This summer has been filled with lots of sun and extreme heat. It has also been filled with exciting vacations including a trip to the City of Angels. We were in the area last year for Christmas as a family for shopping but this trip was different. I received an invitation to attend a taping of American Ninja Warrior Junior and decided to fly the family out for an adventure.
The invitation was for priority tickets to the American Ninja Warrior Junior show, which means we were guaranteed a seat and would not be put on a waiting list. They were very specific about clothing, food, drink, cameras etc. but everything was reasonable and didn't prevent us from having a great time.
We were not told the exact location for filming and were required to sign several waivers and release forms before getting a wristband. This gave us access to the bus that would take us to the studio. We had free parking in a lot in downtown Los Angeles about 10 minutes away.
Audience members supporters of the contestants all gathered outside before entering the course. It was hot but everyone was in a good mood. The line moved quickly once we were permitted to enter. There was no shade and the bleachers were hot but they did provide plenty of water and fans with misters.
We were there for the filming of the semifinals and the final competition. The course was different and top secret but the last portion remained the same. The contestants completed the course quickly and exhibited amazing upper body strength along the way. We were able to talk with a contestant in another age group from our home state. His trainer and family gave us some behind the scenes info about applying, training, and competing. It is a major commitment for a prize of $15,000. Adults receive $1 Million!
Last summer, I purchased tickets for my husband and I to visit Las Vegas and see @BoyzIIMen perform. The seats I secured were near the back of the venue but as luck would have it, when we arrived my husband was taken for a celebrity and as a result we were escorted to third row center stage! Now I was already excited to see the group perform live as it was my first time seeing them in concert but from that vantage point the show was extra special!
We stayed on the Diamond Member floor of @BallysVegas and had a great view of the city during our time in Sin City. The concert, however, was at the @TheMirageLV which is also on the strip and just a quick 5 minute ride away.
The concert began on time (yes!) and there was no opening act, to be honest @BoyzIIMen doesn't need one. They have enough musical selections to give a four hour concert easily lol. There was an extremely diverse crowd @TheMirageLV, old and young, men and women, black/white/Asians...everyone showed up! We heard all of our @BoyzIIMen favorites plus some Motown goodies all while witnessing some fabulous wardrobe/stage changes. We even met a "new member", Marc Nelson who gave a great performance. He's pictured below...
The time passed too quickly for me and before I knew it Nate, Wanya, and Shawn were throwing roses (I received one *blush*) and dancing with a few women from the audience wishing us good night. If you have not seen @BoyzIIMen in concert it's not too late they are still performing in Las Vegas @TheMirageLV and any seat in the house is well worth it, you will not be disappointed!
Our first stop for Spring Break 2017 was Atlantic City, if you missed the blog post click here.
Next stop? Pittsburgh!
We arrived in Pittsburgh just in time for dinner. There is a restaurant that used to be in Cleveland but now the closet location is in Steeler city. They serve some of the best crab legs in the area and Bessemer Court has a location with a scenic view.
After dinner comes dessert! Although Joe's Crab Shack makes a mean seafood steam pot, they didn't have a tempting sweet treat on the menu for me, so we headed to another venue. When we arrived there was no question about which goodie would be devoured.
Vacation time! First Destination?
Almost every summer, my husband I take a trip to Las Vegas to enjoy some time alone in one of the world's best known adult playground. The sun is always shining when we arrive and almost everyone is in a good mood. This year we decided to visit a similar vacation spot, in addition to our annual trip, for spring break. Neither of us had been to Atlantic City before and the commute is much shorter so we gave it a go.
We decided to drive there for a few reasons.
The weather was cool and although the famous boardwalk was open, it wasn't nearly as active as I imagine it would when the weather is warmer. Regardless, natives and visitors alike did stroll the boardwalk and explored the beach when the sun was out. The ocean view was so calming and peaceful!
Our hotel accommodations were equally relaxing and complimentary (my favorite part). We had a city view suite and the bed & bath were so enticing that we almost stayed in the room the whole time. Almost ;)
Of course we left to explore our hotel, add a few others while we played games on the casino floors. We ate and drank well and for FREE (again my favorite part).
Casinos in Atlantic City permit smoking indoors, which was a change for us but we were on our way to our next destination by the time my throat began to become really irritated.
Check out Spring Break 2017 Part II to see where we went next....
This summer my family and I spent eight days in Orlando/Kissimmee, Florida on vacation. It was super hot but super fun and we enjoyed our time together and had an adventure almost everyday. We booked our time share reservation in the off peak season to save money that we used for food and activities. There are tons of FREE things to do and there is of course Disney home of The Mouse :)
I documented most of our favorite moments and have selected a few to share with you guys.
* This was the week before the unfortunate Disney event and the funny thing is, while we rode the Disney Monorail I saw an alligator pop up in the water a when I looked to the sidewalk nearby I saw no gate or fence. Once we were home and heard about Gatorgate, I instantly remembered my observation. Our prayers go out to the family.
Departure & Day 1
We got a feel for all of the options available to us at our time share on the first day. The property offered a game room, dive in movie pool parties, face painting, swimming and so much more. Any time we wanted to have some family fun and didn't want to travel we could stay on the property. They offered complimentary shuttle service to restaurants, Disney World, and even the grocery store. We full took advantage of this service almost daily.
Our first night in Florida, we visited an Italian eatery, within walking distance that offered us a filling and flavorful meal. We enjoyed fresh made bread, mussels, garlic knots, and a delicious pizza that easily fed us all for less than $20 dollars. The portion sizes were generous and the taste was excellent.
We took advantage of the pools, face painting and took a walking tour on the Parkway International after sleeping in. We learned about some cool places in Kissimmee that we could reach using the complimentary shuttle service and planned on visiting the next day.
Day 3 and Beyond!
Follow us on adventures as we globe trot! Road trips, chartered flights, last minute vacation ideas. Find it all here!