A little fact about me. All things musical & artsy put a huge smile on my face!!!! I can’t sing. I won’t even attempt unless I’m drunk at karaoke night. If you ever witness such a travesty, please take me home. Your girl can’t hang and that only means I’ve been hanging too long and my chaperone must be tipsy too lol..... however, I do love playing instruments (jam sessions!!) and I love to dance. I played flute and trumpet in school and I cheered and danced as well. So you best believe I’ve been obsessed with Cirque Du Soleil since I was I first discovered it in high school. At one point it was my goal in life to see them all. A girl can dream ;-)
When we spotted a Facebook ad stating Cirque Du Soleil Crystal was headed to Erie, you best believe we scooped up tickets. My daughter had a blast at Mystre in Las Vegas over Spring Break & Crystal looked just as entertaining and very family friendly!!! We just had to see it!!!
Cirque Du Soleil Crystal
is not just an ice show, it’s the very first experience on ice from . Watch world-class ice skaters and acrobats claim their new frozen playground with speed and fluidity as they challenge the laws of gravity with never-before-seen acrobatics. Discover a new kind of performance as meets the ice to defy all expectations.
Directed by Shana Carroll and Sebastien Soldevila, Crystal, our misfit heroine, takes you on an exhilarating tale of self-discovery as she dives into a world of her own imagination. Feel the adrenaline as she soars through this surreal world to become what she was always destined to be: confident, curious, and creative. CRYSTAL invites you to suspend reality and glide into a world that springs to colorful life with astounding visual projections and a soundtrack that seamlessly blends popular music with the signature sound of.
Cirque Du Soleil Crystal is definitely one fabulous show!! So much talent goes into the production of Cirque shows, that they are all enjoyable and very entertaining regardless of the plots!!!!
Since I’m brutally honest with you guys all the time, I thought I would be real. While this show is amazing to watch, I would not head to this particular show if music and theater aren’t your thing OR you are childless. I personally would love it if my hubby would take me to a show like this for date night, but I’m going to assume, most people would find this particular show a tad bit too family friendly. I don’t think this show was ment to be geared to the kiddos, but the whole show just gave me Stars on Ice and Disney on Ice vibes the whole time. Lots of talent. Cool plot! Just a tad bit on the kiddie side.
If you have kids, definitely take them. It will be all they talk about for weeks. If you love theater, go!!! You will enjoy the talent behind the production. If you are looking for some entertainment and you have watched several Vegas shows hoping for Vegas epicness in your hometown, I would wait for the next show to hit town! This show is nothing like those productions.
Have you been to a Cirque Du Soleil show?
Literally my new favorite spot on Chautauqua Lake! Harbor Hotel Carousel Bar! It’s so pretty!!! I just can’t get over how Insta-worthy this spot is. Definitely not the norm here in WNY that’s for sure. The best part?! Chautauqua Harbor Hotel Carousel Bar is just a few minutes away from my house. If I ever get bit by the wanderlust bug and I don’t have a fabulous trip planned for awhile, all I need to do is drive down the road and pretend I’m on vacation all I want!!!
A lakeside Carousel Bar, paying tribute to the grand carousels of yesteryear. The Carousel Bar promises a one-of-kind experience whether for lunch, dinner or sipping cocktails while taking in the spectacular sunsets for which Chautauqua Lake has become famous.
Carousel Bar Summer Hours (July 1-Labor Day weekend):
I thought this would be a fabulous spot to really give you the reasons why I love this spot so much!
1. Champagne Lakeside ~ I didn’t have to purchase a bottle and I wasn’t handed a mini-bottle to pour myself. Legit glasses by the glass!
2. Atmosphere ~ Just look at that view?!? I can just stare off into the lake for hours. I almost feel bad for those drinking with me. I daze off into those water views.
3. Food ~ You can dine at Harbor Hotel without paying for the 5 star dining experience inside. Enjoy pizzas(very flatbread like), wings, and other yummy smaller plates for half the cost of inside!
4. Fire Pits ~ When it starts to get dark, take your beverage fireside!!!
5. Insta-Worthy Photo Opts ~ Nothing better than snapping those pics and having your backdrop look inst-worthy!
6. Not Too Crowded ~ we have yet to experience large crowds, which is super nice. We were just there Friday and while yes, there are people everywhere, you can still snag a seat with ease!
7. Dock Your Boat ~ Have a boat?! Lucky you and we should totally be besties. I am lacking a boat bestie lol.... anyway, you can dock your boat for free and walk right in for a drink.
While this is legit my new summer spot, I will add that drink prices are high. This is a resort after all, so expect to pay resort prices for things like a beer. This is always the one drawback when I bring newbies. Totally worth the extra cost for the views alone if you ask me! Can’t wait for another chance to sip a cocktail at the Carousel Bar.
Do you have any local spots in your neck of the woods that make you feel like you’re on vacation?
Something ridiculously neat and totally unplanned happened when we were in Las Vegas! Haylie and I were headed to Mandalay Bay for a little aquarium fun. We grabbed my phone to book a Lyft since we were feeling pretty lazy. We did too much walking the day before. It was Lyfts everywhere we went for the second half of our trip since our legs were beat!
Las Vegas Strip 1 Storms Family 0
While clicking away on the app, I was given an option! I could book a self driving car!!! Of course the adventurous part of me squealed with excitement and was like hell yeah!!! It sounded so futuristic. Like the stuff you see in movies!!! After a 10 minute wait for our Self Driving car to arrive, it was time to find out exactly what all of this Self Driving Lyft stuff was about since it was totally new to me!
Lyft Self-driving Ride Service
I apparently have been living under a rock because Lyft's self-driving cars powered by Aptiv have apparently been picking up passengers around Las Vegas for the past year! The program launched in May 2018 and over 55,000 people have been adventurous enough to book a ride. If you’re a world traveler, this is probably old news, but I figured it’s a share-worthy story since I can’t be the only globetrotter to never hear of this.
The cars are self driving, but arrive with two engineers on board in the front two seats. Lyft is on stage 4 out of 5 when it comes to self-driving testing, so engineers on board are legally required to make sure everything goes smoothly. These two individuals basically take notes about the ride and will even spill all the details on these rides. Basically they are the cars babysitters just Incase anything goes wrong.
One of the engineers even pointed out to me that their self-driving cars average a 4.97 star rating and 92 percent of riders gave feedback that they felt safe during the ride. I will have to agree that I too felt very safe. The cars are very aware of their surroundings that’s for sure.
The entire self/driving car experience took about five minutes since we were only headed to Mandalay Bay which is pretty close to where we started, MGM Grand. Honestly, this makes for a really neat story to tell folks, but the ride felt uneventful. Not going to lie, I had hoped for a car that chatted with us, on its own, and drove us, on its own, the presence of two people in the front with screens took a bit of fun from the ride. For the thrill seeker, that's let down. For the self-driving industry, it's a giant win.
It was still neat to take part in what I expect to be the future of the Taxi industry. We aren’t too far away from self driving cars! So glad I had the chance to experience it at the beginning. Can’t wait to see where Lyft is in a year when we head back to Vegas. You bet I will be checking the app constantly for a Self-driving ride for an updated review. Maybe by then we will be close to stage 5 and zero engineers on board! How neat would that be?!?!
The Adventuredome Theme Park!!!! Our last Las Vegas trip was a family focused trip! My daughters second time in Vegas, but the first time she actually left the hotel/foodcourt/pool. Our prior trip was all about hubby and I, so we had babysitting set up through the resort and they took great care of my daughter poolside while hubby and I did all the non-family activities Vegas had to offer. This time around? If something was labeled kid-friendly, you bet we were there!!!! So you best believe we made the trip down the strip to Circus Circus and spent the afternoon at Adventuredome!
Located at the Circus Circus Resort, the Adventure Dome is a five acre indoor Adventure/Amusement Park for adults and children. There are rides and attractions including, Canyon Blaster, the world's only indoor double-loop, double-corkscrew roller coaster. Other rides include bumper cars, midway games, video arcade, rock climbing, FX movies, and clown shows.
All Day Passes ~ When you first arrive and feel the park isn’t as HUGE as you imagined, don’t let that stop you from purchasing an all day pass! The park is wayyy bigger than you realize and purchasing the Adventuredome all day pass will end up saving your a ton compared to purchasing each ride individually. Roller skating is even included in the all day pass! Worth every penny if you’re with kids. Trust me.
Eat Before You Arrive ~ The food at Circus Circus and Adventuredome really isn’t anything to brag about. Vegas food prices are expensive and paying high prices for just ok food?! No one is happy when that happens!! Eat before you arrive!!! You will thank me later.
Souvenir Shopping ~ Honestly, the shops inside the Circus Circus before you enter the Adventuredome have the cheapest prices I spotted for t-shirts, shot glasses, coffee mugs. You know, all the cheesy merchandise you want to being home for your friends and family!! With deals like two t-shirts for $20, I definitely brought home something for everyone!!! Even picked up a killer Las Vegas tye/dye for myself!
Plan To Spend 2-3 Hours ~ If you purchase an all day pass and plan on doing everything, plan on this being a 2-3 expedition. Adventuredome isn’t usually that crowded, but if you happen to be visiting on a holiday/weekend, you might want to add a little bit more time to your schedule since some of the coaster lines will have a small wait.
Bring Socks ~ If you purchase an all day pass, roller skating is included. To skate, you will need to be wearing a pair of socks! Come prepared if skating is your thing.
Height Requirements For Coasters ~ This is an obvious thing to keep in mind, but it’s good to know a head of time so you can prepare any kids in your party that may be under the height requirement. To ride the coasters you must be 48 inches tall. Being inside a casino, you best believe they are pretty strict about height for all the rides. Even the baby rides my daughter was being measured and she’s 7! I’m assuming it must be a policy of theirs to measure everyone for insurance reasons.
Free Clown Shows! ~ Who doesn't love clowns? FREE shows on the main stage take place all day long. Perfect activity when you want to take a break from all the action. Performances daily at noon, 1, 3 and 4 p.m. Additional shows Friday and Saturday at 6pm, 7pm, 8pm, and 9pm.
Snacks ~ I suggest to eat before you head to Adventuredome, but if the kiddos do get hungry or thirsty, there are snack shops throughout the park! You can purchase things like 20oz sodas, bags of Doritos, chips and candy! Nothing was too crazy priced either!
Nevada Resident Discount ~ you can save $2 by flashing your Nevada ID when you purchase your tickets! It’s not a huge savings, but hey! It’s at least something!
Mini Golf, Rock Climbing, 4D Movies ~ Someone in your Party not into rides?! There are a few non-ride options for that person to enjoy. A few of these activities like the golf do cost extra, but at least that person won’t be bored!
If you are hitting up Vegas with kids under 10, Adventuredome is a must! I’m honestly not a fan of the actual Circus Circus hotel since it’s a tad bit run down, but I do give the Adventuredome part of the resort two thumbs up! My 7 year old had so much fun at Adventuredome. We were trying to kill time between checking out of our hotel and heading to the airport and Adventuredome was the perfect activity to do such a thing! With all day asses we rode everything and then went on a few of our favorites one more time before heading to our Lyft.
I usually have at least one thing to complain about, but besides the Circus Circus being run down, I have zero complaints about the actual Adventuredome! Everything was priced right considering you are in Vegas and we had a blast! If I find myself in Vegas with my daughter again, we will be back!
Have you been to Adventuredome?
Another Mother’s Day has officially come and gone!!! For the last several years we have attended the Mother’s Day Brunch at the Chautauqua Athenaeum Hotel. However, last year, I thought it would be fun to try something new. Total fail since we missed what had become a tradition of ours! Our lunch at a Buffalo steakhouse was delicious, but it just wasn’t the over the top fabulousness that we have grown to love at the Athenaeum Hotel!!!
This year, even if it was 40 degrees so we had to bundle up and not wear the most colorful, spring looks in our closets and it may have been raining as well. Boo!! I made it a point to document our experience so those of you googling away next year know that the Mother’s Day Brunch at the Athenaeum is a not miss event!!!
The Athenaeum Hotel is located inside the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, NY. Since it is the Chautauqua off season, you do not need to purchase a day pass to enter the grounds. Just drive right in and head to the Athenaeum. Once at the hotel, enter and look for the Heirloom Dining Room. Since it is off season, when Mother’s Day happens to fall on a sunny day, the grounds of Chautauqua do make for fabulous photo opportunities!! We always take advantage since it’s one of the few times you can enter the grounds without paying for a day pass! So make sure your phone is fully charged for those photos!!!!
I’m not even going to deny it! This Mother’s Day Brunch is definitely on the pricy side. $45.95 for Adults and $14.95 for children. You do get what you pay for though. If the mom in your life loves to feel pampered and loves all thing elegant and fancy, this is the brunch for you. Worth every penny if mom is one who loves to dress up and see hubby in that tie!
The good news is, mom does get a complementary mimosa! You get to choose from Apple, Grapefruit & Traditional Orange. The Athenaeum Hotel does have a full bar, so if a Bloody Mary is more your thing or even a mixed drink or beer, they have it!!! Cheers to mom!!!
This is what everyone always asks me in the comments when I spam my personal Facebook page with my annual Mother’s Day photos! Is the food good?! What do they serve?
The food is definitely phenomenal. We wouldn’t be repeat guests if the food wasn’t out of this world. I’m a proclaimed wannabe chef, so good food is my thing & the Athenaeum delivers every year!!!!
As for what is served? They offer carving stations featuring prime rib, Turkey & ham! I’m not usually a turkey fan, but their turkey really is out of this world. You get to choose from a variety of sides like asparagus, salads, mashed potatoes, stuffing! The Athenaeum also has breakfast stations for those of you wanting to make your own omelets and enjoy a waffles, bacon and sausage. A cheese display, soups and desserts along with breads are also available. So much food it’s sort of overwhelming. Always a good thing when that happens!!
Y’all already know I love the Athenaeum Hotel Mother’s Day Brunch!!! I recommend it to anyone that loves to feel like a princess or enjoys history, old fashioned type of things. The Athenaeum is a historic hotel that has hosted everyone from celebrities to presidents!!! Just being in this hotel gives me this feeling of wow!!!!So many amazing people have walked the hallways of this fabulous establishment and I get to sit and eat brunch there!!!!
The food is also out of this world. If 4-5 star restaurants are your thing, this brunch is for you.
My my only complaint is the fact it’s not exactly kid friendly food wise. My daughter is a picky eater and she ends up eating toast and cupcakes every year. Since it is Mother’s Day, you would think maybe some chicken fingers, pizza slices or maybe hot dogs would be offered, but they aren’t. Thankfully, the child price is only $14.95, so it’s not a total waste. My daughter probably eats that in cupcakes and drinks that in milk alone lol.
How Did You Spend Mother’s Day?
CourtneyLynne is former model turned mommy & wifey! When not blogging all things foodie, fashion, travel, mom life & straight up fabulousness to the masses, she can be found chasing her toddler around in 6in stilettos & laughing at her own jokes her glass of wine told her to tell.