Ever since I got my visa for the United States, I knew I would definitely wanna see as much of the US as possible. To me, a girl from an eastern European country, America is simply fascinating. I was extremely excited when the opportunity arose back in 2013. I immediately started doing my research and got a plan in motion to start my journey. Unfortunately it wasn’t a full-on road trip across America as there wasn’t enough time to stop for sightseeing in every city between the east and west coast, but that didn’t stop it from being absolutely amazing.
NEW HAMPSHIRE – NEVADA
We started our “road trip USA” early in the morning on March 18th and drove through New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana. We stopped for the night near Chicago, Illinois, and stayed in a weird looking Marriott hotel in the middle of nowhere. On Tuesday we drove through Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Arizona and Nevada. We were supposed to stop in Denver but the guys who were driving weren’t tired so we decided to continue the trip. I thought the trip was going to feel like forever seeing as we spent a lot of time just sitting in the car, but it went by in a flash. I was excited to see Colorado. I had heard so much about the beautiful mountains. Unfortunately, due to our decision not to stop in Denver, it was night time by the time we passed through Colorado, so I didn’t get to see any of it. Luckily, we got to Utah in time for the sunrise and it was definitely one of the best moments of the whole trip. The landscape is stunning! I wish my photography skills had been more developed at this point as I know I could have yielded some amazing photographs. After passing through Utah we arrived in Las Vegas in the afternoon.
The first hotel we checked in to was located in the northern part of the city and is called Alicante. It’s perfect if you want to stay away from the craziness and just spend some down time at the casino. We needed the rest after driving so it was great for us as well. We left our stuff and went for lunch at the IN and OUT burger. I’d heard so much about that place, I just had to go there straight away. And yes, everything you read about this place online is true. It’s the best fast food ever. After that we went to the famous Strip. It’s a 6km long street housing all of the hotels and casinos. I was fascinated. It kind of looks like Times Square in NY, only it’s never-ending. The Strip is full of people, lights, stunning buildings and street shows. I didn’t get to see much more that day as we were really tired from the long trip. We didn’t have any hotel reservations for the next day so we decided on the LVH (Las Vegas Hotel). It wasn’t anything special but it was very close to all amenities. That day I covered around 10 km on the strip and stopped in many hotels. I also tried my luck in the casino but I didn’t win anything.
On Friday we moved to the Rivera Hotel. It was the last week of Spring Break so every place was fully booked or very expensive. We picked our friend up from the airport and went for lunch at a German restaurant called Hofbrauhaus. As it was the beginning of the weekend we decided to start it with a pub crawl which was advertised on the street. The organizers took us to places like DBS Pong and Pool (where you can play beer pong), Bar Koi and Gallery and the Chateau nightclub. Tickets went for 30$ and included free entries and a few free drinks.
Saturday was spent in true Vegas style. After chilling by the pool we did some bar hopping and spent the night at club Pure. On Sunday we moved to the Luxor hotel which looks like an Egyptian pyramid. We rested all day and went to club XS at night. We spent our last day with our friends driving around the dessert near the city. We went for another long walk and had a drink at the Ghost bar on the 55th floor of hotel Palms.
What can I say about Vegas? It’s a great party city. You definitely won’t run out of things to do here! Everyone will find something to rock their boat. I had a really good time there.
LAS VEGAS – PHOENIX (HOOVER DAM)
It takes around five hours to drive from Vegas to Phoenix (470Km). We left on Wednesday morning to head towards the Hoover dam, a concrete arch gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River. We decided to follow along the whole thing, it was beautiful and gigantic. With the small mountains towering over the river, the view was incredible. The rest of the drive was quite long. The landscape was amazing but flat and made us a bit tired. We arrived at our destination around 6pm.
I always imagined the desert as a huge area with golden sand. Although I’d seen many photos of cities like Las Vegas and Phoenix before, I was expecting something similar to what I saw in Egypt. But I think the only thing the two places share in common are its palm trees. It’s hard to believe this city is located in the middle of desert. We stayed there for over a week, just relaxing by the pool, spending time with family and enjoying the weather. As it was Easter time, I got to experience my first traditional American Easter celebration.
Downtown Phoenix obviously isn’t as impressive as New York, Boston or Miami but there are a fair share of skyscrapers and a few sketchy parts in between.
We also visited Scottsdale which is the rich part of the city. You can find many restaurants and big shopping centers there. I also loved the old town which is built in an old American style
On the last day we went for a hike. I’d never been on a hike before but I really enjoyed the exercise. I was told I might see some snakes and exotic bugs but lucky I made it to the top safe. The view was breathtaking!
Stay tuned for part two and my journey through the Golden State (California) and part three where I saw amazing canyons in Arizona.