Having Fun, Despite My Inevitable Loss!

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It doesn’t look like I’ll be winning that week long stay in a luxury suite at the Hilton Union Square in San Francisco! I’m in close 2nd, only about 350 “likes” behind the 1st place person, ha haa!

If you missed that write up, here it is again, CLICK HERE

The contest ends tonight, Friday, at Midnight PST, so it’s not too late to help me out 🙂

In the meantime, I thought I’d share a moment of crazy fun with you that helped lift my spirits!

In case you couldn’t guess, I’m the crazy in the pink tutu!

I may not be headed to San Francisco any time soon at the rate this contest is going but I AM still headed to EUROPE for two weeks in May so life is good, real good! I am blessed to be living and having fun!

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Help Me Win a Trip to San Francisco!

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I have the opportunity to win a social media contest sponsored by Hilton Union Square in San Francisco!

The past guest whose story is being currently featured on their Facebook page, has to have the most “likes” under their photo.

Can you help a fellow blogger out!? I’m currently in close 2nd place with 65+ likes!!

Food the link to the Hilton page featuring the picture of me and my friends in our Pj’s! Just click like and you are done ! So easy and it would make me so happy!

CLICK HERE TO HELP

Super Easy to use!

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I have been researching my train options for booking the night train from Paris to Barcelona in May of this year. I always begin my travel searches at Trip Advisor, as I have been a loyal member of theirs for years.

While on TA, I came across another website that specializes in Rail Travel just about ANYWHERE! The Man in Seat 61 was unlike any other travel site I have ever been on! It really gave me a complete understanding on the European rail system with all of its complexities. For example, in booking my segment from Paris to Barcelona, I would never have guessed that using the Spanish Rail system as opposed to the French rail system made the most sense for me. The Renfe site allows users to print their tickets at home, whereas the French site won’t.

Also, some companies accept bookings 92 days out, some are at 90 days out, some are at 60 days out…it can all get very confusing quickly! One of the tips I was given was to definitely call your credit card company in advance so that any foreign rail charges don’t get rejected. American Express was very helpful with this and I experienced no problems whatsoever when I booked by German Rail segment thru the DB Bahn site. Ulm to Paris for two costs 138 Euro plus the 8 Euro reservation fee. Their site also has the print at home option.

The support team at Man in Seat 61 also suggested that if I DID experience a glitch while attempting to pay at the RENFE web site, that there was a US Based Spanish Travel agency that accepted rail reservations for RENFE. PETRABAX became my back up plan!

Sure enough, this morning, the RENFE site kept showing techinical errors with the American Express payment and were very clear in stating that it was not their problem but a problem with the credit card company, who kept assuring me that they did not have a hold on the account.

I turned to Petrabax, where a very friendly agent named Jose, was kind enough to walk me thru their on line reservation process. They do have a slight mark up but it was nominal and worth my peace of mind in knowing that my reservation was in place. They also allow the print at home option. I browsed thru their website, they have a full range of tours & lodging available all through Spain & Portugal. I am definitely going to keep them on my radar for future travel needs!

I’ve Been Busy, That’s Why!

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Have you missed me!? I took on a new challenge and needed to dedicate more time to it.  So my poor travel blog got sidelined for a few!

I’m taking three on line courses to get my real estate License. I’ve been working i nthe industry already for over 5 years but it has become apparent that there is so much more I can do within my current job if I held that license!

Having to learn to “STUDY” has been a challenge in itself and I am half way there! My goal is to take the test prior to my upcoming Euro trip in May!  I’d love your support so please send me your good vibes!

Girls Night Out in Hollywood

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I’ve been promising my 14 year old that I would take her to see KEANE next time they hit LA. We’ve been fans of this British band for a while & I have yet to miss them when they do play here.

Paige was pretty excited to have a night out around the famous Hollywood & Vine area, which is where the beautiful Pantages Theatre is located. We ate at the bar of CLEO’S Restuarant, which is located inside the REDBURY HOTEL. Both were designed by photographer Matthew Rolston. I can’t wait to come back here with my husband for the full grown up night out experience!

Not only was the time spent with my music-loving daughter fantastic, the concert was great as usual but the highlight of the evening for her was a run in with Nick Jonas of Jonas Brothers fame. He was sitting with a friend just 3 rows up from us. He was very kind to her & indulged her with this picture!

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I think she liked him even more after she realized he appreciated the sounds of KEANE!

Take a listen!

And if you ever get a chance to see a show inside the Pantages Theatre, go for it! The space is phenomenal!

Here is the ceiling!

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Beautiful Bellagio Conservatory

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I love flowers & I love Gardens…indoor or outdoors! This is one of the best displays I’ve seen on the West Coast.
This beautiful display is in the Bellagio Hotel Conservatory in Las Vegas. It’s on my daytime “day time to do” list each time I visit! It’s never the same display twice! They change the display through the seasons and also have exhibitions as well.

When everything is moving so quickly in the fast paced city, it’s a real treat to step into the conservatory and feel the tranquility around you.

Click HERE for the Bellagio’s calendar of events for the conservatory.

New Year, new look for the Blog!

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Well, I’ve been wanting to change my blog “theme” for ages but held back for over 2 years because frankly, I don’t know much about the inner workings of Word Press and thought for sure, I’d lose everything I worked to build up!

I finally just decided to go for it this morning and found this one! I’ll tweak it a bit more when I have time but for now, I like the freshness of it.  What do you think? Any tips or ideas for improvement?

Ear Pain When Flying? Here’s a Solution

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I flew ONE time with a bad cold and the ear pain I experienced then has left that same ear vunerable each time I fly. Sometimes it’s bearable, sometimes it not! I may have to consider checking into something stronger than gum and a stiff drink!

Don’t Speak the Language? Here’s How

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I will definitely need to add some of these before our trip next spring but am also hoping that the new Rosetta Stone I just bought my husband will be life saver for the Spanish part of our travels!

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Travel Crazy Chick

Living in So. Cal has it’s perks! One of them is being able to get to watch TV show tapings! I’m off to see the “Ellen Show” today with two friends & my 14 yr. old daughter.

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This is not my first time seeing her tape her show. I’ve been lucky enough, and it DOES take luck, to attend one taping per season for the last 3-4 years! I’ll get to the “luck” part later!

The picture below shows just how fun and rewarding a taping toEllen can be! During that taping, we all won the X-box 360 Kinect! Whoo hoo!!! The first time I went, we all won vacumn cleaners! You would’ve thought we won cars at how excited we were!

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Last year, we went to a taping that featured Jennifer Lopez & Marc Anthony promoting their reality show “Q Viva”. They gave us each a Samsung Tablet!…

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A Pirate’s lookout in Laguna Beach!?

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Laguna Beach is crammed with tourists most of the year. It’s nice to be local enough to know where the “off the beaten path” beaches are to escape the crowds. THIS one is really fun & definitely hard to find if you are not a local! If you find it, welcome to Victoria Beach!

Don’t be too shocked to see what looks like a pirates lookout on the edge of the cliffs overlooking the tide pools! I’ve been to many, many beaches but never one that creates such a dramatic backdrop for imaginary playtime! I had heard that it belonged to the house that sits above it, that one of the previous owners used to hide coins in and around it for children to find. I also read in THIS blog, that Bette Midler is on the list of people who have owned the home and castle tower at one time.

I stayed in a beach house on this beach for a long weekend with my family a few years back and it was one of our most memorable “stay cations”! Close enough to town but remote enough to be hidden!

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Click HERE for more information on how to find this beach & castle!

Don’t Pretzel my buttons!

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I giggled out loud as I typed this title because it just makes me chuckle each time I say it! If you are a fan of “OPI Nail polish”, you’ll relate to the title a bit! It’s from their their fall collection of German inspired names! “Dont Pretzel my buttons” was my favorite but it’s so hard to choose just one with funny names like these:

DON’T PRETZEL MY BUTTONS,  MY VERY FIRST KOCKWURST,  BERLIN THERE DONE THAT,  DON’T TALK BACK TO ME NEIN! NEIN! NEIN!,  OK FINE UNFOR-GRETA-BLY BLUE,  EVERY MONTH IS OKTOBERFEST ,  SUZI & THE 7 DUSSELDORFS,   DUETSCH YOU WANT ME BABY?,  DANKE-SHINY RED GERMAN-ICURE,  SCHNAPPS OUT OF IT !

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Also funny, this apron my sister sent to us along with this Pretzel maker! I guess you can take the girl out of Germany but can’t get the German out of the girl!! I’m ok with that!

Click HERE for OPI polish shopping! Be sure to check out their “Skyfall” collection too!

Vegas Lights!

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One of the best ways to see the lights of Vegas is from the top of the Eiffel Tower in front of the Paris Hotel. I like to time the visit with dusk so that you get the “FULL experience” of sunset over the mountain ranges combined with the lights. It’s also an amazing spot to watch the Bellagio dancing water fountain show, which is literally right beneath you.

Click HERE for ticket prices, hours of operation, & information on everything offered at the Eiffel Tower Las Vegas!