Category Archives: Travel

Fremont Street Ziplining and Casino Dance Parties (Vegas Day 3)

(Just a note, I am switching my blog to self-hosted today [finally, I’ve been wanting to do this for about two years], so I am hoping it all goes smoothly and you do not experience any viewing issues…though knowing my luck there may be some technical difficulties. In that instance, please bear with me – I’m sure I’ll be able to figure it out within a couple days. I am also hoping that all you email followers will still be emailed my posts, but please let me know if it stops working!)

Our last day in Vegas started with us at the Mirage pool once again. It is so cold back here that I couldn’t pass up pool time in the sunshine. Lisa and I set up shop at 10am, got a sweet spot, sat back and waited for our friends to arrive.

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And arrive they did. The weather was just as beautiful as the day before, and our time was just as hilarious. Our entire group of 14 made it down for at least part of the day. We had a new server and she came over to us yelling “YAY, I get the Canadians today!!!!” she had apparently heard all about us the day before. Everyone wants the Canadians, I tell you what. We regaled her with all our stories from the previous two days, and she laughed quite heartily.

So, we spent the entire day at the pool, eventually breaking around 4pm for lupper. California Kitchen was conveniently located in our hotel. I know, we really went all out food-wise. Much pizza. Such foodie.

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I will do the food thing better next time. But, California Kitchen is not in Canada, as far as I know, so at least we were trying something new. And my pizza was delicious!

After eating, most of our group decided it was nap time, but since it was our last day Matt and I thought we should keep the party going, so we went on an adventure of our own. We played some blackjack and roulette in the Mirage (lost at Blackjack, won a bit at roulette), and then walked the strip in the opposite direction than the day before, the Treasure Island side.

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Yarrrrr

That side was not quite as fun, and there were less things to see (aside from the Treasure Island ship), but of course we still had a good time and we had a really great convo also. One of my favourite things about Matt is that he laughs at almost everything I say. I also probably laugh at everything he says. So we just spend the whole time laughing, and that makes me feel warm and funny.

Then, back to the hotel room to get ready with my equally funny bestie.

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Tonight, we take on Fremont Street, about 20 minutes from the strip (but if you are going to Vegas I cannot recommend Fremont Street enough, you HAVE to go there). 10 of us were going, so that means LIMO, hey ya!

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The limo was a time all on its own, and then we arrived, and my mind was immediately blown (I am not meaning to rhyme, but I guess it works).

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I mentioned the strip was stimulation overload, well Fremont Street was STIMULATION. OVERLOAD. I didn’t know where to look! So many things were going on! I read about it before I left, but nothing could have prepared me for it.

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I’m getting all cheesy here, but I love these girls like my family and I am so glad we did this together.

Fremont Street is original Vegas, the old strip, with all the famous casinos. I love that it is older and cheesier, with more characters around for us to talk to (/mildly harass). I wish we spent more time there so I could explore the whole thing, but I promise you I will be going back. Evan and I are going to explore every inch of this place one day. Maybe we’ll even eat here!

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For free! A girl can dream…

Aside from all the characters, and the character casinos, and the character bars, I especially enjoyed the light show on the ceiling of the street.

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Could not stop looking up.

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How ridiculous is it? I feel like the planners were all “Hey, what’s the craziest thing we could do to take this street to the next level? Light show on the ceiling? Okay then!”

Emily, Dawn, Lisa, Heather, Matt and I decided that we should do the Fremont Street Experience, which is ZIPLINING down the street. Because, when in Vegas. We were excited.

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Favourite picture of the trip probably.

Do you see the black lines above my head under the ceiling lights in the photo below?

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Those are the ziplines.

We bought our tickets electronically from a little store by the base of the ziplining tower and lined on up. Even just being in line was funny. We met this wonderful lady and her husband.

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I want to say she is from Texas? I could be wrong. I think everyone is from Texas. We liked her a lot, and I am going to assume that we are her favourite people as well. We may have called her mom.

And then we got all suited up in our ziplining gear.

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I feel like I need to tell you that Heather is flexing like a muscle man, but her arms got cut off it so unfortunately it just looks like she is awkward face. Contrary to her face, she is not angry or constipated, just flexing. I also need to tell you that if there is even the slightest chance that your night is going to take a turn for the zipline, do not wear a dress. When the guys were putting my harness on they accidentally lifted up the back of my dress and the entire lineup behind us saw my butt. They all clapped and cheered at least, so it could have been worse. Still slightly awkward, but what can ya do.

Emily is not a fan of heights so I didn’t think she was going to want to do this, but she was a serious trooper. She had a bit of a moment RIGHT before she launched off the platform, and there may have been a few tears, but the guy who was checking our harnesses was awesome. He came over to Emily, gave her a hug and a pep talk and actually wiped the tears from her eyes. It was a very touching moment.

No photos of the zipline experience because they are $20 and I spent my photo quota on the rollercoaster picture, but it was amazing and it only hurt my crotch a tiny bit. Here’s a video (not mine) of what it was like if you want to see. If you go there you gotta do it.

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Happy Zipliners.

After the ziplining, we met up with the rest of the group at D Casino.

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Brent was playing some killer $5 minimum blackjack so I immediately joined in on that, and we roped in Lisa and Elliott as well. We played for about an hour and although I was up a lot in the beginning I ended up losing $50, which is my gambling max. Oh well, when in Vegas. These casinos were definitely cheesier than the classy ones on the strip, and they played loud dance music. We were pretty hyped up from the ziplining and just the hilarity of the night in general, so we started a dance party in between the blackjack tables. Clubs aren’t my thing but I’ll tell you what is, dance parties between card tables in a Vegas casino. We were pulling people up from the tables, people were joining us when they walked in…it was very funny and it is one of my favourite moments of maybe my life. Oh Fremont Street. I could never live there, I would go crazy. But it sure was fun to visit.

And if you are souvenir hunting let it be known that everything is cheaper on Fremont Street than it is on the strip. I got the outfit below for a mere $30, and I saw those same pants on the strip for $50, so that was a huge score.

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That shirt is obviously the biggest score. Like silk but polyester. It was a gift for Evan and I really hope he wears it. You know who would definitely wear it, and not even as a joke? My dad.

And that was our Vegas experience. I’m still going to write about Divas, but otherwise, that was our trip. I loved our group and I just can’t even describe how funny everything was. Someone would branch off and have their own adventure and then come back and tell us about it, and we would all be on the floor laughing. I don’t even think a minute went by when I wasn’t laughing. I am so glad I went and was able to experience this with the people I did. Thank you for planning this and inviting me Heather!!!! Happy Dirty 30!

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The Canadian Experience (Vegas Day 2)

Day 2 in Vegas I woke up at 6am (don’t ask me why, I’m still upset about it) feeling less than wonderful. But a little room service eggs benny with a side of potatoes perked me riiiight up.

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Dawn and Emily called Lisa and I at 8 and asked if we would be in for renting a car and adventuring to the Grand Canyon for the day. It sounded like it would be an amazing time, but we declined. We were not feeling 2.5 hours in the car each way, and also, I wasn’t sure if this was the trip for that. Going into our Vegas trip I did really want to make it to the Grand Canyon one day, but once there I decided I was in this for the people we were with and I probably would not have the chance to hang out with them all together again, or at least for a very long time. I just wanted to experience the Strip with the group. It’s all good, I will go back with Evan FOR SURE, so when we do that we can have all the eating adventures (which I didn’t have very much of either, sadly), and also hit up that canyon.

Instead we went to the pool. We got there right when it opened at 10am, so that was beauty. Fun fact, apparently the Mirage is the only hotel on the strip that has an outdoor pool open in the “winter”. The main pool was closed for seasonal maintenance so we had to hang around the smaller one, but that was not too shabby at all.

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I will repeat, not too shabby at all. And it was sunny and actually warm.

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Tanning up my pale Canadian skin (but the Americans say not pale enough)

Maybe a little chilly for resident Las Vegans, but for us Canadians we thought it was beautifully balmy.

Lisa, Heather, and I ordered giant Caesars (they actually had Caesars and not just Bloody Mary’s!!!! We were so excited!) and I feel like it may have been the best decision of the day.

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Nothing like a Caesar in the morning to get you back into the swing of things (note: if you are not familiar with Caesars, believe me when I tell you they are the best and you need to get on that. You can find how to make them here).

We spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon in that beautiful pool.

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Caesars are done.

And at one point I nearly drowned because I was laughing too hard. I feel like we just laughed the entire time. My face was hurting from it. We made friends with our server Heather, who again told us we were the nicest people she had ever experienced. I didn’t see how this could be possible so I asked her if she truly could notice a difference in our group or if she was just saying that, and she said we genuinely are nicer and she knew immediately we were from Canada because we said please and thank you. Eh. It’s just ’cause we were all drunk (okay, we weren’t, but I’m trying to be funny).

In the mid afternoon Lisa and I split from the pool group to check out the Mirage buffet. In our bathing suits and cover-ups. I am a fan of the anything goes mentality in Vegas. My appetite was not up to snuff so I wasn’t able to take advantage of the all-you-can-eat (and drink!) as much as I would have liked, but it was good and I definitely got my money’s worth with the crabs legs alone.

Then, up to our room for a quick nap. I had JUST fallen asleep when I heard a knock on our door and giggling in the hallway. I assumed it was just Heather and Brent, so I got up to let them in, and 8 people paraded into our room screaming “HEYYYYYY IT’S STRIP TIME!!!!”

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So, we were up. It’s a good thing they’re fun. Lisa and I quickly changed out of our pajamas and headed outside with everyone.

We walked all the way from the Mirage to New York New York, which is a bit over a mile, but it took us about two hours. We stopped for many adventures along the way.

First stop, drinks.

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Yay, slushy drinks. My pink lemonade was delicious.

Chewbacca!

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And yes, you have to pay the characters on the strip if you take a photo with them. I learned that from this Buzzfeed article. If I ever run into dark times I might live on the Vegas strip. There seems to be a lot of ways to make money there if you can hustle and have some skills. Case in point:

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Not that this kind of activity would be an option for me… I’ll just play my flute and hand out lady caller cards.

Group photo!

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Matt, me, Corinna, Trevor, Jen, Heather, Brent, Lisa, We Dunno, Tonya bringing up the front (Tonya was making me laugh SO HARD)

If you think it looks like we’re having a good time, you are correct. That Heather sure knows how to pick her friends. They are all hilarious. I would like to point out that we do not know the man on the far right beside Lisa. None of us knew he was there. We were all yelling “HEYYYY” for the photo and Lisa said she heard this deep “heyyy.” in her ear and surprise, there was that guy. He was a nice addition.

There are so many things to look at on the strip. Everywhere I looked something was happening or one of our friends was doing something funny. It was a bit of stimulation overload, but I liked it.

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Elliot and his drink holder:

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And getting his skate shoes shined:

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We laughed at him, but his shoes did look brand new after that shining.

And looky looky what we found.

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The Grand Canyon Experience! Since Dawn and Em were at the actual Grand Canyon and probably having an amazing time, we decided to have our own Grand Canyon experience to make them jealous when they got back.

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Just like we’re actually there.

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I thought it was very well done actually…

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After that, we zig-zagged our way over to the MGM to see the MGM lion, which is no longer there (sad), so instead we all had a quick shot of Jager before heading to our final destination, New York New York. We wanted to go on the roller coaster.

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The coaster was about a hundred times more intense than I thought it was going to be. I feel like this picture sums up my terror:

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I didn’t expect it to be like a real rollercoaster. I thought it was going to be lame, but a big negative on that. It even goes upside down! My voice was messed up for about a week afterwards due to all my screaming on this thing (and probably my screaming in general).

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I loved it.

After our ride, Lisa and I split again from the group for dinner. We were meeting Dawn and Emily that evening for a show and we wanted to make sure we had dinner first. I didn’t want a repeat of the Friday night no eating. I hoped to last longer than 10:30. We went to the Italian restaurant inside New York New York, and this is where I went really crazy.

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Yeah, spaghetti. I know, right. Who goes to Vegas and orders spaghetti? I just really like it! I wanted carbs, and lots of them. So no regrets there. The spaghetti was the answer to my prayers.

After dinner we cabbed it back to the hotel, giving ourselves 37 minutes to shower and get ready for the show with the girls. We got ‘er done. I found this interesting balloon animal hat in our room…

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Thank you for leaving that with us, Brent. I’m sorry it got popped.

Dawn, Emily, Lisa and I headed to the Linq to see Divas, a drag show, which will be a story for another post as this is getting quite lengthy. For now just know that it was amazing and we all loved it.

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After the show we hit up Casino Royale (across from the Mirage) for one reason: $2 mixed drinks and $1.75 beer. One of my favourite moments of the day was when Emily spread a bunch of bills on the bar and was like “Look at all my money! I feel like I have so much money!” and the bartender was all “You have 6 dollars.” Ah, American money is so sneaky. If you are in Canada and you have 6 bills, you have at LEAST $30. Also, you guys need to change up the colour of your bills, just saying. I never knew how much money I had because everything looked the same. In Canada we have our helpful colour coding.

Canadian_bills2Just seems like common sense.

Emily had this Coors Light bucket from her beer at Divas, so we turned it into a prop. We filled it with ice, put a Loonie (Canadian $1 coin) in it, and then asked people if they wanted the Canadian Experience.

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The Canadian Experience was, you had to stick your hand in the bucket of ice and find the Loonie. People were surprisingly excited about participating. Everyone wanted the Canadian Experience.

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This man REALLY wanted the Canadian Experience and ended up dumping the entire bucket of ice on the floor in hopes of finding the Loonie (security liked it, and I am actually not being sarcastic with that, security was laughing harder than we were). This man was also wearing a Sons of Anarchy sweatshirt, a Sons of Anarchy hat, and a Sons of Anarchy ring. Do you think he likes Sons of Anarchy? We couldn’t tell.

We had some more adventures on the Strip, spent about 10 seconds in the Mirage club, 1 Oak, before deciding it was 100% not for us at all, and capped off our day with delicious grilled cheese and soup from the 24-hour restaurant Pantry in the Mirage (highly recommend).

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It was awesome.

Canucks do Vegas, Day One

As you may have seen from all my Instagram spamming, I went to Vegas for the weekend. About a year and a half ago my Bestie Lisa’s sister Heather approached all of her best friends about taking a trip somewhere for her dirty 30. Originally the idea of a cheap all-inclusive resort was tossed around, but then Vegas came up and that was that. We were going to Vegas. It ended up being quite the meeting of friends. Heather and her boyfriend Brent’s best friends, and Lisa and I talked to Dawn and Emily about it at Christmas and they were in, so suddenly it was our friends too. There ended up being 14 of us, from Ontario, Alberta, and BC. The ultimate Canadian party. I do not like to just throw this word around, but it was epic. There is really no other way to describe it. Best time ever. Do I wish I was still there? NOPE. Three days was enough time in Vegas. But it was amazing.

I had never been to Vegas before, so for my first time I really felt like I needed to do it right and this was THE trip to be on. I used to have this idea in my mind that Vegas was too fancy for me because I am not really into designer things, I don’t particularly enjoy wearing heels, and clubs are not my idea of a fun time. But it was completely the opposite of what I thought. Sure, people were fancy, it was a heel-party, and there were clubs everywhere, but it’s also very laid back. Everyone was just doing their own thing. And everyone we were with was laid back and just wanted to have fun, and that is my dream.

We left early last Friday morning, and I was delighted to find these bitches on my flight.

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Trevor and Matt, best friends of Heather’s, were coming to Vegas as well. For some reason we thought we were on different airlines, so when we found each other in the terminal we had a very excited group hug reunion and switched seats so we could be together on the plane. This was a plus because then I didn’t have to drink wine by myself!

We were talking about how we have only met a total of about three times but we consider each other kindred spirits (though the first time we did spend an entire weekend together, I was staying at their place when I [accidentally] locked Lisa’s cat in my suitcase and I just saw Matt over Christmas). They really are two of my favourite people.

Nearly five hours later (not a short flight, FYI), we landed and met Lisa, Heather, Brent, and their friend Elliot at the Vegas airport. Those four flew in together from Calgary. We decided we needed to get to our hotel in style, and that means limo, hey ya!

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Matt, Heather, Brent

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Bestie reunion!

Oh you know we cracked open that complimentary limo champagne. There may have been some Jager floating around as well, who can say for sure?

Our limo driver was wonderful, and was the first of many people who LOVED the fact that we were from Canada. I could not believe the number of people who were genuinely surprised we were Canadian. Someone actually commented that we couldn’t be from Canada because we weren’t pale enough. Okay then. Anyway, our limo driver enjoyed us quite a lot and said that we were the nicest people she had met, not the first time we heard that all weekend. Though I think we may have been extra nice to her because she made a stop at the liquor store for us.

And then…dun dun dun…we arrived at our hotel. The Mirage!

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I would highly recommend staying there. It seems to be in middle of all the action on the strip, and it is beautiful inside. And even though you can smoke everywhere in there, I actually thought it smelled good (this absolutely does not apply to the old casinos on Fremont Street, you can smell the 60 years of smoking in those).

It may have had something to do with the botanical garden.

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Just luxurious. Like a rain forest.

Lisa and I bunked together, and you will not hear either of us complaining about our room.

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I don’t know if this is standard Vegas hotel room, but we thought it was great.

We dropped off our stuff, changed out of our gross plane gear and immediately got out into that sunshine.

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The weather was gorgeous the entire time we were there. We could not have asked for better. About 20-25 degrees C and sunny. Beauty. Especially since Toronto was experiencing a snowstorm at the time. I will take it.

We found our group of peeps who had arrived so far and headed to the patio just outside the Mirage.

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Sorry for all the photos of just the three of us, I swear there were more of us on the trip…

We sat with a very friendly American couple, who again seemed to really enjoy the fact that we were from Canada. It really is inhabited here, I promise.

We did not stay on the patio very long, as we were sitting in the shade and we wanted sunshine and adventures along the strip.

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I love the all street activities that randomly broke out in front of us.

We wandered into the casino at Harrah’s, which happens to have a White Castle. We all decided we needed to eat something, so I had my very first White Castle experience. I would like to rave on about it, however it did not meet my expectations.

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And yes I blame you for that, Harold and Kumar.

Lisa and I split a meal because we didn’t think we needed four burgers each, but apparently we did because they are tiny (and taste like pâté). In hindsight, not the best idea because our dinner plans never ended up working out and, aside from my sandwich on the plane, that was all I really ate all day. Oh well, learned my lesson. When in Vegas, don’t go to White Castle. Go to a buffet!

When Dawn and Emily arrived Lis and I met them at the hotel and then we all hit up CVS where we bought cans of beer. That was an adventure on its own, again because we seemed to meet so many people. And it was weird that you could walk around drinking on the street. That is a pretty big fine here. No complaints though. Once the girls had their booze, we headed back to our rooms and got ready for a night on the town.

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Hi.

We met everyone in the lobby and then walked over to Margaritaville, conveniently located across from The Mirage.

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I couldn’t turn down the blended rum concoction.

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I was in bed by 10:30, but still no regrets (well, just about White Castle).

We made friends with people on the street. Like this young man…

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And this police officer…

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We also met two older bearded men from Texas who were both named Brian and were attending a concrete convention. They were a fun time. They enjoyed quizzing us about the ingredients in concrete. Water and sand, that’s all I know.

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One of the Brians. Dawn has pulled the ol’ glasses switch trickery.

The Flamingo was next for some general shenanigans…

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Basically just catch up time with everyone. And those are the last of my photos of the evening. Trevor escorted me home at 10pm. We were done. And I think our entire group was in bed by 11. We also walked in the total wrong direction of our hotel for a while, and I just have a tip: do not wear $2.50 pumps from Old Navy when you are going to walk 22,000 steps (according to my fitbit). I woke up with the biggest blisters of my life. And also a purse crammed with stripper cards, so, good times.

More stories to come 🙂

Sandals Bahamas: The Food

Alright, food time! Yeah, I’m really dragging this out. Last Bahamas post and I’m all done. Probably.

It must be said, the food was very good. When I was in Cuba I had this vague not-quite-right feeling every time after I ate, and everything just tasted a bit off from what we gluttonous North Americans are used to. It was fine, but it wasn’t GREAT. But not here. I felt fantastic after eating. On the other hand, the Sandals Royal Bahamian did not have quite as much variety as I experienced in Jamaica, but everything available was delicious. We were not there for very long so I tried to eat as many things as possible so I could report back on my findings.

I found the pizza stand on the beach immediately after we arrived. I went there even before checking out the ocean. I was hangry (but still happy) after our flight.

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That did the trick. The pizza was so good! And so many varieties. You could order a whole pizza, or just by the slice. And the handiest thing, they had a little carousal filled with warm pizza slices that was replenished all day long, so it was very convenient to grab some walk-by pizza. I walked by and grabbed pizza several times, every day we were there.

The snack bar was right next to the pizza stand and you could also just run over and get snacks to bring on the beach.

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Again, handy-pandy.

Our first evening there we had a big group dinner at the Italian restaurant on the resort called Casanova.

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This would be the “kids” table

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I loved Casanova. We all thought the food was amazing. They had a nice antipasto and salad bar that I hit up…twice.

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I love that sort of thing. And I think everyone at our table ordered the same dish as our main. The steak.

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It was amazing. Really, really good. Melt in your mouth. And dessert:

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Also amazing, and I was skeptical. Also, for some reason I don’t seem to have the biggest sweet tooth on vacation. I just want salt. And all the meat and all the carbs and all the cheese.

We ate breakfast every morning in the one buffet, and nothing to really report there but they had lot of variety and everything was very good. I did not find long grisly hairs attached to the skin of my bacon, so that’s a win. I cannot say the same thing about the buffet at our resort in Cuba… Also, I highly recommend the omelette station. I had one of the best omelettes of my life on our last day.

Evan and I had a quick lunch in the buffet on day two, and there was a pretty good selection.

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Nothing too elaborate, but scalloped potatoes! It’s been so long! Not the best ones I’ve ever eaten, but not too shab-alicious. The chicken cordon bleu though, that was very good.

But no pasta bar! At least there wasn’t on the day that we were there. And on this resort there is actually no dinner buffet, only the a la carte restaurants, so no pasta bar for dinner either. I was very disappointed about this. I really love a good pasta bar.

We ate that before our massage and I didn’t want to eat a ton because I was going to be lying on my stomach while someone vigorously rubbed me for an hour. Being overly full for that did not sound like a good idea.

But I was kind of hungry afterwards, so we had a second lunch later. Or an early dinner. Whichever. We got room service, which is included at Sandals all-inclusive (of course it is).

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I had just gotten out of the shower when it arrived so yep, I ate it in my robe. That would be the jerk chicken wrap with plantain chips. Very good. And I loved the mini Heinz bottles. Definition of fancy right there. I wanted to steal them.

That evening we were on our own for dinner, so Evan and I made reservations for the French restaurant, Baccarat. I had read reviews that it was the best restaurant on the resort and it did not disappoint. I started with the escargot.

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Escargot, my car go, one sixty, swiftly

I don’t think I have ever had escargot before and I can’t say that I have ever really wanted to either…but when in the Bahamas. I actually really enjoyed those little snails. Or I maybe just enjoyed the garlic butter they were soaking in. Either way, j’adore. Evan got crab cakes and he really liked.

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My next course was mushroom soup and it was delicious but did not photograph well. Evan got the seafood bisque and said it was the best seafood bisque he’s ever had.

Next I went for the goat cheese salad, and, I cannot lie, it was a disappointment.

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I was under the impression that there would be goat cheese on my goat cheese salad, but the goat cheese was actually spread on the accompanying bun. I don’t know what Baccarat was playing at with that nonsense. More goat cheese less salad next time please.

And for my main I ordered lobster.

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Delicious. Just amazing. Could not get enough of that.

I am embarrassed to say that Evan and I were both too full for dessert, or maybe we were just antsy to get out of the restaurant and see everyone, because at that point we had been there for nearly two hours.

We were at the private island around lunchtime the next day, so for lunch we went to Stew Fish, the seafood restaurant.

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I started with the conch fritters.

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Delicious. So much better than I was expecting. Loved those.

My main was the pulled pork sliders.

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Ehh, ees okay. The buns were not the wonderful carby deliciousness that I had been anticipating. Something was weird about them. So it was only fine.

And because we hadn’t actually eaten at the snack bar yet, and it was Evan’s dream, we went over there for a double lunch when we got back to the island.

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I liked the salad bar.

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Particularly the feta. Makes it betta.

They also have REALLY good chips and salsa in the snack bar. Very good. So we got a pile of those. And for my second lunchtime main of the day, I ordered the grilled cheese.

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Pretty much what you would expect in a grilled cheese.

On our last evening together we had a group dinner off the resort. This was actually an accident as we had reservations at the French restaurant again that were dropped at the last minute because a wedding party wanted to have their reception there. Bitches. So took a couple of van cabs to the Poop Deck, an authentic Bahamian seafood restaurant in Nassau.

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The Poop Deck was an interesting place. Laid back but also a little fancy.

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I am not sure who it was catering to, locals or tourists, because it was very casual, but the prices were quite high (like at least $25 an entree). Our cab driver on the way home was saying that he didn’t think most locals who worked at the casino or were a cab driver, for example, would be able to afford it. I’m sure they get a lot of business from the resorts.

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Interesting selection of shots also…

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I regret not ordering a Nut Washer.

The Poop Deck definitely had a nautical, ship theme going on (would have been good for Emily’s bachelorette party!) and we all sat on the patio, which was open to the water.

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I ordered the Fisherman’s Plate: half a lobster tail, shrimp and grouper, with market vegetables and rice.

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It was very good. The lobster wasn’t QUITE as good as what I had on the resort, but still good. And that grouper was amazing.

It was such a fun and hilarious dinner. Actually, our whole trip was fun and hilarious. I really loved our group.

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I was so proud of organizing that photo until I realized that two of my closest coworkers were in the bathroom during it.

Anyway, that’s it! I am sure I will have many more eating adventures to tell you about next week because it is THANKSGIVING!!! Have a great long weekend my beautiful fellow Canadians! Eat lots!

Bahamian Shenanigans

I already briefly touched on most of our shenanigans in the Bahamas in this post, but I have just a couple more things before we get to the food stuff.

We arrived last Monday around noon and after checking out our rooms, most of us headed down to that beautiful beach.

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We had a quick kick-off meeting that my CEO led at 3:30, which was in a boardroom inside but no one really minded. We just showed up in our bathing suits, drank the booze that was in the room, and then all headed back down to the beach afterwards.

After a group dinner we decided it would be fun if we all went to the Atlantis Paradise Island casino, so we all met in the piano bar beforehand.

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This ended up being my favourite bar on the resort. I loved the staff there.

Of course, no piano bar is complete without a piano man.

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And no piano man singalong is complete without Billy Joel’s Piano Man. So of course I requested it.

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I know I look like I am yelling at the piano man in the above photo, but I am just singing “SING US A SONG, YOU’RE THE PIANO MAN!!!” and I was pretty into it. So was he. So was everyone! Singing along with our group I think was one of my favourite memories of the trip. Someone has a video of it, so that will be hilarious to watch.

Anyway, drinks happened with new friends…

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And then we all piled into a couple of van cabs and made our way to Atlantis. It is not a short ride, just a heads up. It’s at least 20 minutes. But we got there.

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This is the only picture I have from Atlantis. We walked into the casino area and everyone lost everyone immediately. It was impossible to find anyone in there and no one’s phone was working so we couldn’t call anyone to track them down. Evan and I had a hard enough time keeping track of just each other. After wandering around for a bit I set up shop at a blackjack table. I am not a fan of slots because I feel like I just put all my money in there and it never comes back to me, but with blackjack I feel like I have more control. I ended up winning $50 in about an hour, so I more than doubled our money! Evan and I took our winnings and used it to get back to our resort. I was pretty happy with my $50, but I found out later that my coworker won $200 on the penny slots! Maybe I need to rethink the slots…

It is my DREAM, my absolute dream, to go to the Atlantis water park one day, it just looks ridiculous. So obviously we are going to have to go back. We only saw the casino, but it was still a fun time.

Day 2 was breakfast – beach – snorkeling adventure – lunch – Scents of love couples massage – pool

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Shower + get ready – romantic dinner for 2 (more on this when I talk food) – party time.

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We found everyone in the piano bar and brought them over to the English Pub (called Crickets and they had the best mozzarella sticks ever) where quite the limbo competition was going on. This guy was pretty impressive.

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He lost there with that hand on the floor, but still he was very limber.

It was a fun night with the coworkers and their friends and (not pictured) lovers.

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And our boss.

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I don’t want to name drop here or give you the wrong impression that I am important, but there were a few VIP’s (on the business front) on this trip with us and it was pretty interesting to see them letting loose in vacation mode.

Eventually we made it outside since it was gorgeous out. And you tell me this pool doesn’t look inviting.

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We wanted in there. We talked about going back to our rooms and getting into our bathing suits, but if I went back to my room I wasn’t coming back out… and the girls agreed. I brought up going in as we were, in our clothes…and surprisingly the girls were in. So, when in the Bahamas…

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Just like our midnight swim in Jamaica. Only this time we didn’t get kicked out of the pool. No one seemed to care at all. We actually played volleyball for a while. And just sat around shooting the you know.

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Quite a time. The funniest thing about these photos is our boss is taking them. 

Day 3 we rolled out of bed and into our bathing suits, and then over to the buffet. After breakfast we hit up the private island where we swam in that amazing ocean for hours and hours.

One of my coworkers was being a paparazzi.

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We were frolicking.

It was such a beautiful day.

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We ate lunch on the island, came back to shore and at lunch again in the snack bar and then hit up the pool for the rest of the afternoon.

Our last night was a big group dinner with everyone off the resort. And that about sums up the activities. More to come on food stuff!

Sandals Royal Bahamian: Our Resort

As I mentioned, several times, we stayed at the beautiful Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau, Bahamas. I feel pretty lucky to have stayed there as I think a Sandals would typically be out of the ol’ price range over here.

Past resorts that I have stayed at and written about are the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton in Lucea, Jamaica, and also the Brisas Guardalavaca in Holguin, Cuba. I like to get detailed about the resort not only so that I can have a record of where I stayed, but also for other people who are thinking of staying there and are looking for info about it (a blog reader actually stayed at our resort in Jamaica after I wrote about it, and maybe she was humouring me but she did say it was because of my review).

Let me tell you I wish there was a blog post like this one when I was researching about the Royal Bahamian before we left. Sure, you can check out Trip Advisor, but I find the reviews on there are pretty hit or miss. You never know who the reviewer is, and some people just like to complain, ya know? I like to know what to expect.

Anyway, let’s get to it. It was pretty ridiculously beautiful. If you are into the whole sun, sand, and being pampered kind of thing.

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Which I am. And I feel like this is my climate.

This is apparently the oldest Sandals location and people in our group did say it was the most run down Sandals they had been to, and I also read that in some reviews. I am probably not the best person to ask about that because it looked friggin’ nice to me and I was impressed…but just keep in mind that it’s been around for a while. It seemed to me like they did a pretty good job with the upkeep, and most of it has been refurbished.

Our room was great.

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Just fabulous. I love a good four poster bed.

And I was quite a fan of this:

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This is my third all-inclusive and I have never had a bar in the room like this (in Jamaica there was beer in the fridge but that was about it). Evan saw this and was all “Whoa, we be gettin’ crunnnnnnked!” but in reality I think we had one glass of rum each. We barely spent any time in our room. Though I did have a few cans of beer from the fridge while I was getting ready for dinner activities in the evenings.

Here was the view from our balcony:

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So no complaints about that!

The resort had two main pools. The one our room looked onto, which we called the party pool because there always seemed to be a party happening in there…

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This picture was taken before 9am so the party pool wasn’t quite happening yet.

And the quiet pool.

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Pretty much the same as the party pool but…quieter.

Evan and I both preferred the quiet pool and spent two afternoons hanging around there with various coworkers of mine. Both pools had swim-up bars, which are very important in an all-inclusive resort pool (look at me talking like I’m a pro, about two years ago I had never even been away anywhere!)

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The service was great. All around, not just in the swim-up bars. The staff were fantastic.

Both pools had floating rafts which I actually had a little nap on one afternoon…

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And in the quiet pool area there was a waterfall and this angry god.

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Evan would be recreating this beautiful picture from Cuba…

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He likes to shower with random statues (who doesn’t).

We were in the Royal Windsor room complex, but some of the more private villas had private pools.

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For all the lovers, you know. And yes I felt like a supreme creeper in the bushes taking that photo…

But the most important part of any resort is the beach! The beach was very beautiful and the ocean was warm and lovely, but the beachfront was very small.

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The beach is separated by a big pier in the middle, and you can swim and leisure on either side, but it is still very small. Our resort was very contained and there were other resorts (one actually might have been a private residence) on either side of us.

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They do have all the fun water things you can rent, like kayaks, water trikes, sailboats, etc. We tried to rent a water trike one day (because they are hilarious and look like big tractors), but unfortunately it was too windy to take it out.

The other thing about the beach is sometimes when you were swimming in the water you could smell a strong sulphur scent. Evan had actually read about this before we left and was explaining the reason behind the sulphur smell…but still, even if there’s a good reason, sulphur smells like rotten eggs and it is not a dream scent while in paradise.

To make up for the small sulphur beach though, this resort has a private offshore island and a water taxi will take you there every hour (or you can rent a kayak). The private island has two insanely beautiful (and big) beaches. One that faces back to the resort…

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And one that looks out to the deep, blue sea of forever.

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This beach was my favourite. The water was so incredibly clear and the sand was nice and…sandy.

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Photobombed.

About 8 of us took the earliest water taxi over there on our last full day and spent hours there. It was a dream.

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In addition to the two beautiful beaches on the island, there was another pool with a swim-up bar and a seafood restaurant called Stew Fish (more on that in the food post).

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I didn’t go in this pool at all, but it looks pretty nice.

Evan and I also went snorkeling on our first full day. You can borrow masks, snorkels and fins from the main resort beach and they will take you in a boat about a kilometre off the island.

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Not THE BEST snorkeling, but not too shabby at all. We saw some pretty fishies, and that’s all that matters.

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The only annoying thing about the snorkelling was that you couldn’t borrow masks and snorkels from the offshore island, you had to get them from the main resort beach. But you also couldn’t borrow them and then take them over to the island by yourself, you had to go on the snorkel boat and do the snorkelling at a scheduled time (and our boat was full so my coworker friend and her husband weren’t able to come with us). I wish I had known this in advance because I honestly would have brought our own equipment. People who had their own equipment on the island saw an eel, a stringray, a lobster and a turtle just off the beach and I was jealous. I saw no such things.

Some other cool things around the resort… Many, many statues, and many fountains…

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And many gods…

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I originally thought that was Zeus, but since we’re near Atlantis Paradise Island I am going to say it is probably Poseidon. Either way, that statue was huge.

There were also little coal fires everywhere along the beach.

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Which were very nice at nighttime when they were lit and you could lounge around them.

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Tres romantique!

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That is actually a professional photo that a resort photographer took while we were chilling by the fire one night. They also offered to do a complimentary photoshoot with us around the resort, which was very nice, but unfortunately the timing didn’t work out for that. Apparently they offer it to all their guests, but no one in our group took them up on the offer.

The only thing about the Bahamas, or maybe just Nassau, the area we stayed, is that I don’t feel like I got an authentic island experience like I did in both Jamaica and Cuba. Off the resort is very Americanized. I’m sure it would still be fun to explore (we didn’t have much of a chance), but it’s difficult to picture the culture when just beyond the gates of your resort there is a Domino’s Pizza, a dentist and a Dairy Queen.

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I don’t feel like there was a ton to do at this resort aside from laying around on the beach, which don’t get me wrong, I enjoy…but I don’t think I could have done it for another day so we were there for the perfect amount of time. If I was going for a week I think I’d pick a different location so we could do some off resort adventuring and experience some culture.

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All in all though, it was very nice and we had a VERY fun time. I would definitely recommend the resort. It was very popular for young newlyweds, so if you didn’t just get married be prepared for everyone you meet to ask you if you are on your honeymoon.

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I know this is misleading but we are just on a trip with my coworkers.

And now you have a background of where we stayed and I can move onto the fun things 🙂