Tuesday 27 February 2024

U2 at the Sphere, Las Vegas

When I am at a concert, even one as visually amazing as the Sphere, I tend not to take photos and videos.  I prefer to just live in the moment and try keep the memories in my mind rather than my phone.  I do tend to go online though and watch other people's videos after the event however.

This is my one photo and it is an interesting one, to my mind anyway.  While Bono does a huge shout out to Bram the stand in drummer for Larry, and it is indeed clear the band very much respects him, this photo also defines their relationship.  The band is up front and Bram further back doing the job, and doing it very well, that he was hired to do.  The band are saying U2 is still Larry and Bono, Edge and Adam.

Anyway, I digress. There is nothing I can say that will surprise anyone.  I have literally zero criticisms or critiques.  The whole performance from U2 was brilliant - and testament to them that the amazing venue, visuals and effects do not over take the music.  But equally, testament to the venue that it stuns and impresses while enhancing the band.  It is a crazy, beautiful, symbiotic relationship...

10 million zillion out of 10

Big Elvis Las Vegas

About a million years ago I was in Las Vegas with Ciaran and Enid and Ciaran, a big Elvis fan, introduced us to Big Elvis - one of the top 10 Elvis impersonators in the world.

While Patrick played a little poker I took myself and my Elvis purse (bought in San Franciso around 2007) off to Harrah's to see Big Elvis before the U2 concert.  The cocktail was called a Double Treble, thanks for asking, it involved tequila, elderflower and lime juice.

He was as fantastic as ever.  If you are in Las Vegas be sure to check him out in Harrahs - Mon, Tues, Friday 2pm/3.30/5pm.  Cannot recommend this little show from the big man enough,


Toronto Maple Leafs v Las Vegas Golden Knights

By pure chance / happy coincidence it turned out that the Leafs would be playing in Las Vegas same time we were there.  Patrick decided we were going and worked out his strategy about getting tickets on the secondary market on the day of the game.  The picture above does not know show the agonies we went through to get the tickets sent/downloaded but anyway, enough about that, we made it!

It was a WONDERFUL match with 10 goals in total.  Ten! Can you believe it.  And 7 of them, most importantly, were for Toronto.

Btw. I had forgotten how cold it is at hockey games... I had 4 layers on and I still freezing!

Vegas food

 Okay, am warning you in advance, these photos are just horrific.

We arrived in late Wednesday evening.  It is quite crazy how big America is, how far away we are from everything in Key West, and how long it took us to travel to Vegas - we might have been quicker coming from Ireland!

So, we quickly checked in and headed out to explore.  We decided to go to Battistas Hole in the Wall which we liked from our last trip but while googling the directions I noticed it would be closing in just 45 minutes at 9.30pm.  Rather early closing time I think, don't you?!

Because we were outside New York, New York we decided to go into Nine Fine Irish Men as it served food and had a good band playing (a bit of Irish diddley eye is always good in my book lol).

Horrific photo number 1 coming up:

I had the mussels. Patrick had clam chowder.  And they were both great.  Hard to believe that from this photo but I assure you on this.

The next morning, similar to last trip we woke up very early and couldn't sleep - jet lag! We decided to throw caution to the wind and head out for breakfast/brunch Las Vegas style - yes we decided we were going to have a little alcoholic beverage with our food.  We did a quick google and decided on the Pyramid Cafe in the Luxor - it was convenient to our hotel (Mandalay Bay) and the menu looked appealing.  We had fabulous chorizo burritos and we were set up for the day - they were so filling that we didn't even need lunch!!

What we did need was a nap though! And I made sure to get one in the late morning/early afternoon - we were going to a hockey game that evening after all.

Before the hockey game we went to "Eataly" in the Park MGM and had the most beautiful glass of wine and a lovely sandwich.  We may or may not have had hot dogs at the hockey also ;) 

Friday! The U2 Concert day.
Patrick tried to persuade me to have the burritos again this morning, but instead I persuaded him that we should go to Ri-Ra and have a proper Irish breakfast.  It was really good - nice proper Irish ingredients imported from Ireland. (While I don't think the black and white pudding was Clonakilty, it was very close in quality).

See my separate blog post about Big Elvis - we took some time apart this afternoon (I went to see Big Elvis, Patrick played some poker) and we met in Battistas for dinner before the concert.

I had the lasagna which was excellent as expected - I got it last time too.  Patrick enjoyed the meatballs and spaghetti.  The wine was "ok/fine".

Sunday 18 February 2024

Valentine's Day 2024

As a follower of my blog you may be aware that I love anything heart shaped for Valentine's day.  For this year, I was just delighted when Patrick told me that he had bought me a heart shaped pizza!

Well, so I was not expecting THIS on the day!  

I walked out of the bedroom into a kitchen where we always lay out gifts/cards for any occasion.  I was expecting just a card and I literally GASPED with surprise when I saw a nice (heart shaped woohooo!) gift too.  What a surprise!

Weather was enough to eat outside this year

Not pictured: my present for Patrick (and me, tee hee) was Cupcake Sushi for dessert

Doesn't front desk area of The Saint look very nice all dressed up for Valentine's


Cero Mackerel

Yesterday was literally the one good boat weather day so we jumped on it!  Good job too, because is raining really heavily, all day.
We headed out past Sunset Key towards Hemingway's Stilts and set up our trolling rods.  A few little bites but nothing catching. We described the fish as "very tentative today".  Finally however we got this nice little (20 inch) Cero Mackerel. Nice!
Considering the weather we decided to push on and go check our crab traps - we were happy with this little haul of 4 nice sized ones.

We were pretty tired after that morning! We were going to go to Martin's for happy hour but decided to go casual to Half Shell where we shared a dish of clams, mussels, shrimp, sausage, potatoes and corn.  Mmmm!

Here is Patrick, waxing lyrical in Half Shell Raw Bar


Monday 12 February 2024

Birthday brisket!

It was Feliz's birthday on Friday so we are having her and Bill over for dinner today.  We are going to make brisket in the smoker!  Brisket is apparently Feliz' absolute fave (we found this out on tomahawk night) so no pressure lol! Also, last time we smoked brisket we overcooked it - we're blaming a dodgy meat thermometer and we we have since bought a new one - so doubly no pressure!

I gave it a rub/marinade this morning.  I put an initial layer of honey and mustard.  And then the piece de resistance of our adored Rendezvous seasoning.

I am also going to buy Cupcake Sushi for dessert which will double up as a little birthday gift for Feliz too :)


Super Bowl Food

Our friend's Joe and Emily are just the best hosts - you might remember we spent Thanksgiving at theirs this year.

Super Bowl is all about the snacks, right?

Emily always has the BEST cheese.  And look, the napkins and little plates were themed!

Chips, veggies, dips

Emily's AMAZING air fryer chicken wings

Pigs in blankets

Swedish meatballs

Not pictured:
Isabelle & Wyatt's buffalo chicken
Our Stone Crab claws and key lime mustard sauce

Even dessert was football themed

Which team was I rooting for btw, you ask?
Taylor Swift's boyfriend's team.  Yay! They won


New sitting area out front!

During the week, I planned this blog and I thought it would just be about our new sitting area!

How cute is this little deck area? It came from our neighbour across the street, they are getting a pool installed (exciting!) and need to clear our their garden.  It is extremely heavy - took 4 men to lift over and we were told it was virtually indestructible. 

WeeeeelllllL.  Guess what happened on Sunday morning.  Patrick was taking down some coconuts and a bunch of them fell and busted the indestructible deck!  Which by the way, is a quintessentially Key West problem if you ever heard one, right

The culprits

So I think everyone knows that I love a project! And a reason to get my electric drill out.

I shored up the deck with some extra wood at the top and some rocks underneath

And sccrewed it all back together with extra long and strong screws.

Delighted we have it fixed and looking forward to mornings outside dirnking coffee and evening drinks chatting to people as they walk by

Monday 5 February 2024

Literal pain in the neck

 Good news.  Since Christmas, I had been covering Front Desk a lot, plus also training new starters, meaning that I had been working strange and awful hours.  That is now finished I hope.  

My neck (crick) and shoulders have also been very bad for the last month or so.  It started on the left side and I started immediate treatment with NSAID's for a straight two weeks.  Just as the left got better it moved to the right - not as painful, but still quite bad.  I did a few more days of NSAID's and then started really focusing on treating now and preventing in the future.  After doing my peloton class I started doing stretching exercises, swimming and doing pool exercises in the evening and went for an expensive but BRILLIANT massage.  Next week I am thinking of doing a bikram class on Monday.  The heat and the stretching will do it the world of good I think. Am feeling a little worried for the future, I seem to be getting this pain yearly if not even 6 monthly.  Really need to be proactive and stay on top of it now - stretching daily etc.

And I really want it better for two weeks' time when we are going BACK to Las Vegas to see U2 - need to be able to throw my head back and look at all the views in the Sphere!

Happy 50th Birthday, Bill!

Bill turned 50!

We had a fun night at his party, held high on the rooftop of Rockhouse looking down on Sloppy Joe's and Duval Street, very cool.  

My camera was misbehaving and with it being a bit dark my photos came out attrocious but I think you get the vibe

These cupcakes were yum

Fun with our neighbors Nicky and Brian

And then!  On Sunday Bill and his family came to The Saint for the brunch

We decorated the table nicely - there was balloons too

And his own personalized menu!


King Fish

Saturday was my last day working crazy hours - was in at 3pm that day. Being completely honest, going out on the water that morning, before work, was the last thing I wanted to do.  But there was literally one window of good boating weather and poor Patrick was just dying to get out there so I decided to suck it up and push on through.

Well it turned out to be one of our most successful days ever.  A 3 foot Kingfish (aka King Mackerel) and 6 fabulous crab claws.

That mackerel had enough meat on it for 11/12 dinners.  We gave some away to our neighbors and tonight we are having fish tacos!  Tomorrow we will have lightly fried fish and quinoa.  We generally don't like freezing fish but with quantity we really had no option - we will have fish curry next week.