We found Hurtibear lost in Portugal at our Midcounties Travel Conference, this little furry polar bear stowed away in our luggage in a bid to find his way home to Norway.

We've travelled quite a bit in the last few weeks, and have become attached to this little character! It's going to be hard saying goodbye to him when we board the MS Finnmarken at Tromso in a couple of weeks.

Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas

We booked into the Hard Rock Hotel because it seemed to offer the best value for a 4 star hotel and casino for our trip to Las Vegas.

It turned out to be a cracking decision. The hotel is situated a little way off The Strip, but an easy 10 minute walk takes you to one end of it, and you can access the monorail from there. The hotel also offers an hourly courtesy bus service, which drops you right in the thick of things behind The Bellagio and Wynn hotels.

The rooms are fabulous - really large - and they feature comfortable beds, a massive flat screen television, mini bars, all the other mod cons, and as always in the US, excellent air conditioning.

The Hoover Dam

We visited The Hoover Dam as part of our trip to Las Vegas. We hired a car and drove to the dam, which is about a 40 minute drive.

The dam spans the states of Nevada and Arizona, and crosses two time zones, which confused us as we headed afterwards into Arizona! It was built in the 1930's during the great depression and had three key objectives:

1/ To provide water for irrigation to the states down river.

Wicked Spoon, Las Vegas

There’s stiff competition for the title of the Best Buffet in Las Vegas. We really found it difficult to decide between our top three shortlist including the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars, The Buffet at Wynn Las Vegas and the Wicked Spoon at The Cosmopolitan.

It was Sunday and finally we decided to go for the Weekend Brunch priced at $35 per person at the Wicked Spoon. Expecting up to a 30 minute wait, we found that there was only a handful of people in the queue ahead of us and within a few minutes we were seated at our table.