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Life Changes

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So things have been a little crazy in my life the last several months.  You may have noticed in my lack of posts.  (At least I hope you noticed)  Well, I finally feel like posting again...and that makes me happy.

Thanksgiving Travel: How to get through Airport Security Quickly

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As you probably know, Thanksgiving is one of the busiest times of the year at airports.  One of my favorite travel YouTubers, SoniasTravels, made a video about this very subject.  Just wanted to share it with all of you that might be traveling over this Thanksgiving holiday.

No matter what you are doing for Thanksgiving, or even if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you are doing well.  Take care and happy travels!

Barcelona by Bus

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One thing I love to do when arriving in a new city is the double decker bus tour.  The tickets usually aren't cheap, but they are extensive.  They last anywhere from 24 to 48 hours and have numerous stops throughout the city.  I really feel like a get a great overview to help me plan the rest of my visit.


Barcelona is a port city where many Mediterranean cruises leave from.  While I was visiting for several days, many people only have one day or even half a day before their cruise leaves.  The city tour is a fantastic way to see as much of the city as possible in a short time.

Doors of Barcelona

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Along with my love of the Barcelona Balconies, was my obsession with the doors.  My daughter got so tired of me stopping and taking pictures of doors.  I didn't get too many strange looks though.  I think doors are interesting to more than just me.  Hopefully they are interesting to you as well.


There is lots of graffiti in Barcelona.  While part of me doesn't like that someone does this to property, the other part really enjoys the artfulness of it.

Barcelona: City of Art

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One thing I took notice of on my trip to Barcelona was the art sprinkled around the city.


It ranges from famous artists like the Barcelona Face by Roy Lichtenstein (above) to the relative unknown (at least to me), like the one below.

Park Guell: Barcelona, Spain

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Park Guell is yet another unusual Barcelona sight.  It's really amazing to me that one architect can have so much influence over an entire city.  Without Antonio Gaudi, Barcelona would not be the same.

Eating at Cerveceria in Barcelona, Spain

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If you go to Barcelona, Spain you are going to walk down las ramblas at some point.  We actually went down it every day for one reason or another.  I kept seeing this one restaurant that looked inviting, so we finally gave it a try.


I liked the look of the building and the dark wood inside the restaurant.

La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain

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Famous landmarks are interesting to me.  A lot of times I wonder why they became so famous in the first place.  La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain is one of those famous landmarks.  It is certainly unique and interesting to explore, but I think another reason that it is so famous is the original architect himself, Antoni Gaudi.

Catalunya Plaza in Barcelona, Spain

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Remember the amazing view of Catalunya Plaza we had from our hotel room?


Well, let me take you down to the Plaza itself.

Barcelona's Balconies

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Warning!  I became a little obsessed with the balconies in Barcelona and it resulted in MANY pictures that you are about to see.  ;)


First of all, I love old buildings.  I love the character, the shapes, the colors...everything about them!  But many of the buildings in Barcelona had something that I hadn't seen in other European cities.  They had beautiful balconies with unique metal railings.

La Boqueria Market in Barcelona, Spain

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One of the things on my Barcelona to do list was la Boqueria Market.  It was walking distance from our hotel, so we headed there for lunch one day.

Olivia Plaza Hotel in Barcelona, Spain

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After lots of research, I decided on the Olivia Plaza Hotel for my few pre-cruise days in Barcelona, Spain.  Stay tuned to see if I was happy with that choice.

Trobador Restaurant in Barcelona

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What's the first thing I did when I arrived in Barcelona?  EAT!  With all the travel and time changes, I was super hungry.


We grabbed a spot at an outdoor cafe near our hotel and dug in.

Flying to Barcelona

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I've mentioned before that I am a nervous flyer.  Which doesn't bode well with my love of travel.  You could say that I don't really love to travel, I just love to arrive.  :)


I was comforted before my flight with some chips and guacamole at Frontera in O'Hare International Airport.  I like to eat a little something because you never know what you are going to get on a plane and when.  This was step one of my distractions.

Behind the Scenes at Oprah's Lifeclass

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Have you ever thought about what you would wear to an Oprah Show taping (or any taping of a show)?  I've had to think about this several times, and each time it gets more difficult.  I have my favorite top or two, but are they television worthy?  Anyway, this last time I went, I had my daughter take pictures of each outfit to help me decide what it looked like on camera.  This is what I went with.


So if you ever catch an episode of Lifeclass: Fatherless Sons on OWN, look for me in this.

Gordan Ramsay Pub & Grill

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After listening to Bruce Jenner talk, we had lunch at Gordon Ramsay's Pub and Grill.  My husband's Uncle happened to be in Las Vegas at the same time, so he joined us.  We had a great time!

Flying Angels at Aureole

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Our final night in Las Vegas we went to see the Michael Jackson show "The One".  It is located at the Mandalay Bay hotel.  Since we were already going there, we decided to try one of their restaurants.  Let me tell you, they were all packed!  Eating before the show is the popular thing to do.  But we managed to snag a table at the bar of Aureole right when it opened.  Yay!


You may have heard of this restaurant with the four story wine tower.  They have "wine angels" that ascend the tower to retrieve wine for people.  They basically wear the same gear you would if you were repelling down the side of a mountain.

Noodle Number Nine

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I love the name of this restaurant that I found in Caesar's Palace... Beijing Noodle Number Nine.  Cute!


The other thing I loved about it was the decor.  That is what drew me to it in the first place.

Nobu

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My favorite meal in Las Vegas was at Nobu.  It is owned by celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa and it is fantastic!  Not only did I love the food, I loved the decor as well.  Especially these pillow looking lights that hung at different levels from the ceiling.  How cool are those?


Enough with the decor...bring on the cocktail menu please!

Daily Payard

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We started every day of our Vegas trip with coffee, pastries and a crepe madame at Payard.

Shots of Vegas

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Welcome to Vegas!  I actually took this picture on our last day when we spent a ridiculous amount of time at the airport.  More about that at the end...

Serendipity 3

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Do you recognize this photo?  If not, you obviously aren't following me on Facebook, Pinterest or Google +, so you better go do that ASAP! :)


This was taken on my last trip to Las Vegas.  I enjoyed Serendipity so much, that I made my husband go back with me on this recent trip.

Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill

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Bobby Flay is a well know Chef from the Food Network.  I watch him on show "Worst Cook in America".  I love his sarcastic personality and the way he interacts with the contestants.  So I was excited to try Mesa Grill located in my hotel, Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.

Did Caesar Live Here?

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I couldn't help but think of this when we arrived at our hotel in Las Vegas.  We were staying at Caesar's Palace after all...it makes sense that he would live there.  :)

Flying to Las Vegas

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Strange as it may seem, I am a nervous flyer.  I know that doesn't really fit with being a travel blogger.  But ever since I became a Mom, I have been more nervous about my safety.  Anyway, if I can snag a window seat it helps take my mind off of my nervousness.  Was this ever a great flight for that!  What amazing views from my window!


I have always been fascinated by the way things look from an airplane window.  I would make a great bird!  :)

Giant Hamburgers & Giant Antiques

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You might remember that I have family in Arkansas.  Considering that it has snowed eight inches today where I live and it is 70 degrees in Arkansas right now, I'm feeling rather homesick.  So I thought it would be fun to write about a previous Arkansas trip.


Last August I spent a long weekend visiting my Mom.  My brother was also visiting and suggested we partake in some Arkansas classics.  Cotham's Mercantile is famous

Oprah and me!

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Guess where I am?  Harpo Studios in Chicago!  Not the normal entrance for people going to see a show, but the special entrance for people who work there or guests coming for a special reason.  I was the latter.  Recently I was contacted by OWN for a special project.  I happened to be heading to Harpo Studios for a Lifeclass on Colorism, so I went early and was interviewed about my interest in OWN.
I was escorted into the studio where the Oprah Show was filmed

A TRU Experience

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I surprised my husband with dinner at TRU for his birthday this year.  It was quite the amazing experience!  Can't wait to share it with you.  


As you  can see above, it is an eleven course menu with an option of getting only seven courses. Those are the ones with the little leaf next to them.  We decided to go all out and get eleven courses.  The first two courses are actually three things served at once, so it is really like having 15 courses.  They also offer a wine pairing with both options.  While that sounded fun, I knew I couldn't drink that much and still taste the food by the end of the night. :)   So we ordered a bottle of wine from their extensive selection.  It was just the right amount and tasted delicious!

That's a Wrap (on Disney)

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I've finally come to the end of my Disney posts.  I guess when you take a 1000 pictures, you have a lot of things to blog about.  Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed reading about our trip to Disney.  I thought I would wrap it up for you with some organization.  I love organization!



Disney Food
Beaches and Cream Soda Shop
http://www.happytravelbug.com/2014/01/beaches-and-cream.html

Boma Restaurant http://www.happytravelbug.com/2013/08/boma-at-animal-kingdom-lodge.html
Be Our Guest Restaurant http://www.happytravelbug.com/2013/09/be-our-guest-disney-restaurant.html
Rose and Crown Restaurant http://www.happytravelbug.com/2013/09/rose-crown-at-epcot.html
Kouzzina Restaurant by Cat Cora http://www.happytravelbug.com/2013/10/kouzzina-by-cat-cora.html
50’s Prime Time Cafe http://www.happytravelbug.com/2013/12/50s-prime-time-cafe-at-hollywood-studios.html
Biergarten Restaurant  http://www.happytravelbug.com/2013/11/biergarten-restaurant.html
Disney Treats http://www.happytravelbug.com/2013/10/disney-treats.h…

Disney Shopping

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Something strange happens to me at Disney World.  I get all Disney crazy and want to buy things that, if I saw at the mall, would not make my radar.  Why is that?  There are some things that I truly want and will use and enjoy, but there are some that are just ridiculous.  For example....


All good things must come to an end

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I am usually sad on my last day of vacation, because I never want them to end.  Today's post follows my last day at Disney World.  My in-laws had gone home and my kids wanted to sleep in, so I headed off to Epcot all by myself.  To be honest, I was a little sad the kids weren't going with me, but I decided to make the most of it and try things that teenagers aren't usually up for.


Beaches and Cream

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Have you ever heard a lot about a restaurant and you can't wait to try it, but when you finally get there...it just isn't as good as you thought it would be?  That's how I felt about Disney's Beaches and Cream Soda Shop.  Don't get me wrong, it was good, but I had heard great things.  Therefore I was expecting great!  My disappointment started with the menu...very basic.  And I don't know what that yucky crusty stuff is on it.  Ew!


Lights, Animals and Margaritas

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Daisy Duck, along with Huey, Louie and Dewey are off to explore.  I was also exploring when I found them at Animal Kingdom.  That is where we started our seventh day at Disney World.
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