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The Great Las Vegas Food Blog - Spring 2018 edition

I went to Las Vegas with my lovely wife. We ate food. It was amazing. Here's the details:

So let's start off with the best thing we did there: have lunch at the brand new Hell's Kitchen restaurant on the grounds of Caesar's Palace. We booked reservations about six weeks before just after it opened. The lobster risotto was amazing. The brick pressed chicken was delicious. The beef Wellington was to die for. The sticky toffee pudding was a great cap to the meal. And we met Chef Michelle Tribble who won the most recent season of the reality TV show and who won the prize of being head chef at this new restaurant, who was very accomodating in the photograph request department. This was by far the most money I'd ever paid for a meal at a restaurant, but I can't say enough good things about it. Absolutely great food.
Bobby Flay's Burger Palace was also a hit! My wife had never eaten there before - I had once - and she loved it. The blue cheese bacon burger (above) …

Lamenting the loss of the paper boarding pass

Being a tech geek, I suppose I should wildly cheer the completely unsurprising news that paper boarding passes at airports will soon be a thing of the past, and everyone will be ushered into the glorious new era of all-electronic boarding passes on our phones, in our electronic wallets and in our airline apps.

But there's a part of me that isn't cheering this news at all. I actually like paper boarding passes.

For starters, paper boarding passes almost always scan the first time at security and at the boarding gate. I can't tell you the number of times I've been in an airport security line and someone spends 30 seconds fiddling with the brightness screen on their smart phone so that their electronic boarding pass will scan.

Or that one time I saw a person try to repeatedly scan their boarding pass at security on their Apple Watch for what seemed like five hours (I'm sure it was 20 seconds, but it was 20 excruciating seconds) before the individual actually took off…

Camping in Arizona

We spent a couple of weeks in Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon in early October, and I've been horribly delinquent in blogging about it. Needless to say, it was terrific. The Grand Canyon is beautiful beyond words, and there's lots of cool things to do around the Flagstaff area, including the Meteor Crater, the Petrified Forest, and the Lowell Observatory (which was an absolutely fantastic surprise). So here's a bunch of almost literally randomly chosen photos. Because I don't have hours to properly sort through them, and because everything we saw was spectacular.

Goodbye car camping

Our car camping adventures have come to an end.

As fun as it was to sleep in the back of our Toyota RAV4 in campgrounds, KOAs and national parks on both sides of the border, our October trip to Arizona showed us the limitations of this method of camping.

For starters, we were refused entry to our first, week-long reservation due to the campground’s rules against car camping. That they hid on their website. And that their own telephone reservation desk was unaware of. That forced us to relocate and find a new place to stay for a week. It was unpleasant.

It was also cold, particularly in Grand Canyon at night. Too cold for our comfort and to the point we abandoned an overnight campground reservation at the end of our trip to get a hotel. And not having an onboard bathroom meant dehydrating ourselves after supper so we wouldn’t have to get up in the middle of the night.

Finally, taking a loaded down 4-cylinder vehicle with a roof carrier full of gear was too hard on the engine and tran…

#ufc215 in #yeg

Last night was UFC's first (and, let's be realistic, probably only) stop in Edmonton for a PPV that saw the main event collapse just over a day out from showtime, and another main card fight pulled a few weeks ago because of USADA.

Despite the changes, it was a really fun night - live UFC shows are almost always great. I was at the pretty terrible Winnipeg  PPV show a few years ago and still enjoyed it because that was my first live UFC event.

Interesting personal trivia note: I've been to 4 live UFC shows, and this is the third time I've seen the UFC women's bantamweight title defended. I saw Rousey beat Tate in Vegas in 2013, I saw Nunes beat Rousey in Vegas earlier this year and last night Nunes successfully defended against Shevchenko.

Most of my thoughts on the show were captured on Twitter last night and this morning, so I present this TWITTER MOMENT for your reading pleasure.

⚡️ “#UFC215 in #yeg — Mike Jenkinson (@MikeJenkinson) Sept…

Car camping in our Toyota Rav4

My wife and I booked a tenting trip to Yellowstone National Park last summer. We had never been there before and were really excited to go, but weren't thrilled that we were sleeping in a tent in bear country. We are fundamentally too cheap to buy a camper trailer, and our Toyota Rav4 doesn't have a big enough engine to pull anything larger than a ladybug anyway, so our options were pretty limited.

During a discussion of those limited options just weeks ahead of the Yellowstone trip, I Google'd "car camping Rav4" and discovered there's a whole sub-culture out there of people who have retrofitted their Rav4 vehicles to sleep in the back. We started devouring other people's blog posts and videos on the subject and quickly set about to lifehacking our car and our trip to suit our needs.

So we did a live beta test in Yellowstone and slept in our vehicle. We loved it. Sleeping in our Rav4 was quiet and dry. We didn't have to worry about wildlife, and with a…

Brunch at Sugar bowl cafe

It is with a certain amount of shame that I say I have lived in Edmonton since 1993, and yesterday was my first time at Sugar Bowl Cafe.

My younger daughter and I arrived around 10:50 a.m., after driving around a bit to find parking. We put our names on the list (not THAT list) and within 20 minutes we were seated.

There was no doubt going in that chicken and waffles was on our dining agenda, as it's one of our shared culinary delights. So younger daughter got the real chicken and waffles (that came with two fried chicken breasts) and I ordered the Belgian waffle. She gave me a chicken breast and I gave her some whipped cream. The maple butter is amazing, and the fried chicken breasts were quite good.


So, yeah, if you're the other person in Edmonton who hasn't been there yet, I recommend it.