Monday, 21 October 2013

California Highlights

Just recently two friends and myself won a free trip to California and got to experience a 10 day Contiki California Highlights trip.
We took a limo up and down the strip in Vegas,  watched the sunset over Bass Lake, ate a smorgasbord of delicious food San Francisco (my favorite city, so far) and checked out the stars on Hollywood Boulevard.
But enough of my bragging, here's a list of some of my favorite things to do / see in each of these fabulous places!

Vegas Baby

- Indulge in a street performance and drop them a dollar if they make you smile
- Catch a show! Cirque de Soleil, Variety, Burlesque - whatever! You can get cheap tickets last minute on the strip, just wing it and see whatever they have on offer
- Take a stroll around the One Mile Mall and drink an alcoholic beverage the size of your midsection
- Walk up and down the strip (of course!) it seems to change every hour on the hour
- Take a look at the Bellagio fountain show. Apparently the water jets are strong enough to shoot a hole through you if you were to lay on top of them

 Bass Lake

If you hit a bit of misfortune like myself and end up on a set of crutches after your night out in Vegas, your options may be limited in Bass Lake, but here's a mix of the things I did and what I would have liked to do:
- Sit on the jetty and watch the sunset
- Grab dinner at Duceys followed by $2 beers and karaoke at the Pines Bar
- Have a BBQ on the balcony of someones chalet 
- Get into the water sports! Jet skiing, kayaking, swimming (granted its summer and not 10 degrees celsius like it was for us) or try your luck at fishing

 San Francisco 

My most favorite city in the world, it'll be a challenge to summarize this!
- Check out the farmers markets on the weekend. Take the F line to Pier 1 and taste some of the delicious fresh food up for grabs
- Walk down to Pier 39 on Fishermans Wharf, eat more, and see the gorgeous Sea Lions 
- Hang out the side of a cable car from Fishermans Wharf to Union Square
- Eat MORE at North Beach, check out a fantastic restaurant "The Stinking Rose" they cook everything with Garlic, including their icecream - don't knock it til you try it
- Visit Alcatraz (granted the government isn't shut down like it was for us also)

 The City of Angels

- Stroll down Hollywood Boulevard and check out the stars, Mans Chinese Theater, the Egyptian Theater and the Dolby Theater. You can get a cheap walking tour which gives you a bit of insight to Hollywood's history - definitely worth it
- Grab an ice cream on Santa Monica Pier
- Spend some money on Santa Monica Boulevard
- Check out the Nickel Diner in downtown L.A. A 20's themed diner with fabulous wait staff and delicious hangover food.

I've had the pleasure of checking out the West Coast of America twice now. Although my heart has been left in San Francisco, I look forward to heading over to the East - New York, New fact the whole south is calling my name. 
In conclusion, let me say that what happens in Vegas... 

 Does not always STAY in Vegas

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