Englishman reviews the Palazzo, Las Vegas, 41st floor twentydollartrick

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Vegas Baby!!!

So we got the opportunity to go to Vegas in July. Will was doing a work thing so I obviously had to go to keep him company but we did make a holiday of it. Here are some amazing photos and info to help you plan your trip to vegas or just if you wanna see what we got up to. We were staying at The Palazzo and Will being Will did a bit of research on how to make sure you get a good room with a view and any other little extras. So on arrival at the check-in desk he folded $20 note gave it in with his passport to the receptionist as he had read somewhere this is a good trick. The receptionist was very friendly and knew Will was here for a conference so she kindly gave me free breakfast coupons for the restaurant for the entire 5 mornings we were staying there which easily saved us $15 every morning. Will also asked if there were any rooms with a nice view. Here was the result of the request. Not sure if it was the tipping that helped or if we would of got the free breakfast and good view but will defiantly try it again elsewhere.

IMG_20140718_080134IMG_20140714_085811

The free breakfast was great sausage/bacon/ham with eggs and a huge hash brown that took up half the plate swigged down with a mug of coffee. We just chilled the first morning went for a swim and explored the complex. The Venetian and The Palazzo are a huge resort themed around Venice and all things classy and Italian. Designer shops everywhere, bars and restaurants.

IMG_20140717_085403IMG_20140715_154637IMG_20140716_134801

We then couldn’t help ourselves and went shopping to the premium outlets. There are 2 in vegas, 1 to the North of the strip and the other South of the airport. We went to the South but later discovered the North was better after a conversation with a lady in the lift.  So went there later on in the week was defiantly better than the South outlet. Costs around $20 in a taxi or there is buses you can get. Worth a visit Will stocked up on loads of work gear shirts/trouser/boxer shorts from Tommy Hilfiger/Timberland/bananarepublic. I on the other hand couldn’t tare myself away from the 50% discount in Kate Spade.
Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Camping in Wonderful Wales

We spent a lovely 10 nights camping in Wales this summer. The weather was perfect and we consumed our days on the beach and swimming in the sea.

All packed up and ready to go

IMG_20140722_163443

Days 1-3 Llyn Peninsula

Camped at Llanbedrog curgan farm , lovely site, clean toilets, freezers to use and 5-10 walk to the beach. Great location to explore the Llyn Peninsula.

IMG_20140723_153613

Llanbedrog beach

IMG_20140722_180852

Pwllheli beach 10 minutes drive away. Pwllheli also has some lovely shops and places to buy nice produce.

IMG_20140723_122514

Will on the beer run on Ty Coch beach which is on the other side of the Llyn peninsula around 20 minutes drive from Llanbedrog. It has been voted in the top ten beach bars in the whole world so worth a visit if you are in the area. Note to get to this beach you need to walk either through the golf course nearby or along the neighbouring beach.

IMG_20140724_133212

Picnic – bread, cheese, pickle, crisps  and welsh cakes.

IMG_20140724_134932

Day 4-6 Aberaeron

About 2-3 hours further down the west coast is this lovely little fishing town with brightly coloured houses. Stopped of at Aberystwyth on the way for a drink and some fish and chips. Ruby cooled down with some doggy ice cream a pub was selling.

IMG_20140725_144607

The campsite we stayed at in Aberaeron was called camping on the farm. Big site well run just wished there was more toilets and showers. Did get very busy in the mornings and was unable to wash my hands after using the toilet due to the amount of people using up and queuing to use the only 3 sinks to have a wash and brush their teeth. Good job I came prepared with my alcohol hand gel. Lovely location nice walk along the beach to the town and what a sunset from our tent.

IMG_20140725_205427

IMG_20140726_102247

IMG_20140726_111926

IMG_20140726_111934

There is also a gorgeous National Trust property 10 minutes drive away. It is an example of John Nash’s early work and sat within a working organic farm. A real gem.

IMG_20140727_150746

IMG_20140727_123335

IMG_20140727_122901

IMG_20140727_151958

IMG_20140727_125939

Wills birthday breakfast and tipple

IMG_20140726_085639

IMG_20140727_192017

Day 7-10 The Gower

Due to the weather forecast predicting further glorious sunshine and neither of us back in work until the following week we decided to continue our tour of Wales and drive another 1.5-2hrs south to The Gower. We stopped in Swansea on the way which I must say is super friendly. Living in Liverpool for the last 12 years and seeing how it has developed, Swansea reminded me of Liverpool 10 years ago with its rough around the edges bulidings and city centre but with all the charm and atmosphere that money cant buy. Amazing food market which I unfortunately didn’t take a picture of but will be engrained in my memory forever.

In The Gower we stayed at the campsite Nicholaston Farm. We had mixed feelings about this place. It didnt help that it was the first week of the kids summer holidays and it was jammed packed in the tent fields. Upon arrival we were told not to camp on the right where the electric hook ups where but other than that there was no organisation as to positioning of tents. We found a nice spot and went to the beach to return to 2 huge tents pitched up on either side of us with nowhere to park our car. Now im a happy camper and like to make friends with my fellow tent neighbour but this was a little too close for comfort. It wasnt really their fault as there was nowhere to go and we did feed this back to the owners and we did end up moving in the end when an electric hook up pitch came available. It was a lot of hassle and we probably not go there again. Great for families in groups though as can spread out and isnt restricted for groups like in other campsites. But I would be worried if a fire broke out with tents being so close together!!

So here are some of the amazing beaches and scenery of the gower. It is really a spectualer place that everyone should visit. The beaches we visited all require some form of hike or walk to so not great for people with restricted mobility.

IMG_20140728_170401

IMG_20140729_132831

IMG_20140729_133757

IMG_20140729_144857

IMG_20140729_175536

Camping Cuisine

IMG_20140729_191451

IMG_20140729_201319

We also visited the Mumbles we didnt bump into Catherine Zeta Jones but did stuff our faces again!

IMG_20140730_181258

And thats about it packed up and headed home

IMG_20140801_075939

The dreaded unpacking

IMG_20140802_133851

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A new way of hosting images

Here’s just a quick post to try out a move of hosting our images on Flickr instead of directly on this site – our monthly bandwidth has been getting bashed with users and uncompressed images to boot! Here’s the embed code taken from one of my images in Flickr: I went to the image in Flickr, clicked the Share button at bottom right of the image, chose HTML for the embed code, and Medium 640×429. Clicking on the image should take you to the image on Flickr.

It’s of the Milky Way as seen over the Grand Canyon July 2014. Will

final_diag

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Holiday in Lebanon – Jounieh & Byblos (sept’13)

If you are looking for an alternative getaway to the usual European package holiday then Lebanon has that Mediterranean escape vibe with a Middle Eastern twist. It has a wonderful climate, tasty food and breathtaking scenery. We were fortunate enough to be invited to attend our friends wedding and jumped at the chance to be there. We had week to fit in sightseeing, relaxation, a hen & stag do and most importantly a wedding. This is part of what is wonderful about Lebanon. It is roughly the size of Greater Manchester so you are really not far from the main attractions. We are all aware of the civil war that devastated the country and many lives from (1975-1990) and subsequent conflicts and fragility ever since, and even when we were there. However, not once did we ever feel unsafe or at risk. I think that is mainly down to the well natured, resilient temperament, enjoying life attitude of the Lebanese people we met whilst we were there! So here are some pictures, info and recommendations of what we did in Lebanon. Note we flew into Beirut but chose not to stay and sightsee there, as we wanted to explore the coast and due to having wedding commitments didn’t have the time. Always worth saving something back, so a future trip is essential. So after a relatively easy trip 7 hours including change in Paris flying Air France (£400 return) we landed in Beirut. 15km drive north we checked in to our hotel in Jounieh. Jounieh is a charming little town with lots of cafes, restaurants, pubs and boutiques. We stayed at Queens Land Hotel. Basic, clean and friendly staff for around £50 per night inc breakfast and 5 mins walk to the 1st attraction that was on our must do list. The Teleferique up to the Harrisaa mountain where Our Lady of Lebanon towers over the bay. I would recommend going at sunset as you have wonderful views of the sun going down over the bay.

IMG_5016

IMG_50411

IMG_5043

IMG_5052

http://www.teleferiquelb.com/ Another must see when you are in Lebanon is the Jeita Grottos, 20km north of Beirut and 10 km from Jounieh. You are not aloud to take cameras into the caves but visit these website to get a glimse of the jaw dropping limestone caves. If you only do 1 thing in Lebanon this has to be this!! http://www.jeitagrotto.com/ http://world.new7wonders.com/the-new7wonders-of-nature/jeita-grotto-lebanon/

IMG_5079

 

So after 2 nights in Jounieh we headed a further 18 km to Byblos where the rest of the wedding party were staying. We all stayed in Aleph Boutique Hotel (http://www.alephboutiquehotel.com/). Individual themed rooms, lovely comfortable beds, modern bathroom, friendly attentive staff and 5 mins walk to the beach, cafes, bars and restaurants.

IMG_5089IMG_5092  IMG_5222

 

The city of Byblos dates back to Neolithic times and any archaeology/history enthusiasts will love walking around The Crusader Castle. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/295

IMG_5493  IMG_5518 IMG_5509

Byblos provided a wonderful mix for everyone in the wedding party. The brides family from the UK of all ages had chance to do things that suited everyone. If its chilling on the beach or going to a beach club or enjoying the more traditional side of Byblos on the fishing harbour and walking around the souks, there really is something for everyone. Some excellent restaurants we ate at were Feniqia & Bab El-Mina. Both great value for money but there is penalty of places to try with a great variety of Lebanese, Middle Eastern, European and Mediterranean cuisine. http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g298264-d2019823-Reviews-Feniqia-Byblos_Mount_Lebanon_Governorate.html

IMG_5095 IMG_5103 IMG_5234

For a 7 day trip in Lebanon I would recommend maybe to do 2-3 night exploring Beirut then go straight to Byblos for 4-5 nights for a more beachy holiday vibe. Stopping off at the Teleferique in Jounieh then on to the Grottos for a fews hours or you could arrange a day trip out there once you get to Byblos. Lebanon really does have a great mix of everything you could possibly want in a holiday. Oozing with culture, history, amazing food, nightlife, beaches, walks and most importantly really welcoming friendly people.

IMG_5374 IMG_5399IMG_5462  IMG_5463

Overall our trip to Lebanon was possibly one of the best experiences of our lives and can not wait to go back to explore more of this fascinating country.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Back to Blogging

Ok so we have been so busy the last year and not had chance to update the blog with all the stuff we have been upto. We’ve had holidays/essays to write/food to eat/dogs to walk etc etc but will get to uploading our pictures of places we’ve been and seen. Also, Will has been buying lots of camera/telescope equipment so stay tuned for detailed reviews/pics if you into that kind of thing.

Here is a little taste of things to come…..

IMG_5509

Lebanon – byblos

burg

Dubai

IMG_4950

Pwllheli Beach

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Our wedding video

It’s taken a year to get round to this but we now have a final version of our wedding video (at least as good as it will get). Here is is:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Review of Trixie wicker dog basket

We got this through eBay but were pretty unimpressed by how it fixed to our bike, certainly not wanting to put our little yorkie Ruby at risk with! So back it goes. See the flaws in this video. I think we’re going to try a Topeak basket from Evans cycles next

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Video review of St Mary’s Holiday Park in Prestatyn, North Wales

Just a short(ish) video review we took of this great campsite a couple of miles out of Prestatyn. Giving a bit of a guided tour and description of the facilities. Also giving some ideas on a couple of places/things to do locally on foot with directions. I had some things to say at the end so I used a bit of footage of our Yorkie Ruby enjoying the large dog walking field.

This is a great campsite. Mix of touring caravans, motorhomes and tents. Very friendly (including for well behaved dogs), well laid out, clean, but not too mega formal. Walking distance from the sea and dunes where there is tons of wildlife, but also backed up by easy access into the countryside. I only hinted at it, but we rode our bikes one day from the campsite to Prestatyn and then took the Prestatyn to Dyserth Way (http://goo.gl/bDRa7) which is a disused railway line that they converted to a cycle path between the two towns. Great route up into the hills to Dyserth which has a great pub and an impressive waterfall. Even if you don’t have bikes you can walk it.

We’d also highly recommend a tour around Prestatyn town for lots of individual shops, a wealth of charity shops, but also this new shopping area they built also in centre of town which is pretty good (including Next, M&S (food too), Next, River Island, Tesco etc. free parking.

It took about an hour from Liverpool via Runcorn. I hope you enjoy – We want to move there!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Review of Plumen pendant set

We have been changing the lighting in our communal rooms from the tacky Ikea halogens (which bulbs seemed to go continuously) to light fittings that take standard bulbs (read: energy efficiency drive). We could have gone with your standard pendant set from b&q such as this but instead opted for a fashionable Plumen pendant set. I was not impressed I’m afraid as can be seen in this video:

Worth knowing:

  • No instructions included
  • No inside to the ceiling rose so a very unsatisfactory quality of fitting – you will either have a gap between rose and ceiling or be in fear of it falling down with your valuable glass lamp shade
  • The wire is far from the fabric wire as advertised – it’s a black plastic wire with faux fish net covering.
  • Instead make your own set for peanuts out of black wire, a black lamp holder and painted black ceiling rose, or look around for something higher quality like this remade 1940’s bakerlite set

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment