Posts Tagged ‘Phantom of the Opera’

Hidden Gems of Paris

May 17, 2013

Okay, they may not actually be HIDDEN, but far too many Louvre Paris people miss them none the less.  Everyone goes to the Louvre‘, the Eiffel Tower (though last week’s post told you how to skip the line and get more out of the visit), the Arc de Triomphe and you should too, but some of my favorite places are a bit less known.

Catacombs of ParisThere are catacombs in Paris.  BIG catacombs and you can tour them.  You’ll need to take the subway, there are no restrooms there and plan to stand in line but it’s well worth it.   Believed to be the source of infections in the 1700’s, bodies were exhumed and moved to old quarries outside (at the time) the city of Paris.  So many skeletons were moved an in an effort to honor the dead, patterned walls were constructed from the bones.  A bit macabre perhaps, but we loved it!

Are you a fan of the Broadway musical Phantom of the Opera?  Paris Opera House LobbyThen a visit to the Paris Opera House is a must!  Even if you are not, it’s one of the most spectacular buildings.  The outside is impressive, but so many buildings in Paris are beautiful.  But inside!  WOW!  We even got to sneak a peak inside the performance hall and saw the actual chandelier that is replicated in the Broadway musical in rather spectacular fashion.

Concerts in ParisIn many neighborhoods, you will find flyers posted outside decommissioned churches advertising classical music concerts.  I’ve been to these in Rome, Venice and Paris and they are always lovely evenings in beautiful settings.  The posters are never in English but you should be able to make out the date and time as well as the composer’s music being performed.  There are few (if any) tourists and it’s a great way to spend a Paris evening.

Get the museum pass either online before you go or at one of the less busy monuments to save yourself a lot of line time.  The line at the Louvre’ and other tourist hotspots is to buy tickets.  There is usually an express entrance for those with the museum pass.

Invest in a week long (or however many days you will be there) Paris Metro pass.  The system is easy to use and you will feel like a Parisian in no time!  The larger stations take credit cards for the purchase and that will give you maximum flexibility.


Do your research ahead of time and plot out your days to make sure you capture as much of this beautiful city as you can in the time you have.  But also be sure to allow time to sit at a sidewalk cafe and sip a chilled Rose’ and watch the world go by.


Are You a “Player”?

June 3, 2011

Are you a Player?  I don’t mean a member of a sports team.  I also don’t mean the type of person who breaks hearts left and right.  I mean a Player Club Member at your local and/or Las Vegas casinos.

NO, I’m not promoting gambling though it is certainly a popular and perfectly acceptable leisure activity.

Over the years, casinos have emerged as great venues for all sorts of entertainment.  In any given week, at casinos right here in Washington State, you can see the Beach Boys, country superstars like Ronnie Dunn, Blake Shelton or Randy Travis in concert.  You can laugh at Jamie Foxx or the impressionist comedy of Frank Caliendo – even disco dance the night away to the Afrodisiacs.

The resort casinos in Las Vegas take entertainment options to a whole new level.  They feature everything from major headliners such as Rod Stewart, Garth Brooks and Elton John to the amazing feats of Cirque du Soleil.  They are also long term homes to  Broadway shows such as Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King and Jersey Boys.  That’s not even taking into account all the other revue type shows, magicians, comedians, singers, dance companies…well, you get the point.

Having a Players Club Card gives you LOTS of benefits – even if you don’t gamble!   Just for having a card you can get everything from opportunities to buy entertainment tickets before they go on sale to the general public to discounts on rooms, food or merchandise – even free gifts.

If you periodically go to Las Vegas, having a card at a couple of the major casinos and casino groups gets even more benefits – again, even if you don’t play! For example, just having the basic card in Club Grazie at the Venetian/Palazzo resorts will save you $8 on admission to the Madame Tussaud Wax Museum, get a discounts on spa services, free upgrades of tickets to Phantom, Jersey Boys or Blue Man Group – even 30% savings on Avis car rentals worldwide!

There are 4 major “groups” of casino resorts on the Strip:  MGM which has MLife as their card, the Caesars group which has Total Rewards, The Venetian’s Grazie and Wynn’s Red Card.  Each has 2 or more resorts and in the case of MGM and Caesars, they have 7-15 resorts where your card offers benefits.

Again, if you like to go to Las Vegas even once a year, sign up for a card on line TODAY with your favorite group of casinos and be sure to get on their email list.  They regularly send offers that range from discounted room rates to comp rooms to advance ticket purchases for major headliners just for having a card!  Of course, if you happen to play, even penny slots, the benefits increase as you play.

Locally, get a card from the tribal casinos; Muckleshoot, Tulalip, Snoqualmie, Little Creek and Emerald Queen.  Some offer discounts on food and rooms plus advance purchase of event tickets.  Be sure to be on their email list.  They won’t send tons of spam but they will keep you in the loop on upcoming entertainment and events.

It pays to be a “Player”!

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