If you're following me on Instagram, I must apologize for the numerous US photos i've been posting for the last two (three?) weeks. Having said that, this trip to the US has been one of my favorite trips ever. Three weeks flew by so fast, it almost feels like it didn't happened at all. We drove crazy distances and spend way too much time in the car, but we've seen so much beautiful sceneries along the way.
We started in Las Vegas. Now, Las Vegas was interesting. I've visited LV when I was a kid. I was road tripping with my parents and my family from the US. I can only remember some parts of the experience, mostly that I had to wait in the car with my dad because my family went inside the casino's to look around and proof their luck with the slot machines. It wasn't very fun for me and I didn't get the excitement. So now, many years later, I came back to Vegas and didn't know what to expect apart from the 'Hangover Las Vegas' movie I had in mind and my first experience when I was a kid.
Let me just say Las Vegas is not my cup of tea. It was too loud, too flashy, too busy and too much like a bad version of Disney Land for adults. I was however, very happy with our hotel. We stayed at the Mandarin Oriental, located at the end (or the beginning, depends on how you look at it) of the strip. The hotel had a very relaxing, peaceful vibe, especially after escaping all the madness (!!!) that was happening outside.
If you would ask me for fun things to do when you happened to be forced to spend time in Las Vegas, I would recommend to see a show of Cirque Du Soleil, especially when you haven't seen a show of them before. We went to see "O" and it was magical. I had a Italian dinner at Lago in the Bellagio which was delicious and ask for a outdoor, patio table to have a first class view of the fountain show. Another great option was dinner at Bardot Brasserie in Aria, the freshly baked bread is amazing (loved the presentation in the paper bags) including the steak and large sized mussels.
After Las Vegas we got into our car and drove to the Hoover Dam/Bridge. It was on our way to Route 66 and we figured it would be a cool bonus to see it. When we got there and walked towards the brige (in that terrible heat!!!) I started to feel quite small. It was so overwhelming and impressive to walk between these super large rocks and mountains. Not to mention the greatness of the dam and the bridge. It was unbelievable to imagine the working circumstances of the people who had to build this bridge in these extremely hot temperatures and their very modest machinery and technology back in the 1930's.
While driving away from the Hoover Dam towards Route 66 we entered Arizona. Along the way we came across huge parts of nothing and all of the sudden small diners or little supermarkets that sold items like 'beef jerky', 'chocolate peanut butter nachos' (YUM) and 'butterfingers'. Off course I had to try all of these things, while drinking Dr Pepper, which made me car sick for at least an hour. I also had my share of Mexican and Hawaiian food. I now know i'm a huge guac fan and a intense 'Mahi-Mahi' hater.
Our motel was located on a very touristy part of Route 66. I didn't care. I was too excited to sleep in a very, very basic motel close to the road and eating typical American food while listing to a country band that was playing on the patio. The sun painted everything soft pink and orange and temperatures went down to a comfortable level which made it a perfect summer night. The town was old and dusty, there wasn't much things to do, but for that one evening it was perfect. It just couldn't get more American than that.
The next day we left the motel early and got back on Route 66 to drive to the Grand Canyon. It was still a long drive but passing the most beautiful environments I'd ever seen. When we finally arrived at Grand Canyon Park we instantly saw deers casually walking around and wood peckers, eh, pecking wood. We parked the car and hiked the Rim Trail. No words can describe what we saw, even the photos can't tell you. It was more than amazing.
When I was researching about the Grand Canyons I found several hiking tours that will take you on a hike for a couple of days and let you sleep between the canyons, open air and all. It's a shame we didn't have time (or made time) because I would've definitely loved me some adventures like that. Can you imagine sleeping outside and making campfires between the canyons? What an experience! One day...
Leaving the Canyons was hard, but ending up in Scottsdale quickly eased the 'pain'. I've seen deserts before but never had I seen deserts filled with cacti. I was stunned; how beautiful and mysterious it looks! We stayed at the Four Seasons resort in Scottsdale in a gorgeous pale colored, desert style villa, surrounded by numerous kinds of cacti, trees with green stems and late at night; gecko's, lizards, scorpions and huge, hairy looking spiders (WUT). This was all outside the villa off course. Our backside terrace faced a huge rocky mountain covered in cacti. The minty colors and soft sun light around dinner time made it all look even more other worldly than it already did.
Well, if you made it this far it means you've actually looked at the endless stream of photos. I hope you got a tiny sense of how I experienced it. This was just the first part of our trip, i'm hoping to post the second part any time soon. 'Soon' meaning in a couple of weeks because we're packing our bags (boxes) for the big move next week. Before we hit Hong Kong (our new home) we'll stop at another location first for a couple of days. But i'll tell you all about it next week.
K, bye. x