Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Viva, Las Vegas


 view of the Strip from the Bellagio


Las Vegas is only a 4 hour drive away from California - So, me and a few friends decided to roadtrip there and stay for 2 days.

Vegas is so many things.... crazy, weird, over the top, oppulent, sleazy, fun, exciting and interesting (just a few words that instantly come to mind). One thing Las Vegas is never is boring. there is always something to do, no matter what the time is.

This trip, I stayed in the Mirage Hotel. which is located right in the centre of the ever-growing Las Vegas Strip. Every Hotel on the strip has its own attractions and this one has dolphins and a great, tropical pool area (perfect for the desert heat)

 The Mirage Hotels pool

One thing thats cool to do when you are in Vegas, is to visit some of the other hotels on the strip. This trip we visited quite a few, including some of the most iconic ones (Caesars Palace & The Bellagio).

View of the Strip from the Mandarin Oriental hotel's bar
 Inside The Venetian Hotel

 A small part of the Vegas strip at night

One thing I have wanted to do for a while is visit the Las Vegas Neon Museum and this trip I finally got to.

As the website states " The Neon Museum campus includes the outdoor exhibition space known as the Neon Boneyard, a visitors’ center housed inside the former La Concha Motel lobby and the Neon Boneyard North Gallery which houses additional rescued signs and is available for weddings, special events, photo shoots and educational programs. "

I was most interested in viewing the Neon Boneyard, which is only available to view if you a book a one hour guided tour (which has limited availablity). We managed to get a 8am slot, which we moaned about a little  - but turned out to be a good idea in the desert heat.

The tour itself was very educational, interesting and absolutely worth the price. The signs were amazing to see and its hard to believe how much Vegas keeps changing and growing. The Boneyard is a photographers dream too... I got ridiculously snap happy and took about 100 photos. Here are just a few of the photos I took.....

 me,  getting very excited about all the signs

 
 

All in all, I really like Las Vegas... You cannot get bored there and there is always something new to see (no matter how many times you go).Will I be going again? I hope so.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Welcome to Long Beach, California...


Long Beach is located between Orange County & LA County in California..... and for 2 weeks it is where I was based (I stayed with my lovely friend, Michelle & her cat, Spot).

Now I should add, that I am no stranger to California. I have visited a couple times and, at a very different stage of my life, I even lived there for 3 years. So for me, visiting California is always filled with a mix of nostagic feelings and old friends. I always enjoy it.

 
 
I was staying in a great part of Long Beach, walking distance to the ocean and the awesomely long promenade.

 Top pic: View from my friends apartment.
Bottom: Spot the cat. Who was wildly amusing and enjoyed waking me up.

Me enjoying a drink at a great, new restaurant in Long Beach called Saint & Second. 
The decor, food and cocktails were absolutely brilliant. I hope to go back someday. 
Visit the website HERE

Monday, 11 July 2016

Hi, English countryside ....


Before leaving England for the United States, I got to spend a few days in the English countryside with one of my good friends, Toni.

As always, the countryside was rather laid back and lovely. We trotted around a bit, but generally just enjoyed some catch-up time together and eating & drinking outside in her garden

Here are a few photos -

Antonia, in her kitchen                    Ruggy, her funny cat
 
 
Daylesford organic farm in Kingham is worth a visit if you are serious about organic & local food. It has a great deli, store (where they stock alot of great things, including their own wine brand) and restaurant.Visit their website HERE

The town of Cirencester, a very english town in the Cotswolds, complete with lovely church and 'cotswold stone' houses (this is also the town where my friend works)

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Places to eat: London


Since I had limited time in London, I had done some research on restaurants I wanted to visit and thankfully I got to try both of them. Plus got introduced to another one that is definitelly worth mentioning too.

Here are the 3 restaurants I really enjoying eating at in London: 

1. Sushisamba 

Located on the 38th floor of the Heron Tower building in central London (closest tube is Liverpool Street), this restaurant has ridiculously great views of the city and cool decor. 

While the view had most of my attention, the sushi (which is a Japanese-Brazilian-Peruvian fusion of flavours) was very good and well presented. 

All in all I loved the whole experience and even though it was a bit pricey, I felt it was worth it. I would definitely visit this restaurant again. 

SushiSamba, Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, City of London, London EC2N 4AY


2. La Bodega Negra 

  
The outside of this Soho eatery looks like a sex shop, complete with bright neon signs saying "Adult videos" & 'Peep show". Once you enter the unmarked door, you step into a windowless room and are directed down stairs to the dimly lit bar/restaurant.

The vibe is relaxed and cool, with candles and interesting art dotted around. The small bar area is initmate and buzzing. The whole place feels like a wonderful, secret hideaway.

I absolutely loved the place and  the food was good - The guacamole & tacos are delicious (especially the lamb ones). Honestly, I can't wait to go back. 


visit the website HERE


3. Bird


This fried chicken restuarants' tagline is "The best free range chicken you've ever tasted" and I think it's a pretty accurate statement.

From the diner-style decor to the food and cocktails, the whole experience was chilled and highly satisfying.

The restaurant has 3 locations in London and we tried the Camden one. Definitely worth trying, but be prepared to eat with your hands and get messy ;)
 


Visit their website HERE
 

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

London...


This time my trip to UK only included 3 days in London and a few days in the countryside, but I was determined to make the most of this part of my holiday.

It had been about 3 years since I had last visted London, and I had honestly forgotten just how much I liked it..... Sure, the weather is hardly ever lets you think they actually have a summer season and its so crowded in some places that your patience is tested - but it's full of history, has beautiful architecture and there is always something to do.

While I always discover new and cool places in the city, I always like to visit: The Tate Modern, Big Ben, Oxford & Regent Street area, a pretty park and Camden Town.

 
 A view across the Thames from the Tate Modern 

Walking on the Millenium bridge toward St Pauls Cathedral

 Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament

 Tourist selfies :) :) - Big Ben in the background

 Union Jacks on Regent Street

me and some urban art in Camden
Camden shops

Thursday, 21 April 2016

10 things I learnt recently


photo by me


1. You can't change anyones mind - you can only change the way you see the situation.
2. I like THIS Reading Project idea, that's started in New York City.
3. Every women should have a professional photoshoot done at least once, its so good for an ego boost and reminding you how sexy you are (HERE is one from a shoot I just did)
4. The person who cares the least has the most power.
5. Being a tour guide in your city reminds you just how lucky you are to live where you do.
6. Sometimes your heart will make no sense and that's ok. It's not always meant to.
7. Hangovers get way harder with age.
8. HERE is how to make people think you have your shit together
9. Watching a beautiful sunset, can save the crappiest day.
10. This is very true - "Despite how open, peaceful, and loving you attempt to be, people can only meet you as deeply as they have met themselves." - Matt Kahn

April music mix


Made a list,for a good friend, of some of the songs swimming around in my head right now. Decided I'd share it on here too ('cause maybe you'll like it)...

* Ciggarettes after sex  - affection   
* The Editors - The Weight
* Heartless Bastards - Only for you
* Nouvelle Vague - Dance with me
* Amber run - I found
* The chainsmokers - Dont let me down 
 * Broods - Bridges
* Animals - Coast Modern
* Salt Cathedral - No ordinary man
* Pale - Too Much 
* The Chainsmokers - Roses
Ps - all youtube links - any advice on how to make better playlists welcome
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