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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Pwllheli beach 10 minutes drive away. Pwllheli also has some lovely shops and places to buy nice produce.
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.
Picnic – bread, cheese, pickle, crisps and welsh cakes.
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.
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.
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.
Wills birthday breakfast and tipple
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.
We also visited the Mumbles we didnt bump into Catherine Zeta Jones but did stuff our faces again!
And thats about it packed up and headed home
The dreaded unpacking
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
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.
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/
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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…..
Lebanon – byblos
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:
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
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!
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:
- 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