Blog Challenge Day 14: my favorite vacation

As long as I know I get to go somewhere, and then especially to the USA, I already know I’m gonna love it. Going to new places and exploring them, is another thing I love doing. To mark my transition from student to hard-working woman in 2008, I decided to go on a trip of a life time: a 30 day solo round trip through the USA. It wouldn’t be my first time in the US, so I knew what I was in for. Since I’m a city girl when it comes to vacations, I decided to go city hopping. My trip started in New York, then Washington DC, Columbus Ohio, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and ended in New York. I kept a blog at the time, but it’s in Dutch. It’s still there though, so you can go and (re)read it if you feel like it. I will refer to my old blog for the details, but below I will describe my highlights per city and I’ll show a few pictures too.

1. New York (21 July 2008)

The only highlight here was the fact that I got to see NYC again. I was there for only one night: I got on a bus and left for DC right the next day.
2. Washington DC (22 July 2008)

DC wasn’t new to me as well. I had been there before, but only for roughly a day and a half and I never got a proper look at the city. Highlight was definitely the first when I walked past pretty much all the main monuments & museums on and around the mall. Another highlight in DC was Arlington Cemetery: an impressive piece of American patriotism. I also visited a Dutch correspondent who I had had contact with prior to coming to the States. So I got to see what it’s like to be a Dutch person working abroad for a bit, which was fun. Plus I got to meet up with a friend who I hadn’t seen in three years!

White House

3. Columbus Ohio (26 July 2008)

I pretty much went here to visit a friend. She came over, we watched a movie, went shopping and had a blast!
4. Los Angeles (29 July 2008)

Ah! The City of Angels. How I love thee! New York will always be my first love, but LA is definitely a contender for the second spot. I love it! Most Europeans say they love San Fran better, but not so in my case. Great shopping, lovely people and the coolest vibe I encountered anywhere during my 30 day trip. LA stole my heart and I definitely want to go back there. A highlight was definitely Griffith Park Observatory and shopping in Beverly Hills/ Hollywood. I also went to see the musical Wicked at the Pantages theater, which has a very pretty decor. And how can I forget about my visit to Paramount studios? I actually got to see working sets of TV series Monk and Everybody Hates Chris. I also visited Santa Monica for some more shopping and of course the pier (where I had my very first funnel cake ever), a swim in the Pacific Ocean, and a gorgeous sunset.

Hollywood sign

Beverly Hills

Paramount Pictures

Santa Monica Beach

5. Las Vegas (3 August 2008)

I liked Las Vegas. I especially liked the desert. I had never seen one in real life before this trip, but I decided to go ahead now I was in a desert town. I actually rode a quad through the desert. Yup, me. And guess what?! I LOVED IT. But that’s not what made Las Vegas memorable. My most memorable highlight while I stayed in Las Vegas, doesn’t have much to do with the city itself. Yes, the shopping is amazing, I went to see an amazing show (Ka by Cirque du Soleil) and the food is awesome too. My most memorable part of not just Las Vegas, but the entire trip, was seeing the Grand Canyon. Not once, but twice. And especially the second time took my breath away.

I had originally planned to just go once, and go all out. So I included a helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon when I booked the trip. Sadly, the day I went, the weather over the Grand Canyon was terrible and no helicopter flights were possible. However, I managed to get a spot on another helicopter flight, leaving from Vegas, a few days later. At sunset. With a rainbow. And a thunderstorm. Including Lightning Flashes. Over the Grand Canyon. Needles to say, my pictures of that day are A+mazing. You be the judge:

The Strip (day time)

The Strip (night time)

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon (sunset + lightning flash)

6. San Francisco (8 August 2008)

To me San Francisco was alright. Not a place I’d easily go back to. I just feel I’ve seen what you can see in that town. It’s pretty though. Reminded me of Paris mostly. Highlights: Muir Woods, Mission Dolores, & Alcatraz!

Alcatraz

Golden Gate Bridge (my fave shot of the entire trip)

7. New York (13 August 2008 – 21 August 2008)

Last but not least, I went to my favorite city on the planet for a week. I met up with friends, went to see a Backstreet Boys concert, met both AJ & Nick at their hotel, went to see a musical and I finally got to see the MOMA. I also went to Coney Island for the first time and just did lots of walking and shopping.

Coney Island

Empire State building & a very small Statue of Liberty in the back

If you would like to see more pictures, you can view them here.

What’s your favorite vacation?

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