cuisine filled the streets. We ended off the night watching an incredible Jazz band and just enjoyed the nightlife in Bourbon Street. I have officially fallen in love with New Orleans! It oozes culture, history and amazing people!
Next stop… Dallas