We had a really fun weeking during SXSW in Austin. I didnt take many pictures when I was out seeing shows, but I did walk around the first day, across the river & downtown. Here’s some photos:
After a week in Austin, I took a few days to explore Texas with a friend I met at SXSW. We just kinda bopped around the small towns outside Austin & explored the scenic areas, which was a nice break from the craziness of Austin!
buchanan lake, TX
We stopped at a lot of small town texas bars on our way to NM and it was quite interesting. Nat played some songs with musicians in the some of the bars we stopped in & they LOVED him, haha! We also learned how to play shuffleboard in a biker bar & met a country singer named DEANO who gave us a copy of his new CD.
New Mexico was gorgeous!! this was somewhere near Deming, where we tried to find some hot springs but they were closed, & not real hot springs anyways (it was a resort). We did find a park called Rock City which was pretty random & cool!!
The drive through New Mexico & into Arizona was amazing, such beautiful views everywhere! Here’s a couple pics from a spot where we parked in AZ:
After doing all this driving through the scenery, all the cities we stopped in basically sucked, like el paso, which is where i locked the keys out of the van and *luckily* a friendly & unquestioning mechanic helped us unlock it, tucson & phoenix, also where it took an hour to locate & get correct directions to a post office!! We only stopped briefly in these cities so I know I am not giving them a fair chance, but they were just so crowded and annoying to me at the time!
Anyways, we got to Phoenix in the late morning on March 25th & did not leave til about 1pm due to traffic and long lines at the post office where I had to mail something for LuAnne Vintage. Then we made the drive up to the Grand Canyon! I think we arrived there about 5pm, and of course it was sunny all day til then, when it got cloudy & cold. Nevertheless, it was AMAZING! I took wayyyy to many photos of it. It really blew my mind! Its breathtaking and mindboggling, like you’re not even sure what you are looking at & its hard to tell the depth of all the different rocks & such. I also had no idea you could go hiking through the canyon, which I hope to do one day if I go back there! Here’s a few of the pics I took:
We hung out at the canyon until it was almost dark out, went for a bite to eat in the village, & then headed to VEGAS! I guess we putzed around too much before leaving though, and were kind of bummed that it was going to take over 3 hrs to get to vegas & somehow time flew by and we did not leave til almost 9pm! We wouldn’t have rushed to Vegas except for the fact that we booked a hotel on hotwire for that night, so we HAD to get there.
After about 4 hours, 35 mph construction, a police checkpoint, the hoover dam & crossing into the Pacific time zone (thank goodness we gained one hour!) we FINALLY made it into Vegas. It is quite amazing going from being in the middle of nowhere to all the sudden driving out of the hoover dam and seeing Las Vegas. We checked into our hotel around midnight and what do you know it was the most amazing hotel I will probably ever stay in in my whole life! It was Bally’s Las Vegas and it was right in the middle of the strip across from the Bellagio. We couldn’t believe it, and it was only $55/night what!! We had an amazing view of the strip from our room and I will put a picture on here eventually ( I took photos in vegas with a disposable camera).
We basically just wanted to see every casino, so we walked around and had a drink in each of the main big ones, our hotel was Paris, then Treasure Island, Venice, maybe a few others. We had a really good time and the next day decided to book another hotwire hotel, this time we ended up at the Stratosphere which was not as nice as Bally’s but it was cheap for a friday night and we go free admission to the top of the building which normally costs like $200 apparently! It was still a nice hotel and we got some good drink specials downstairs in the casino there. It is crazy how confusing they make the casinos, they definitely want you to get drunk & lost, and then spend all your money at a slot machine!
The best time I had in Vegas was definitely at Circus Circus! Which is where Hunter S Thompson went & wrote about also i think? It was really fun, we played some kiddie games in the arcade, saw a silly mini circus performance, wandered around & also got to see the carousel bar which is sadly no longer a bar! 😦 We also explored the Bellagio which has a cool ‘honey i shrunk the kids’ thing going on in the courtyard (photos coming soon). And we checked out the Mirage also. After 2 days in Vegas we were beat & ready to leave! It was exhausting & we barely got any sleep. You would think hotels in vegas would have late checkouts??!! We got a yummy IHOP breakfast the next morning, I bought a temporary cell phone, & then we took off for CALI!
The drive to LA was gorgeous with gorgeous weather as well. Somewhere along the way we stopped at a cute little diner at a gas station & had the most delicious carrot cake & coffee while the sun was setting. We listened to every song about california that we could find on my ipod & it was quite a good time. Here are some photos of the cali roadside:
We took our time getting to LA and we arrived there around 8 or 9pm. The next day I went to Venice Beach & layed in the sun all day. Later in the week I took Nat to Hollywood Blvd to show him the stars & then we wandered up to the Hollywood sign.
We found a really close parking spot & ended up staying here for the night & also getting to hear the encore of Paul McCartney’s concert down at the Hollywood Bowl! We sat up on the roof of the van and listened to it, it was great!
So anyways, Nat had to take off back to London on this past Friday, & I am getting myself all set up to stay in LA for a little while to make some money. I just got a job at a restaurant in Venice & am subleasing a room in an apt right in Venice as well. I won’t have too much exciting news for a little while but will definitely keep posting as time goes on. Casey is still making her way here with some other friends so I’m pretty bored here now. If anyone is reading this and wants to take a vaca to California, please do & come visit me!