The drive to Las Vegas was crazy, firstly it took a lot longer than expected, as lots of people were travelling there for Independence Day celebrations, and secondly ‘the heat’ my god, you opened the window and it was like someone was wafting a hairdryer in your face – it was 45C – it’s a wonder our little car coped.
Arriving in one piece we checked into our hotel and I showed Tom the sites and bright lights of Vegas.
Fourth of July celebrations consisted of hanging out round the pool party at the MGM Grand, sipping frozen margaritas. At night we headed to the strip to watch the fireworks go off at Caesars Palace – wow what a show, easily the best fireworks finale I’ve ever seen.
We decided to stay on in Vegas for a couple of day, purely because the hotels were really cheap, owing to it being in the heat of summer and the intense heat putting holidaymakers off. One night we stayed at Trump International, a five star, and we managed to persuade the hotelier to bump us up to a room which had a view of the strip.
On our last day in Vegas we took the 4 hour drive to the Grand Canyon, although I’ve been before, it’s well worth another trip, and this time I got to see if from the South Rim – such an amazing canyon. Whilst there we stayed to listen to a ranger talk about the geology behind this great formation, it was really interesting, and we wished we done a few more at the other national parks we frequented.
Driving back we stopped at the Hoover Dam – so much concrete! In the picture you can see a furious storm brewing. This storm hit us whilst driving back to the hotel, subsequently I got a flash flood warning on my phone, both thinking, ‘nah Vegas can’t flood’, we carried on and pretty much drove into the tail of the flash flood. Cars stranded, fire engines whizzing passed – it was intense. Anyway we made it back in one piece – the storm even made the headlines…..
Making our way back to L.A to pick up our flight to Mexico, we drove to Lake Isabella, Tom had visited before, however when we got there the lake had all dried up, owing to the drought that California is currently experiencing – it was sad to see. We found a place to camp overnight and pitched up, heading to the nearest brewery to sample some of the local beer.
From Lake Isabella, we stopped at Bakersfield for the night (pretty much in the middle of nowhere) and then carried on to Santa Monica where we stayed the night before our flight. If I was to live in L.A, I would definately live in Santa Monica, regardless of it being part of L.As giant urban sprawl, it felt quaint and had a town-like feel to the place. We hit the beach as there was a ‘Twilight festival’ on – live music on the pier, so we took our picnic blanket and snacks and a few beers and listened to the performances whilst soaking up atmosphere.