Anniversary Weekend in Door County, WI

We left Friday morning to head to Door County, WI for our 5th wedding anniversary. We made it to our hotel, The Landing in Egg Harbor, by late afternoon.  The place was really nice. I was surprised that it was almost like a mini-apartment with a small kitchen, dining area, living room, and a separate bedroom. There was also a pool and hot tub at the resort. It would be a good place for a larger group or a family also I think. The other great thing about The Landing was that it was centrally located so we could walk to the restaurants in town.

When we first arrived we saw a flyer for the Egg Harbor Ale Fest. The fest was happening on Saturday the 17th which was the next day and our anniversary so we contemplated going. Once we got settled in we went out to walk around and find some food. We walked to Harbor View Park and found this was where the ale fest was happening; it was super close, about a 10 minute walk. We decided to eat at Shipwrecked Brew Pub & Restaurant.  Here we shared a flight of their beer. The food was pretty good too. We had some fried cheese curds, fish and chips, and a cheeseburger I believe.

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Here’s a view of the sun setting in Harbor View Park.

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After dinner we picked up a bottle of wine and headed back to the hotel. We were tired and Don was getting over a cold. Also Big Brother was on tonight so we decided to just have a relaxing night in.

When we woke up on Saturday we had a big day planned. First we wanted to go to Cave Point County Park, but we needed breakfast so we stopped at Village Cafe. It was a really cute little place and we really enjoyed our breakfast here. After eating we drove about 30 minutes to Cave Point County Park. It was absolutely beautiful. The park had stunning views of cliffs and Lake Michigan. There were also kayaking tours you could take to get up close to some of the caves. We walked around for a couple of hours and took some pictures.

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We got back to Egg Harbor around 12:30 and we decided to get some lunch before heading over to the Egg Harbor Ale Fest. We ate at Mojo Rosas, which was Mexican. The service here was absolutely terrible and the food was not much better. I had a taco salad and Don had a burrito I believe.  The food was average at best and the servers rarely ever checked on you. We almost walked out before ordering but then our waitress came to us before our deadline we had set. After eating we walked over to the ale fest and tried a lot of beer. It was great. It was a beautiful day and we had some really good beers from all over the Midwest.  The Egg Harbor Ale Fest was totally worth it. I think tickets were maybe $30 per person. There was also live music and a great view of the harbor. We even got these awesome glasses…

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After the ale fest we were buzzed to say the least and hungry. We ate at Casey’s BBQ & Smokehouse. I honestly don’t remember much from this place, but the food was good. We were pretty much done for after dinner so we went back to our room.  We did spend some time at the pool though.

Our last day in Door County was spent driving around looking at a few parks before heading back home. We grabbed some sandwiches for the road and found a nice place with a view to eat them in Peninsula State Park.  Our anniversary weekend was a lot of fun and we topped it off with a Monday Night Football game with my dad. None of us had been to an NFL game before but it was definitely cool to see the Bears play at Soldier Field.

Cubs Bar, Pool Day, and Find a Frichtl.

Last night we were out late, 4 in the morning late. So we slept in a little but only until like 9:30 or 10. Then we headed over to the Chicago bar that my sister likes to watch games at because the Cubs were getting ready to play at 11 am. The bar was called Brando’s Sports Bar. I got a pepperoni pizza, Don got a breakfast pizza, and I’m having trouble remembering what Kelsey got. The food was surprisingly good. I really enjoyed my pizza. We watched until about the 6th or 7th inning but they Cubs were losing so we decided to head back and check out Kelsey’s pool. Before that we checked out a store that Don wanted to see.

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It actually didn’t feel crazy hot today so the pool felt really cold! Luckily there was a hot tub to warm up in, haha. I didn’t really think we would have to warm up in a hot tub in Vegas. We hung out at the pool for a couple of hours. During this time I checked the Cubs score and saw they lost to the Giants, 2-3. What I didn’t realize was I was looking at yesterday’s game and they actually won today 3-2! So crazy.

Once we were done at the pool we hung out at Kelsey’s for a bit and got ready for dinner. Luckily my eyes felt a ton better today and I had decided to wear my contacts. We ate dinner at a Mexican Restaurant near my sister’s place called Lindo Michoacan. The food was excellent and the margaritas were huge. This place was especially cool because it was more up on a hill and the bar had windows that looked down at the Las Vegas Valley and The Strip. It was a pretty cool view. The bar seats were also very comfortable. We sat at the bar to avoid a wait and also to enjoy the view. I would definitely recommend this place.

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After dinner we were on a mission. We wanted to be at The Mirage Casino by 8 pm to see the Volcano Show. We made it just barely and the show was pretty cool. Who would have thought that a fake volcano erupts in Las Vegas every night? And it’s a lot of fire!

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After the Volcano Show we went to The Venetian. We basically just decided to check out more of the places on the strip that we didn’t get to see the night before. The Venetian was pretty cool. I think it was here that we decided to do the “Find a Frichtl” photo. This was basically Don taking a panoramic picture of my sister and I somewhere in the crowd.

The first one was really easy….

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After The Venetian we headed back over to Caesar’s Palace. Took some pictures there too.

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After Caesar’s Palace we went over to watch The Bellagio Fountain Show since we missed it the night before. It was pretty cool.

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Here we did another Find the Frichtl Photo…

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We also checked out the Bellagio Conservatory, which was decorated in an under the sea kind of theme. It was pretty cool. We also did another Find the Frichtl photo here. ..

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It was a pretty good day. We are always on the run and we leave tomorrow afternoon.

Red Rock and The Strip

This morning we woke up early again, made some breakfast at home and got on the road to Red Rock Canyon. It felt a little cooler out today, which was nice but still pretty hot. We opted to do the scenic drive at Red Rock, although it did allow us plenty of opportunities to get out and walk around and take some pretty cool pictures.

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The views were pretty amazing.  We took so many pictures, but pictures really couldn’t do the place justice.

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Once we were finished exploring Red Rock we decided today was the day to try In and Out Burger. Don had already had it before and of course Kelsey had too, so I was the only one who hadn’t tried it. The burger was definitely good. I am still unclear if it it was better than Shake Shack…I’m leaning towards liking Shake Shack more, but In and Out is close behind. I think it is better than Five Guys. I was even surprised that the fries were pretty good at In and Out;  I had read that many people don’t like their fries. I thought they were good, better than Shake Shack fries.

After lunch we checked out Mount Charleston National Park. It was pretty awesome. The elevation at the park is much higher than Vegas so it was about 20-30 degrees cooler at times. I think the lowest temperature we saw in the car was 65. We wanted to try a short trail here so we chose Robber’s Roost Trail. It was a very short trail that headed up to a rocky cave like structure. After that trail we went to the Desert View Overlook. The views from there were amazing. It was so cool to see the different landscapes at this elevation. From the overlook we could see the Northern part of the Mojave Desert and some of the old bomb test sites.

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We had a busy day and we knew we were about to have a busy night! I had a problem though, my eyes were so dry and painful. Everything was dry: my nose, my skin, and my eyes. My eyes were so painful  I even googled “las vegas painful eyes”, and it’s a thing! It’s called Las Vegas Dry Eye Syndrome. I found so many people on travel forums talking about their eye problems whenever they visit Vegas.  I felt so relieved that other people had experienced this, but I needed it fixed because we were going out to the strip tonight.  It was about 4 pm when we got back and I took out my contacts and pretty much cried in the shower because  my eyes hurt so bad. I can’t remember the last time I cried from physical pain (probably one of my foot injuries in the Philippines). The pain was a 9 out of 10. I laid on the bed with a cold washcloth over my eyes and hoped it would get better, especially because I HATE wearing my glasses. I decided though that I would not be able to wear my contacts this night.

We decided to go to dinner at BJs Brewhouse before going to the strip. I also picked up some eye drops.  I read online that many people recommended the GenTeal Gel Eye Drops so I decided to get those. I also got regular drops because I was kind of scared of the gel. The gel was amazing though, if you have this problem get the gel!

Now for The Strip. It was crazy! I couldn’t believe how big the casinos were! We started at MGM Grand because one of Kelsey’s friends gave us free tickets to see David Copperfield. That guys is crazy, seriously how does he do that stuff?! Good show, glad we went, it started at 9 and wasn’t done until about 11 or 11:30. After the show we were ready to explore The Strip. We started out by riding the tram around to see the strip, then we got off at Caesar’s Palace. I could not believe how big the strip was. I wanted to see things from Caesar’s to Mandalay Bay and  that was a far walk! When you look at the map it doesn’t look that far, but it is, it’s like  2 miles! We tried some roulette at Caesar’s; I’ve never really gambled. After Caesar’s we tried to watch the fountains at Bellagio but we found out that they stopped at midnight. So from the Bellagio we went to Cosmopolitan. Here we wanted to try a drink that has a flower in it that numbs your face. We went to the chandelier bar but we were told the drink is only available upstairs. We decided to just stay here and have a drink; we were getting tired and we still had a long ways to go. But we did get a second wind here at the Cosmo, we had some fun watching my sister play and win roulette. From the Cosmo we went to New York New York. Here we stopped for some NY style pizza and it was pretty good, or I could have been slightly buzzed. All I know is that I was extremely hungry. From New York New York we trudged on. We made it through Excaliber and finally to the Luxor. The Luxor is definitely my favorite, just because it is a pyramid. We didn’t actually go in the Luxor, I just really wanted pictures of the outside. Next time we will go in the Luxor. Around 3:30 in the morning we made it to Mandalay Bay. I wish we could have spent  more time here, but we were exhausted. We got home around 4 am. I couldn’t believe we stayed out that long. Time passes so quickly on the strip! I was pretty amazed by how ginormous the casinos were.

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Las Vegas: Hoover Dam and Fremont Street

We finally made it to Vegas last night around 9:30 pm. My sister has been living here for a little over a year and this is my first time in Las Vegas. Our flight was on time and uneventful so that was good. The minute we stepped outside the airport it was like opening an oven to check on food. So freaken hot! But super dry. It was weird. Kelsey picked us up and we headed back to her apartment and pretty much we just hung out and went to bed.

I was excited to check out if Vegas had any different Pokemon than Chicago and I found out my sister pretty much lives on an Ekans nest.

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Today we got up early and made breakfast. Then we got on the road for the Hoover Dam. I’ve never thought much about the Hoover Dam until I saw Tom Green visit it on his show. Basically he kept saying over and over “the biggest damned dam, you would think they would make the elevators bigger”. Ever since then I’ve wanted to see if the elevators were small. I would say they were about average. The dam itself was ginormous and it was pretty cool to see and hear about its history.

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After our tour of the Hoover Dam and taking all of our pictures we headed over to Lake Mead. We went to a look out point to take some pictures.

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It looked so crazy. It was like looking at another planet. After checking out Lake Mead we headed back to Boulder City for some lunch. We were going to decide here if we wanted to head back to Vegas or go to the Valley of Fire Park.  We ate at The Chicken Shack in Boulder City. The chicken was great. I had buffalo strips, Don had garlic wings, and Kelsey ordered a cheeseburger. The service was great also.

We decided to head up to Valley of Fire Park.  The drive took a little more than an hour I think and we stopped to take pictures in random spots. It was pretty cool to drive through the desert. I really haven’t seen this type of landscape in real life until now.

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The Valley of Fire gets its name from the red rocks there. It was pretty cool.  We basically drove through the park and took some pictures. It was too hot to hike.

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We got back to Kelsey’s apartment around 5:30 and we got ready to go out in Container Park for dinner. Container Park was pretty cool the restaurants and shops were all in shipping containers. We ate at a place called The Perch. I chose this place because we were looking for Hawaiian food and Yelp told me it was #2 in Las Vegas I think. It seemed more like Asian Fusion but it was still a good place. We had Fried Calamari for an appetizer and drinks. Kelsey and I had beer; Don ordered this lychee martini that wasn’t on the menu and it was delicious.  For my dinner I had the Chimichurri Chicken Sandwich and it was amazing. Kelsey had the Chicken Quinoa and I can’t remember what Don had but we were all happy with our meals. We were supposed to meet Don’s friend Sam here but we decided to meet up after.

We met Sam at Oak & Ivy. It was basically a whiskey bar.  I ordered some sort of whiskey cocktail and I really wished I would have just stuck to an old fashioned. After having a drink we headed over to the Fremont Street Experience because the bar we wanted to try had a crazy, long line. The Fremont Street Experience was basically just walking down a street with tons of crazy bars and casinos. There were a lot of performers and musicians as well. The most famous thing about Fremont Street is the giant, lighted screen on the ceiling. This was pretty cool. Fremont is basically the old strip, so a lot of the casinos and stuff are much older. It was definitely an experience. I mostly felt depressed walking into most of the casinos. It seemed rundown, with old people just gambling away.

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We walked the whole thing and Sam was with us. We watched the special show at midnight. It was music synced with lights and images on the screen. It was pretty cool. The show was about 10 minutes and by then I was tired and pretty much ready to head back but we tried out Banger Brewing.  It was pretty good. I had a watermelon wheat beer that was delicious. We were out there until closing which I think was 1 am. Then we said our goodbyes and got an uber back to Kelsey’s. We had the weirdest uber driver. He talked the whole way home and I was basically sleeping. We did a lot today. I was super tired and my right eye hurt like something was in it. But we got a lot planned for tomorrow so stayed tuned.

Dreaming on the Dock of the Bay

6-25-2016 6:15am

Just woke up from a crazy dream. Needed to write it down.

So Andrea and I are in the Fiesta and we are driving around some unknown city. It must have been during a road trip. There is a storm coming in and we are trying to figure out how to get back on the road and on our way home. There is a sense of us needing to get the heck out of the city and fast. As we are driving none of our GPS devices are working so we are just trying to go by instinct. We end up on what feels like a ramp bridge to cross a body of water – but it ends up to turn into a dead end pier to the water. Above us are bridges that seem to go over the body of water – we are just stuck underneath them.

Unfortunately we are not the only ones that went down the dock so there a few cars behind us as well….

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