Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bally's Casino Resort ~ The Grand Bazaar Shops!

     Bally's, Las Vegas!
     The Bally's Casino Resort has been a landmark for many years.  This casino hotel has been revamped many times.  Bally's is currently modifying the grounds with new features that will prevent this resort from becoming a relic of the past.  One thing that the older casinos do best is retain the feel of classic Las Vegas.  Visitors that like the nostalgia of years gone by can find familiar sights in the older casino resorts, like Bally's.  
     Bally's has recently been modernized, yet this classic casino is still very easy to navigate.  One does not need a compass to find their way around!  For those who seek the nostalgic feeling of old fashioned Vegas style comfort, Bally's still offers that pace.   

     There are plenty of new sights to see on the Las Vegas Strip and many changes are being made each day.  Las Vegas casino resorts constantly upgrade their facilities to keep ahead of the times.  Vegas casino hotels are famous for establishing new trends in the hospitality industry.  
    During the last few years entirely new resort themes have been adapted and several of the casino brand names have changed.  The Cromwell took the place of Bill's Gambling Hall and The Quad is now called The Linq.    
     For those who are playing Vegas catch up, Caesars Entertainment Corporation owns several properties near the intersection of Flamingo & Strip.  The alleyway access road between O'Shea's and the Flamingo has been converted to a vast gas lamp shopping area that is called the Linq Entertainment District.  The worlds tallest ferris wheel, The High Roller, is located on the Linq property.  This new shopping area is a smashing success. 

     Shopping is now a strong running theme at resort properties on the Vegas Strip.  Gigantic drug stores are popping up on casino properties.  Some say that the Vegas Strip was never really meant to be a typical main street area with a national brand drug store on every corner, while others say that visitors need a place to purchase incidentals.  Ce est la vie.  Personally, I do not go to The Strip to hang out at a drug store!  Geesh!
    The better casino resort property shopping design plans offer something exciting and new.  The Las Vegas Strip has evolved into a shopping mecca.  Fine fashion, jewelry and unique trendy items are what modern Las Vegas visitors seek.   

     The Grand Bazaar Shops! 
     The newest trendy shopping area on the Las Vegas Strip just happens to be located at Bally's.  This new shopping and entertainment plaza has replaced the lengthy "people mover" walkway in the Bally's Courtyard.  This new addition to Bally's is quite a sight to see!  
     The Grand Bazaar Shops are a good example of a plaza on the Vegas Strip done right.  The design theme has a modern industrial look that allows the storefront signage to take center stage.  The industrial look fades away quickly when looking at the neon colors of the Bally's escalator entrance and the wild canopy designs.  
     The shops are butted up adjacent to one another in long rows, just like shops are at old world bazaars everywhere from Cairo to Timbuktu.  The Grand Bazaar Shops have the making of a busy place with plenty of fun filled merchant hustle and bustle!  

     Not all of the shops are open yet, but the higher percentage of them already have the doors open for business.  I spent a few minutes chatting with a nice gentleman at the Cell Zone shop.  After asking a few questions I found out that the Grand Bazaar Shops have barely even been promoted in the media as of yet.  Relatively few locals and visitors realize where the Grand Bazaar Shops are or what this place is all about.  As one can see in the photos, only a few inquisitive people from The Strip ventured in to take a look around while I was there.  
    It sure is not like this plaza is destined to be a ghost town or something.  It is more like this great shopping destination on the Vegas Strip has not been unveiled as of yet.  More than likely after every store is open and ready for business, the media advertising promotion campaign will go into full force mode.  Then the Grand Bazaar Shops will be packed with zillions of bargain hunters that want to be first in line!  

    The Grand Bazaar Shops offers a wide ranging venue of stores, bars and eateries.  Every shop has a cool, trendy unique theme.  A few of the trendsetting store brand names that are easy to recall from my brief visit are, MIXX, Bettie Page Las Vegas, Republic Of Couture, Swarovski, Crazy Legs, Swatch and Bling Co.  Many more great stores are listed at the Bally's Grand Bazaar Shops website.  

     Foodies will marvel over the gourmet street vendor style eateries.  Dels Lobster Rolls & Gourmet Finger Food, Sandwich Haven, Fuel Bar, Island Time Floats, Tipsy Truffles, Honolulu Cookie Company and Waffle Bar are just to name a few.  This is an awesome munch venue for shoppers on The Strip!  

     All I can say is, the peace and quiet at the Grand Bazaar Shops will not last much longer.  Those who want to beat the crowd should visit this plaza before the billboards are all lit up.  
     The Grand Bazaar Shops really look like a destination that will be one of the funnest places to browse, munch and shop till you drop on the Las Vegas Strip!    

     Tipsy Truffles!
     The day I visited the Grand Bazaar Shops just happened to be my birthday.  I had just won a small jackpot earlier in the evening and that set a plan of decadent sweet treat dining indulgence into motion.  When I saw the Tipsy Truffles sign, I said to myself, "just go for it!"  A few truffle on a birthday is always a good thing!  

     Tipsy Truffles specializes in modern looking liquor saturated chocolate truffles.  These truffles are definitely not for kids or teetotalers!  One simply should not eat a dozen Tipsy Truffles before going to choir practice or going to visit granny!   
     Tipsy Truffles are offered in a few liquor saturation strength ranges.  The shiny bronze color Amaretto Tipsy Truffle that I tried is one of the more potent ones in the lot.  Italian Amaretto and chocolate is a classic flavor combination in fine dining restaurants.  Amaretto is also perfect for the spring season when romance is in the air, especially on the Vegas Strip!  
    The second Tipsy Truffle I tried was the Doyle The Gambler Truffle.  This wild looking truffle had a dice shooter theme.  The truffle was layered with chocolate, shortbread cookie, chocolate cake and saturated with crème de cocoa liquor.  The Doyle The Gambler Truffle sure was a nice tasting sweet treat! 

     Tipsy Truffles offers a great selection of modern hand crafted truffles, lollypops and candy.  More information about Tipsy Truffle products can be found at their company website. 
     Anybody that has sweet tooth for gourmet liquor drenched truffles will surely like this shop.  Tipsy Truffles is definitely one of the most decadent shopping destinations at the Grand Bazaar Shops! 

     Evening Call!  
     I actually visited Evening Call about 3 months ago, when construction of the Grand Bazaar Shops was just getting underway.  I figured that by combining the two photo albums, the changes would be interesting to see.  
     Evening Call is the name of a casual bar inside the Bally's Casino.  This bar is located on the casino floor next to Le Boulevard Shops, which lead to the Paris Casino Resort.  A lively jam packed lounge that offers free live entertainment on stage also is located next to Evening Call.  
     My choice of frozen cocktail was the Coco Loco.  This cocktail had a classic tropical Caribbean island flavor.  A Coco Loco is made with Blue Citrus Punch and Coconut Rum.  
     Frozen cocktails are popular in Las Vegas, especially during the hot summer season.  Tourists and locals both enjoy cooling off in the shade while sipping on these refreshing beverages.
     Evening Call offers a variety of frozen cocktail sizes.  The "All Day Frozen Cocktail Special" offers nearly a half gallon of pure refreshing frozen cocktail chill-out power!  Customers can mix and match their own frozen drink flavor combinations and the colors can be layered like a rainbow.  
     When floating around from one slot machine to the next or when doing some Vegas style shopping, chilling out with a frozen cocktail in hand is the way to go in style! 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Bellagio, Las Vegas! ~ Springtime In Japan Botanical Garden, Desserts & The Fountains!

     Bellagio, Las Vegas! ~ Springtime In Japan Botanical Garden!
     Every season brings a new theme at the Bellagio Botanical Garden & Conservatory.  No expense is spared and the artistic talent that goes into the design of each botanical garden display is beyond compare!  
     The theme for the 2015 spring season display is Cherry Blossom Time!  Springtime In Japan at the Bellagio Botanical Garden is something that simply has to be experienced to be believed.  The cherry blossom theme represents the peaceful serenity and harmony of Japanese Shintoism.  The mood and feeling that the garden creates is like a sigh of relief.   
     Once one enters the conservatory, the senses are captivated with with colorful flowers in full bloom and wonderful aromas.  Reality is quickly forgotten and worries are left behind.  The Bellagio Botanical Garden creates a nice peaceful feeling and a dreamlike state of mind.  Every visitor in the garden is all smiles! 
     The Bellagio Botanical Garden & Conservatory is a free exhibit and there is no admission price.  This exhibit is one of the prime attractions on the Las Vegas Strip and thousands of onlookers visit the garden each day.  There are many people that actually fly to this city every time that a new seasonal display is unveiled at Bellagio.  All it takes is one visit to see why!

     Desserts At Jean Philippe Patisserie!
     Monday just happened to be when I celebrated my birthday.  Seeing the sights on the Las Vegas Strip while wining and dining as one goes is as good of a celebration plan as any.  Indulging on sweet treats definitely is in order on such a day!
     There are a few Jean Philippe Patisserie locations at MGM properties on The Strip and I have written about these shops in past articles.  Inside Bellagio, the Jean Philippe Patisserie is conveniently located nest to the Botanical Garden & Conservatory.  To some people, this location may be compare to temptation in the Garden of Eden!  One simply cannot resist sweet treats that are designed by the finest pastry chef in the world!  

     Standing in line at the pastry shop is an interesting experience in itself.  Only a few people wait to place an order, but the line moves slow and there is a good reason why.  When the Chocolate Fountain Display at Jean Philippe turns on, everybody just stops and stares in disbelief.  Onlooker's jaws drop while watching tons of multi colored melted chocolate cascade through the maze-like fountain.  People totally lose track of what they were doing and they completely forget what they were going to order.  The chocolate fountain at Jean Philippe truly is mesmerizing! 
     After finding the willpower to escape from the clutch of the chocolate fountain, indulgence is all that I had in mind and indulgence is what I got!  I selected the Trio Pastry Plate and a Lemon Tart.  Obviously two great desserts are better than one, especially on a celebration day.  All I can say is the desserts were superbly crafted, the modern presentation was pure eye candy and the rich flavors were pure heaven!  

     Lady Luck was in the house and I won a small jackpot while playing poker in Bellagio.  Since the desserts at Jean Philippe were the first food that I had eaten all day, the money won while gambling fueled the start of a long night of wining, dining and casino hopping on The Strip.  When feeling lucky, just go with it!  Indulge all night long while the winnings keep piling up!    

     The Bellagio Fountains
     Upon exiting the casino, the Bellagio Water Fountain show was just getting underway.  It was sunset and the timing was perfect.  The theme music for the fountain show was set to a collection of Michael Jackson classics.  
     Thousands of people surrounded the lake to view the show.  I had a nice vantage point from the wedding ceremony patio overlooking Lake Bellagio.  The photos of the Bellagio Fountain show turned out pretty good and they can be seen in the last segment of the slideshow. 
     The Bellagio Water Fountain Show runs on a regular schedule each day.  This spectacular show is also free of charge.  Yes, the best things in life are free, especially in my case, because I am making ends meet on a college student budget.  The Bellagio Fountains are another good reason why Las Vegas is the college spring break entertainment capitol of the world!    

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Zombie Apocalypse Store, Las Vegas!

     ... Update:  The Zombie Apocalypse Store Is Closed!
     The first time that I saw the Zombie Apocalypse store was a few years ago.  I had a day off from my job in Death Valley and spending the day back home in Las Vegas was always like a sigh of relief.  This is especially true in one respect.  I do like dining out and the restaurant options in Death Valley are kind of limited.  As everybody knows, Las Vegas is restaurant haven.
     I was on my way to the Treasure Island Casino Resort to dine at Gilley's Saloon and to check out Señor Frog's, when I saw the sign for the Zombie Apocalypse Store.  I was kind of groggy from working 10 days straight in 125º Death Valley temperatures and I kind of kept on driving down the road while mesmerized.  All of a sudden the thought occurred to me.  "Zombie Apocalypse Store?  Say what?"   
     Ha!  Apparently the name of the store was so off the wall that it did not immediately sink in.  Thoughts of what the Zombie Apocalypse Store could possibly be all about just kept creeping through my mind while walking around on the Las Vegas Strip.  It was like I was infected with the Zombie Plague or something.  Zombie was in my mind!  Finally after doing lunch, I though "To heck with The Strip, I got to check the Zombie Apocalypse store out right now!"

      When I swung into the parking lot at the Zombie Apocalypse Store, all I could think was "Awesome!  This is my kind of weird store!"  
     The outside of the place is decked out like a bomb shelter with all sorts of defenses to ward off zombie attacks.  There were zombies all over the place and most of them were chained down.  After opening the door and stepping inside, I was amazed at what I saw.  This place was Zombie Apocalypse survival central!

    The zombie craze has been going strong for a few years now.  Zombie theme stores have popped up in many places around the globe due to sheer consumer demand.  The Zombie Apocalypse Store in Las Vegas has turned into a prime tourist attraction that draws many customers each day.
     People actually fly to Vegas from distant places just to purchase thousands of dollars worth of supplies, just to be ready when the Zombie Apocalypse finally happens.  If you want to survive, you simply have to stock up.  The Zombie Apocalypse Store definitely has the tools of the trade for surviving a mass zombie onslaught.

     Everything from ammo to zombie coloring books can be found at the Zombie Apocalypse Store.  If you really want expert advice on how to survive the upcoming zombie apocalypse, the employees certainly are helpful.  There are no gimmicks and there is no cheap junk that will fall apart right in the middle of a zombie firefight.  Every Zombie Apocalypse defense weapon in this store is top notch quality.
     For those who need to get some zombie shooting practice in, the Zombie Apocalypse Store has a life size realistic zombie shooting gallery.  Just drop a few coins in the box, pick up a gun and start firing away at zombies in the caged shooting gallery.  Just remember to aim for the head and go right for the brain!

     While at the Zombie Apocalypse Store, I picked up some really cool memorabilia.  A bumper sticker, a poster and a T-Shirt was all my buget would allow at that time, but it was money well spent.  One simply must have a few conversation piece mementos to show off to fellow humans after surviving the Zombie Apocalypse.  
     I searched for the much sought after Zombie Coloring Book because it is a collector's item, but they were sold out that day.  They did have an interesting zombie brain candy making kit that included foaming brain goop!
     A few months later I visited the Zombie Apocalypse Store to do some Christmas shopping.  The store expanded its line of products and the selection was great.  This store has every necessary item necessary for surviving the apocalypse.  Even Military Surplus Zombie Apocalypse Troop Carrier Trucks are up for sale.
     During the second visit, I purchased some cool looking "I ❤️ Zombies Sunglasses."  I got the "Apocalypse Cakes Cookbook - Recipes For The End."  This macabre cake cookbook is one of a kind and it certainly is worth recommending.  I actually bought a second copy as a gift.  The relative that I sent a copy to really got a kick out the weird gory recipes.
     Yes ... Shopping at the Zombie Apocalypse Store is habit forming.  There are even items for pets.  The Zombie Foot Squeaky Doggy Toy is kind of nifty, so I got one to send off as a gift for a family member's hound dog.  A green Zombie Foot is perfect for dogs that have a taste for human zombie body parts.  

     Needless to say, if you need to seriously prepare for the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse then this is the place to go!  The Zombie Apocalypse Store is located at 3420 Spring Mountain Road at the intersection of Polaris.  This central valley location is in Chinatown and it is near the Las Vegas Strip.

     Shoot Real Live Zombies!!!
     Survival is the key!  Nobody wants to end up being infected with the zombie pathogen.  Being a zombie means giving up a vegan lifestyle and being limited to eating brains.  No cologne is strong enough to cover up that rotten zombie body odor, especially in July.  Relaxing in a hot tub is out of the question, because after about an hour, the hot tub will look like a big pot of stew.
     Being a zombie means living a restricted lifestyle that is not socially acceptable by any means.  To preserve one's own way of life as a human, one simply has to destroy all zombies!
     Looking for something different to do on a Friday night?  Does riding in a Zombie Apocalypse Military Truck to an undisclosed Las Vegas Zombie Outbreak Destination and shooting Real Live Zombies with paint ball guns sound like your cup of tea?
     The Zombie Apocalypse Store in Las Vegas sponsors and organizes the Shoot Real Zombies events every weekend.  While at the Zombie Apocalypse Store the, I asked an employee if the turnout for the event was good enough to keep the ball rolling.  Apparently, the Friday Night Zombie Shootout was such a success that additional dates were added each week.
     The weekend "Shoot Live Zombies" is perfect for those who prefer cultured cerebral activities while in Las Vegas!  This event has the word fun printed all over it.  This is the first organized event that I have seen in quite some time that is genuinely adventurous.  People that I spread the word to, all were interested in participating, because Shooting Real Live Zombies is good old fashioned wholesome fun.  Everybody wants to be a hero and save Las Vegas from the hordes of Brain Eating Zombies!

     For more information about the Shoot Live Zombies event and the Zombie Apocalypse Store, click on this hyperlink:  • Zombie Apocalypse Store