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Avec Amour : September 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Wanderlust Wednesday: Vegas (for real!)

I wrote on Vegas about a year ago, saying I wanted to go there.

Well guess what - I went in May! And it was just about as great as I thought it would be.

For starters, we had been invited to go months prior to the trip. We didn't think it was affordable at the time, or worth taking days off of work.

The week before the trip, we changed our minds. So Sunday night at about 10pm, we booked flights leaving on Tuesday afternoon.

Oh nothing. Just going to Vegas.

The first question everyone asked - are you guys getting married?! We promised we weren't (even though now, we ARE getting married! But not in Vegas and not until November). But we thought we needed a photo to fake everyone out...

Not just yet :)
Anyway, we had a great time. Let's put Vegas into 4 categories: Sun, food, parties and entertainment

Sun

We stayed at a time share with friends, and this was the pool. It was gorgeous and refreshing and this is what we did for at least 5 hours a day. The best part about it? Dry humidity. A totally new concept to a Florida girl. 99 degrees that only felt like the high 70's... amazing. And most of the hotel pools in Vegas are AMAZING! You can buy passes to go check them out if you're interested.



Food

Any kind you want. Any time of day you want it. There was a $3.99 Steak + Eggs special that our hotel ran... and it was only from 2am-5am. Perfect for the party-goer. Two of my favorite food experiences in Vegas involved sweets.

1 - The Sugar Factory
We landed on our plane and came straight here. They can make any of your dessert dreams come true. I got the S'mores Crepe and it was incredible. Actual little home made marshmallows. So delicious.

                  
   


2 - RM Seafood (inside Mandalay Bay)
They had an ice cream taste test. They make 18 different ice creams out of anything and everything in their kitchen... and you get to guess which ones are which. It was so fun, and so delicious! We were wrong on a lot of them, but it was really cool to do.





The Vegas Crew - Amos, Carly, Matt, Alexa, Matt and myself
Party
There are unlimited places in Vegas to drink, dance and enjoy yourself. I barely drank while i was there, but not to lack of options! We did go to a club inside one of the hotels (i can't remember which one at the moment) 



We got into clubs for free by posting on Twitter that we were looking for clubs in Vegas. We also got wrist bands for free drinks! An easy way to save some money and check out some cool places

Entertainment

It depends on what kind of entertainment you want..... there are comedy shows, review shows, musical performances, Cirque (4 different ones!), casinos, plays/musicals, magicians and just about anything else you could think of.

Matt and I indulged (let's be honest - he did this for me) in seeing Phantom of the Opera - i absolutely LOVE this musical, and this stage was built inside the Venetian specifically for Phantom! I've been told about it numerous times. When I found out the show was ending in September, we decided to scrap Cirque and go see Phantom. And i'm glad we did! Especially because that theater is being replaced with another Cirque du Soeil show. I can't wait to go next time!

              


There are also more casinos than you can count. I played Blackjack but gave myself a $20 limit.... so i only played for about 10 minutes (hey, sometimes it works out better than that :)

Also very entertaining, is going inside all of the hotels/casinos. Especially the newer ones - City Center is amazing, and so is New York, New York! The Strip at night is so glittery. The entire place is sensory overload... but it's awesome!







Those are just some extras from our Vegas adventure - which i'm sensing might become an annual trip.

What are your Vegas faves?

xo


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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wanderlust Wednesday: Iceland

Yes - ICELAND.

I never thought much about Iceland until I met a girl named Vera when I worked at Quiksilver in London. She was Icelandic. And the most beautiful person I'd ever seen in real life! Perfect skin, tall, gorgeous hair, bright blue eyes and perfect pink lips. Not fair. After that i figured Iceland must produce perfect people (i'm pretty sure i'm correct on this one),

Until a few weeks ago, i didn't know much about Iceland except for the models they create. But Matt, my boyfriend, just took a 11 day boys adventure trip there and he's filled me in on everything else.

I missed him, yes. But I think my feelings of jealousy outweighed the missing-him part.

I am just going to highlight some of the reasons I personally want to go there.

we will just call this reason#1-5

Perfect people and perfect scenery? Is this real life? The beauty is certainly the selling point for me in Iceland. There are a handful of places i've been in my life that have truly taken my breath away, and I have a small feeling that Iceland will be up there in the ranks of incredible.

Here's a few more photos the boys sent me from their trek:

glaciers

sunsets

mars?

rivers

water falls

more glaciers....

aaaaaaand more waterfalls.

Photo credit to Jacob Blaze, Jeremy Stanley and Matthew Olson.

I am going to be honest... I cannot remember which one of these things is in which place. So i'm not going to butcher the crazy names!

Another thing that intrigues me about Iceland is that it's temperate. Which means even though the northernmost point is 3nautical miles from the ARTIC CIRCLE, it is very mild - 50's-70's in summer, 30's-50's in winter. That is more like it. I never liked anything below 20 or above 80, anyway.

Unlike American tourist destinations, Iceland is still very untouched and very uncharted. This means that there are no signs telling you not to get near the waterfall. You can go as close to that waterfall as you want (i'll stay back, thanks, but still a fun option!) - note the last photo posted above.

Iceland also is a very healthy place, the water is delicious (i've heard) and you don't need to filter it at all. There is almost no air pollution because all of their power is generated by hydro electricity. Fish served in restaurants is all locally caught. Very different from American life and most of European culture.

Most people live in Reykjavik, and then small pockets of people live elsewhere. The Westfjords are the most untouched place in Iceland. The northwest corner of the country is made up of multiple peninsulas that are covered with extreme terrain. They are also only lead to by gravel roads (offroading, it is!) so you need the right kind of car! A lot of the crazy pictures above (Mars, etc) were taken in the Westfjords. They are probably my top choice to visit in the country.

Other notable sites in Iceland:

- northermost point. 3 miles from the Arctic Circle (Grimsey, north east side of the island)
- the Northern Lights. Only show up from September - April, when tourism is actually quite slow. Check your calendar to coordinate.
- the Blue Lagoon. A natural hot spring (which there are many around the country). I have been to a Blue Lagoon in the Mediterranean Sea as well... apparently Blue Lagoons are pretty popular to have.
- more waterfalls, puffins, and glaciers than your heart can handle. Oh yeah, and rainbows. With all of those waterfalls around, it's going to happen. Pot of gold, anyone?

This is certainly on my list of to-do travel locations. I have also been promised by a certain boyfriend that we will go one day. I figured i'd post it on this blog so if he claims to forget, you all can back me up :)

Has anyone been to Iceland? I'd love to hear your stories!

xo

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