When In Rome| Rome Travel Diary

My favorite topic in History class was 100% The Roman Empire. To me the ancient Romans just seemed so innovative and clever, strong, feisty and even a little bit glamorous. A visit to Rome then has always been on the agenda.

Originally we were planning to arrange our own trip by booking elements separately, however that was proving complicated, so in the end we took the easy option and booked a package with Easy Jet. We flew into Fiumicino airport and took a pre-booked mini bus transfer to our hotel. At 10 in the evening this took us around 45 minutes.

We were staying in the very central location of the Trevi Palace Luxury Apartments, just a stones throw away from the always bustling Trevi Fountain. This recently restored mid 17th century palace is a welcome cool and calm retreat in what is noisy and crowded part of the city.

The comfortable air-conditioned rooms all have wooden beamed ceilings and views over the quirky rooftops and cobbled alleyways that lead up to the Trevi Fountain itself. The corridors retain their original stone stairwells and marble flooring, original iron fretwork can still be seen in the many little apertures dotted around the place. The breakfast room even features the original well sunk into the middle of its floor,  now covered with a glass top that you can walk over, if you dare… Don’t expect access to an on site bar but there are plenty to choose from in the surrounding streets.

We had a lovely evening drinking prosecco and Aperol Spritz at the roof top terrace bar of the Relais Fontana Di Trevi Hotel. This is a perfect spot to take in the picturesque fountain away from the crowds.

Trevi Fountain

Our first full day we spent visiting the Colosseum. We booked a tour through trip advisor that included exclusive entry through the gladiator entrance and access to the arena floor.

I definitely recommend doing this in advance as it can be a little bit chaotic around the colosseum ticket offices. It is also the only way you will be able to see the Colosseum from this view point.

Gladiator Entrance – The Colosseum

The tour was very informative and our tour guide was particularly good with the Children.

On our second day we visited The Vatican museums. Like all the major landmarks in Rome this was very very busy. Having heard about the queues from other people this was another activity that I pre booked. I’m so glad I did as this as ‘skip the line tickets’ meant no queues and it made getting through the security checks and registration a breeze. I’m not sure of the reason for it but most places we visited in Rome required us registering the children before we could visit.

For me the Vatican museums were rather overwhelming. Before we had actually got anywhere near the Sistine Chapel we had seen so many dramatic ceilings, sculptures and works of art. It truly is a special place. Expect to spend a few hours wandering around.

I took a lot of photos, be warned. However I don’t actually have a picture of the Sistine Chapel itself as you are not allowed to take photos .

Being the Catholic girl that I am of course I was going to behave myself. Much to my delight and surprise my good behaviour was rewarded. A Priest came into the chapel, asked for quite, and then invited those that wished to join him in prayer to do so.

It was a very special moment for me and I’m not ashamed of saying I got a little bit emotional. Hands up if you have also cried tears of happiness in the Sistine Chapel!

Spiral Staircase – The Vatican Museums

Our next day was a very chilled one. We had been for dinner the night before at Il Chianti which is a very authentic local traditional restaurant in the trevi fountain areas. We then went for supposedly a quick night cap. Well… said nightcap turned into a bit of a late night. We had got talking to a couple of girls from Texas and before we knew it a good couple of hours of sipping wine and good conversation had passed.

Er…When in Rome?

On our last day we visited the Villa Borghese Gardens for a wander in the shaded avenues and to take advantage of the view point over Piazza del Popolo. Here you can see most of Rome including a particularly good view of The Vatican and St Peter’s Basilica.

Piazza Del Popolo

Within the park you can also hire out Segways for €10 if you fancy a bit of outdoor fun, as well as bikes and pedal carts. The Kids had great fun wizzing around.

Of course we had to do a little bit of shopping, I wasn’t going to miss out on the opportunity to visit a Sephora or come home without an Italian leather handbag.

Via Del Corso leads directly off of piazza del popolo. It has many well known brands as well as some reasonably priced independent shops.

This is also a good opportunity to visit The Spanish Steps as they are just off of the road that runs adjacent.

The Spanish Steps

FYI Sephora is directly across from the Spanish Steps if your interested.

Rome was a crazy whirlwind of sightseeing, fresh pasta and gelato, so much gelato. A relaxing trip it is not. Would I go back? Definitely!

Vegas Travel Diary – Day 5, our last BOO!

After the merriment of yesterday’s wedding today was a bit of a slow start. Poor Chris was feeling rather hungover so we stopped off at the hotel juice bar for a hangover ‘special’.  Naturally I had to take a picture of him chugging it back, ha ha!

I had already been a dutiful wife and made a Starbucks breakfast run so we headed straight to the Mall as we had some last minute gifts to pick up. 

Chris was struggling by this point so we spent the rest of the day by the pool. Unfortunately this meant I didn’t get to visit the ‘Bodies’ exhibition at Luxor as planned.  Yup I’m still a bit gutted by this. 

Chris you owe me one!

In the evening we headed to The Bellagio as we were joining the others to watch the Cirque Du Soleil show ‘O’. 

What can I say about this? Visually it was pretty amazing, and I did really enjoyed it. Story wise though I can’t work out if there was one. I wasn’t the only one either, we left the arena all exclaiming “What just happened?”.  I think that’s part of the beauty of a Cirque show though. It doesn’t have to make sense, as the talent of the performers speak for itself. 

 As we were at the Bellagio this meant we had time to watch the dancing fountains.  Be prepared to get a bit wet, the fountains are very powerful and create a spray. 

Whislt at the Belagio we also visited the spectacular fall/Halloween garden.  I love how they fully embrace autumn in America. Rather than be bummed about the end of summer, autumn and winter is embraced with full on celebration. 

In our wisdom we decided it was a good idea to attempt walking to Freemont street. Umm yes we gave up when we had reached as far as The Wynn Hotel. Whilst everything looks close regret her in vegas in reality it’s not as everything is so big. You have to give in and take a can at some point.

It wasn’t  a total loss though as we did get to see loads of the other Hotels along the strip. When they are it up at night the sight is pretty spectacular. 

After a cheeky last minute gamble it was time to head back to our hotel room to pack for our early morning flight home. 

So that wraps up our trip to Vegas, we had a brilliant time and felt we would have loved to stay a while longer. There is so much to see and do in Vegas one trip is not enough. I would love to go back one day. However there are loads of other places I want to travel to first. Hopefully it will happen one day. 

Oh I forgot to mention yesterday that we had out big ‘Vegas’ win. Yup we win $180 on the slots, go us!

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Vegas Travel Diary – Day 4 

Today was the day of the wedding. Though as we didn’t have to be at The Mandalay Bay Hotel until the afternoon we headed out to the Miracle Mile Mall at Planet Hollywood Hotel. Yup I finally got to hit up Sephora and Bath & Bodyworks. I may have done some damage to my Husbands bank balance, he really spoiled me. 

I will do a post on my Sephora shopping later. I don’t usually do haul posts, but I was like a kid in a toy shop and am dying to share my new ‘toys’. 

 I have been waiting for my chance to visit Sephora for ages. They really need to open a few UK stores. 


So after getting ready for the wedding we attended the ceremony at The Mandalay Bay Hotel. Which took place outside in the waterfalls gardens. We then all headed procession style down to the Vegas Sign for photographs. This was fun as lots of passing truck drivers were sounding their horns to congratulate the bride and groom.  

As the couple had planned to head off for a little bit of private time we had some time to kill before the evening reception. We opted to grab somthing to eat at Diablos, a Mexican restaurant. 

In the interest of maintaining the romance of the day we shared a giant cocktail rather than individual drinks. 

This picture just about says it all really. Hubby may have enjoyed the rest of the wedding a bit too much. 

The evening reception was held in in a private suite back at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. The ushers had been very busy stocking the Bar with plenty of drinks and took it in turns to play bar man. 

There was also lots of platters of Sub Sandwiches. 

It was a very relaxed yet fun evening. 

A vegas wedding certainly is a very different experience to the more traditional wedding. Though it may not be to everyone’s taste it was a lot of fun. Processed with Moldiv

Vegas Travel Diary – Day 3 

Today was another early start. We were being picked up from the Luxor Hotel to visit a nearby timeshare property, in return for some heavily discounted tickets and   free gambling credit. All we had to do was sit through a sales pitch and in return we would receive our gifts. Sounds easy right?


Hah not quite so straight forward! The promise maximum 2hr time including being given some breakfast and the tour actually took 4hrs. Oh and we faced 3 different people trying to twist our arms in to purchasing a timeshare. 

Fortunately for us we used the ‘we can’t afford it’ line. We could say it with a straight face aswell as it’s true. There is not a lot someone can say to that really other than, keep lowering the price. 

So if you are interested just say NOOO! You will get a better deal. 

True to their word though we received our tickets to visit the ‘Titanic’ and the ‘Bodies’ Expeditions at the Luxor.  

Thanks to My Vegas we had a 2 for 1 coupon to use at the Luxor Buffet. I can’t say that the meal was amazing, more of an adequate school dinner. The Buffets are a cheap way to eat in vegas though. 


After some lunch from the Buffet we traded in our free gambling voucher for chips. These have no cash value, so  you have to gamble them untill they are gone. We did manage to win back our chips as real money though, all whilst sipping on free cocktails. So another little win for us. Yay! 

The ‘Titanic’ exhibit was something I was really excited about seeing. I have always been fascinated by the tale of the sheer opulence of the ship and it’s tragic sinking. 

The exhibit didn’t disappoint. The artefacts  recovered from the wreckage are so well preserved and displayed beautifully. Unfortunately  we were unable to take any photos as you are not allowed. We did have our picture taken on a replica 1st class stair case though and have that to look back on. 

Rather than heading back to the hotel and risk falling asleep again we headed out, or rather stayed out for the evening.

First up we headed to Coyote Ugly Bar for Happy hour at the New-york New-york  Hotel.  

This was great fun. We joined in a couple of the drinking games so came away rather merry.  Yup sorry that’s me not very elegantly knock back a shot. 

Just like in the film the all female bar tenders dance on the bar and sing along to the jukebox. So expect a few merry groups of young males. They do actually make more of an effort with the female customers though, so don’t let this put you off.  

Happy hour over it was time to head to The Excalibor Hotel for Dinner at Dicks Last Resort with the Bride and Groom (the whole reason we went to vegas) and a bunch of their friends. This was a very funny evening, we had a great meal whilst basically being abused by the waiting staffs banter. 


So that’s just about wraps up day 3 in vegas, it was a bit of a busy one. We may have had a cheeky last minute gamble at our hotel, memory can’t confirm that though…. 

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Vegas Travel Diary – Day 2

So, we have had a bit of a vegas fail today. Yesterday evening after spending some time by the pool we where to have a ‘nap’ before heading out for the evening. Umm 12 hours later we have woken up. Whoops!! Hopefully though we are on vegas time now. Damn jetlag! 

This morning we headed out to do some shopping. I had been busting my gut to do this as the self confessed beauty junkie that I am. I was desperate to get inside a Walgreens, CVS and a Sephora. 

Turns out vegas shops don’t  open till midmorning so we had a customary Starbucks. As it’s ‘fall’ I got the chance to try a pumkin spiced latte, and a pumkin and cream cheese muffin. They didn’t disappoint.  

 We managed to visit Walgreens and I did a little bit of shopping. I was very restraint considering. Mind you in my head I was waiting to be let loose in Sephora.

We were feeling brave today and we had a go at some gambling. We stuck to the slots for now. Well I can’t say we have won our millions, but we didn’t loose it all either. I cashed out when I had a decent win and ended up 55 cents up. As we were gambling we had been served a free cocktail so I consider that a win really. 

Keen to make the most of the vegas sun we have spent the afternoon by the pool, sipping yet more cocktails. 


That just about rounds up today. We didn’t get up to much in the evening as we fell asleep again. We are such a disappointment to vegas, oh dear!! 

We have been accosted to attend a time share talk tomorrow, yup HELP!! In return though we will receive some heavily discounted show tickets and some gambling credit. Ha should be interesting. 

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Vegas Travel Diary – Day 1

Greetings from Vegas Baby!

We are here finally! It is sunny and hot and very very surreal. Everything is big and over the top, basically like nothing I’ve experienced before.

We are staying at the Aria on Las Vegas Blvd. The room is gorgous and we have an amazing view of the city. This morning as we were awake early we watched the vegas lights go down and the sunrise over the mountains. Wow!!  
So let me share a couple if things I have discovered already. 

Tea is hard to come by. I’m a tea drinker, I love me tea. Fortunately I love a good strong cup of coffee also and Starbucks is everywhere.  

We had lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe where they have Twinnings of London so yay I’ve had a little tea fix. 

Speaking of food, there is so much of it. Portions are HUGE!! Even Chris is a bit overwhelmed, and that rarely happens. 

It did help to wash as that food down with a couple of Margarita’s. Oh and why stop at one? I went for the pick and mix option.  

Everywhere you go there is someone trying to sell you something. Yup you need nerves of steel. Evening if you are interested in buying something just say No. Competition in vegas is fierce and in a bid to get your custom a no means the price will imediately be lowered, so you will save a few bucks. 

Today we also visited the Shark Reef Aquarium at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. 

If you want to see some big and exotic sea creatures  this is the place to come. We took tonnes of pictures so I’m going to share a few with you.  

This tunnel runs through the shark tank do you can get very up close and personal with them. 

Priced at $20 for an adult the Shark Reef Aquarium is definately worth a visit. It’s great value for money, considering I paid the same for a cocktail in vegas!   

So that just about sums up our first day in vegas. 

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Travel Diaries – An overnight stay in Edinburgh 

So you may have noticed I’ve been a little bit MIA. Sorry life’s been a bit busy lately, with Uni work and a cheeky trip over the border to bonnie Scotland. Those of you that follow my Instagram account will already know this as I spammed my account with a pictorial play by play of our stay, oops!

Queue, today’s blog post then dedicated to what was a very short but sweet stay in the fascinating city of Edinburgh.

Day 1 

Let’s begin by talking about how quick and easy it is to get away for a little trip to Edinburgh. We flew from Stansted to Edinburgh with EasyJet. I forget how much out flight were exactly but I was aroun £50 return. This was much cheaper than taking the train and only took 50 minutes.

From the airport we were then able to get a Tram that took us right into the city centre to our hotel. Literally door to door, it was so easy. You can get an open return for just £8 so not only is it cheap but also flexible.

We stayed at the Edinburgh CityRoomz. This is a budget hotel similar to Travel Lodge starting from £49 a night. If you are just after somewhere that is clean and comfortable for a base then this is ideal. We didn’t actually spend much time at the hotel.

Of course I was busting the gut to get a look at the castle so this was our first port of call. I was not disappointed it is an amazing sight even with one side still covered with stands from the military tatoo. I spent ages trying to get pictures from different points of the city.  

After a little wander through the Royal Mile we were hungry for lunch. We had lunch in a lovely Italian Restaurant called  Giuliano’s. I can honestly say this is the best Tirramasu I have ever eaten.

After all that food we decided to take a walk up Calton Hill. This was quite a climb but the view is amazing, you can see the whole city.

The contrast between open parkland, the 17th old city and the Georgian terraces of the East end is pretty spectacular.

After having a wee nap in our hotel we set of for our evenings entertainer. We had tickets to see Foo Fighters supported by Royal Blood at Murrayfield Stadium.

After David Grohl had broken his leg jumping off the stage in Stockholm the original gig was cancelled. The wait for this had been long, it was worth it though the Foo’s know how to put in a show.

Excuse my rubbish photography here, my IPhone wasn’t cutting it.

The Keyring in this picture is a depiction of the throne David Grohl designed for himself whilst recovering from his injury. We all recieved these as a token gesture for the cancellation of previous shows.

Dave has been sitting on his throne like the king of Rock that he is throughout the rescheduled performances as he still has a walking cast on his leg. No jumping about yet. This didn’t stop him though, let’s just say he has taking play guitar with the side of the cast on his leg to a whole new level. 

Royal Blood were brilliant in their own right, they put on a spectacular warm up gig. I would actually have loved to have seen more of them.

The atmosphere inside the Murryfield Stadium was amazing, the Scots know how to party.

Day 2

After a continental breakfast we headed back onto the Royal Mile for some spooky walking tours.

First up we took part in a guided tour of The Real Mary King Close. This is an incredibly well preserved example of 15th-17th century life on Edinburgh.

Let’s just say it was cramped, conditions were grim and Diseases were rife. Inhabitants suffered greatly from many outbreaks of the plague. The picture below is probably not a bad example of how dark it would have been in the closes, they were constructed approximately 12 stories high and mainly of wood.

This close was actually buried in the 17th century to provide the foundations for Royal Exchange Building that stands there today. If you walk along the royal mile you can see evidence of were many of these closes one stood housing thousands of people.

After a some lunch at Edinburghs Hard Rock Cafe, my Texan Pulled Pork was so good, we took part in the City Of The Dead underground city tour. This was subterranean and very dark so I have no pictures but if you want to find out more their website is here.

For now I’ll leave you with a pic of my lunch, tasty!!!

We managed to have time go inside St Giles Cathedral to take in the stunning stained glass windows and huge organ. This modern window, crafted in 1995 is dedicated to Robert Burns Humanity Poem. My picture doesn’t do justice to the Colors, they are so vivid.

A pot of tea and a Macron later, it was time to make our way back to The airport for our flight home.

I had such a great stay in Edinburgh, the city is rich in history, stunning architecture, great places to eat and opportunities for shopping. There is so much we didn’t have time to see so I hope to return one day. If you any recommendations of places I need to visit on my return then by all means leave a comment.

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