USA, Nevada, Las Vegas – Coca-Cola Store

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When we were in Nevada recently we took the time to visit some of the tourist spots on the Vegas Strip. The first place we visited was the M&M’S Store. Fortunately just down the street was the Coca-Cola Store.

This store is located at Coca‑Cola Store Las Vegas, 3785 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109.

The store has Coca-Cola branded merchandise of all kinds.

 

 

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One of the features of the store is the small cafe on the second floor.

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While you can get a variety of Coke products, the first thing we tried was the “Taste of the World” assortment of 16 Coke products from around the world.

You get two trays each with eight glasses of beverage.

Some of these were pretty good. Some were left after a brief taste. The one we liked the least was “Beverly” from Italy.

We ended up buying root beer ice cream floats to clear the taste.

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Even in the cafe, you had Coca-Cola merchandise around you. While the cafe was busy, they had the tables spread out for social distancing.

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I never knew so many things were imprinted with the Coca-Cola logo!

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Much of their merchandise was clothing oriented.

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if you are a Coke fan you will likely enjoy a visit to this store. On Trip Advisor is it rated at 4.5/5 and on Yelp at 4/5. Even during the COVID-19 outbreak, it was busy. The staff was careful to only let in a few customers at one time. Even with this control we only waited about 10 minutes in a widely dispersed line. I can only imagine how packed it would have been otherwise under normal circumstances.


See my other Food & Location posts


 

Book Review: “Leviathan”

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(See all my Book Reviews and author Interviews) – Author James Byron Huggins (https://www.jamesbyronhuggins.com) published the novel “Leviathan” in 2019. My Huggins has published a dozen novels.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in contemporary times on a remote Icelandic island. There are three primary characters. Jackson Connor runs a construction company working on the island. His wife Beth Connor runs the island’s communications center. Thor Magnusson is a recluse living on the island that looks like an ancient Viking war god.

On the island, an experiment is underway to develop the ultimate biological weapon. Secret laboratories buried deep into the volcanic island contains the research. They are developing not a virus but a creature that is invincible. A creature that can be controlled. Of course, things do not go as planned.

The creature escapes its confinement and a battle ensues. The creature is driven to kill all life it encounters. The staff must find a way to survive this killing machine. They must also contain or kill the creature before it finds its way off of the island. If it escapes all humanity is at risk. As you might expect the Connors and Magnusson find their way to the front lines of that battle.

I enjoyed the 10.5+ hours I spent reading this 407-page science fiction novel. The novel contains a lot of action. In a way, it reminds me of “Jurassic Park”. Though the writing isn’t nearly that well done and much of the ‘science’ in this novel is pure fabrication. The cover art is certainly appropriate for the novel. I give this novel a 3.3 (rounded down to a 3) out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

USA, Nevada, Las Vegas – Crêpe Expectations

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When we were in Nevada a few weeks ago we ventured out to visit Crêpe Expectations. It is located at 9500 S. Eastern Ave Ste 18, Las Vegas, NV. Owner-chefs and married couple Larry Cox and Ana Topete began with a food trailer in early 2010. By May they had moved into their current location. They offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They offer a variety of beverages including beer and wine.

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It has an interesting look to the establishment. They certainly like the color purple.

 

 

 

 

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We were actually able to sit inside and eat. Not many restaurants were yet open for inside dining.

 

 

 

 

I had first thought that all they would have is desserts. I was surprised to find that they had ‘breakfast’ and ‘lunch’ style crêpes as well. Their menu contains nearly 30 different crêpes.

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I had the “Marco Polo” (Above – Mild ground Italian sausage, scrambled egg, and Jack cheese). It made for a very good breakfast.

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We also had two other crêpes. The one to the right is “The Simple Delight”. It came with a choice of cinnamon, vanilla, or lemon sugars. The one shown is with cinnamon sugar.

 

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The third crêpe we tried was ‘The Perfect Combination’ shown to the left. This was made with fresh strawberries and a chocolate drizzle.

 

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In addition to the inside dining area, they have a nice covered area outside.

When we were there there were several customers. We enjoyed all three of the crêpes we tried. If you like crêpes you will like Crêpe Expectations!

As an added benefit when we left Crêpe Expectations we looked in at the neighboring establishment Gama Mexican Bakery & Cakes. In the same strip mall all within easy walking distance are Le Paris Brest Cafe and The Original Rolled Ice Cream. These are all great finds!


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Book Review: “Starship Alchemon”

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(See all my Book Reviews) – Author Christopher Hinz (http://christopherhinz.com/) published the novel “Starship Alchemon” in 2019. This is his first published novel.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains Violence and mature Language. The story is set in the far future. A deep space mission is assigned to the starship Alchemon with its crew of 9. They are to investigate the odd biosignature on a distant planet.

Lea Marsa is a last-minute addition to the crew. She has been certified with strong psychic abilities. The story is split between Marsa and the Captain of the vessel, Ericho Solorzano. Masa’s psychic abilities begin to affect the crew. This, along with the life-form they encounter, creates life and death situations for them.

I enjoyed the 8+ hours I spent reading this 377-page science fiction novel. I have to say that something about the novel felt ‘off’ to me. Some of it almost had a ‘tongue-in-cheek’ atmosphere, but it was written as a serious story. The chosen cover art seems appropriate for the novel. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

USA, New Mexico, Albuquerque – Swiss Alps Bakery

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(See my other Dessert related posts) – We were traveling through Albuquerque, NM a few days ago, and found the Swiss Alps Bakery. It is located at 3000 San Pedro NE, Suite F, Albuquerque, NM 87110

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It does not look like much from the outside but they have some very good baked goods.

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Among the items we tried from the display shown above were: a Cherry Danish (second shelf from top to the left), an Elephant Tail (second from right on the bottom), and an Elephant Toe (second from left on bottom). They were all very good!

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They had other items as well. Beyond the baked goods, they offer a variety of breakfast items, Sandwiches, Paninis, Pizza, Quesadillas as well as Soup & Salad. Check out their full menu.

In addition to the baked desserts, the bakery also makes different loaves of bread on a daily basis. They also do specialty cakes and pies. The Swiss Alp Bakery is open 0700-1600 Mon-Sat, and 0900-1500 Sundays.

This will be a place we will visit again! If you are looking for good baked good give the Swiss Alps Bakery a try.


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Book Review: “The Illumination of Sherlock Holmes”

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(See all my Book Reviews) – Author Paul D. Gilbert published the novel “The Illumination of Sherlock Holmes” in 2019. This is the third of his “Odyssey of Sherlock Holmes” series. Mr. Gilbert has published ten Sherlock Holmes novels.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains some scenes of Violence. The story is set in Europe.

Holmes and Watson, along with Holmes’ brother Mycroft, travel to Bavaria, then back to England. They are on the trail of a conspiracy to control the world.

While there are aspects of mystery, this is more of a 19th-century thriller. At times I felt like it was more a story about a story than a book on its own. If you like Sherlock Holmes you will most likely enjoy this novel.

I enjoyed the 5+ hours I spent reading this 168-page mystery/thriller novel. The cover art is OK and consistent with other works by Gilbert, but I think it is a little simple. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “The Lancastria Tragedy: Sinking and Cover-up”

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(See all my Book Reviews) – Author Stephen Wynn (http://www.stephenwynn.co.uk/) published the book “The Lancastria Tragedy: Sinking and Cover-up” in 2020 (October). Mr. Wynn has published more than 40 books.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. This is the story of the attack on the RMS Lancastria.

The Lancastria began as a Cunard cruise liner. The Royal Navy requisitioned the ship and turned it into a troopship. In June of 1940, the Lancastria was off the coast of St Nazaire, France as part of Operation Aerial. The mission was to evacuate civilian refugees and British military personnel from France.

While the Lancastria had a passenger capacity of 1300, on June 17, 1940 it was overloaded. How many actually perished is unknown as there were few records of the refugees on board. Most estimate that between 3000 and 5800 died. Some estimate the loss at more than 6500.

Late on the afternoon of June 17 the German Luftwaffe attacked. Multiple bombs struck the ship and it went down in less than 20 minutes. There were only 2,477 survivors from the vessel.

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill issued a D-Notice to suppress news of the disaster. The sinking did not appear in the news until July 25.

The book details the attack and sinking of the Lancastria. It includes snapshots of those onboard. It also discusses the controversy over
Churchill’s D-Notice.

I enjoyed the 2.5 hours I spent reading this 184-page WWII history. The story is one I had not read about before. This is the second book by Wynn that I have read (the other was “City of London at War 1939–45“). They were both very interesting. I like the selected cover art. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

 

Further Reading/Listening on the fall of France:

  1. The History of WWII Podcast episodes #31-36

If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 440 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

Podcast Series – WW2 Podcast

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(See my other Podcasts related posts) – I listen to many Podcasts, several of them focusing on the WWII time period. One I have recently begun to follow is “WW2 Podcast“.

In the WW2 Podcast host Angus Wallace I interviews an expert on a subject. They cover the military history aspect as well as looking at the home front of each topic. At the time I write this post there are 124 episodes of the podcast available. The podcast began in April of 2015 with two new episodes released each month.

If you are interested in WWII you will find this podcast of interest.


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 440 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

Time-lapse Video of the St. Nazaire Raid

On March 28, 1942, the British undertook a daring raid to destroy the large drydock in St. Nazaire, France. This risky mission was undertaken to eliminate the only facility on the Atlantic coast that could accommodate large German vessels such as the battleship Tirpitz.  This video was uploaded to YouTube in July of 2020 by BazBattles.

While the mission was largely successful and a big propaganda win for the British, it came at a cost. Only 228 of the 611 men that set out on the raid returned to Britain. Of the remainder 169 were killed and 215 were captured. The Combined operation involved the RAF, the Royal Navy, and No. 2 Commando.

While I have read about this raid a few times, the animation in this video goes a long way to visualize the operation.

Further reading/listening about WWII British Special Operations

  1. Special Boat Squadron
  2. Ian Flemming and Operation Golden Eye
  3. SBS in World War II

If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 440 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.