Place 79 – Day 5: Austin,TX – Chicken Sh*t Bingo & Black’s BBQ

Crazy Lady

We had a very relaxed morning as we weren’t able to get much sleep due to lady going crazy, setting off a car alarm & shouting at 03:00 this morning!

We had plans to be up at a good time as well as go somewhere, but we changed our minds and got a good amount of sleep tomorrow.

Brunch

We went out early afternoon for a spot of brunch and we were hungry! We went to a well recommended diner called Magnolia Cafe.

We waited for 20 minutes for the table and once we got one it wasn’t all that great.

The coffee was tremendous, but the food was just ok. Kim got a pancake, which was burned and the house fries were cold.

We each had eggs and Curtis had bacon and a muffin also.

All in all it was just OK.


Magnolia Cafe | Austin,TX

Rating:- 6/10


Chicken Sh*t Bingo

A weird name, huh? Well, it was exactly what it sounded like.

We did some laundry briefly and then we drove out to the ‘saloon’ that was putting on the event.

We got there and got in line to buy some tickets. We eventually got our tickets and then it was a waiting game.

So, as the name suggests, you purchase a ticket and each ticket is numbered between 1 & 60. A chicken is put in a cage with numbers on the floor in squares and wherever it poops is the number that wins.

People got very passionate, but we were there for the show really.

Wierdly, it ended up being Curtis’ lucky number 13, but our numbers were 18,19,20 & 44, so we didn’t win.

We left right after that as there were just too many people.

Black’s BBQ

We got in the car and drove to a BBQ place had heard was good and it clearly was, judging by the line!

We had to queue for over an hour, so were hoping it was delicious.

We got inside and saw the sides and the meat and it all looked incredible.

We got 3 sides, green beans, mac & cheese and coleslaw.

We then got to the meat section and got a few slices of brisket and a rib each, which was more than enough. We also got some cornbread which we didn’t like.

The meat and sides were outstanding. Delicious and a pretty good price.


Terry Black’s BBQ | Austin,TX

Rating:- 9/10


Wine

We got back home and drank some wine which our Airbnb host had given us earlier today, which he gave along with chocolate covered strawberries, which was very nice to receive!

We chilled out for the evening and are having a good early night due to heading out for the day tomorrow.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

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Place 79 – Day 4: Austin,TX – Axe Throwing & Monster Jam!

Axe Throwing

We slept in and had about 10 hours sleep, which was excellent!We left the house and went to Urban Axes, which is an indoor axe throwing place.We booked in for 15:15 and went for a coffee at a coffee shop nearby.We got back to Urban Axes, filled in our waivers and threw some axes! It was an hour of axe throwing but this was shared with 6 of us in total, as we joined in with a family.

We did a small tournament at the end and we both did alright!

We left the axe place and drove back home to relax briefly before heading back out again.

Monster Jam

We went out for some food before we went into the Monster Jam. We got to the event centre but as we needed food we stopped to see what food there was around.We found a German pub to go to, so we took the short walk down to that. It was very busy in here, but we got a table.Curtis ordered a Bratwurst and Kim got a pulled pork sandwich.

The food here was just OK, but it filled us up a bit.We ate up and then headed back to the event centre and into Monster Jam.We had pretty good seats and the show started shortly after we entered.There was first a monster truck parade, which was loud!

We then saw the first event which was racing. This was alright, but ended a bit too quick.

There was then some ATV racing involved and then monster truck two wheel challenges, donut challenges, more ATV racing and monster truck freestyle.

We left the event having had a pretty good time, but it wasn’t as good as we thought it would have been.


Monster Jam

Rating:- 7/10


Downtown At Night

We walked for 20 minutes to get to the main party area to check it out. There were a lot of bars but they went all that great, so we left. It did look cool at night, though.

We got a Lyft home, watched something when we got back and then headed to bed.Another busy day but good fun!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 77 – Day 5: Las Vegas,NV – Stratosphere & Blue Man Group

Breakfast At Denny’s

We completely forgot to get anything for breakfast in last night, so we had to go out for some this morning.

We originally went to a place up the road but it was right inside a casino, which smelled of cigarettes, so we went to the next casino and found Denny’s, which was luckily hidden away out of the way of the casino.

We each got some food and drinks and filled outselves up before starting the day.

Stratosphere

Interestingly, our ‘starting the day’ was heading back to the apartment and relaxing. We were both so tired for some reason, so we just relaxed and watched TV for a couple of hours.

Eventually, we drove out to The Strip, where we got to the Fashion Show Mall and parked there, as it was free.

Once we parked up, we headed into the mall to get a Starbucks to take with us on our 30 minute walk to the Stratosphere.

The Stratosphere is the tower of Vegas and is actually taller than a lot of the world’s towers, including Tokyo’s tower, which we thought was pretty tall. This tower is about 1149ft.

Upon the Stratosphere, there are 3 rides. Kim wanted to go on all of them, so she did! It was actually a pretty decent price, too.

We both went up the tower and went right up to the highest point, where Kim went on the Bigshot. This ride is a short one, but it takes you up and then throws you down, as seen below.

Next up it was the X-Scream ride, which takes you over the edge and back a few times. This one wasn’t great, to be honest.

We moved from here to the ‘finale’ – Insanity. This is a spinning ride which also hangs over the side of the tower. Pretty scary stuff!

We got some good views from the tower, which was nice. Contrasting both the mountains, downtown and the strip.

The Strip

Downtown

Mountains

Drinks In Venetian

We left the Stratosphere and the walked down to Circus Circus where we met a former colleague of Kim’s and went for a drink.

He drove us down to The Venetian hotel & casino and walked through the maze of places to finally get to a replica of the canals and the main square in Venice.

We sat here for a couple of hours and had a drink whilst chatting about all kinds of things. Really lovely guy and was good for Kim to catch up with him.

Blue Man Group

We got a pizza slice after getting dropped off at Mandalay Bay and wandered towards Luxor, which is where we were seeing Blue Man Group.

We got in and it was a fairly small arena. We were given some tissue paper to ‘decorate ourselves’, too.

It was an odd show, with musical and comedic elements, but it was pretty good! We aren’t going to go into too much detail, but we would recommend going, for sure.


Blue Man Group

Rating:- 9/10


Car Park Drama

We walked the 45/50 minutes up to where we parked our car and stopped along the way to take photos of the strip at night.

We got to the carpark, only to find that it was closed! We panicked for a second and then saw some other people who had done the same.

We thought it had been towed or something, but could then see it, so we had to find a way in.

We walked one way, but it was closed there too, and we eventually found a open side door and were able to get the car and drive home.

Another fun filled day!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 77 – Day 3: Las Vegas,NV – Mob Museum & Winning Money!

Breakfast & Pool

We didn’t really have any plans for the day today, so we got up and found some breakfast. We went to Dunkin’ Donuts for a bagel and then went back to the room to get ready for the day.We got ready and wanted to go and chill by the pool for a little bit, so we got ready to do that and headed there.We got to the pool and it was absolutely rammed, so we had to say goodbye to the pool and we went out to the Mob Museum instead, via Starbucks.

Mob Museum

We had been recommend the mob museum by a few people, so we had to check it out.We paid for an extra tour, rather than just the regular tour and we’ll get to that part shortly.The museum was a lot of reading, but we pretty interesting. It talks about the mob, prohibition and how Vegas became what it is today.There was many an artifact in this museum, including the above Al Capone revolver and there was the wall of which the Valentine’s day massacre took place.

Speakeasy & Distillery Tour

We left the main exhibit at a perfect time and went down to the basement where there was a speakeasy and we had a Distillery tour booked!The speakeasy had a great vibe and looked pretty authentic.We got taken into a hidden area for our tour which is where the distillery is.We were given some history, stories and information before trying some of the local wares. The Distillery makes moonshine, which we tasted at 100% proof. This was pretty strong but we didn’t mind the flavour.We then tried a vodka, which was good quality and very nice.After this, we had a cocktail made with moonshine, which had a lot of ginger and other spices in it. This was WAY too ginger-y for us, and just burned our tongues and throats.We then tried a fireball-esque drink which was quite nice.That was the end of the tour, but not the end of drinks!We got a drink each at the speakeasy bar. Curtis got an old fashioned and Kim an espresso martini.Curtis’ drink was fancy and came inside a book!

Pizza Hut

We left the speakeasy and went back to the room to relax a little.We relaxed for a little bit and then got hungry, so we walked for 30 minutes to get a Pizza Hut, but got a Lyft back.The pizza was pretty good!

Gambling (just a little)

We decided after dinner that we would try our hand at a little gambling.We went to a hotel and changed a $5 to 5 $1 notes, so we could bet a small amount only.We started on a 25c slot machine and won $1.10 on that before we moved on to a few $1 machines.

We used our $1.10 on the first $1 machine and won $15 on our first go on a $1 machine! We had a couple of $1 left, so we used them up but still walked away with $10 profit!Kim rewarded herself with a donut and then we headed back to get packing.We leave Vegas tomorrow, at least for now!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 77 – Day 2: Las Vegas,NV – 8 Year Anniversary, The Strip & Best Meal Ever

Breakfast

We got up at a decent(ish) time, but as we are in a hotel, we don’t have a kitchen, so we had to go out for breakfast.

We went to Denny’s for breakfast and each got some sausages, egg, bacon and Curtis got muffins whilst Kim got pancakes with hers.

Curtis had a few cups of coffee and then we left to head down to the strip.

The Strip

We got to the Mendeley Bay hotel where we got out and walked around.

Whilst we were in our Lyft, we were told that the mango margarita from a specific bar was good, so we went there to share one.

Once we had that, we walked around and looked at shops before we went outside and explored the rest of the strip.

We didn’t do anything really, just walked around looking at each restaurant and attraction.

We saw the big fountain by Bellagio and walked around a few hotels.

Manicure & Pedicure

We came back to the hotel and Curtis watched hockey. Whilst he did that, Kim got a manicure and pedicure as she has wanted one for a while.

Best Dinner Ever

As it was our 8 year anniversary, we found a nice restaurant to head to for dinner.

We got a couple of drinks before we went in and then were called in when our table was ready.

We had a booth which was lovely!

Firstly, our waiter, Miguel, was excellent. We got some free bread with a delicious tomato concoction.

We got steak tenderloin with mushrooms for a starter, which was actually a lot of food!

This starter was amazing, and then we moved to the main.

We had a 10oz Filet Mignon each, cooked medium rare, with the signature sauce, accompanied with white truffle oil whipped potato and asparagus with onion and balsamic.

This is the best meal, and steak, we have ever had. The steak was 30 day dry aged, butchered on site and is in the top 9% of all of the US beef.

This meal was great and we left incredibly full and very happy.


Andiamo Steakhouse | Las Vegas,NV

Rating:- 10/10


We went to bed right when we got back as it was 23:30!

We had a great time today as well as some great food. Who knows what happens tomorrow?


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 76 – Day 6: Los Angeles,CA – Griddle Cafe Lunch & Evening Drinks

Griddle Cafe Lunch

We slept in a little and then we got a message from our friend, Sep, that he was awake and ready to go! We were meeting Sep for some lunch as we havent seen him in a couple of years.

We first met Sep in Kuala Lumpur as he was staying in the same hostel as us and we spent a few days with him whilst there, so we had to catch up with him whilst we are in his hometown!

We got an Uber to the Griddle Cafe, which we have seen before and they monstrous pancakes.

We had a few conversations with Sep whilst we were there and then we got our food…which was big!

We each got pancakes, Curtis got an espresso and chocolate chip pancake and Kim got a coconut and chocolate pancake.

Curtis’ Pancake

Kim’s Pancake

We each could have done with only half the pancake as it was way too huge!


The Griddle Cafe | Los Angeles,CA

Rating:- 8/10


We sat here for a while, after being defeated by our food, and then we all headed out for a walk.

Melrose Walk

We walked to Melrose, which has nice streets and hipster stores to walk around, though very expensive!

We were here for a while and then Sep had to go home, so we also took an Uber home, which took a while due to crazy LA traffic.

Relax

We had an afternoon relax, with Curtis watching hockey, and then in the evening we went to the supermarket and got a pizza for dinner.

Drinks

We met Sep and his boyfriend for some drinks in the evening.

We went to a few bars and had some drinks. The first bar we had to enter via a refrigerator door, which was very hipster but awesome at the same time, and then we went to another part of town which was the ‘gay’ area and went to a couple of gay bars. It was pretty fun and we had some drinks but were back by midnight, which was perfect!

It was time for bed once we got home and tomorrow is our final day in LA.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 76 – Day 3: Los Angeles,CA – Venice Beach, Santa Monica Pier & A Comedy Show

Family Chat

We has a 1 – 1.5 hour facetime with Curtis’ family, in which we discussed a whole host of things and just ‘caught up’ in general.

Marina Del Ray

We got ready and then dropped off at Marina Del Ray. We are huge fans of NCIS:LA and had read that the ‘boatshed’ from the show is around this area, so we went looking.

After looking for a bit of time, and coming across a really nice area, we decided to take an e-scooter and head to the opposite side of the marina as we believed the boatshed was on that end.

A Nice Lighthouse In The Area

The Marina Was Pretty

Low and behold, we couldn’t find it, so we gave up and walked to Venice Beach.

Venice Beach

We got to Venice Beach, in terrific weather, and the first port of call was a bite to eat.

As to be expected, there were a lot of expensive places and we stopped in one of them and got pulled pork sliders, which looked good but really weren’t. We didn’t even catch the name of the place we ate, but the food wasn’t that great.

After food, we went for a walk along Venice Beach. We walked for a long while, until we came across Muscle Beach & a skate park.

We spent some time at these places and watched people do their thing. Kim even gave the rope climb a go, which she conquered!

Santa Monica Pier

We walked on from Venice Beach towards Santa Monica pier, where Kim saw a hoop and had to do some tricks on it!

We saw the pier from the beach and then headed up onto it.

The pier really wasn’t that interesting and we had evening plans, so we walked up the road to find a ride back home.

We had to wait a while, but got a ride home and once we got back, we realised that Panda Express was so close, so we got some food from there to save time.

We got the orange chicken again, as well as spicy chicken and Curtis got some wok fired fired shrimp, too!

On the way home, Kim managed to break her flip flops so we had to throw those away and she had to walk home barefooted.

Comedy Show

We ate our food and then had to get ready to go back out again.

In West Hollywood, there is a comedy place called Comedy Store which Kim had seen a few well known names were performing tonight, so we got some tickets! Kim got to dress up and even had shoes at this point in the day.

We stood in line for a while, but eventually got in, got our seats and ordered some drinks.

We Were Very Close To The Stage!

There were a few big names, such as Iliza Shlesinger, Sarah Silverman and Jimmy O. Yang.

We couldn’t film or take photos at all, but believe us when we say it was a pretty hilarious 3 hours! Whilst watching, we got a bottle of wine to share and Curtis got a whiskey. There was a minimum 2 drink limit anyway, so why not!

We got a Lyft home and it was safe to say it was bed time.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale