Saturday, January 18, 2014

December, 2013 - Pre Christmas in Naples, FL

Our son, Scott, was planning to be in Naples for a business meeting so Dick, Mary K and I decided to drive over and have lunch with him.



He was staying at the beautiful Ritz Carlton on the beach and it was decorated to the hilt for Christmas!





The Ritz Carlton is gorgeous and the service is impeccable!





We had a wonderful lunch at the Ritz' beach bar....loved the bartender...



and the food was delish.  The dipping sauce for our coconut shrimp was wonderful!



The 3 of us stayed at the Waldorf Astoria just down the road and it was much less expensive than the gorgeous Ritz.  We were able to book one of their bungalow suites...loved the large patio and beautiful landscaping!






The Waldorf isn't on the beach but they own beachfront property and have large golf carts running shuttles all day from the main hotel through a beautiful mangrove forest to the beach.

 

 
 The beach was wonderful with lots of shells...Mary K and I will plan something crafty to do with the shells...right now they're still in the trunk of my car.  The only complaint we had with the Waldorf was having to pay rental fees for beach lounges...seems like the daily $25 resort fee should have covered this.  Not a big deal but seems a little chintzy for the Waldorf.



October, 2013 - Halloween on Board Carnival Victory

We wanted to make sure we booked a cruise over Halloween -- this holiday is an added bonus on most cruise ships!  Just bring a costume and join the fun!

Last year we were on Royal Caribbean for our first Halloween at sea and we couldn't believe the ways in which the crew decorated the ship for this holiday.  We were only sorry we didn't bring costumes but decided to book a cruise next year and "do it right".

This year we decided on the Carnival Victory and it truly exceeded our expectations.  Mary K and I brought our costumes....we were an elderly couple (not too much of a reach for this one!) who were looking for their lost dog.  Here's a couple of pictures of our "dress rehearsal" before we left home.  And, thankfully, yes....we added lots of padding.....





On Halloween night, we decorated our cabin door and left candy for the kids....



and got into our costumes to be judged by the crew on the Promenade Deck in hope of being chosen for the big costume contest.  Passengers wore fabulous costumes and here's just a few...








We were thrilled to win trophies and champagne!



Sunday, November 3, 2013

HALLOWEEN on the Carnival Victory - 10/13

Mary K and I had a fabulous time on the Carnival Victory!  Just arrived home after having a ball at the Halloween Party.  Thanks to all the cruisers who voted for our costumes....we came home with bottles of champagne and trophies!  Many of the people on our cruise are e-mailing photos of the beautiful costumes and we'll post as soon as we receive them.  We were too busy looking for our lost dog and couldn't carry cameras....but here's a picture we took of our dress rehearsal.....

Monday, September 23, 2013

Las Vegas 9/13

Just arrived home from our long trip to Las Vegas and then on to Seattle.  We spent 6 days at the beautiful Mirage on the Las Vegas Strip.  Found the best deal on this hotel on Mirage's website...upgraded room and $50 off the total bill.







It's in a wonderful location...between Treasure Island and Caesar's Place and across Las Vegas Blvd. from the Venetian and Harrah's.

View from our room


We arrived at around 9 PM and there was no waiting in line.  The desk staff was very pleasant, checked us in right away and then it was a long, winding walk through the casino to the guest elevators.  There are plenty of elevators...very little waiting.  We were on the 2lst floor and our elevator skipped the first 17 floors which made for a quick ride.  Our room had a lovely strip view and, of course, we got to see and HEAR the volcano every night until midnight.  I loved it but Dick couldn't sleep through the noise.  I ask you, who sleeps in Las Vegas??



The room and bathroom were spotless and we were happy to leave a daily tip for the housekeeper.  In return, she left lots of bathroom goodies everyday....the shampoo and soap are heavenly.  Wish we would have brought a small coffeepot.  We ordered a "large" pot of coffee everyday through room service at $22 + plus tip....no pastry, zip...only a very small pot that held about 4 cups (not mugs).  But we were on vacation.......and we were in Las Vegas.....and I can put a $20 bill in the slot machine and lose it in about 3 minutes (yes, I'm justifying!)



The bed and pillows in our room were heavenly.  I'm sorry I didn't purchase 2 pillows at the Impulse Shop at the Mirage and have them shipped home.  I'll spend forever trying to find those pillows!

Went down and signed up at the MLife Player's Club since I knew I'd do most of my gambling at the Mirage.  (I'm a small timer, only playing slot machines).  But I actually got some free play, 2 buffet breakfasts and $380 comp'd. off our hotel bill...a pleasant surprise.  Oh, yeah....I now have a "pearl" status card so start those hotel discounts coming, Mirage!

As far as the slot machines go, I was up and down....had a little luck on the Buffalo slots, Michael Jackson slots and Triple Dragons.  But I'm like most other people and just can't walk away when I'm ahead!

Met Scott and Christi the next day and the fun began.  We went to Dick's Last Stand (a wacky restaurant) at Mandalay Bay before seeing One (the Michael Jackson cirque show).  Dick's was crazy...all the tables are covered with white paper and the waiter throws the paper at you so that you can set the table yourself.  Insults are thrown back and forth between the wait staff and the customers so you really have to be in a party mood for this place. 


 
 

"One" tickets were a birthday gift from Scott and Christi...thanks again, you two....and it was wonderful.  Lots and lots of choreography and most of Michael Jackson's hits!  Terrific!




Next day I spent the afternoon at Caesar's Form...the shops...and it's a "not to be missed" place in Las Vegas...circular escalators, moving fountains.... painted ceilings...and of course, the up-scale shops. 







If you search hard enough, there's an H&M so you don't have to spend all of your money at Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, etc.


The shops at the Mirage are small stuff compared to the Forum but I found one shop appropriately named ---




The pool area at the Mirage is terrific....it's not crowded because, unfortunately, it rained again in Las Vegas.  Back to the slots for me.


While I was doing a little shopping, Scott and Dick were betting on some football games at the Mirage...lots of TV's, lots of seating and they won their games!


We had a beautiful dinner at the Heritage, Tom Coliccio's restaurant at the Mirage.  The dinner was pricey....about $450 plus tip but the filet mignon was delicious.  Three of us had the filet and Dick had the fish of the day which he didn't like (it was smothered in sauce, not his favorite especially since he asked that it be put on the side).  Our fault for not sending it back....the waitress and waiters were terrific.  All of our entrees were served at exactly the same time by 4 different waiters.  Classy!




The concierge at the Mirage quickly printed our airline tickets and we were off to Seattle to meet up again with Scott and Christi and the grandchildren.



Sunday, August 25, 2013

Upcoming Trip - Las Vegas and Seattle

Getting ready for our next trip!  Dick and I will be staying at the Mirage (our first time at this hotel) and I'm already impressed by one of their employees, Relita B. a Guest Coordinator who has been so very helpful.  It's great to get a warm, fuzzy feeling about a resort before we even arrive!


Booked tickets for Terry Fator....we've seen his performance before and he's terrific. 



Scott and Christie have booked tickets for all of us for the cirque performance -- Michael Jackson One.  I can hardly wait...loved the Beatles cirque show in Vegas and I'm really looking forward to the  music and dancing in the One show.  Thank you again, Scott and Christie....it's a terrific birthday present.


I found a neat web-site showing (believe it or not) free attractions in Las Vegas.  Here's a sample:

     Bellagio Conservatory - A larger-than-life greenhouse atrium filled with seasonal foliage and changed every 6 weeks.  Open 24 hours and sounds like a neat place to just relax.

     Bellagio Fountains - Giant spouts of water shoot up, down & sideways carefully choreographed to music.  Daily every half hour starting early afternoon, then every 15 minutes from 7PM to midnight,

     The Forum Shops Fountain Show at Caesar's - Giant "marble" statues come to life.  Daily every hour starting at 10 AM.

     Mirage Volcano - Fire, lights, sound and special effects.  Every 15 minutes after dark until midnight.  (We have an upgraded room overlooking the volcano and strip....I'll let you know if we can hear the noise every 15 minutes!  Ooops....what am I talking about?  We won't be in our room until well after midnight anyway....right, honey?  Party!)


Let me know if there are other freebies we shouldn't miss!
    


Saturday, June 29, 2013

6/25 to 6/27/13 - HOLLYWOOD HARD ROCK CASINO

Thank you, Hard Rock for sending me 2 complimentary nights at your hotel!  We've been to this resort several times but it's the first time we've stayed.....it's a terrific way to enjoy a mini vacation...gamble a little, rest a little, swim a little and back to gamble a little more.

















The room was beautiful and had all the amenities we needed, right down to the Kuerig coffeemaker which we have at home.  The bed was comfy (I wonder where they get those fabulous pillows) and security to the rooms from the casino was great.  (You have to show your room card to get to your room which is a plus and keeps down the noise level.) 


The only minus to the room was the deep, deep bathtub which was perfect for soaking but treacherous to climb in and out for a shower.  Grab bars would be nice, Seminole
Tribe. 


The pool is beautiful with small cabanas available for a nominal fee.  There's a nice bar outside for a great, reasonably priced lunch.





The decorating throughout the casino and hotel ate marvelous...lots of photos and clothing from rock legends.




I had a terrific day at the slots.....during the first hour I won a small jackpot so I was able to play with the casino's money during the two days and even got to take some $$ home. 


If you're going to Hollywood Hard Rock, always ask if there's a drink of the day...Wednesday is Bloody Marys for $3 rather than the usual $5.  No free drinks at this casino while you're gambling but $3 is a pretty good deal.


We had lunch at Hooters which is on the property in the Paradise Shops.  It was good and reasonably priced.  There are some small shops and restaurants in this area along with the poker room and the theater with some great entertainment.