With the US being our neighbour I’ve always had a chance to fly down and explore the country. My father would take both me and my sister to Disneyland almost every year for our birthdays. Back then going to the states from Canada was really simple, show your drivers license and your in! Not like nowadays unfortunately were you get haggled at US Customs which is situated in our own countries airport! This was my first time going to Las Vegas. I’d always hear from friends who have been and the typical saying was” What ever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”. So I wanted my own story to tell.
I went to Las Vegas along with 3 friends from London. With our itinerary we were set to explore Rachel, Valley or Fire, Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon. We rented a car to drive to Rachel thru the desert and crazy heat wave. Everywhere we went there was nothing but sand, rocks and desert plants. After arriving to Rachel we were very close to Area 51. Now rumour has it that no such place exists but talking to locals and other travellers that drove into Area 51, we didnt want to take the same risks of getting chased by the FBI agents lol…
On our itinerary we had planned to go to Red Rock Canyon but since there were wild fires spreading in the canyon, someone suggested us to go to Valley of Fire. Yeah not to Red Rock because of fires yet going to Valley of Fire is anything different lol…Of course there were no fires but beautiful landscape of red sandstone and sand dunes. This place was like a miniature version of the Grand Canyon.
The next day we decided to take a trip to Hoover Dam. I’m not into buildings and structures unless they have a history behind them but its amazing to see such a structure. Its probably one of the most enormous things I’ve seen in my life. The Hoover Dam was built in the mid 30′s and is still standing tall. Of course the biggest plus was to drink cold water from the dam on that hot summer day :))
So what is one of the main attractions to see in America?…..The Grand Canyon! I can not imagine how many people visit the canyon every year but it is definitely on everyone’s “To Do” list when they are in the US. Now we visited the canyon slightly different than everyone else would. We got picked up from our hotel by a limo which drove us to the airport. Hmmm are we going to fly to the canyon? Yes but with a helicopter! This was the first time I was in a helicopter and I must say it was an experience of its own. The helicopter flew over Las Vegas, then the Hoover Dam and landed in the middle of the canyon. After taking few photos and lunch, we flew back to Vegas and got dropped off to our hotel with a limo again. Would I do it again? No! I would still rather drive to the canyon, stay there and get some hikes while I’m there ;))
Now about Vegas! Alright there are so many things to do in Vegas; shopping, gambling, drinking, partying, going to a concert, going to the strippers, seeing David Copperfield etc. I mean there is always something to do in Vegas as long as you have money. I know for a fact that most Canadians go to Vegas when they find cheap deals during the winter or they go down for stag parties. For some reason Vegas will never be a place for me to re-visit. I think once was just enough. I guess the reason behind it all is that everything felt fake! The food you ate, the people you spoke to, the things you see, it didnt seem real to me. Maybe I’ll go back 10 years from now and have a completely different opinion about it but not this time. Although may my comments not justify your will of going there at all, it is a place that I think everyone must see…
The City of Angels
Since my flight back to Calgary was from LA, I decided to hang out in this crazy town for two days. Out of all the things I wanted to see in LA was Venice Beach. I remember hearing many stories and watching several movies about it, so it was a must. Going to LA from Vegas was its own adventure. Because I didnt book my flight in advanced, flying to LA was not even an option anymore. So I decided to take the bus which I paid for $25! Judging by the price you had it right, it wasnt the most luxury bus in the world. The driver kept on speaking in Spanish although there were not just spanish people. Anyways at least I made it safe and sound.
The following day me and Ben took off to see Santa Monica and Venice Beach. Such a good feeling to be able to walk on the beach while its raining and pouring back home. Also I must add, the skate park, muscle beach and the stripe of Venice is a must.
Blog originally posted on Sunday, August 14, 2011 here