Throwback Thursday – Flashback Friday again.

Throwback Thursday! Flashback Friday!

Feeling grateful as I look at old photographs. Remembering the many trips and vacations I was fortunate to take and the wonderful places I visited growing up. Here are just a few:

First time at Disneyland! In the Dome of the Monorail with cousin Danny 1970

First time at Disneyland! In the Dome of the Monorail with cousin Danny 1970

Every year, Grandma would take all the grandkids to Anaheim for 2 days at Disneyland and a night at the Disneyland Hotel. Grandma also took me on many trips: Glacier National Park, Montana, Niagara Falls, Seattle, Vancouver, Edmonton and all across Canada, London and Scotland. And of course Chicago and New York City:

New York City and Liberty Island with Grandma!

New York City and Liberty Island with Grandma!

I also traveled a lot with my family. Vacations to New York, Washington D.C., Virginia and Philadelphia in 1976 during the nation’s Bicentennial; Hawaii, Big Sur, Yosemite and Sequoia national parks, Lake Tahoe and northern California, San Diego, the Grand Canyon and “Four Corners”, Chicago, Kenosha, a very weird Thanksgiving in Arizona, Mammoth, Palm Springs (where my Grandparents retired), Park City, Utah and even Las Vegas.

Skeet shooting at the Greenhorn ranch

Skeet shooting at the Greenhorn Ranch in Northern California!

Scuba diving in Hawaii!

Scuba diving in Kona on the Big Island Hawaii!

Big Sur 1975 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hiking in Big Sur, California 1975

Camping in Yosemite

Camping in Yosemite & Sequoia National Parks

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” ~ Mark Twain

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A couple more travel answers about Las Vegas

A couple more travel answers about Las Vegas:

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Q: Best Buffet for the money in Vegas? I’m heading to Vegas and naturally looking for the best all you can eat buffets that will put all other buffets to shame. What are your favorites and why? ~ Cameron W., Los Angeles

A: Best Buffet in Las Vegas?

The Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace, The Buffet at Bellagio, and The Buffet at Wynn are three of the best ($$$). I also like the Flavors Buffet at Harrah’s which is less expensive and has a huge variety of good things on the menu (and you can usually find coupons for Flavors and save $5 per person on the regular $18-$30 price)

NOTE: I ate at the MGM Grand buffet last year and it was TERRIBLE! It was the worst buffet I’ve ever eaten at in Vegas. The food looked good but literally everything was cold and tasteless…. I would also advise avoiding the buffet at Circus Circus.

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Q: Which hotel would you choose?

Having some difficulty choosing my hotel for my next trip to Vegas.  I actually have a reservation at the newer SLS hotel but am hesitant about it. Hesitant simply because it’s on the North side of the strip which I don’t usually stay. Everything I want to do/see is on the South end. So do I try out the newer hotel with a really nice room or go with something else location wise? Which would you choose and why? ~Karen H., Maryland

SLS –  Lux Deluxe King – Corner High Floor With extra wind – got a great Cyber Monday deal on the room at 1/2 off the regular price.  Price $122 per night

Tropicana –  either a 1 KING BALCONY W/POOL VIEW – BUNGALOW or 1 KING 2 ROOM SUITE – CLUB TOWER Suite.  price either $88 or $100 per night

Treasure Island –  Petite Suite or Tower Suite at $98 per night or $115 per night.

A: SLS Las Vegas Hotel, Tropicana Las Vegas, or Treasure Island?

Tropicana Hotel - Las Vegas, Nevada (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Tropicana Hotel – Las Vegas, Nevada (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Tropicana has the advantage of being across the street from the MGM Grand Las Vegas (lots of great restaurants just don’t eat at the buffet) and monorail adjacent (which will save you time and money). Spend the extra money on the Suite and ask them to waive the resort fee. Get a monorail pass and you have transit access to Bally’s & Paris, the Flamingo & Caesar’s, Harrah’s & the Linq, and the other “center Strip” hotels: Mirage, Bellagio, Monte Carlo, the Venetian, etc. And also off-strip to the Westgate (Las Vegas Hilton) and SLS (the Sahara) at the north end.

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Birthday! Labor Day Weekend in Vegas…where to stay?

Q: Birthday weekend in Vegas…where to stay?

My friends and I going to Vegas for my birthday over Labor Day weekend! We need a place to stay that isn’t outrageously expensive, but has a lot going on. We’d like to stay in a hotel that has daytime pool parties. There are 5 of us and we’re open to getting two rooms or a suite, if it’s worth it. Any suggestions? – Talia H. Seattle, WA

Welcome to Las Vegas (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Welcome to Las Vegas (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

A: Las Vegas on Labor Day Weekend?

Try The Cromwell, the newest boutique hotel on the strip. It used to be Wild Bill’s and before that it was the Barbary Coast. Located center strip at Flamingo and Las Vegas Blvd. Drai’s is located in the hotel, so you get your choice of pool party, club night or after-hours. Just fully renovated! Everything is fresh and new.

You’re across Las Vegas Blvd from Caesars Palace, the Forum Shops, The Mirage and the volcano. Next door is Harrah’s, the Flamingo, The Venetian and Palazzo, The Quad soon to be renamed The LINQ after the giant ferris wheel next door. Across Flamingo is Bally’s, Paris, Planet Hollywood, the Bellagio Hotel and fountain, and The Cosmopolitan.

There’s lots to see and do within “walking distance”, which will save you on cab fare and waiting. Great restaurants, spas, clubs, shows and other diversions at any of the above resorts. You can also access the monorail at Bally’s or the Flamingo.

Make reservations in advance (do it by telephone rather than online and always get the name of the person you talk to!) because everything will be crowded!

NOTE: Bring sneakers for walking and then switch to heels when you arrive at your destination. Use a Big purse and plastic bag.

Avoid the MGM, it’s too big and the service is only ok.

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