Tuesday, May 28, 2013

LAKE MEAD NEVADA –Something for Everyone!

Written by Tiffany Milligan – A Vegas Local

Love nature? Water activities? Are you the outdoorsy type or do you just appreciate beautiful scenery? Lake Mead, Nevada might just be the place for you! Boating, camping, hiking, Hoover Dam… this is more than just a day trip if you want to decompress from city life, breath in the fresh air, and leave all of your worries behind. From the party goers to the tree huggers, this oasis of all-encompassing beauty welcomes all walks of life. Endless opportunities at some summer fun exist at Lake Mead!

Photo by Don Barrett

The 247 square miles of gorgeous lake, tied into the Colorado River just 24 miles from the Las Vegas Strip, was named after Elwood Mead (January 16, 1858 – January 26, 1936). Elwood was the commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation during the planning and construction of the Boulder Canyon Project; this is the project that created both the lake and the dam. Equally as fascinating as the creation of such a MONSTER of a lake (yes, it is the 16th largest manmade lake in the WORLD) is the history of the land before the development of Lake Mead, Nevada.

The River Mountains and the Muddy Mountains are nothing less than jaw dropping when paired with the vastness of Lake Mead in the foreground (talk about a great photo op for photographers)! If you do love photography and want to get some good shots AND a little workout, the historic railroad tunnel trail is 4.4 miles of old railroad bed turned trail, that tunnel through volcanic rock, reaching all the way to Hoover Dam… should you choose to go that far! It’s a great walk for the family, but if you have TEENY TINY ones like I do, make sure that your stroller has shocks ☺

Playing on Lake Mead can mean many things including Lake Mead Boat Rentals. Rent a pontoon patio boat and enjoy cruising and exploring the 550 miles of shoreline, stopping for a picnic to bask under a tree (believe it or not, there are a few). If you’re wanting to burn off a little energy, rent an open bow boat and some wake-boards  and zip through the water creating an unforgettable experience… life is all about experiences don’t you know ;) If you’re wanting to take it all in, a helicopter tour of Hoover Dam and Lake Mead will keep you out of the heat and let you see the majestic lake from an angle you never thought possible! Dream BIG at Lake Mead, Nevada!

Lake Mead Nevada is the home to Hoover Dam (can anyone guess who the damn is named after)?! It took six companies, five years of working 24 hours around the clock to complete this feat! Can you imagine being able to do that with the technology of that time?! What a grueling task! It is absolutely amazing to descend down the shaft and get a look at the interior workings of such an architectural anomaly. I’m not a history buff, nor would I ever claim to like history, however, the tour and history of the Hoover Dam, in Lake Mead, Nevada, is fascinating. Claustrophobic? You might want to sit this one out (since you’ll have tons upon tons of concrete above you when you go down below the damn on the tour… in a tiny elevator shaft…surrounded by water logged, dripping walls, which you are assured by the tour guide, is no big deal) and enjoy Hoover Dam from the recently completed Hoover Damn walking bridge! Scared of heights? Well, then the bridge idea might be an issue too! You might just want to stay on the lake and play and meet up with your party later ;)

Boulder City is a quaint town, just minutes from Lake Mead, Nevada. It has all the modern amenities you need (fast food, gas, shops, lodging) PLUS a great variety of mom and pop restaurants; you can sit on a patio, alongside the road, and people watch while sipping on a refreshing iced tea and nibbling on an oversized club sandwich. Play a round of golf before heading out for an afternoon of kayaking…Boulder City is a great pit stop before heading out to your final destination, Lake Mead!

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Memorial Day in Las Vegas 2013

Written by Tiffany Milligan – A Vegas Local

Photo by Photographyourway
Hmmmm… where to go, where to go? You could head to Miami and hope to brush elbows with a famous rapper or two. You could make your way to Lake Havaseu, rent a houseboat, and be BORED OUT OF YOUR MIND in a day. You might even consider fleeing the great US of A for a short “fun in the sun” get away! But why? WHY would you do any of that when Las Vegas beckons you with her charm and wry ways, to entangle you in a Memorial Day you’ll never forget?! From a vast selection of refreshing pools, with scantily glad women and beefy men (yes, I said “beefy”), to the nightlife that can be compared to no other, Memorial Day in Las Vegas 2013 is where the party is at!

Photo by shin2chi
Memorial Day Las Vegas hosts parties galore; galore as in there will be something going on at every.single.hotel.bar.nightclub.pool. The Hakkasan LasVegas, at the MGM Resort, is going to be OFF THE HOOK with their opening happening just a week prior. Memorial Day weekend they will be hosting LEGENDARY DJ’s, Tiesto and Deadmau5. If you like to dance and dance and dance some more, put on your best duds, gather up the girls (or boys) and make a night of it! I will suggest that you take a pair of flip flops, tucked in your handbag, for the staggering journey back to your hotel…These walks seem so much longer when you’ve tossed a few adult beverages back…

If grooving to the spins of Deadmau5 isn’t your thing and you want to spend Memorial Day in Las Vegas listening to some less “severe” rhymes, might I suggest XSTrystMarquee or Pure. Yes they’re all nightclubs, yes you will have an amazing time at whichever one you choose to make your “home” for the night, and YES there are PLACES TO SIT if you wear those 8” spiked heels “because you thought it was a good idea at the time!”


When it’s 185 degrees out (ok fine, maybe not that hot…let’s go with HOTTER THAN HOT), what better place to be than at the pool. Not any old pool will do… this is Las Vegas after all. GO BIG OR GO HOME! Memorial Day Las Vegas 2013 continues to outdo itself time and time again, with poolside events that will knock your socks off (not that you should be wearing socks at a pool, that’s just WRONG…Speedos should be off limits too…and probably water shoes). ANYWAY, The Top Ten Pools in Las Vegas, named by USA Today, are all excellent choices; women wearing next to nothing, men gawking at the women (To be fair, women are gawking at the men too, and at other women, AND men are gawking at men), loud music, drinks, snacks, and, most important, ACTION…of all kinds ;)
Photo by Paul Michaels

Swim up blackjack! Chaaaaaaaaaaaaa ching! Hard Rock Beach is where I’d spend my Memorial Day in Las Vegas 2013, if given the choice! Great sound system, the drinks are strong, and when you run out of things to do, you can scope out the millions (no really, MILLIONS) of tattoos adorning the bodies of both the young and the old.


If you’ve brought your family along for some Vegas fun, Memorial Day in Las Vegas has all the eats they could dream of! Rain Forest CafĂ© has mediocre food but the atmosphere and experience is one that your kids will LOVE! Walking in on a tropical downpour in a vast jungle, where wild animals call and foliage surrounds you, will be all the entertainment your little ones need. The waterfalls and indigenous animals will make them beg you to take them on Safari for your next vacation!

Photo by ourlifewithaview
Excalibur’s Tournament of Kings takes you back in time to the medieval days of knights fighting for honor. Sitting in a section with a color corresponding to the knight you will cheer for, you will be served a Medieval themed dinner that you eat with your fingers! People of all ages will ogle the beautiful horses with their ironclad riders, while trying to contain the excitement ignited by the show’s damsels, the army invasions, and the jousting!

If you’re looking for some quick eats on the strip, Vegas has that too! Here are 25 places to eat for $25 or less!

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Galaxy Theatres ( A Luxury Movie Experience )

By Tiffany Milligan – A Vegas Local

What? No hard alcohol?! But it’s VEGAS?!!! Fine, I guess if that’s the worst thing about the GalaxyTheatre we are doing pretty OK! Walking into the lobby of this new luxury movie theater one could easily mistake it for any of the 102 other theaters in town; the lobby and snack counter are generic but clean. I hopped in line and was quickly greeted by an upbeat employee (the kind that make you wonder how people tolerate them for any length of time). I ordered a popcorn and Coke (I’m not sure if I was extra hungry or if the popcorn was phenomenal, so I’ll go with “the popcorn was phenomenal”). The food choices and pricing are comparable to other local movie theaters and beer and wine prices range from $7-$10. If you’re looking to get your drunk on, the alcohol bill could add up quickly, but they do have a good selection of bottled beer and beer on tap… from Budweiser to Dos Equis.

Wandering down the movie corridor you enjoy the smell of new carpet and paint (if you’re a sick individual and like those types of “scents” like I do) before walking into your theater and finding your assigned seats. Amazing. Absolutely. Amazing. The aisles are wide and the red leather reclining seats, complete with footrests, are in pristine condition. You plop down in a wide overstuffed chair and… OMG, they are ELECTRIC recliners! Of course you are going to fumble and play with them because there’s no way to hold back your annoying inner child. You are once again amazed when you realize that you can practically lay down in it and STILL have three feet between you and the row in front of you!

When you’re done wondering why you’ve never visited this movie theater before, you look up and are faced with an ENORMOUS screen displaying a clear picture. You know those theaters that play a movie and only show said movie on the center of the screen? The ones that leave so much glorious canvas untouched by the film you’re watching? Well, not at the Galaxy Theater! They use every spare inch so that those of us with psychological issues can focus on the movie and not try to rationalize the empty “frame” around the movie. The movie’s digital sound is loud but not overwhelming; this is a theater that realizes not every patron wants to leave with ringing ears and hearing loss. Don’t get me wrong, the seats rumble when there are explosions and such, but it’s a vivid yet pleasant sound experience.

So if you’re in town and have a vehicle, need to recover from the prior nights debaucheries, or just want to forget about all the money you lost on that single hand of blackjack… take a jacket (this theater gets chilly), head to one of their two locations (Cannery projected to be completed July 2013), pay your $11 ($7.50 for kids/$8.50 for seniors/$8.50 matinees), sit back, and enjoy the movie! As for me, if you try to take me to a “regular” movie theatre again and deprive me of the luxury experience that the Galaxy Theatre provides, be prepared… I might go kicking and screaming!

Galaxy Movie Theatre                                         
Green Valley                                                           
4500 E Sunset Rd #10                                   
Henderson, Nevada                                               
(702) 442-0244                                               

Galaxy Movie Theatre (coming Summer 2013)
2121 E Craig Rd
North Las Vegas, Nevada 
 (702) 639-0363

Thursday, May 9, 2013

VegasDaze Review

By Tiffany Milligan – A Vegas Local

Not sure where to book, or need help deciding on what to book? See what people are saying about VegasDaze and their customer reviews. Micaela recently booked a trip to the Grand Canyon with us. Here's what she had to say:

Grand Canyon

"Thank you so much for the wonderful time we had. From the minute I called for the reservation from the time we boarded the helicopter the staff was amazing and great and everyone had such a great attitude. The pilot was awesome!! I am recommending all my friends take advantage of this neat experience.
Thanks so much for everything, I will never forget it and plan on doing other events you offer next time I am in Vegas." --Micaela 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Celebrate Mother’s Day Vegas Style

By Tiffany Milligan – A Vegas Local

Tall moms, short moms, fat moms, skinny moms… an excerpt from the latest Dr. Seuss book? Nope! Just a reminder that Mother’s Day 2013 is upon us (Sunday May 12th) and all mothers (well, let’s go with “most” mothers) deserve a little gratitude and appreciation at least one day a year! Whether your mom is the adventurous type or would rather curl up to a table full of deliciousness, Las Vegas provides a way to celebrate every mother, in style.

The Refined Yet Adventurous Mother Mother’s Day 2013 Vegas Style
Did your mother spend her last vacation spelunking or ziplining through the Amazons? If so, it’s safe to say that your mother MIGHT be just a BIT on the adventurous side ;) What better gift than to provide her with a shot of adrenaline coupled with a lot of class and style! The Vegas Dinner and Flight Tour is just what she’s looking for (and my number one recommendation!) What mother wouldn’t want to enjoy a savory dinner at Smith and Wollensky before soaring high above Las Vegas in a helicopter, to enjoy the breathtaking eagle’s eye view of everything the Strip has to offer! From the Bellagio Fountains and the best megaresorts to the old time glitz of Fremont Street to the City Center, show your mom Vegas like she’s never seen it before.

The Foodie MotherMother’s Day 2013 Vegas Style
Charlie Palmer Steak Las Vegas, at the Four Seasons Hotel, is a “cut above the rest”. Get it? Haha. Wow, that was a little (or maybe a LOT) corny… The truth is that Charlie Palmer’s was voted the “best steakhouse in Vegas” by the Las Vegas Journal, and the reviews across the board point to this glowing beacon of steak heaven. Flavorful filets, marbled rib eye, and perfectly seasoned rack of lamb… my mouth is watering and my stomach is grumbling. Luxurious and pricey this restaurant is sure to impress the most finicky mother.

If your budget is more like mine (McDonald’s anyone?), or perhaps your mom is more of a brunch kinda gal, not a problem! Vegas has something to quench the palate of every mother. When you think of Vegas dining, you think of brunch. I wonder why that is? Maybe it has something to do with not waking up early enough to have breakfast because maybe, just maybe, you need that little extra bit of recovery time from the prior nights “festivities”? Whatever the case may be, if you’re going to brunch it up, do it right! The Top Ten Brunches here in Vegas don’t change much over the years, and they provide a wonderful way to cater to the variety of cravings of everyone in your party.

The Outdoorsy MotherMother’s Day 2013 Vegas Style
Celebrate mom all day long in the glorious sun, floating down the lazy river, cocktail in hand. Perfect for those of us that need a little “help” tolerating our beloved mothers. Mandalay Bay Beach is 11 acres of lush “hiding grounds”… “Mom, oh mother, I’m so sorry! It seems that I lost you…FOR THE ENTIRE DAY!” …Even if you do “lose” your mother in this wondrous oasis, she will thank you for the experience. Wave pools and cabanas and day beds…oh my! This aquatic divinity has something for every outdoorsy mother to rant about for years to come.

Last but not least…The Frugal Mother (Or perhaps, The Frugal Offspring)Mother’s Day 2013 Vegas Style
Did you bet the money you’d set aside to celebrate Mother’s Day 2013, on some really bad sports bets? I mean, the Kentucky Derby is RIGHT before Mother’s Day, so it would be completely understandable ;) OR, does your mother prefer for everyone to live the same frugal lifestyle that she embraces? Whatever the reason, there are plenty of ways, in Vegas, to show your mother how much you love her… on a budget.

My final recommendation is The Art Festival of Henderson, which is open from 9am-4pm on Mother’s Day and admission is FREE! There are over 100 booths to explore, with art that appeals to every walk of life; chalk art, pottery, crafts, painting, they have it all… and if you’re feeling a little more flush than usual, you can purchase a piece for her, to commemorate the great time you had Mother’s Day 2013 in Las Vegas!


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