Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Honeymoon Travels: Las Vegas, Nevada USA

Today I'm sharing part four of our honeymoon travels around the USA .....

After leaving New Orleans we jumped on a plane and flew direct to Las Vegas, Nevada where we stayed for four nights.

Now most people go to Las Vegas to get married, not on their honeymoon right! Well we had planned to catch up with friends in Las Vegas before we were even engaged and so true to our word we incorporated a stop off to Las Vegas in our honeymoon travels and I'm so glad we did we had so much fun here.

You are spoilt for choice on fancy hotels in Las Vegas there are so many to pick from.

I booked us into The Signature at MGM Grand which I'd booked through the owner direct on Air BnB at a great price. This was by far the fanciest hotel I have ever stayed in!

Days 1 and 2 - The Strip

Las Vegas city area is crazy, with people everywhere, drinking and partying on the streets, shops and restaurants galore, it really is all lights, party, action here! Unlike Australia, you can buy alcohol in the supermarket here and then drink it in the street and go inside the casinos with it - talk about a cheap night out!

Each night we walked along The Strip and checked out the different casinos, you could spend hours at each just admiring all the art displays, the shops, restaurants and bars. If I had more time I would have spent just one night at each Casino whereas we ventured to a few each night so we could see them all and there are still some we didn't get to so that's a good excuse to go back one day!

Las Vegas by day is just as entertaining!

So many people going up and down The Strip it's worthwhile stopping at a bar for a drink with a view and watching the world go by.

Day 3 - Downtown - Old Las Vegas

We took the local bus Downtown to the old Las Vegas for some shopping at the North Premium Outlets and got some great bargains on clothes, shoes and jewellery. 

In the afternoon we caught up with friends staying down here and watched some live bands, we had an amazing day and night Downtown, it has a much more relaxed and friendly vibe here and I would say more family friendly as well.

I would happily go back to Downtown again and recommend everyone visit this side of town!

Day 4 - Grand Canyon

At it's doorstep is the Grand Canyon which you can do a full day trip by bus or a helicopter ride takes 45 minutes to get there - as time was limited we went for the helicopter! This was one of the highlights of our trip.

We went with Sundance Helicopter Tours - Grand Canyon Picnic which included a limo picking us up and dropping us back to our hotel.

At the air strip which was just out of town, we boarded a small helicopter and being newlyweds Mr P and I got the prime seats in the front next to the pilot while 4 others sat in the back and we were up and away. This was my first time in a helicopter and it was a little noisy and scary but I did love it and the views were breathtaking going over The Strip and into the Grand Canyon, over Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and the Colorado River.

We landed and had a short stop on top of the Grand Canyon, enjoyed a picnic lunch and glass of bubbles, and then hopped back on the helicopter and made our way back to the air strip, except this time we sat in the backseat which was less scary than the front seats!

After this adventure, we went to the art gallery of my favourite artist Michael Godard known as the rock star of the art world and who I have admired for many years for his paintings full of personality and fun.

We purchased a stunning piece of art (Prepare The Perfect Pour pictured belowas a wedding gift from the wishing well at our wedding and when I sent out our wedding thank you cards I let everyone know that we'd purchased some art on our honeymoon in Las Vegas which they loved knowing what their contribution went towards.

It took 3 months to receive the art and art book back home in Australia as it was being signed by Michael Godard - while it took much longer than expected I am so happy to have this memory of our honeymoon hanging proudly on our walls at home .... I don't think it will be my last Michael Godard art piece either!

After I had spent time being lost amongst the art - it was Mr P's turn to have some fun.

Mr P has become rather obsessed with pinball machines (in fact we now have two life size pinball machines at home in the man cave!).

So we just had to check out the Pinball Hall Of Fame for a couple of hours of fun and games. If you're into pinball or travelling with kids, I highly recommend you save up your coins and check out this place for a couple of hours of good ole fashioned fun!

We also played Pinball in NYC where you paid per hour whereas this place you need to bring coins to play each game - there were a lot more pinballs and different types of machines from all different eras from retro to modern in the Pinball Hall Of Fame.

The food here is more modern American style - burgers, pizza, steak, chicken wings (at Hooters another place I just had to check out!).

We found the food to be a lot more expensive compared to the other places we visited, but it is a very touristy place and so that's to be expected I guess.

I would love to go back here with a group of friends for a week to see more of the Casinos, shows and entertainment. I would also like to explore the National Parks and more of the Grand Canyon around this part of the world .... next time!

Have you been to Las Vegas? What did you love about it?

Check out my other honeymoon travels around the USA here: 
Honeymoon destinations in the USA
Tours around the USA
Part 1 - New York
Part 2 - Louisville, Kentucky
Part 3 - New Orleans, Louisiana
Part 4 - Las Vegas, Nevada
Part 5 - San Francisco, California
Part 6 - Los Angeles, California

 photo F0F68C01A59FABD46732FC15E1D8816D_zpsc6047f2f.png

For exclusive extras and daily updates ... follow Jarrah Jungle on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

[All images my own]

Pin It Now!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Book Review: The Passenger By Lisa Lutz

This is a book review of The Passenger by Lisa Lutz that was recently published by Simon and Schuster on 1 March 2016.

Lisa Lutz is the author of nine novels, which includes a six book series and a childrens book. Lisa has won the Alex award and has been nominated for the Edgar Award for best novel for her series. Lisa lives in Hudson Valley, New York.

This is a mystery and thriller about a young woman known as Tanya who is on the run after her husband accidentally dies. It becomes clear after such a drastic decision to go on the run that Tanya is also running from other ghosts of her past.

As Tanya's past starts to catch up with her she changes her identity throughout the story, with each American town she passes through, and takes on the personality traits of the person she is portraying at the time.

This story is fast paced with a few key characters - a bartender who leaves you wondering if she's really a friend or enemy, a policeman looking for the true Tanya, and a high school sweetheart who stays in touch via email.

I liked the characters but I didn't particularly warm to Tanya, I don't think she wanted to be likable, it was part of her cover and how life on the run had hardened her.

There was a lot of action, twists and turns but there were also some gaps to the story which left me feeling unfulfilled at the end - perhaps that was the author's intention to leave the reader guessing.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in life on the run and living off the grid.

I give this book 3 stars out of  5

Jarrah Jungle's Star Rating:
1 Bad - I'd rather eat brussel sprouts topped with anchovies than read this again
2 Not Good - I'd rather watch paint dry than read this again
3 Ok - I'm sitting on the fence - its not great but not terrible either
4 Good - I'd give up a bottle of the worlds best champagne for this read
5 Great - I'd pass up a date with Johnny Depp for this read

The Passenger can be purchased from the author here and Simon and Schuster

Sharing my book review on Good Reads here and Netgalley

Disclosure:  NetGalley partner with bloggers such as me to help promote authors and their books and I was given this ebook published by Simon and Schuster to review. As always, all opinions are my own.

 photo F0F68C01A59FABD46732FC15E1D8816D_zpsc6047f2f.png

For exclusive extras and daily updates ... follow Jarrah Jungle on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

[Image via Lisa Lutz

Pin It Now!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Painting Door Frames + Internal Doors With Dulux Paint

The very last home improvement project we've been working on inside our Jarrah Jungle home is to replace all our internal doors with new internal doors and new handles.

I recently shared a DIY on how to hang doors and today I'm sharing a DIY on how we painted the door frames and doors with a special Dulux paint which can be used to paint skirting boards, door frames, windows, cupboards and doors.

Painting the door frames

I've said it before and I'll say it again because Mr P always corrects me when I want to get all slap happy with the paint brush straight away ....

The most important thing about painting is the preparation beforehand! 

So for our jarrah door frames we used filler to fill in any imperfections, sanded it back smooth, filled and sanded again where needed, wiped it all down clean and then we pulled out the paint brush and started painting!

For the door frames - once they were prepped as above we painted on an undercoat of Dulux Prepcoat - Primer, Sealer and Undercoat, in whiteThis comes in both water and oil based paint and we chose the oil based as we find it stronger and helps the paint adhere better. It's a bit smelly to work with but the smell disperses quickly after you finish painting and it dries quickly.

Once the undercoat paint was dry we painted the door frames with two top coats using Dulux Aquanamel - Semi Gloss in bright white which is a special paint for doors, windows  and trim. This is a water based paint so easy to wipe up as you go with any spills or drips and being water based it has a really low odour and dries quickly too.

It's fine to use a combination of oil and water based paints as we have.

The first coat of paint always takes the longest as you want to make sure you get really good coverage and the second coat always goes on easier than the first and is a lot quicker to apply too. By the time you're onto the third coat it takes half the time as it glides on easily with really good coverage.

As soon as the white paint went on the frames it brings them to life they look so much better, brighter and fresher.

Painting the internal doors

Now for the doors themselves - we bought the doors already primed and after we trimmed them to fit each doorway they were ready to be painted.

The doors had to be sealed because they were raw wood where we trimmed them.

For this we used the same prepcoat paint as we used on the door frames - Dulux Prepcoat - Primer, Sealer and Undercoat, in white

Once all the edges were painted with prepcoat - the inside and bottom needs to be painted first as it's impossible to paint once hung but the outside and top could be painted once hung if you prefer (we did all the edges before hung as it was easier to do them all at the same time).

The doors were hung and then we painted the prepcoat on the front and back of each door using a paint brush to get into all the grooves and taking care to brush out any brush strokes or paint drips before the paint drys. 

We used the same method as the door frames - the entire door was painted first with the prepcoat paint.

It takes about an hour to dry before you can paint again so we would usually do a few doors in a row and then pack the paint away for another day.

Once the prepcoat was on each door we got busy with painting two top coats of paint - for this we used the top coat paint Dulux Aquanamel - Semi Gloss in bright white

It takes about 45 minutes to paint each coat on each door and so with three coats of paint in total each door took about two and a half hours to paint.

We painted 9 internal doors in total - four bedrooms, bathroom, hallway, laundry and the powder room.

Over 20 hours of painting doors we split over about a year doing some here and there whenever we had the time (between planning our wedding and getting married!)

What a transformation new doors and a fresh coat of paint has made to the look of the house!

It's really modernized the house and the bright white paint looks clean and fresh.

Once the doors were all painted we put the new handles back on (we took them off to paint as it was easier than taping them up!)

Don't the new doors, paint and handles look great!

Whilst this was a fairly easy home improvement project to tackle it took us over a year to complete only because we painting doors here and there whenever we felt like getting out the paint brush.

This is the last big project for the inside of our Jarrah Jungle house renovations .... I can't believe I'm saying the internal renovations are now complete!

You can check out all our renovations to date on the house tour tab.

What was your last painting project? 

Disclosure: Thanks to Dulux for providing me with this paint for review. I have not received any payment or compensation. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Sharing with link parties:
Curly Crafty Mom - The Creative Corner
Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesdays
The Plumbette - Home Improvement Thursday

 photo F0F68C01A59FABD46732FC15E1D8816D_zpsc6047f2f.png

For exclusive extras and daily updates ... follow Jarrah Jungle on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

[All images my own]

Pin It Now!