World Travel

USA Rad-venture: Exploring Vegas & the Mob

Still catching up. Hope my last post was worth the wait. As I hope you enjoy this one about how we turned our time in Vegas around.screen-shot-2016-07-16-at-8-56-47-pm

12th July 2016 

Tuesday

Ok, so day two of Vegas and things are on their way up. Well, to be honest, we couldn’t have gone any worse. Oh wait, we did miss our trip to the Grand Canyon due to the stress and lack of sleep. But they were amazing and let us reschedule for Friday, at no extra charge. So we took to the streets to explore and wait for Leah to contact the hotel and get it all sorted out. 

We explored the Bellagio, Caesar’s Palace, and Planet Hollywood. It’s hard to describe how big this place truly is so I have just added a few photos to help you try and imagine it. We finally got in the hotel at 3:00 pm after much rudeness from the screen-shot-2016-08-07-at-4-41-25-pmhotel manager. Couldn’t believe it. Thank god Leah was there to help otherwise, I would have easily lost my cool.

Anyone who needs an amazing travel agent click here, ask for Leah. She has gone above and beyond, not to mention it was her day off work and she seemed as angry if not more than we did. screen-shot-2016-07-16-at-8-54-56-pm

We also found our way to a little cupcake shop called ‘Sprinkles.
The cupcakes were so amazing. We tried the Chocolate Mudcake and the Red Velvet. They were perfect in every way. The one thang that made me love this place the most was the fact that they had a 24hour ‘
CUPCAKE ATM‘. I really could have lost my mind. It was perfection. Nothing better than walking the streets of Vegas after a long day with the sky beginning to be lit up with Neon and finding the perfect pink ATM. No better way to end the day.

 

13th July 2016 

Wednesday

Today was really great. We were told by a friend of my parents that we should go and have a look at Freemont Street. We took a cab there as it is a fair way off the strip. It claims to be the second most famous street in Las Vegas. Back in the day of mobsters and neon light cowboys, Freemont Street was the heart of Vegas. screen-shot-2016-08-07-at-4-39-37-pm

Freemont dated back to 1905, when Vegas itself was founded in the heart of the Nevada desert. Numerous films had been filmed there from Elvis’s ‘Viva Las Vegas’  to Robert DeNiro’s ‘Last Vegas’. I can only imagine what it would have been like back in the day. Unfortunately, the passing years have not been too friendly. But I would still recommend seeing it.

We found it full of cheap tourist shops and it’s streets full of homeless people. It was really quite confronting. Not at all what I imagined it to be. May have been nicer to see at night when it was all lit up with the numerous Neon Lights. But during the day it was rather dismal. 

screen-shot-2016-07-16-at-8-49-58-pm

After leaving Freemont we made our way down the street to the Mob Museum. It was rather interesting to find out so much about the Mob’s hand in creating this oasis in the desert. We saw the ‘St Valentines day massacre wall’, that of course, had to be reconstructed. In 1929 seven men from the North Side Irish gang were violently murdered during the Prohibition Era.screen-shot-2016-07-16-at-8-53-46-pm  This massacre was led by Al Capone’s South Side Italian gang in order to take control of crime in Chicago. The wall itself had been moved and reconstructed brick by brick in the museum. 

The day itself was a rather interesting day with a deeper insight to how Vegas became a haven for Mobsters and criminals during the Prohibition. The flamingo hotel (we are finally staying in) had such an important part in the establishment of Las Vegas, as it was one of the first big casino/hotels. Many famous mobsters stayed there over the years. 

screen-shot-2016-08-07-at-4-40-25-pmAfter our day in the old parts of Vegas we headed back to the hotel to get dressed and head to the Rio Hotel for our Penn & Teller show. We had dinner in their hotel lobby and then took our seats and enjoyed the show. It was so funny and so magical. The perfect show for Vegas! Would defiantly love to see it again one day if that is ever possible.

I’m beginning to like Vegas.

 

b90d20df4d5a4e0169c8f30132184b

World Travel

USA Rad-venture: Mississippi & Cities of the dead

13589037_10154047424601622_1193683037_oOk, again I apologize. I have been enjoying myself too much to write. But even if I only end up doing it every couple of days, I am still writing. Let’s start with yesterday.

6th July 2016

Wednesday

We had to get up early to get the car back to the Rental Company and check-in for our flight. We first flew from Austin to Dallas and then had to get on an airport train to get to our next gate before flying out to New Orleans. We flew in over the 

13588852_10154047424316622_2037284320_o
Gator PoBoy.

Mississippi. It was such a beautiful sight to fly over (as you can see in the photo). When we arrived we got into a shuttle and headed to the hotel. By the time we got to the Hotel (downtown on the edge of the quarter) my cheeks were so sore. I could not stop smiling. I have been so excited about coming to New Orleans for such a long time now. We dumped our stuff in the room and took to the streets no wanting to waste any time.

We started by finding somewhere to eat at this little restaurant on Bourbon Street called Le BayouWe sat upstairs on the balcony and drank local beer while listening to the bustle on the streets below us.13632888_10154047424276622_1810784149_o

It didn’t take us long to spot the hustlers with their bad joke and attempts at conning the easy to spot tourists with their big cameras and offseason bead collection around their neck (Beads in New Orleans are normally found on the streets just for Madi Gras, but all shops sell them year round for tourists) having done a bit of research I knew all the tricks. But it was awesome to see others experience the local cons. Andrew ordered the Cajan Chicken and Gumbo while I ordered the Alligator Po-boy.  Both dishes were amazing.

 After dinner, we walked the streets a bit before heading back to the hotel for an early night sleep to be ready for our tour the next morning. 

7th July 2016

Thursday

Another early morning today to get to the docks, to go on our Voodoo & Cemetery Tour. We got to screen-shot-2016-07-07-at-1-57-31-pmthe docks, got on the bus and off we went. We learnt so much about the history of voodoo in New Orleans and a bit about the wonders of Marie Laveau, the famous Voodoo Priestess. The bus took us to the beautiful St Louise cemetery

We learnt that the people of New Orleans are normally buried in mausoleums above the ground as the city was built on a swamp and when you bury something in a sway they always come back. They call they cemeteries ‘Cities of the Dead as the numerous mausoleums look like little houses. We also learnt that in a single tomb there would be numerous bodies. After 1 year and 1 day, they could remove the rotten body place the remains in a bag and place it either in the bake or the basement of the mausoleum. This way they could fit more family members in the same crypt. 

We visited Marie Laveau grave where we learned that she use to be a hairdresser as well as a voodoo priestess. People would leave bobby pins at her tomb as a gift. The rumor states that if you 13569854_10154047424246622_236535092_oplace 3 ‘X’s on her tomb she will appear to you. The church had gone to so much effort to keep the graffiti at bay and maintain such a beautiful site. There are many rumors about Madam Laveau and her current resting place, as there are many faux mausoleums dedicated to her that are covered in much graffiti. It was both beautiful and heartbreaking. 

After our tour, we took to the streets to find some Beignets. We found the infamous ‘Café Beignet; they are reported to have the best in the city. They were amazing. So light, so fluffy, so sweet. Will screen-shot-2016-07-07-at-1-57-08-pmneed to find a good receipt to attempt to make them at home. 

We are about to go down to the concierge and book a few more tours for our time here. Maybe a night-time swamp tour and a steamboat cocktail cruise. There are so many options. We just have to narrow it down to what we want to do in the short time we have here. Well, to be honest, it’s
nearly a week but I feel we won’t even see half of the city still. So big and so much history to take it. Currently reading a book called ‘Mad Madame Lalaurie’. It’s pretty interesting. About this crazy screen-shot-2016-07-07-at-1-57-19-pmwoman who use to torture her slaves until the townspeople found out and drove her from the city. I love reading a good book about places I am visiting.

Tonight we will probably just have dinner at the ‘Clarinet’ the hotel restaurant.  We hear it has pretty good food, and then just a few drinks at the bar. Might even go for a late night swim in the pool.

Sorry, I have been a bit slack on writing. This one is a bit long and I understand if you are just here to look at the pictures. To be honest, who could blame you for not wanting to listen to my ramblings and opinions. Until next time my faithful readers and travel lovers.

b90d20df4d5a4e0169c8f30132184b

World Travel

USA Rad-venture: Battle at the Alamo

29th June 2016

Thursday

One day in and we have explored the hell out of San Antonio Downtown. We woke before the sun and watched it rise over the city from our room. It was the perfect start to our day. We finally dragged ourselves from the bed and started to get lost in the streets until we found somewhere to have breakfast. On our way to breakfast, I saw my very first squirrel. It was so cute. I know the novelty will wear off but it was my first, so don’t judge me. 

This little place called Schilo’s. It was the only place we could find that was open, other than MacDonald’s, and let’s be serious who wants to fly to the other side of the world and eat something you can at home. We were both so glad we found this place. It was AMAZING. We didn’t order much but what we got was amazing and the price was so reasonable. I am really tempted to go back tomorrow, but we have a goal to eat at as many DIFFERENT places as we can.

After a wonderful breakfast, we walked a few blocks down to the Alamo. We did an Audio tour. This consists of taking a recording device around and typing in the number that is shown at each different station. It was really interesting to see where so many men died defending this country and it made me understand the saying Texas Pride‘ just that little bit more. I was so green. Some of the most beautifully maintained gardens I’ve seen in such a long time. So much pride is taken by everyone who works there.

When our tour was over we walked to the local shopping center and looked for somewhere to have lunch. That’s when I spotted Tony Roma’s seafood and Ribs. and yes we ordered our first Texas ribs. It was to die for. They don’t lie things really BIGGER in Texas. So as you can probably guess neither Andrew or myself were able to finish our meals but we tried. So hard. Didn’t want to waste any of it. Then it was down to the River Walk for a boat tour of the San Antonio river. Our tour guide Juan was so funny. He knew everything about the city and how to make it interesting for tourists. The river walk is so beautiful. I wish I could walk it every day. Full of so much life and color. So much life.

We are currently relaxing in our air conditioned room. It’s 35 degrees outside but the humidity is 63%. So anywhere we can stay cool at the moment. We will be heading out later for some dinner and an evening of exploring since it’s our last night in the city before we pack up and hit the road to see more of Texas. Still not 100% sure where just yet but we have a few places we want to visit. First thing on our list is to visit a Wallmart. Can not wait to see the crazy in that place. I see it all over facebook can’t wait to see it in real life. 

This wasn’t my first Squirrel but still super cute!!!

I hope you are all enjoying our antics and adventures. If anyone has any suggestions for things to do in Texas please let us know. We are always asking. b90d20df4d5a4e0169c8f30132184b