When four Czech and one Slovakian girl go on a road trip (December 20th – December 27th 2019)
The story of five girls has started when I got two vacation weeks during the Christmas. Very excited I opened the flight search but my excitement was gone pretty soon. All the places I wanted to go were twice as expensive as usual. And then one day when I decided to go at least to LA, I saw a post from Veronika living in Seattle saying that she was having vacation at the same dates as me. Then she contacted her friend Andrea living close to me and later on Žaneta from Washington DC contacted us. At the end Míša from LA invited us to come over for a Christmas dinner. That´s pretty good for the beginning, right?
Day 1: December 20th 2019
Nothing exciting happened today. Around the lunchtime Veronika landed in San Francisco airport where I picked her up and 10 hours later we arrived to Las Vegas. We came there just when the parties were starting but I was exhausted from the driving and Veronika was dying because of a flu shot she took few days ago. It is so common in the US to get a flu shot. It´s like an American thing but some of the host families force also their au pairs to take a flu shot too – just like Veronika´s. And so, after flu shot, she got some kind of pseudoflu. It was a great beginning of our trip. We were accommodated at Nate from couchsurfing. He was a funny guy who owns an amazing dog Zeus. Since his couch was just for two people and Žaneta was supposed to come on the next day, he accommodates us in his room. The room was nice, bed comfy and we had a straight view from the room to the bathroom. Why am I saying a straight view? Because there was bathroom door missing and so we could have waved to each others from the toilet to the bed. No. Innovative Veronika came with an idea when she hung a bed sheet on the workout pole which was there instead of the door. It didn´t give us a lot of bathroom privacy and so we got pretty close to each other during the very first day.
Day 2: December 21st 2019
In the morning I found out that Veronika likes to sleep in. I couldn´t sleep at all and so I spent the whole morning by talking to Nate. He tried to convince me to do vlogs. No, I´m not going to do that… When we finally left our apartment we went to see the famous Strip (AKA Las Vegas Blvd). We started at the well-known board Welcome to Las Vegas. I am pretty sure you´ve seen it before. Whatever are your imaginations about it, I bet you don´t expect a board on a small island between the two roads. There were about 50 people in the line and one “board photographer” who was making them pictures. Nate told us that sometimes people wait in this line for three hours. Seriously that is a lot for one picture and so we made our photos from the side of the board. It still looked nice and we could have moved on.
What kind of interesting things you can find on Strip? There are copies of the Antique Greece and Roma, New York City, Paris, Bellagio and lots of casinos. Those are everywhere! We walked through it all and made some pictures within few hours. During those few hours I climbed on a Pharaoh statue, was gambling in casino, finally saw the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, walked through the Brooklyn Bridge, Veronika almost fell into a fountain to the God Zeus, we got a contact to a promoter who got us tickets to the club, bought some souvenirs, saw flamingos, Venice and gondolas in Venetian and a beautiful Bellagio Fountain Show. Before I left my friend told me that I need only a one day to see Vegas. And I have to admit that she was right. But…! The best begins in the evening. I mean, unless you´re not underage. If you´re under 21 years old, all you can do is to stay in your hotel room. Žanetka came at 11pm and our Party in Vegas (The Hangover) could have begun.
And let me tell you about one of today´s highlights. Nate had a classic queen size bed. When it was just Veronika and I, we didn´t have problem to fit in. But when Žanetka arrived, we had to figure out how to fit in there – and so we weren´t sleeping on the length side of the bed, but on the wide side. Veronika was on one side holding one of the sheet´s (our blanket) endings, I was on the other side holding the other sheet´s end and Žanetka lying was in the middle feeling as she was camping in a tent.
Day 3: December 22nd 2019: A day when during the five hours we visited three different states
If you are in Vegas and want to make a one-day trip, you have two options: you can either go on the East side or the West side. If you decide to go on the East side you can see the Valley of Fire (Nevada Scenic Byway), Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Colorado River and Black Canyon. On the West side you will find Red Rock Canyon (it was 10 minutes away from our apartment but we didn´t make it there) and Death Valley (Artist´s Drive, Badwater Basin, Zabriskie Point, Dante´s View and Mosaic Canyon). Or you can make a one-day trip to Grand Canyon. We went on the East side and then to the West side. I don´t know why we didn´t decide to go to Grand Canyon as well, since this idea was… unconsidered.
Our first stop was at the Lake Mead. It was a nice lake when suddenly I saw a hill. I said: let´s go there, it will be just 10 minutes and we can make some nice pictures there. I don´t know how I convinced Veronika and Žanetka to do this “amazing” idea, but we climbed up the hill, made nice portraits and then we came to a conclusion that we could have done such pictures anywhere since you can´t even see the country in the picture and we just wasted two hours. Our “hike” of course didn´t last my optimistic 10 minutes… Do you know what Veronika said about this? “I told you so!”
From the Lake Mead it was just a while to make it to the Hoover Dam. Hoover Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam on Colorado River that is located between Nevada and Arizona states. You can walk across the dam and during a small while you will appear in a different state and you time travel – because in Arizona is one more hour. But other than that I´d say it´s just a dam, just like all the others dams… Just parking here was terrible and so I turned on hazards and pulled over at the road. As I think about it now, I shouldn´t brag by this. Anyways, the Sun was still up and so we decided to see the lowest point of the US – Badwater Basin in Death Valley. It wasn´t a bad idea but again a little bit unconsidered. Why? Because by time we made it there, it was already dark outside. All the cars we met on our way were leaving and we were the only car coming there during the sunset. My optimistic fight me vs. time when it was 10 minutes to the sunset but an hour away from the Badwater Basin, I lost and we arrived there when it was a completely dark outside. Since we couldn´t see anything, I pulled over, turned on the hazards and we went out to make some pictures. When Veronika suddenly said: “Girls, we are in California again!” All three of us looked into the maps and we found out that today we´ve traveled through three states today – we departed from Nevada, peaked into Arizona and ended up in California. And then another car pulled over straight behind us and for a while nobody was coming out of there…And suddenly a local ranger has appeared. He asked me if we were okay and didn´t need a help.
I used this moment and after a while I asked him: “Can you please tell me how does it look like here?”
Ranger: “Well… there is a hill, there is a hill…”
I looked at him as I was talking with an idiot and continued: “Thank you. By the way, do you know you look like my ex?” I think I just made his day since he blushed in a second, started to scratch his moustache and mumbled thank you. Then he asked me what were our plans for the evening.
With an excitement I told him: “We are going to Omnia!”
Ranger: “Where is it?”
Me: “In Vegas.”
Ranger: “Do you realize it´s 2,5 hours away from here?”
Me: “I know we live there!” This time he looked at me as he was talking with an idiot and wished us a nice and safe drive back home. He also showed us which way to go to come to that lowest point in the US. “It´s just a minute away from here,” he said. So we went there. Ours mobile phones nor the car´s high beams didn´t help us to see what was around us. In this Death Valley was really a death. And then we found it – a small board on a toothpick built by some local settler saying that we were there. Completely disgusted we made few pictures over there and then we drove back to Nevada. We were so happy that in few hours we will drive back to California again… There was such a great party in Omnia that we left after 10 minutes of being there and I am not going to talk about the rest of this night… I will just tell you that it took about 10 minutes to Veronika and Žanetka to make a cheering boomerang and as Veronika was recording that, she accidentally caught my privates… But no worries, you didn´t miss anything since this version didn´t end up on Instagram… And then, few hours later we woke up to a beautiful rainy, for me a birthday day…
Day 4: December 23rd 2019
It was a morning of a day which we spent on the road again. We were driving to LA today. The previous plan was to make a stop at Red Rock Canyon but since it was raining we wouldn´t see anything. And so the red rocks which we had straight behind our apartment we didn´t see at all… But I got my dreamy rainbow latte. When I was doing a research about Vegas and things you have to see/experience there, I´ve read about the rainbow latte. On the internet pictures it looked amazing. In reality I got a super expensive regular latte in a cappuccino mug with a rainbow picture on the top. And this expensive miracle cost me a price of two regular coffees. So I really enjoyed that.
On a way to LA we planned to make two stops – in Pioneer Saloon and in the “ghost town” Calico. Pioneer Saloon promised a Wild West, but in reality it was just a regular bar in the middle of a cactus desert and we got a feeling as we were back in Arizona again. Talking about Calico, we arrived there in the evening, the entrance was already closed and a strange car was following us for a bit and at the end we got pulled over by another local sheriff who sent us away… So this was a great experience, it really worth it!
This day we literally spent on a road, it was raining, foggy and car crashes… Around 10pm we arrived to Míša and while after us Andrea came from San Francisco.
Day 5: December 24th 2019
Christmas! What to do as the first thing today? Of course we had to go to the Venice Beach and make some Instagram pictures! After a short photo shooting that took us about 2 hours and uploading insta stories how we wish Merry Christmas to everyone, we moved to the city. First stop was at the Hollywood Sign. From YouTube videos I´ve studied, I knew that there are two places where you can make a picture with this sign. The first one is a place where 99% of tourists go to. Remaining 1% knows about the second place. The first place was really too far away from the sign and a picture taken here didn´t look bad but the second place was much better. If you write to a Google Maps Hollywood Sign, you´ll come here. But if you go from here on a Mulholland Drive, from there to a Durand Drive, next to a Ledgewood Drive and at the end to a Rockcliff Drive, you will come exactly to the wall where I think you shouldn´t park your car but we didn´t get a ticket (the police officer came just when we were leaving). You can drive or walk here (it´s about 45 minutes of walk from the first spot). The funniest thing was that as we were trying to get to the Rockcliff Drive, there were cones in our way. I knew it was there for avoiding passing through but willing Veronika moved them over so I could have passed through. But she wasn´t helpful to me only! There was a huge Cadillac that had been following us for a while and they could have said thank you to us at least… And coming to these narrow streets with Cadillac where you have a feeling that you are in Italy isn´t the best idea. Anyways Hollywood Sign was seriously closer and more visible from here. Also from here it is about an hour long hike to the Gryffith Observatory. By car you are there in 10 minutes so we drove there of course and got very surprised how crowded it was over there. The entrance was for free but you´d have to pay for parking and so we made it by Hop-on Hop-off style, Andrejka and Žanetka ran out of the car to make some pictures while Veronika, Míša and I got stuck in a traffic jam. Girls took some pictures, we almost lost them and at the end Veronika was running to find them while I was blocking a spot for Uber drivers. And then girls appeared and we left luckily without any ticket. Another Hop-on Hop-off stop was on the Hollywood Blvd where we wanted to see Walk of Fame which is actually so dirty and gross that we baldly renamed it to a Walk of Shame. We walked through it and my effort to make a nice picture with a star of Penelope Cruz who people say l look like, failed. I look like an idiot again… Our stop Nr. 5 was on Melrose Avenue where you can find the famous Angel Wings Wall, Pink Wall and a lot of other street art. Before our Christmas dinner we made our last stop at Urban Lights where Žanetka and Andrejka were chased by a police officer claiming that she couldn´t climb on the lamps. I see… And that was all from our LA sightseeing during one day… On our way to Míša´s, Andrea´s friends Michal and Paťo joined us and we finally went home to get some real food – Wienerschnitzel and potato salad. I´d kill to have some right now. By the way, in California is very popular fast food In-N-Out and during this road trip we found out why did they named it this way – because you put it In and in the moment it all goes Out. I don´t want to eat in In-N-Out again…
Day 6: December 25th 2019
Today we´ve discovered how hilarious Czechs and Slovaks are. Of course not in the bad way but the highlight of the day was when Veornika said: “Luckily Andrea´s not here, she´d say I offend people again.” Funny was also Veornika´s monologue as she was buying a wine: “Wine for three dollars, that´s cheap… oh my God, one hundred Czech crowns, that´s expensive!” Let me explain: finding a wine for $3 in the US is rare. Not mentioning that if you decide to go to the bar, you´ll think twice if you don´t want to get drunk cheaper at home before you leave…
Other than humorous notes about people we´ve been at Santa Monica Pier where the Route 66 finishes, Malibu Beach where other than luxurious houses and expensive McDonald´s is nothing interesting, we´ve been to Beverly Hills and at Rodeo Drive where one man stopped me asking if I will take a picture with him (I´m saying it all the time that I´ll be a famous blogger…) and we found out that on December 25th is everything but Gucci closed here. In the evening we moved to San Diego and our last two party days full of voluntarily liver self-destruction has started…
Day 7: December 26th: Hop-on Hop-off day 2
Today it was just another super-fast-city-sightseeing day. We started at the Welcome to San Diego sign, continued to the statue of a maritime kissing a woman Unconditional Love which is located straight next to the USS Midway. Unfortunately parking here was quite impossible and so I parked on a spot for fishermen with my hazards on again hoping I wouldn´t be towed away. They didn´t tow me away but we didn´t go to the USS Midway because of this reason. We decided to come later today but the whole Downtown got closed because of some kind of a festival and we got stuck in a traffic jam. And there where we observed a car crash in which one of the drivers crashed into a police car. Americans are perfect. Meantime we visited beautiful Mexican Old Town and Sunset Cliff Beach which was amazing.
And are you asking what were we doing in the evening? We went to the Downtown but we left our nice clothes and mini-dresses at home. We went in our jeans and sweatshirts. And then suddenly one promoter stopped us on the street asking if we want to go on a party. We said yes and he gave us a coupon for a free drink. That´s something you don´t say no to. We came to a posh party, apparently underdressed because most of the men had suit and women were in dresses. And then we arrived… Veronika said: “Well, if the DJ plays hip-hop, we are perfectly dressed.” And guess what happened later tonight – of course we became the dancing queens (on the floor and tables) who rocked the party and the DJ was playing music for a wish for us. You know, this is us: four Czechs and one Slovak girl who make the party go.
Day 8: December 27th 2019: Another day on the road…
Indeed. We left San Diego at 10am and I came home at 2am of the following day. Of course we had to make a stop at La Jolla Cove where we were watching amazing sea lions and pelicans heating on the Sun. This was a place where we took our last group photo which was very accurate – a young boy took a picture of us straight next to a trash bin. What was so accurate about it? All of us felt just like that – as a pile of hangover trash…
What to say at the end? I will conclude it following:
My first intension for the name of this blog was What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. However after all what had happened during this road trip, I should call it What happens on road trip, stays in road trip. I admit that I censored a lot. We didn´t bring a ZOO to our Vegas´ couchsurfing host home. But one beautiful night Žanetka and his dog Zeus disappeared. She said she took him for a walk at 4am. She met boys who we couldn´t get rid of that night, they stopped her and her Rottweiler Zeus jumped on their car. They asked her if it was her dog, she lovely said yes, they freaked out and runaway. Is it a true story or did I just make it up? I will keep it on you 😉 Maybe this blog doesn´t sound as the best road trip of our lives but we all agreed that it might seem as a shitty road trip but in reality we really enjoyed it and it was one of the best trips of our lives and we´d do that again immediately. #MyType