A Travellerspoint blog

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Day 9: Washington DC, United States to Las Vegas, Nevada

Monday, July 9th, 2012

sunny 38 °C

My flight from Washington, DC to Las Vegas, Nevada took off at 9:00am the morning of Monday, July 9th, 2012 and landed at 10:58am of the same day. Although it was a total of 5 hours of flight, due to the time differences, it was 'actually' only two hours. My plane ticket cost me a total of $241.00, and once again I was super impressed with my window seat. Once we landed, a short cab ride from the hotel took me through the Las Vegas strip, which of course blew my mind, to my accommodations at the Luxor Hotel and Casino which only cost me $45.00 a night, because I booked my trip via kayak.com. (The experience I've had is that you truly do find the lowest rates with that site!) Once I settled into my hotel room, and calmed down a bit over the fact that the Luxor hotel is where Criss Angel the magician lives, I was ready to embark upon my big city adventures around Las Vegas!

The first thing I planned to do was take in a showing of Jersey Boys at the Palazzo Theatre. I had seen the Canadian version of the show a few years prior, and loved it, so my expectations were high for these Vegas performers! It cost me a total of $189.00 for a single ticket to the show, but once it was over I was well ready to buy another ticket and see it again. Un-be-lievable. I consider it a must-see for anyone visiting Las Vegas who has an interest in theater, because it was by far the best live performance I had ever seen. The actors, costumes, music, and set designs all blew me away!

The next stop on my list was to take in the gorgeous views and breath-taking scenery at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, 14 miles outside of the Las Vegas strip. The only thing I had to pay for was the cab ride outside of the city, but since the conservation area is a national park, it was free of charge. Words cannot describe the beauty of the canyon, and standing there, it gave me chills to think that people have had to survive and adapt to this environment for thousands of years prior. Standing near such a massive gaping hole in the earth makes you realize truly how small we are, but it can be flipped again, to think that people conquered, adapted, and were able to live within the canyon's rock walls.

After snapping nearly a thousand photos (no exaggeration) at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, it was time to head back toward civilization, stop of at my hotel quickly to freshen up, and change clothes, and then I was off again to see an incredible showing of The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil at The Mirage on the Las Vegas strip. My ticket cost me only $78.00, whereas I would have been willing to pay an upward of $200, due to my adoration for all things Beatles, AND Cirque du Soleil. It was my first Cirque du Soleil show, and for anyone who has never be able to attend, I will personally take you, because I strongly believe that everyone on earth should experience the magic that is created through the use of acrobat artists, music, costume, sound, and lighting. Let alone the fact that it was all set to my one of my favourite soundtracks of all time. Once again, I found myself getting teary-eyed.

Finally, before hitting the hay in my beautiful Luxor hotel room, I decided to purchase tickets to see Carrot Top preform AT the hotel I was staying at! Crazy. It cost me a total of $120, and was well worth it, because I'm a giant fan of Carrot Top's silly prop comedy routine, and being able to see and experience his animation in person was fantastic! Not for everyone, I'm sure my dad would cringe at the idea of having to go to one of his preformances, but I thought it was grand!

At the end of a long day in Las Vegas, I was thoroughly exhausted, but equally as hungry, so I ordered up room service, and got a delicious grilled talapia dish with asparagus and lemon that showed up shortly after calling the front desk. I was beginning to feel down about the fact that my dream trip around the world was quickly coming to a close, but couldn't wait to encounter all there is to do and see in my next destination, San Fransisco, California!

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Posted by PublicRelationz 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Day 10: Las Vegas, Nevada to San Francisco, California

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

sunny 29 °C

My flight from Las Vegas, Nevada to San Franciso, California took off at 6:30am the morning of Tuesday, July 10th, 2012 and landed at 7:58am of the same day. My window seat ticket (surprised?) cost me $116.00 and we were in the air for a total of one hour and 34 minutes. There was a high school marching band on my flight, all grouped together, and they had no qualms about starting up conversations with the other patrons on the plane. Needless to say, I had a lovely conversation with around 14 teenagers for the entire trip, which was super enjoyable. I remember how exciting it used to be back in high school to go on school trips, let alone trips ones that required the use of an airplane. Their spirit certainly reinvigorated my own. Once we landed, a short cab ride from the airport took me directly to my accommodations for the night, at the Hotel Nikko, located in the downtown core of San Francisco. It cost me roughly $141.00 a night, and the room was fully equipped with everything to make for a relaxing and enjoyable stay. One I unpacked a little, and freshened up, I was ready to embark upon the last leg of my trip, and tour around the historic city of San Francisco.

The first thing on my list of sight-seeing was, of course, a trip to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. It is the most photographed bridge in all of North America, and once I got there, I could see why. The landscape itself is something that sent shivers down my spine, and I was sure to capture all of it's beauty on my camera. The bridge is accessible to people on foot, bike, and in vehicles. I decided that it was a must-do to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, and snap a few photos of the view from the very middle. It was quite windy on the bridge, and I almost blew away a few times. It didn't cost me anything to visit the Golden Gate Bridge, but I couldn't help but leaving the site wondering why it's named that, when the bridge itself isn't even gold!

The next thing I felt like I had to visit while in the gorgeous city of San Fransisco was Alcatraz Island, located in the middle of San Francisco Bay. Home to a maximum security prison, up until 1963, the island now serves as a tourist destination. Guided walking tours are available, and I was lucky enough to have been able to join a tour group, for only roughly $20.00. I have read quite a few books on the folklore and history of the Alcatraz prison and island, so being able to visit and explore around it in person was a special treat. I'm sure everyone on the tour felt a slight eeriness that is still ever-present while visiting Alcatraz Island, and although I wanted to continue to learn and explore the island, I wasn't upset to any degree when it was time to head out.

I then headed a short way toward San Francisco City Hall, a place that really hits home hard for me, as a queer and trans rights activist. Standing on the steps that Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to public office in the United States, once stood on, as he was transforming the city into a place of acceptance rather than tolerance, I completely lost it. I never dreamed, in a million years, that I would be lucky enough to visit the place that brought about such great change that I can live openly and freely as who I am, thousands of miles away in Ontario, Canada. But there I was, standing on the steps that Harvey Milk always insisted to take, rather than taking the elevator, in attempt to always make a 'fabulous entrance'. I feel that this was the epitome of the entire trip, and wrapped everything up wonderfully, as there was nothing left to see or do that I had set out to that I hadn't gotten a chance to.

I decided to talk through the area known as 'The Castro' near the Castro Theater, where a group of young men and women began to voice the opinions that would forever change the world as they knew it, for the better. The work that was done within the 4 city blocks of the Castro was done not in the name of Harvey Milk or any other well known activist, it was done so that people like me, a young adult, in Canada, or Antarctica, or Venezuela can be free to be who they are, without fear of violence or judgement. Walking home through the city I have idolized since I was 13 years old, and reminiscing about every single event that had taken place over the last week and a half, I knew that when I returned home tomorrow morning at 9:35am that my life would never be the same. The things I've been blessed enough to have seen, done, learned, and explored will stick with my throughout all the days of my life.

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I will take one thing away from My Dream Trip Around the World, and that is that if you dream it, you can achieve it

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Posted by PublicRelationz 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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