so this is the WEST…
Our 6 day trip included throwing some money away at a casino in Vegas, seeing our favorite comedian in Los Angeles, sleeping under a canopy of stars in the desert and peering over the rim of the Grand Canyon.
2,000 plus miles were driven (mostly by James) and at least 3 gallons of Red Bull consumed (also by James.)
We really wouldn’t have been able to do so much unless James had been willing to drive through the night on both the first day and the last.
Our 3 star resort in Vegas was $30 (my absolute favorite,) camping a few yards away from the beach in Malibu at Leo Carillo State Park was $45, the L.A. Hilton was $100, and camping in the desert was free. We didn’t want to put the miles on my car so we rented a car that was $120 for the full 6 days.
We both love some classy craftsy coffee. Like a typical hipster, we looked up the coffee shops in L.A. that roast their own single source beans from Etheopia. I was not disappointed. ANDANTE roasts their beans right there in the shop. It reminded me of a combination between Two Rivers and Crema in Colorado. Just like my favorite joints at home in Denver, L.A. brought the same relaxed vibe, chilled out baristas and the best pour-over cup of Etheopian coffee with notes of lime, strawberry, orange, and chocolate.
All that bike riding made us hungry.
I had to have some tacos, and not just any tacos… I wanted craftsy tacos with a hipster vibe, the kind they serve up on the rooftop of my favorite restaurante in Denver, Los Chingones.
5 seconds on Yelp brought us to Mercado, a sweet Mexi joint that was literally a block away from where we were standing.
Find a spot in the sands of the Mojave desert, amongst the Joshua Trees and lizards to pitch your tent.
Biking up the Beverly Hills and finding a Sunday afternoon BBQ at the house on the top of the hill, complete with Valet parking for your Bentley, was priceless.
GRANDEST OF CANYONS || You will see hoards of deer and Elk, along with tourists from every corner of the world at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Before this weekend I didn’t even know there were two separate rims. James planned a special treat for us and drove through the entire night so we could experience sunrise at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon on our way to Vegas. Because we were there so early we practically had the outlook to ourselves. There were just a
few older couples out, coffee in hand, strolling the walk. We climbed the rocks and felt like we were conquering the world, peering down into the canyon and listening for the winding Colorado River.
On the way home we stopped to watch the sun set over the South Rim. I saw a license plate from every single state in the Union at that parking lot. When I think about the effort that the Asian and European tourists had to make to get there, muliple plane rides, probably days of travel…it made me ashamed that I had never jumped in the car and driven down the road to see it before.
Vegas…the fame, the fortune, the loss and mostly the hot desert sun.
It did not disappoint in any way.
The contrast of the opulent Bellagio, Trump tower, MGM Grand… with the deteriorating motels just a couple miles down the street is very strange. Not stranger than they way I felt when losing $40 in the first 15 minutes of gambling. Listening to the guy next to me say “I’ve already lost $2,000” and watching the guy on the other side of the table lose piles and piles of $10 chips to the dealer.
I could not have been happier with this rooftop pool, the awesome poolside DJ, and piles of pool toys.
Spending $40 on this bike rack is quite possibly the best investment I’ve ever made.
The little effort it took to bring them brought endless amounts of joy and enjoyment to this trip from the Vegas Strip to the beaches of Malibu.
I’d love to hear about your trips and tips!
…Video of this venture coming soon!
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