Friday, February 17, 2017

Lovely Las Vegas: Escapology

I had the lovely opportunity to be part of a team-building activity at Escapology in Las Vegas recently. Having seen something like this a while back on the Big Bang Theory (back when Raj was dating the red-headed dermatologist), I thought it was an intriguing concept but was clueless that my very own hometown had such a place in its midst.

As a work-related invite, I didn't have much background on escape rooms, but was ready to give it a try. Arriving at the plaza on South Maryland near Sunrise Hospital, I was surprised at the size of Escapology in comparison to the other storefronts near it, even as viewed on the outside. I remember shopping at the Big 5 Sporting Goods store in my youth but don't recall it being such a large plaza. Totally different location and frontage than I expected!

When you first enter Escapology, you have a sense of being transported to a classy, vintage lounge somewhere back in time in the UK. My group was already there, so I was quickly directed to sign-in on an iPad and my team of four was assigned to the Cuban Crisis room.

No photos or videos are allowed in the actual escape rooms, so all the images included here are from the lobby // waiting area. But the great "lost in time" vibe extended to our escape room. And I imagine the other themed rooms are equally as well dressed for their intended vibes.

The Escapology team is very friendly and helpful, so they walked us through how the escape room works, as far as where to see the count down clock, where to write our findings (there is a white board so you can collect you thoughts and write clues down as you go), how to ask for help if needed, and were we would punch in our final clue (escape code) when we discovered it.

All in all, it was an unexpectedly fun time, allowing one to team up outside of the normal work environment to solve ourselves out of the our problem at hand, <>. This was entertainment, deductive reasoning and problem-solving skills coming together in a lovely and enchanting way!


While I've bid adieu to Escapology for round one, I'd love to return to explore the other themed rooms at this creative and unique destination. Thank you, Escapology, for the brilliant experience!

P.S. Here is my TripAdvisor Review of my first time at Escapology in Las Vegas.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Lovely Las Vegas: Valentine's Day in Las Vegas

*** Update: Links added 14 February 2017 @ 5:05 PM PST ***

Saint Valentine's Day can mean different things to different people. And each of us may be in different stages of life and love and feelings towards said holiday.

If you are in Las Vegas on this heart-filled holiday and wanting to enjoy good food, here are some different options based on a variety of vibes and moods you may wish to honor on 14 February.

Wanting to show love and longing through food (early stages of a relationship):

- Fancy Schmancy option: Alize at the Palms
- Cozy, cute, trendy option: Sweets Raku

Wanting to show love and devotion to a long time love:

- Fancy Schmancy option: Alize at the Palms
- Perfect cozy spot for snuggling: Pamplemousse

Hanging out with dear friends and other close loved ones:

- Cantino Laredo at Tivoli Village (Summerlin)
- Ichiza in ChinaTown
- Lazy Dogs in Downtown Summerlin
- Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana (Henderson)

A family affair with kids along:

- Lee's Sandwiches (various locations)
- BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse (various locations)
- Grimaldi's Pizza (various locations)
- Lindo Michoacán (MacDonald Ranch)

Wanting to enjoy good food in a casual setting solo without much focus on Cupid or bows and arrows:

- Monta in ChinaTown
- Lucille's Smokehouse at Green Valley Ranch or inside Red Rock Casino
- Ichiza in ChinaTown
- Rachel's Kitchen (various locations)

Whatever your take on Saint Valentine's Day, may you find the 14th to be lovely in a way that fills your belly up nicely and brings happiness and contentment through the things that matter most to you.

Love from Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas

Sweets Raku - An angelic dessert Cupid could approve of. : ) Photo by Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Lovely Las Vegas Food: Lee's Sandwiches Henderson

Famished one fine Friday afternoon, in route to the 215 (freeway), I made a spur of the moment detour to a happening plaza off Eastern, near St. Rose Parkway (Henderson, Nevada - basically the twin city of Las Vegas). Many lovely food options abounded, however, being alone and wanting a convenient and delish place where I wouldn't feel too strange eating alone, I opted for Lee's Sandwiches.

I was pleasantly surprised as I walked in the door. Having been to the ChinaTown Lee's Sandwich shop long ago, I recall supremely yummy sandwiches (the crunch! the freshness! the flavor!) but nothing too impressive or noteworthy about the decor. I could totally be wrong about that memory and maybe it was just that the high-quality sandwiches blocked out everything else, but what a fun find to see such a cute and bright dining arrangement at Lee's on Eastern.

The food shone just like the long ago memories I have of their sandwiches.

Look at the colorful and crisp veggies and the perfectly chewy baguette. The jalapeño gave a wonderful punch to the overall flavor! This was the veggie sandwich with added grilled chicken, for some extra protein to help power me through that sleepy afternoon.

I added a cafe mocha for some nice chocolatey flavor and energization assistance. And had two egg rolls to bring home for a snack later.

With some quiet time for a nice lunch and reading, it was a lovely, lovely Las Vegas **I mean, Henderson** afternoon indeed!

Photos by Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas

Friday, December 23, 2016

Lovely Las Vegas Food: Lazy Dogs, Downtown Summerlin

I got the special treat this last week - fine company at the cozy and yummy Lazy Dogs in Downtown Summerlin. Here is the culinary evidence of the good time: 

We tried the cucumber and thyme non-alcoholic drink. Refills are $1.25 and you can sample a different flavored non-alcoholic drink as your refill, which makes things fun. 

A delicious hummus platter as appetizer number 1. 

And a poke raw seafood bowl as our second appetizer. 

A black & bleu (blue?) burger with blue cheese & crisp bacon. 

Smashed red potatoes as the side for the hamburger. 

The seasonal lamb shank. 

The highly recommended butter cake to top the night off. 

Photos by Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Lovely Las Vegas: Late Night Tivoli Date at Leoné Café

I recently needed to stay up late to finish important paperwork with a strict deadline. 

Being more of a morning person (well, at least being more sharp-minded in the mornings), my husband recommended a trip to Tivoli Village, Leone Cafe for a coffee perk-me-up. 

It is always lovely to walk around Tivoli and enjoy the sights (year round lights and now the Christmas / winter holiday lights). Perhaps it is even more delightful to enjoy the views of the sweet and savory treats at Leone Cafe! 

The caffeinated beverages of choice: 

And the chocolately goodness we shared. Chocolate + fancy and delicious coffee thankfully powered me through my paperwork that evening! 

Photos by Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Lovely Las Vegas: Achillea millefolium Yarrow Aster Family Flower

I adore these colorful clusters ... Aren't they beautiful, whimsically sweet blooms? 

I see these flowers around the Las Vegas Valkey quite a bit but never really knew what they are. I think I'm now in the know ... They are part of the Aster family ... Commonly know as Yarrow and to get all scientific, the genus and species is Achillea millefolium. 

So happy to be aware of this as I'm sure it will help in locating these beauties on future gardening endeavors. Now that I can ask for them by name. 

What do you think of these Aster family beauties? Gorgeous, vibrant colors, no? 

Photos by Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas 

Lovely Las Vegas: Pine Trees and Pine Cones

As a child, one of my favorite parts of growing up in Las Vegas was road trips to Mount Charleston. I loved the drive there, enjoying the desert terrain on the way there (yay to Yuccas and desert flowers!) and loved the transition as the scenery began to look more like a forest, with pine trees and the feel of lush greenery surrounding you, creating a cozy retreat from city life. 

While the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest / Spring Mountain National Recreation Area host a bevy of pine trees, it is amazing how many pine trees make their home in the Las Vegas Valley (North Las Vegas + Las Vegas + Henderson). 

We are so lucky to have a big row of pine trees in the park near our home. Yesterday we spent tons of time there on important tasks like gathering all the fallen pine cones and bringing them together. We found new baby pine cones all the way through to giant Grandfather pine cones. It was so fun to be outdoors ant in touch with urban nature. 

I had flashbacks of time at Mt. Charlestonas a child and also time outdoors in Norway, trekking through forests. Having thoughts of orienteering with the little ones when they are a tad bit older. How fun would that be? 

See our big pile of pine cones? The multi-generational family all cozy and warm together, ready for autumn. ; )

Photos by Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Lovely Las Vegas: Beautiful Sky, Beautiful Clouds

Here are some beautiful views of the sky covering lovely Las Vegas today. These were taken while out and about near Twain and Rainbow this morning. 


The same night, walking home from the park, we witness more lovely skies, with a surprise! 

Pretty setting sunshine bright bursts in the low clouds... And then...

A plane flying, with the setting sun rays making it red! Do you see the red flying object above the low palm leaf in the photo? My littles said it was a rocket ship! Hehe, the red color did give it an "out of this world" look! 

The black specks on the lower part of the photo are birds. 

Lovely day of skies for sure! 

Photos by Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas

Friday, September 9, 2016

Lovely Las Vegas: Hammer & Cycle's Bikes for Brats Charity Fundraiser in Downtown Las Vegas

Saturday, 10 September is the annual Bike for Brats bake goods fundraiser at Makers & Finders Urban Coffee Bar in downtown Las Vegas from 2 pm to 6 pm. This will transition over to a nightlife hot spot Hop Nuts Brewing (conveniently next door to Makers & Finders) at 6 pm. 

What is Bikes for Brats you ask? This has turned into a yearly charity event, running its 5th iteration this year. The local biking group, Hammer & Cycle, raises money to purchase and donate as many bicycles as possible to children in need. 

As for the sweet and savory treats that await... I hear the decadently delicious & addictive North Dakota specialty, Special K Bars, will be available, along with many other amazing selections. 

This is such a lovely cause so I hope there will be a lot of support for the Bikes for Brats project along with tons of enjoyment of the yummy desserts and savory treats this dedicated group have whipped up. 

Makers & Finders Urban Coffee Bar address: 1120 S. Main St., #110, Las Vegas, NV 89104

Hop Nuts Brewery address: 1120 S. Main St. #150, Las Vegas, NV 89104

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Lovely Las Vegas: St. Rose Dominican, Rose de Lima hospital courtyard

Many beautiful upgrades have been made to the flagship St. Rose hospital. In the heart of old Henderson, Nevada is the Dignity Health St. Rose Dominican Rose de Lima campus, the first of the three St. Rose hospitals. 

I would like to highlight one of the cozy, lovely courtyards at Rose de Lima. 
Along one of the indoor corridors is a simple door leading outside, into this urban nature retreat. A perfect spot for reflecting and enjoying some coffee or tea (*fikapaus*). 

I love the outdoorsy, Mother Nature inspired quotes that decorate the little garden space. 

And the bigger, bolder message to dream. Enjoying a moment in this lovely courtyard is like a sweet dream. 

Photos by Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas

Lovely Las Vegas: Amore Taste of Chicago

I first visited and wrote about Amore Taste of Chicago about a year ago. Both in 2015 and 2016, we joined friends for pizza here to bid farewell to summer and ring in the new school year. 

This restaurant definitely shows its Chicago pride on the walls and with the food offerings. 

One super cool aspect of the decoration is that is shows some love to its Las Vegas location. The table tops have been covered in famous Las Vegas scenes. Fabulous, no? 

As for the food - yummy and definitely kid and family friendly. A really low key place to hang out and dine.

We ordered one of the gluten free pizzas with spinach and green olives. Gotta figure out what ingredients are used for this crust as I really was diggin' it. 

And the kids wanted pepperoni pizza. Okay, well one of mine wanted the meat whilst the other only eats crusts of pizza, so it was a bit of an interesting sight to see them share this pizza. 

Also, one of our little friends was celebrating a birthday on that very day and the waitresses were so sweet to suprise him with a candle topped cannoli! 

All in all, a lovely meal with great company! 

Photos by Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas 

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