Tag Archives: United States

Las Vegas Itinerary

21 Jan


My husband and I spent three nights over MLK weekend in Las Vegas.  Below was our itinerary:

THURSDAY:  Arrived around 10am.  Checked into our hotel, Encore (HIGHLY recommend – see picture below of the view from our room).  Walked through Wynn, Palazzo and Venetian.  Ate at I ❤ Burgers at Venetian.  Relaxed and then walked the strip down to Paris.  Finally, we ate dinner at Olives at the Bellagio (HIGHLY recommend).  We got a table outside right next to the fountain (see picture below).  After dinner, we went to Ghost Bar on the roof of the Palms (see picture below of the view from Ghost Bar).




FRIDAY:  We had breakfast/lunch at Terrace Point Cafe at the Wynn.  Afterwards, we hung out at the pool (see picture below of one of the pool areas).  We had dinner at CraftSteak at MGM Grand (HIGHLY recommend).  We then spent the rest of the evening walking around the Strip, including Excalibur and ending at Mandalay Bay.


SATURDAY:  We had brunch at The Buffet (HIGHLY recommend).  Afterwards, we hung out at the pool again.  Then we spent some time at the sports book at the Wynn watching basketball games.  At night, we went to see Penn & Teller (HIGHLY recommend) at Rio Hotel (see picture below with Penn).  Afterwards, we went to Rio’s rooftop bar, Voodoo Rooftop Nightclub (HIGHLY recommend – the views are amazing).  We ended the night at Ne-Yo’s show at Surrender Nightclub at Encore (see picture below inside the nightclub).



SUNDAY:  We checked out of Encore.  We ate lunch at the sports book at the Wynn.  My husband spent the rest of the day at the sports book, while I enjoyed my day pass at Encore’s spa.  We walked the Strip quickly, had a fast dinner at a Encore’s Lobby Bar, and then headed to the airport.  We had an 11:30pm flight that got us home Monday morning.


  • Meet a promoter and really utilize them to get into clubs for free or reduced prices.  My husband and I met a promoter on the street outside of Cesar’s Palace.  We ended up texting him each night to get on the list for certain clubs and it really worked out.  We saved a lot of money.
  • Bring a second ID with you at all times.  My husband and I tried to get into Hakkasan at MGM Grand, but they would not recognize my driver’s license.  After that, I traveled with a second ID even though I never needed it again.
  • If your husband is (or your friends are) hanging out at a sports book for the day (e.g., NFL Sundays), get a day pass to the spa.  I paid $40 for a day pass at Encore’s spa and really enjoyed it.
  • If you want to go to a sports book, my husband liked the one at the Wynn the best.   After the Wynn, his second choice was MGM Grand’s sports book.

Nags Head, North Carolina MUSTs

3 Jan


RelaxInn B&B  – We LOVED this place.



Sam & Omie’s Restaurant – We LOVED this restaurant.  It has a nice neighborly atmosphere.  I recommend having your drinks and food at the bar.


–  Fat Boyz Ice Cream & Grill

Pamlico Jacks – Beautiful sunset.



– We liked hanging out at the beach near Jennette’s Pier.


– Visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial and fly a kite.


– Shop at the outlets in Nags Head, NC.

– Walk around Manteo, NC.

– Visit the beach near Oregon Inlet Fishing Center and on the side of the camping area.  We bought snacks and waters for the day at the fishing center.

– See the house that was used for the movie “Nights in Rodanthe.”   The Inn is in Hatteras Island, NC and can be rented.

Minot, North Dakota

15 Apr

Matt and I spent Thanksgiving in Minot, North Dakota. We spent most of our time just relaxing, but we were still able to see a few attractions. Below is a list of some of the attractions in Minot, ND.



  • State Fair grounds. There seems to be a market, fair, or some sort of expo there quite frequently. Check out the schedule here. However, if you are in Minot, ND in July, make sure to visit the North Dakota State Fair! This year the fair is scheduled for July 19-27, 2013.
  • Dakota Square Mall, which features 4 department stores, many more stores, and an indoor water park!
  • Eat at Sakura – Japanese Steak House. If it is your birthday, the restaurant has a fun song for you! If you like sake, well, get ready to drink!


For a listing of more attractions in Minot, ND, go to TripAdvisor.com.

Enjoy Minot!

What is/are your 2013 Travel Resolution(s)?

1 Jan

As indicated yesterday, my 2013 travel resolutions include traveling to Jamaica, South Africa, Mozambique and at least one U.S. state that I have never traveled to (e.g., Hawaii, Vermont, Utah, Kentucky, Alabama).  What are your 2013 travel resolutions?

Courtney Mara’s 2013 Bucket List

31 Dec

My 2013 DC bucket list:

  • Go inside the National Cathedral
  • Bureau of Engraving & Printing
  • Go to the top of the clock tower at the Old Post Office Pavilion
  • National Geographic Museum
  • Air & Space Museum in Dulles, VA
  • National Observatory
  • US Capitol building tour
  • Explore 14th Street NW

My 2013 personal bucket list:

  • Get married (May 2013)
  • Have more DC dates with my fiance/husband
  • Spend more time with friends and family

My 2013 travel bucket list:

  • Jamaica (wedding): (1) jump off of a cliff (even if its a baby one) in Negril and (2) Margaritaville in Montego Bay
  • South Africa and Mozambique (honeymoon): (1) see a great white shark, (2) swim with a whale shark, (3) go with Matt on his first safari, (4) ride an elephant with Matt in Africa, and (5) go to Cape Town. 
  • Take a hot air balloon ride
  • Travel to at least one state that I have never been to (e.g., Hawaii, Alaska, Alabama, Vermont, etc.)

What is on your 2013 bucket list?

Mount Vernon

20 Oct

A visit to Mount Vernon is a MUST, especially if you are in DC in Spring or Fall.  Take a stroll around the property.  It is a romantic atmosphere, but can also be used as a historical stop for you and your family.  I recommend getting a timed ticket to see the house or the wait can be long.  Also, if you live in DC and you think you will go on more than one visit to the estate in a year (especially if you have a lot of visitors), I recommend getting the annual pass.  Finally, make sure to check the calendar to see if there are any fun events.

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Fayetteville, Arkansas

13 Oct

  • Run along the paths in Fayetteville, Arkansas.


October in the District

1 Oct

October is one of my favorite months in the District.  There are so many great fall festivals and halloween activities.  Here is a list of some of my favorite October happenings around the District of Columbia:

  • Oktoberfest at Biergarten Haus in Washington, DC.
  • Oktoberfest Reston from October 5-7, 2012.
  • Germantown Oktoberfest on October 6, 2012.
  • Snallygaster in Washington, DC.  Saturday, October 13, 2012.
  • Nightmare on M Street.  Saturday, October 27, 2012.
  • Silver Spring Zombie Walk on Saturday, October 27.  You can read my past post here.  This is a MUST see or participate.  You can watch the zombies walk around 8pm in downtown Silver Spring or participate by dressing up as a zombie and walking with the hundreds of other zombies.  It is a lot of fun.
  • Boo at the Zoo.  The National Zoo’s Trick or Treat Event.  October 26-28, 2012.
  • Terrorville in Aldie, VA.  Until October 28, 2012.
  • DC Drag Queen Race 2012.  Tuesday, October 30, 2012.
  • Markoff’s Haunted Forest in Dickerson, MD.  Open until October 31, 2012.
  • Field of Screams in Olney, Maryland. Until November 3, 2012.
  • Summers Farm in Frederick, MD (about an hour outside of DC).  There is so much to do at this farm for all ages.  You can pick pumpkins, pet animals, shoot out apples, challenge yourself at the many different mazes, go through a corn maze, play mini golf, watch pig races, jump on huge “jumping pillows”, ride on a hay ride, and more!  I HIGHLY recommend visiting this farm.  Open until November 6, 2012.

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

7 Jul

There are a ton of adventurous activities to do in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.  Here are just a few:




(photo is from River & Trail Outfitters)

Canopy Tour

Tubing* (my personal favorite)

(photo is from River Riders)




The Haunted Cottage

Harpers Ferry National Historic Park

* Also try River & Trail Outfitters for the same activities

Assateague Island, MD

22 Jun

A few weeks ago Matt and I camped with some friends at Assateague (MD).  It is an island near Ocean City that is a state park on the Maryland side and a national wildlife refuge on the Virginia part.  However, the island is most well known for the wild ponies.

You are able to camp on the Maryland side and there are great facilities and campgrounds that include a picnic table and fire pit.  For anyone that likes to camp, I highly recommend this adventure. Click here for information on the campgrounds and to find out how to book a site.

The activities on the island could include swimming, reading on the beach, walking, running, fishing, and much more.  It is a perfect place for people that just love to lay on a nice beach and not have thousands of people, noise, and boardwalks.