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This is an odd confession to make for a theatre and restaurant reviewer who has lived in North America for 40 years. But the first time ever I visited Las Vegas (A.K.A. Entertainment Capital of the World) was a year ago, when I went there for a dance competition. It's a trifle surprising that I had not made it there before since entertainment is what I write about in ReviewFromTheSeat

On that first visit, after being shown around some of the major hotels, observing the plethora of top name restaurants  and enjoying the few awesome meals that I could...

To exercise restraint  during my first time outing to shop at the Las Vegas North Premium Outlet Mall I set myself three rules of operation. 

Number one, I needed to keep in mind the maximum allowable duty free allowance coming back into Canada - and this would keep me within budget. Number two, to achieve rule one,  was that I had to stick to my pre-written list of items - no random purchases.  Number three - if an item wasn't absolutely perfect for what I had in mind, it had to stay on the shelf - no buyer's remorse allowed....

Browsing the jewelry section in the Brighton Collectibles store to find gifts for the upcoming holidays, my eye was drawn to a pair of colourful earrings.  I had had great success finding what I needed for myself at the previous day's visit to the Las Vegas North Premium Outlet Mall, and had no intention of buying anything more for myself.

But the colours of the cabachons of the earrings so beautifully matched the colours of my multi-coloured smooth ballroom dress that they called out to me to buy them. Then I found that there was also a matching bangle and added...

Right now, in November 2014, the High Roller giant Ferris wheel in Las Vegas, Nevada holds the record for being the highest in the world.

As two new visitors to Las Vegas to attend a FoodWriting Conference, we spent the day before the conference exploring the lavish and luxurious public spaces and lobbies of the huge hotels along The Strip. Distracted by the lavish displays and the incredible art in many of the hotels, we did not see half of what we had intended to do.

Seeking sun and fresh air we found ourselves strolling down The LINQ’s outdoor promenade, admiring...

Although like many travelers I love to indulge in the trappings of luxurious surroundings, I have been known to declaim smugly on several occasions that “all I really need is a clean comfortable bed, lots of hot water from the shower, a hair dryer, a toilet where I don’t need to squat, and a fast wireless internet”. During this week long stay at the Plaza Hotel I’ve realized that is not really true. My standards are higher than the basics and there are other minor niceties needed to make me a “happy camper.”

Over many years of attending professional conferences,...

Oscar's Steakhouse at the Plaza Hotel and Casino
1 S Main Street, Las Vegas
Ph: (702) 386 7227 or reserve online

Oscar's Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

The aroma of warm sour dough bread with embedded slivers of caramelized onion, rising from the white napkin-covered basket compelled me to erase all thoughts of a bread-free dinner. Lightly buttered, the fresh airy slice tasted as good...

p1150677-w500-h500.jpgLa Mer at the Halekulani Hotel
2199 Kalia Road
Honolulu, Hawaii
Ph:  (808)  923-2301 or reserve online

This elegant restaurant is the signature restaurant for the Halekulanip1150674-w500-h500.jpg Hotel. It is a Five diamond (AAA) and five star (Forbes Dining Award) restaurant featuring French cuisine with local tropical ingredients.
It was a short walk from the hotel where we were staying....

p_1827-w270-h270.jpg A light Vancouver rainfall dripped from my umbrella as I crossed the street to enter the Rosewood Hotel Georgia. I was wishing I could be enjoying the blue skies, turquoise seas and white sand beaches of the islands of the Bahamas but no matter how many times I clicked the heels of my chic black boots together the grey sky of Vancouver was still shedding rain drops. Maybe if I'd worn red shoes instead of the boots... but then on the...

Benares - Mid-town West
240 West 56th Street (between Broadway and 8th Avenue)
Ph: (212) 397 0707 or reserve online

Benares on Urbanspoon

On this brief pre-cruise stopover in New York I had only two opportunities for restaurant dinners. Having picked French cuisine (Ca Va Brasserie) for the first dinner, my second choice was Indian cuisine, a favorite cuisine of my fellow diner.
The Mid-town West location of Benares was my first choice....

Stella 34 Trattoria
at Macy's Herald Square 6th Floor
151 West 34th Street, New York

What a surprise it was to me to find an excellent restaurant located in a major department store and this discovery came about in quite an unexpected way. My westbound trans-Atlantic cruise on the Queen Mary 2 ended in Brooklyn early on a Wednesday morning, and my direct flight from JFK to Vancouver YVR was scheduled to leave at 7 that evening. So unusually for me, I decided...


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