Sin City and City of Angels
If you know me, you know that I like to celebrate my birthday BIG. This year, it was no exception. The planning for my 26th birthday began almost a year ago when my favorite artist announced her Vegas residency, Lady Gaga. As soon as I knew when the tickets were coming out, I set reminders and immediately told my mom that I knew what I wanted for my birthday. We booked our concert tickets and began planning our West Coast takeover. Halfway through our planning, another one of my favorite singers announced a Vegas residency and we immediately booked tickets for her show as well... Christina Aguilera! This trip was shaping to be one for the books!
After very long flights, we finally arrived at Sin City. We checked into the Treasure Island Hotel, took a much needed nap and then began our touring of the city. Our first stop had to absolutely be the iconic Vegas sign. Pro tip: do not wait in line to take the picture in the middle, you can go to the sides and get just a great of a shot. After being super basic tourists, we ventured towards one of the malls to do some much needed last minute shopping. We had to get ready for the concerts coming up!
The biggest attraction of Las Vegas, besides the parties, are the hotels. Each hotel is its own city and has their own aesthetic that sets them aside from the others, they all are truly beautiful. Due to our time restriction, we selected to visit hotels that were close to where we were staying since the heat was reaching past 100 degrees and you need DAYS to actually see each hotel completely. We explored the Wynn, The Venetian Resort, Ceasars Palace, and the Bellagio. We spent considerable amount of time at Ceasar's Palace... doing even more shopping. In all fairness, the shopping center of the hotel was so beautifully decorated that I truly felt I was back in Rome, we just had to go into the shops! Other than Ceasar's Palace, I really fell in love with the Belaggio's decorations. I am a sucker for all Asian culture and this hotel did a killer job at capturing the beauty of the cherry blossoms.
It was showtime. Time to see my muse and queen, Lady Gaga. In good Little Monster fashion, we all dressed up and threw glitter on our face to truly feel ready for a performance we would never forget. Gaga's show is located at the Park MGM Theatre, and after the show you can go into her Haus of Gaga showcase, which is essentially a museum of her most iconic looks throughout her career. About the show... I was completely speechless. Lies, I sang every single song and danced until I got blisters on my feet. Mother Monster knows how to put on a show, and what makes it so much more special, is that she always has a story to tell and loves to interact with her Little Monsters. We only attended her Enigma show, which is a show surrounding her iconic hits, but you can also see her Jazz & Piano show which has some stripped down versions of her songs and some covers. An icon.
The next day, we crossed over the border and went to The Grand Canyon! A place that none of us had ever gone to, and it truly blew us away. Seeing that kind of nature is what I travel for, I love to get to know the world we live in. Each place is so different from the next, and the more I get to know, the better! The Grand Canyon has many areas, one of them is the Skywalk and I honestly recommend you do NOT buy a pass for this. You are not allowed to bring any cellphones or cameras with you and it costs $30... I was very pissed. You can get INCREDIBLE pictures from anywhere in the canyon, honestly, so save your money. Each station has its own cute areas you can take pictures, but the station that takes the cake is the Hualapai Ranch. The moment I stepped out of the shuttle, I was obsessed. This station is exactly what its called, a ranch. It has horseback riding, a jail, a root beer stand, a shootout stand, and much more. You can live your wild west dreams right here.
That same night, it was time for show number 2, Christina Aguilera's The Xperience! Having grown up with her music, it was a dream come true to finally see one of my original icons live. As soon as we scanned into The Zappos Theatre at Planet Hollywood, we got offered a free upgrade to... THE PIT! I could not believe my ears, I was actually going to see Xtina up close!!! Hearing her golden pipes live was truly an Xperience, I was completely starstruck by her talent. She sang all of her classics and some of her newer songs, a perfect mix for older and newer fans. And with that, our visit to Fabulous Las Vegas had come to an end, to a truly incredible end. But, our adventures were not over!
We took a super early flight to Los Angeles and went straight to my favorite area, Santa Monica! We had a delicious breakfast at The Georgian Hotel and enjoyed a walk along the pier and spent some time at the beach just relaxing. The more time I spent at Santa Monica, the more convinced I am that I would really like to be bicostal and have this place be my second home. I just have to figure out how to do it... I'm sure it'll happen.
Our visit to LA was much more relaxed compared to our stay in Las Vegas, we took these days to relax and take each day slowly. We went to new places like the Grove and the Market, which are super super cute and I highly recommend you go there if you are ever in LA. And, we took my sister to visit The Americana at Brand because I had liked it that much from my last time in Los Angeles. One spot I knew I could not leave without visiting was the LACMA Museum, mainly just to get the iconic lamp posts shot. Finally, we ended our trip by going to the Times Square of LA, The Hollywood Walk of Fame... because why not, we might as well be the tourists that we are.
Another trip for the books, indeed. And what better way to experience it than with my favorite women? Thank you mom for making this dream birthday a reality, and to my sister for tagging along with us (and tolerating my nonstop photography direction). You are my angels and I love you so much!