Friday, September 30, 2016

Katsuya Las Vegas

One of my favorite things about living in Vegas (there really aren't a lot of favorite things, to be honest) is the abundance of restaurants. A lot of times if there's a remotely trendy restaurant in Los Angeles, it ends up here in Vegas saving me a trip to LA just to eat. Not that I haven't done that before a few times, if we're being really honest.

Katsuya was one of the restaurants on my checklist in LA so I was pretty happy when it ended up at SLS Las Vegas. My foodie friends Carla and Michelle had it on their lists too so it worked out perfectly. I was feeling a bit splurgey (I don't think that's a real word) so I tried out the tasting menu. 

First off, yum. The courses were really good and I'm really glad I got to try a little bit of everything. Second, unlike most tasting menus, this one had a lot of food. Like a LOT. Most places charge high prices and give you tiny portions but these portions were just a little smaller than normal. And there were actually a little more courses than I even was able to eat so I ended up taking part of it home!






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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Throwback Thursdays

Hello!

Since it's actually fall (although not nearly as much like fall as the rest of the country) I thought I'd revisit one of my favorite fall trips for Throwback Thursday.

A few years ago, my mom and I took a really nice trip to New England in September. It was perfect because part of the trip was nice and warm and part of it was pretty chilly during the day. Even better- the leaves were changing colors. Since we don't get much of that in Vegas, I geek out a little when I see orange and yellow leaves in the fall. 

One of my favorite parts of the trip was our visit to Salem. I'd always wanted to see Salem, especially in the fall. It seriously did not disappoint. Such a beautiful town, we had lunch and saw some of the sights before hopping back on the bus to Boston. I would definitely love to come back for a longer visit one day!










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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

What's Up Wednesdays

Good morning!

Not too much going on here in my world. I did get a fantastic new job! Really enjoying the work and my new managers and coworkers. It's earlier hours than I'm used to so I haven't been out and about as much as I usually would be. I am so glad that the summer worked out perfectly in terms of the trips I took between jobs and the amount of time I got to really get things together. The timing was amazing! God is awesome. 

Today I'm recapping another portion of my big summer road trip with Corey. After Crater Lake, we spent a night in Madras after a pit stop in Bend. We tried out a couple of really cool beer flights at The Growler Guys which was perfectly complemented with a greasy pizza and great service (even though I did tease Corey for not realizing that the server was totally hitting on him lol). 



After a rough night (I stepped on a thorn in the hotel room which caused a really bizarre bout of arthritis in that leg which lasted the whole trip), we headed towards Portland. We stopped at Burgerville in a town with a really interesting bridge of bras and had some of the best raspberry lemonade, breakfast burgers, and breakfast bagelwiches ever (seriously, I still dream about that breakfast bagel and wish we'd had time to make a second stop). 


It was a Saturday so everything we did in Portland was pretty crowded. Our first stop was the Multnomah Falls which meant a long search for parking. The sun was pretty high so photos were rough but we also visited the really pretty Horsetail Falls right down the way (which was much less crowded and a lot shadier). 




We grabbed lunch at Alameda Brewing (a Groupon find) where we had some delicious whiskey crab bisque and a lobster and crab mac and cheese. The food was really really good and they had some great specials on growlers which we had never heard of until the night before since we don't have them in Nevada. If we hadn't been heading through Canada, we would have gotten a few to bring home since we saw some really awesome beers in Oregon!


Our next stop was definitely a difficult one. We really wanted to check out the Witch's Castle in Forest Park. I'd researched all over online on how to get here and I have to say, it was still pretty confusing since we were unfamiliar with the area. If you've never been, find your way on the map to NW Cornell and park along the street, then follow the really windy trail down. It wasn't a difficult hike (well, it wouldn't be for someone who isn't asthmatic) but with the brand new arthritis and a left leg that would barely bend, it was really rough. Definitely a cool spot to see though!


After that hike, we wanted ice cream. No, we needed/deserved ice cream. I'd seen on a ton of lists that Salt and Straw was the place to go and has the best ice cream in Portland. There was a long line but it was definitely worth it. I had honey lavender (because I love anything lavender) and it was amazing. I can't remember what Corey had because it was gone super fast. 


We checked into our Air BnB after this and took a little nap after the long few days we'd had. We had a nice private room at a house outside the city and it was the perfect spot for us to spend a short night since we had a really early morning. If we'd been staying longer, I probably would have picked something closer to the downtown area but this worked out really well and the price was great.


This was our first Air BnB ever and I'd only picked either entire households or private rooms with separate entrances (I don't like disturbing people or making small talk). Our host had left us very specific instructions that were spot on and we found the front door easily. Everything was super clean and comfortable and outside the door was the most adorable backyard with an amazing view. I think there was someone staying in the room next to us so there was more noise than there probably usually is but we were so tired we didn't even notice. I linked the room below in case anyone needs an easy and inexpensive option for a stop in Portland!

We grabbed a really delicious dinner at Pacific Pie Company. Really great meat pies (and even more awesome regular pies) and ginger lemonade. The service was pretty awesome too!


Before heading back to the room, we made the obligatory stop at Voodoo Doughnuts. So glad we did because otherwise, we would have been starving the next morning since we needed to leave Portland at about 4AM. The prices are higher than a lot of donut places we go to but they're pretty big (especially the cock and balls that needed a layer of its own and almost needed its own box). 
So yummy!



Where We Stayed:



Private Entry/Big View/Sunlit SEPDX


Portland, OR, United States
VIEW! Funky, fabulous private unit has lower level patio entrance, faces S/SW toward a wide, beautiful view and lots of light. Tucked away in deep SE Woodstock, this is a perfect combo of urban & r...
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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Tuesday Travel Guide: Atlanta- Filming Locations

Bonus Round!

So in addition to the awesome things to see in and around Atlanta, it's also home to a lot of great filming locations for tons of movies and television shows. Some of my faves are filmed around the Atlanta area so whenever I'm in town, I like to take an afternoon or so to explore them.

The Vampire Diaries

Covington
Okay, so back in 2010 I was a diehard Vampire Diaries fan. When we plotted one of our trips back east to stop in Atlanta, I decided to rent a car and drive over to Covington for the afternoon so we could see where it's filmed. We ended up with a minivan which was an adventure in itself (I drive a Beetle and that thing was like twice the size) and drove the hour and a half or so from Buckhead to Covington. The town did not disappoint. As soon as we got to the town square, we spotted the famous gazebo and courthouse and of course, the Mystic Grill. Wander through the square and you may still spot Grayson Gilbert's office! There were a lot of cute shops and little restaurants around Covington as well so check here for listings of the businesses around town!







Now this was back in 2010 back when the show was still brand new. Check out Film Covington for some of the updated spots that were used for filming in more recent scenes. I'm not sure if some of these private homes have sold since I was there so I'm super hesitant to share the addresses for privacy reasons but if you drive around the vicinity of the town square long enough, you're sure to spot them!

If you're looking for a place to stay in Covington, I have to say, I've always wanted to stay at The Twelve Oaks. Not only is it adorable, it was filmed in The Vampire Diaries, Sweet Home Alabama, and Gone With the Wind. Pretty cool, right?

The Walking Dead

Grantville
This town was pretty tiny and super friendly. We got here mid afternoon and wandered over to the Z is For Zombie store where we heard they give tours of the apartment that was used for filming in the episode Clear (the one where Morgan was kind of nuts). The woman in the cafe across the street called up the woman from the shop since the shop was temporarily closed up and invited us in for cocoa. About ten minutes later, our guide showed up, we paid the small fee, and wandered up to the apartment. She gave us all kinds of cool information and then directed us to the other places within walking distance that were used for filming. She also pointed us in the direction of some of the spots that were farther out like the funeral home that Daryl and Beth were holed up in before she was kidnapped. Pretty awesome!





Haralson
We stopped here really shortly just to see the Esco Feed Mill. If we had been here longer, we would have done the tour that's offered that gives you access to walk around the mill and the other locations. 



Senoia
This town is adorable. It's used for filming both Alexandria and Woodbury and I visited twice. The first time I stopped by, the wall for the Alexandria Safe Zone wasn't fully up yet and sets were still being built. We saw the Chocolate Pudding House and the main entrance for Alexandria. Much of the Woodbury portion has been removed but the coffeeshop still had the Woodbury Coffee sign and a pretty awesome Zombie Dark coffee. 





The town has a really awesome Walking Dead store called the Woodbury Shoppe. They have some awesome miscellaneous items and downstairs is their museum where they have actually set pieces from the show like Daryl's bike and one of the prison cells. There's also a cute little coffeeshop called The Walking Dead that was all decked out for Christmas and had some adorable themed cookies.





The town just opened up the new restaurant Nic & Norman's by Greg Nicotero and Norman Reedus so if anyone gets to try it, let me know how it is! When I was there we ate at it's predecessor, Zac Brown's Southern Ground which was pretty yummy although the hostess service was weird. We really enjoyed the Main Street Fudge & Ice Cream Shop because they had these delicious fried pies. The town is really cute!

We opted to stay overnight on my second visit to Senoia because I was getting a tattoo in a relatively closeby small town. The Veranda Bed & Breakfast was amazing.  Not only was the staff super friendly and helpful, the room was adorable and the inn was so pretty. It was all decorated and beautiful. The breakfast was truly delicious. I highly recommend it!




This site was my best friend when figuring out what filming locations to visit! Check out TWD Locations if you're plotting out your own trip!

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