Threadless surely knows how to throw a sale! It’s summer time and to celebrate, why not buy some awesome (and cheap) tees! I just checked out their stock of $5 shirts, there are a bunch of gems, but you better act fast before they sell out of your size.Â
Johnny Cupcakes released some solid new tees (should we expect less?) as well as a few surprise items this past week, including a new polo top and stud earrings. I really need to get my hands on that silver and white crossbones tee. My other favorite from the new releases is the Bake on the First Date tee – love it!
Day 7 Shirt of Choice:Â American Apparel Poly-Cotton
3/4 Sleeve Raglan Shirt
Day 7 started off with breakfast at the popular Bellagio Buffet. There was a lot of food, a custom omelet bar, and tons of pastries and fruit. But if I am being honest, it was pretty standard breakfast fare.Â
We then headed toward the MGM Grand to purchase tickets to both The Phantom and The Beatles LOVE Cirque Du Soleil. We were able to get tickets to The Phantom but was unable to snag any for LOVE. So we spontaneously decided to buy tickets to a 12 hour guided tour of the the Grand Canyon. Crazy!
Following our ticket buying frenzy we did some further shopping at the Primm Fashion Outlet Mall. We spent about 3 hours there and then we made our way back to the strip to do even more shopping at the Miracle Mile Mall. At this point I was all shopped out and couldn’t wait to get back to the Bellagio to freshen up for The Phantom. Back at the hotel room we had about an hour to spare before making the mad rush through the crowds to the Venetian were The Phantom was playing.
That American Apparel 3/4 Sleeve tee looks good! I want to pick up a couple more now.
The Phantom was defintely an exciting and haunting experience. I was thoroughly impressed by the Phantom theater, which was custom built to house this specific show. If you’ve seen The Phantom of the Opera at another venue, it’s worth checking this one out because of some of the welcome changes. First of all, there is no intermission. Secondly, they’ve added a few extended scenes. And lastly, the falling chandelier is breathtaking. I’d suggest sitting on the balcony, you’ll get a great view of all the action and the ticket prices are not as expensive.Â
That’s me just about ready to enter the theater. Right after we snapped this picture, the usher yelled at us! How dare!
Iron Chef’s Mario Batali’s B&B Ristorante was our pick for dinner on this particular evening. B&B Ristorante had some big shoes to fill since the food at Bobby Flay’s MESA Grill was superb. Unlike the Mesa Grill’s southern infused fare, B&B was more of a traditional Italian eatery. I had the Lobster Spaghettini with Spicy Budding Chives, Sweet Garlic and One Pound Lobster. Michelle had the Grilled Pork Chop with Cipolline, Artichokes and Vin Cotto. I really enjoyed the Spaghettini and the lobster portions were quite generous. However, in the end, we both decided that the food at the MESA Grill was indeed better!
Tomorrow: The Grand Canyon
Day 8 Shirt of Choice:Â Mack Hated Mondays
Our last full day in Las Vegas involved waking up at 5am in the morning! It was Grand Canyon day so getting an early start was imperative. This would be a 12 hour trip to and from the Canyon through Comedy on Deck Tours. We left the Bellagio and headed across the street to Bally’s to catch our shuttle.Â Our tour guide was named Jodie and she was both friendly and welcoming as well as informative!Â Once we hopped on we grabbed a quick breakfast at the Boulder Dam Hotel in Boulder CityÂ en route to the Hoover Dam. What’s interesting about Boulder City is that it was built for the people who had worked on the Hoover Dam. As for the hotel, our tour guide mentioned that it’s ranked as the 4th most haunted hotel in the US. I didn’t see anything! But Dennis McBride, author of Midnight on Arizona Street noted thatÂ “One of the people who owned the hotel in the 1980s used to do night work at the desk, and she said several times she would see a man standing in front of her only from the waist-up. He was gone from the waist down.”Â One famous guest was Howard Hughes, who recuperated here after a plane crash at Lake Mead.
One we left Boulder City we made a quick drive thru and stop at the Hoover Dam and then headed toward our first Grand Canyon stop,Â Eagle Point. The road to Eagle Point was, quite literally, bumpy! 14 miles of unpaved road with just a landscape of Joshua Trees made for an interesting ordeal.
And that’s the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. It’s so impressive in person!
The Grand CanyonÂ isÂ definitely a stunning natural marvel to look at. Its powerful and intimidating landscaping stretches over 18 miles wide and consists of over 277 river miles. We did a tour of the West Rim of the Grand Canyon that consisted of Eagle Point and Guano Point. Eagle Point is known for the recently opened Skywalk which is theÂ first-ever glass bridge and suspends visitors 4,000 feet above the Grand Canyon floor. The views here were spectacular and truly breathtaking. And I got to scratch off yet another item off my Things To Do Before I Die list!
We then had lunch at the Grand Canyon West Ranch, a 1,060 acre working cattle ranch, did some activities and rode a horse wagon around the property. After lunch we made the trip back to Vegas. Spending a day away from the strip and at the Grand Canyon was definitely worth it! If I ever come back, I’ll be sure to hit up the Grand Canyon Caverns. Our wagon driver mentioned that this was a 230 feet drop below ground level that consists of 60 miles of limestone caves. There is no humidity down there and as such he mentioned that anything that stays there is preserved.Â
Once we arrived back on the strip we made a mad rush to The Mirage to see if we could get some last minute tickets to The Beatles LOVE Cirque Du Soleil. It was ourlucky day! We scored two tickets to one of the hottest shows on the Las Vegas strip.Â
But before the show we wanted to eat at one last Food Network star’s restaurant. This time it would be Chef Emeril Lagasi’s New Orleans Fish House at the MGM Grand. Emeril’s probably had the friendliest bunch of waiters of the three big restaurants we dined at while in Las Vegas. There was a constant flow of bread and drinks! We started off with theÂ New Orleans Blue Crabmeat Bake with Baked Blue Crabmeat & Pickled Sweet Piquant Peppers with Herb Crust served with Emeril’s Spiked Crostini and Creole Tomato Glaze. For entrees, I had theÂ Emeril’s Sweet Barbecued Scottish Salmon on Andouille Sausage & Brabant Potatoes with Spicy Onion Crust and Emeril’s Homemade Worcestershire. Michelle had theÂ Herb, Sea Salt & Pepper Crusted Ahi Tuna on Homemade Sopressata Sausage, & Italian Cheese & Spinach Ravioli with Basil Pesto, in Tomato Olive Stew and Balsamic Extraction. The food here was so good! I thoroughly enjoyed the food, the environment and the service! The waiters were quick, efficient and friendly. In the end, though, we decided that Bobby Flay’s MESA grill ruled supreme amongst our tier of culinary challenges during our Las Vegas stay.
If you decide to watch a Cirque Du Soleil Show in Las Vegas, I would highly recommend that you see this one. It was seriously spectacular!
And for the final major spectacle of this epic trip we watchedÂ The Beatles LOVE Cirque Du Soleil at the Mirage. It was a full house and I quickly understood why. The show was spectacular and covered a ton of Beatles hits like Elanor Rigby, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Help!, Blackbird, Hey Jude and All You Need Is Love. In total, the show consisted of 26 Beatles classics.Â The exuberance ofÂ The BeatlesÂ was definitely channeled through the youthful, urban energy of a cast of 60 international artists. The panoramic sound and visuals made for an excellent end to a wonderful trip.
Departure Shirt of Choice: Pyknic Logo Tee
I can honestly say that this was one exhausting trip! We squeezed in a lot of exciting and fun things and for that I have to thank Michelle for planning. What can I say, she’s an excellent planner!
Day 5 Shirt of Choice:Â Bears, Beets, Battelstar
The San Diego Zoo is one big zoo and it houses an extraordinary amount of animals! But I’m getting ahead of myself. We first had breakfast at Hash House A Go Go, a place were big food is the norm. The portions at Hash House A Go Go are, in the words of the New York Times, gastronomic! And from firsthand experience, I know that they aren’t kidding. The portions here were huge and definitely a little daunting. It’s a great place to go on a hungry stomach or to share a plate with a friend. I ordered the Andy’s Special, which consisted of Ham Steak and a biscuit on a bed of mashed potatoes topped with spinach, tomato, ham, scrambled eggs, cheddar and covered in chili cream. The dish was good (and a little on the spicy end) but for some reason I probably did not enjoy it as much as I should have simply because of the enormity of the serving.Â
That monstrosity is the Andy’s Special at Hash House A Â Go Go!
After breakfast we headed over once again to Balboa Park en route to the San Diego Zoo. Again, I cannot stress enough the size of Balboa Park, at just about 1,174 acres big, you would definitely need at least two days minimum to see (or try to see) everything it has to offer. We snapped a few pictures and then made our way to the zoo entrance and eagerly jumped onto the first of many zoo trails, the monkey trail. Our favorite part of the zoo had to be the new Elephant Odyssey, which had opened just a few days prior. It’s a massive area of the zoo that was created just for the elephants. By the end of the day we had done all of the trails, rode on the Skyfari Aerial Tram twice, did the guided bus tour and saw a whole lot of animals!
Me posing next to an ancestor.
And finally, for our last night in San Diego, we walked to the Little Italy district, which was just 9 blocks or so away from The Sophia Hotel. I’ve been to a couple of Little Italy’s in different cities and this one was a little subdued compared to the others. We had dinner at Filippi’s Pizza Grotto. What’s interesting about Filippi’s is that you must walk through their “cash and carry” Italian grocery store and deli, stocked with cheeses, pasta and a lot of various imports from Italy before ending up at the restaurant. The line was out the door, so we knew it had to be good! The servings at Filippi’s were huge. I ordered the Spaghetti with Sausage and Meatball and Michelle had the Chicken Parmigiana with Spaghetti. This Filippi’s is actually the first of this California chain and has been serving excellent pasta and pizza for over 50 years now. By the time we left Filippi’s, it was dark out and the Little Italy district had picked up steam, was lively and filled with people, drinking, eating and having a merry time.Â
Until I make it to the real Italy, these Little Italy’s will have to do for now.
Tomorrow: Las Vegas, NV
Day 6 Shirt of Choice:Â No shirt, just a standard polo
This was our last day in San Diego and our first day in Las Vegas! The morning consisted of some last minute packing, returning of the rental car and shipping some stuff back home via the United States Postal Service. After those errands we had a quick breakfast at The Cheese Shop were I had the breakfast sandwich and Michelle the eggs & sausage.Â
The flight to Las Vegas was short, just about an hour, but was worth it considering that a drive to Sin City would take a considerably longer.Â
It only take a few seconds after leaving the flight deck to be enamored by the Las Vegas lifestyle of cha-chings! Even in the airport you can hear people gambling their money away. We swiftly picked up our luggage, found our shuttle bus and headed to the Bellagio. After a mishap with the rooms, we found our way to our guest room in the Spa Tower of the Bellagio with a view of the famous Bellagio fountains, Bally’s and the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel. The view from our room was superb!
This is a peak at the Conservatory within the Bellagio. It’s always packed with people.Â
We spent little time in the room, though. After quickly unpacking we headed out to Las Vegas Boulevard and went straight to Caesar’s Palace for dinner at Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill. Unfortunately, the place was packed and they didn’t serve tables of two until after 9pm. So instead, we walked to the Fashion Show Mall and afterwards checked out the Forum Shoppes at Caesar’s. By the time we finished shopping we were just in time for our 10:00pm reservations at Mesa Grill. I have to admit that the wait was definitely worth it! We both ordered steaks – I guess we were both craving some red meat! I had the Black Angus New York Strip Steak with Homemade MESA Steak Sauce. Michelle had the Coffee Rubbed Filet Mignon withÂ Mushroom-Ancho Chile Sauce. My medium cooked steak came out so tender and juicy, it was an absolute delight! The bread was also a welcomed surprise. The bread basket consisted of a three types of breads with my favorite being the jalapeno parmesan.Â
And my steak at MESA Grill. So delicious!
After dinner, we checked out Serendipity 3 in Caesar’s Palace for desert. Serendipity 3Â is a New York based restaurant known for their deserts, especially their frozen hot chocolate. And I can honestly say that the frozen hot chocolate was a massively decadent mouthgasm! It was so good that we came back for more (but more on that later).Â
Tomorrow: The Phantom and Mario Batali’s B&B Ristorante
I’m a huge fan of Jeff Sheldon’s brand, Ugmonk. He has definitely done some amazing things in the short time that his brand has been around. He recently reprinted one of his earlier, and more popular tee designs, Path To Nowhere. It’s the perfect shirt for anyone that feels like that can’t get to where they are trying to go.Â
I enjoy the online steampunk movement that has been taking place as of late. This is the perfect tee for any steampunk fan because we all know that if they could they would. It’s available now from ThinkGeek.com for $15.99.Â
Now that tee from ThinkGeek might simulate the Steampunk look, but the computer below, screams steampunk! The item is a functioning Mac Mini that was redesigned in good old steampunk fashion by Dave Veloz as a wedding present for his bride. Talk about raising the bar!
Here’s a great shirt from Threadless regular Marco Angeles aka ivejustquitsmoking in the Threadless blogs. Here’s Marco’s latest tee, available this week only at Teextile for $15. I love the colors on this one and that whale looks so happy! If only rain could be multi-colored, how fun would that be! Whale of a Bath Time is eye candy for your torso, check it out today!
Kiss The Fist, Sniff The Rest sounds like something that Napoleon Dynamite would say with quirky dumbfounded awesomeness, just before he gets the bejeezers knocked right out of him. As I was scanning Concrete Hermit, this is one of the tees that stuck out at me, probably because of the intuitive slogan that is the focal point of its design. Why so much admiration for the slogan? Well, you just need to check out my TypeTees Slogan-A-Day Experiment to know the answer to that question.
The Design By Humans Music Series presents the newest design contest, this time featuring Rock and Roll legends, KISS. All you need to do is submit a design that is good enough for the bands upcoming tour. Do you think you’ve got what it takes? If so, submit your design by June 14 and Â you might be able to score these amazing prize packages:
$250 DBH Store Credit
$150 KISS Grab Bag
Must Incorporate the KISS logo
$250 DBH Store Credit
$150 KISS Grab Bag
$250 DBH Store Credit
$150 KISS Grab Bag
Must NOT contain the KISS logo or any other KISS design elements
Day 3 Shirt of Choice: Mr. Robot Goes Sightseeing
My shirt choice for this third day of travel was none other than Philip Tseng’s Threadless classic, Mr. Roboto Goes Sightseeing. We started off the day by having breakfast at Cafe 222 in downtown San Diego. The small hole in the wall cafe was very busy and the wait was long (about 30 minutes) but I was eager to taste their famous Pumpkin Waffles. I surely was not disappointed. Every piece was like taking a bite from a slice of fresh pumpkin pie. I loved it. Michelle had their Green Eggs and Spam, which came out looking nothing like we expected!
Here’s Mr. Roboto hanging out. As you can see, the UV ink on the tee does indeed work!
The rest of the day was reserved for one of San Diego’s more famous attractions: Sea World. Let me tell you, it was a busy day at Shamu’s abode! I don’t think I’ve seen more baby strollers in my life. This was both our first time visiting Sea World so we were excited to take in the whole park and see as many of the shows as possible. We ended up watching both of the Shamu shows, Believe and Shamu Rocks. We also caught SLL: Sea Lions Live, which turned out to be a bit tacky and the weakest of the bunch of shows that we watched. The Dolphin Experiences was fun and featured a “twist” of sorts, which was exciting. I also should mention that we sat in the “Soak Zone” in both the Shamu and Dolphin shows but missed getting splashed! We ended up spending nearly 9 hours at Sea World and definitely had our fill! The Journey to Atlantis Rollercoaster ride was pretty thrilling, but I expected to get a bit more wet!
For dinner, we drove a short distance to Ocean Beach and stood in line at THE place to get burgers in Southern California. Hodad’s, a burger joint that was started in 1969 by Byron and Virginia Hardin, has a vintage feel (the place is decorated wall-to-wall with license plates from the 50 states). The menu is a simple one: burgers, fries and shakes! I decided to get the Double Bacon Cheeseburger and I even SAC’d (added Swiss and American Cheese) it! Let me tell you, the burger that I had at Hodad’s may possibly be the best burger that I have ever had (and I’ve had a lot of burgers from many different places). Part of it might have been the setting and people, but, the burger alone was ace. Oh, and if you’re wondering what a Hodad is, well, it’s a term used to describe non surfers that frequent the beach (aka posers).
That’s me at Hodad’s and by the way, I was able to spot a Hawaii license plate (it’s just not in this picture).
Day 4 Shirt of Choice: Bird is my Best Friend
Bird is my Best Friend was featured in Co-Tee TV Episode 19 and that’s the tee that I wore for part of the day. I also did film a portion of CO-TEE TV on location in Balboa Park (it’ll be part of a future episode). Bread & Cie on University Ave. and located in Hillcrest was our breakfast stop for the day and I sure am happy about that selection. This bakery features a bunch of sweets, sandwiches, paninis and specialty coffees. I decided on the PB&J (Peanut Butter and Jelly) and I have to say, it was the best PB&J that I have ever had – it was so decadent! Michelle had the Turkey Pesto Panini which was tasty, but not as tasty as my PB&J!
This was the best PB&J in the history of PB&J’s. I promise!
After Bread & Cie we headed out to nearby Balboa Park, San Diego’s premier park featuring a plethora of gardens and museums. We first checked out The da Vinci Experience in the Air and Space Museum. I had a great time at this temporary exhibit, especially since I am a huge da Vinci fan. I really should have worn da Vinci’s Mario! We then proceeded to check out the rest of the park and we took a gazillion pictures. We’ll be heading back tomorrow to visit a few more of the museums before we head to the San Diego Zoo.
And finally, we drove to La Jolla and dined at the popular fine dining restaurant, George’s At The Cove. The restaurant is known for it’s excellent service, great food and exceptional ocean side view. To start, we ordered the Pacific Oysters and the Pea Tendril Soup. The pacific oysters came out chilled and raw, just the way that I like it, and was accompanied with a cocktail sauce and mignonette. For the entree portion of our dinner, I had the Lobster Seafood Stew and Michelle ordered the Petrale Sole (fish with spring onions, asparagus, morels, crispy chicken skin, chervil puree, truffle-walnut oil vinaigrette). The Lobster Seafood Stew is a neat mashup that includes lobsters, clams, fish, shrimp, crab mixed in with toasted pasta, marcona almonds, and orange aioli. For seafood lovers, let me tell you, this dish is absolute seafood heaven! I loved it and if I ever find my way back to La Jolla I would definitely make it a point to visit George’s At The Cove just to order the Lobster Seafood Stew again.
If you’re ever in San Diego, make it a point to dine at George’s At The Cove and order the Seafood Lobster Stew. It’s delicious!
Tomorrow: San Diego Zoo