Chilling out in The City of Angels (Los Angeles, July 29th-31st)

Sorry for the lack of news but we are reaching the end of our trip, and having WiFi in National Parks is just impossible 🎶

First, you need to know that LA is a really huge City (more than 70kms long) and we had only two days and a half to try and see the best of it. So, we made decisions.

When we arrived we immediately headed for the most beautiful beach in LA, Santa Monica (known for its famous Pier and the Pacific Park with its attractions). If you are or used to be gamers, you also know that beach and the city because the games GTA San Andreas and GTA V were inspired from real places in LA (nicknamed “Los Santos”). We even saw the lifeguards with red shorts, just like in “Alerte in Malibu” hihi 😉

The beach was a real curiosity because you had many street artists, painted walls, merchants, Bands and shows. Los Angeles is also the paradise of skaters, most people move skating along the beach. After one or two baths, we went to Venice Beach (it is the continuation of Santa Monica beach) and then we explored Venice Canals. A really nice place ! We went back to the beach to admire the sunset and enjoy the city lights. We ate in an Italian restaurant. It wasn’t exceptional… We had to walk for a long time to get back to the car.

Day 2: First we walked the famous “Walk of Fame” (kinda repetitive !),  as our hostel was situated on Hollywood Boulevard where the stars and names of celebrities can be found on the pavement. We found the names of several actors, directors and singers such as David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Orlando Bloom, Steven Spielberg etc.  It’s actually quite difficult to walk down the street as tourists stop at each star to see the name inscribed in it. (but well…we did that too !) We also saw the iconic TCL Chinese theater where we saw the footprints left by stars (Michael Jackson, once again, but also Darth Vader or the cast of Harry Potter).

After that we went to Griffith Observatory to see the city skyline but the sky wasn’t really clear as LA is a very polluted city… We also got to see the famous sign “Hollywood” from far and then from closer. We then went to  Beverly Hills, famous for its beautiful houses and the celebrities who live(d) there.

After another pastel sunset on the beach (who can resist that? it’s simply too tempting!), we walked on the pier, just under the huge ferris wheel. This is mainly the territory of wannabe singers and fishermen. From there we got a good view on Santa Monica’s beach.

And that’s a wrap for LA ! Next : the superb Pacific Coast Highway  !

Hope you’re all enjoying the holls 🙂

Xxx

 

 

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On the road again: surviving furnace in Death Valley (July 28th)

Hi guys !

After our adventures in Las Vegas, we realized that the temperatures were already way too hot (about 45°C), but it was nothing compared to what was waiting for us in Death Valley…
Indeed, we had to experience – and survive – extreme heat with temperatures oscillating between 120°F and 125°F (= 51°C). Yes, you did read correctly ! OMG !

You can’t even be prepared for that kind of heat, as soon as you get out of the car, the sun aggressively hits you and you feel like you are burning, almost melting …
There was no breeze, no shade so it was challenging to try to go out in the desert. We only dared to face the heat a dozen (very) short times to shoot some pictures and videos but we didn’t go on a proper hike. As a result, we spent most of the day driving across the desert, giving us a great range of landscapes, from the Badlands, to Artist’s drive, Badwater (the lowest point in the USA –  855 meters below sea level !!! You can see in a picture the current sea level ), Furnace Creek, Devil’s gulf course and so on.

Moreover, we discovered that what we thought was water or sand, was actually salt!
There are lots of white “plains” that are only made of salt coming from former seas which dried out.

We were glad to survive that challenge and we continued our trip hitting the road once again, to reach L.A. On the way to Ridgecrest – where we had booked our night – we witnessed another nice sunset coupled with the dunes and mountains surrounding the Valley.

What was mostly interesting there was the fact that there were not  so many tourists – compared to other parks. We also enjoyed driving endless straight roads, sometimes with bumps or ups and downs, but it gave us a great impression of space and freedom. Death Valley was surprisingly diverse. It is not a flat and sandy desert at all. There are lots of dunes, hills, mountains and also some vegetation which managed to adapt to that arid climate. However, we were sad we didn’t see many animals except some birds of prey.

Of course, we were a little disappointed because we could not go and hike, but it was a decision made with our minds – our safety and health came first – and not with our hearts. Sometimes you just have to think about safety, and that was the case.

Contrary to some of our last steps, that time, we had plenty of water and gas, so we had no nasty surprise or hardships crossing the desert.

We hope this post will help you get  an idea of what Death Valley really looks like!

A guided tour of our Suite at the Bellagio (July 27th-28th)

Hihi,

As promised, here is an article dedicated to the prestigious Bellagio with pictures of our Suite (29th floor, room 29629),the swimming pools and fountains, the botanic garden… Everything was completely unbelievable in that place!

Just an anecdote, we were not supposed to sleep in a Suite at first, but just in a bedroom. But, when we arrived to check in, the guy told us there was a special offer blablabla, you won’t regret it, blablabla, 3 bathrooms with TVs IN the mirrors, SPA, Jacuzzi, mini-bar, city views… for $50 more, so we yielded and said “YES!!OK LET’S DO THIS!!” Haha

And because you are so very special to us, and so very lucky, here is our surprise :
a bonus video of our Suite!

Hope you’ll enjoy !
Take care 😉

Welcome to Fabulous Sin City ! (Las Vegas – July 26th-27th)

Yo yo !

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After “Vice City” (Miami), we were lucky to experience a two-day stay in “Sin City” AKA Las Vegas 😄 which we are really excited to share with you guys!

We first got to explore the city at night, as we arrived on the 26th in the afternoon, but it was way too hot (45•c) to walk down the streets. So we took a great initiative : chill down at the MGM Grand Hotel and watch “Divergent” – with hundreds of boring advertisements... – in our luxurious bedroom.

We eventually dared to go out at about 9 pm when the temperature “dropped” severely from 45 to 40•C ! Youhou!

Of course, we started off with the world famous Las Vegas Boulevard – Aka “The Strip” – and did a tour of the various extravagant hotels such as the Luxor, New York New York, Caesar’s Palace, Paris Las Vegas, the Venitian, Treasure Island and so many more!

As you will see in the pictures, every single hotel has created its own small world, some of them look like real cities on their own! When you get to visit them, you feel so “lost in translation”! It was quite difficult to understand how such a city could exist and thrive in the desert, after our recent experiences in national Parks…

In fact, we admired fountains, fire and lights shows, statues… And walked for 4 hours until our bodies were almost dying out of exhaustion… People say New York is “the City that never sleeps” but we could consider Las Vegas as a solid pretender !!! The night life is absolutely stunning!!!

P.S: we also met Michael Jackson’s reincarnation.

Day 2: after a very comfortable and restful night of sleep, we firstly drove to the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, where licensed photographers take pictures of tourists for free (!!). Later on, we chose to get inside the fabulous buildings/hotels and eat, drink, play, dance, shout

We mainly marvelled at the beauties of the Venitian Hotel: we stopped by an Italian restaurant to eat a regular-sized (really??) pizza. Then, we walked past the Canals which pay tribute to the real ones in Venice.

 

We quickly decided to move our bags from the MGM to the extraordinary five-star “Bellagio Hotel”. (It is so special that it will have its own dedicated post 😍 ). Again, we spent a few hours at the hotel to survive the heat. Then, we went out to watch a few different shows taking place at the Mirage (Volcano Eruption), the Caesar’s (The Fall of Atlantis) and Bellagio (Fountains and lights show staging Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”). We had dinner at another Italian-Greek Restaurant where Miss P met her new Italian boyfriend a very charming waitor.

Because Las Vegas wouldn’t be “Sin City” without its casinos, we had planned to try our luck at the slot machines ($ 60 each).

Miss LR stopped after playing with $40 (trying not to lose it all !) but Miss P won several times ($40, $80). She felt like it was her lucky day, so she played until she had almost lost everything : only $1 left, and as desperate and impossible as it seems, she won $200 with her last dollar! What the heck ??!! 😎

Then, full of emotions, it was time to go to sleep and try to realize how hopeless the situation had been before the “Lucky Winner” slot machine saved our casino night. In brief, Las Vegas definitely is the city of sins!

Enjoy the Photos and feel free to comment 👍👍

xXx

Science lesson at Lake Mead & Hoover Dam (July 26th)

Hi there !

Here’s a quick article about the few hours we spent at Lake Mead, our stop before Las Vegas. After we left Zion Park, we drove for about 2 hours, and arrived at Hoover Dam Lodge at night, and yet it was still around 100°F (close to 40°C). We were very surprised upon seeing our hotel, as it was much bigger than we expected. In fact, it also had a few casinos, restaurants, food marts etc. From our room, we were supposed to enjoy a “lake view”, but we were only granted with a “backyard view”. No lake for us to see ! 😦

The next day, we went for a quick dip in the hotel pool (it was already very very hot outside).

 Later on, we decided to go and see our promised Lake Mead view by ourselves. We didn’t do much as 1) it was too hot, 2) we were on a tight schedule.

(our GPS got really confused and decided our car needed to cool down in the middle of the lake… ahem.)

Then, we quickly hopped off our amazing car to walk around Hoover Dam (the dam which supplies Las Vegas with water). We also learnt that the Dam is located at the border between Arizona and Nevada. (This was our little science lesson).

Next step : SIN CITY !! 🙂

 

Losing weight in Zion National Park (July 24th – 25th)

Hi guys!

Time flies and so do our adventures… We try to update as often as possible but it’s difficult because when we reach our accommodations at night, we are so so exhausted!

Anyway, we arrived at Zion National Park in the evening of July 24th. It was so hot ! About 40•C! We only explored one trail to see another sunset, but that one was not really nice, the sky was too clear and cloudless. Even if the sunset was not stunning, the trail was enjoyable, as we thought we were more in Peru or Cambodia than in the USA. The vegetation looked more like a jungle and the rocks and mountains were quite strange.

After the sunset we exited the Park to sleep in another Motel in a town called Hurricane. The manager was a little bizarre and the breakfast was not so good…

The following day, we drove back to Zion, full of hopes and energy. We had learnt that cars were not allowed in the Park, so we left it in a car park. We had to take a shuttle to the last stop so we could start our first trail of the day : “Riverside trail” and a part of the famous “Narrows”. As you can see in the pictures, the walk quickly transformed into some sort of swimming as the waters level reached half of our bodies. The landscapes were diverse with towering stones surrounding us and the slot canyon narrowing as we continued walking. It was more and more challenging to move on. We “walked” for about 4 hours and decided to turn back, to try out other trails.

We took the shuttle to another stop. We wanted to observe the “weeping rock” supposed to have waterfalls. We went up for like 30 minutes, the heat was unbearable and the trail really steep… We were sweating and hardly breathing. It was strange, the trail was normally short and easy. We met some hikers and asked them, they told us we took the wrong path, going up for 5 hours to “Observatory Point”. Oh my god.

So we turned around and found the  weeping rock. It was not weeping or crying. There was no real waterfall (it’s only in springtime…) but the views were cool.

Last step was the “Emerald Pool” with again waterfalls. The trail was long but moderate offering nice viewpoints along the way. We reached the pool that was not really emerald of course. Same problem as with the the weeping rock, the waterfall was almost absent.

We really enjoyed our stay in Zion although we didn’t see real waterfalls! The scenery was yet again splendid and so diverse… We felt like we were some modern Lara Croft exploring jungles and uncharted lands and we walked more than 19 kms under a scorching sun. So in the end we were very proud and satisfied. After that we headed for Lake Mead and LAS VEGAS.

Enjoy the pics 🙂

Xxx

Bryce, so Nice ! – Bryce Canyon (July 23rd-24th)

Hi there !

After our raid in the Arches, we explored yet another park, Bryce Canyon. To reach our destination we followed a beautiful scenic road that went through Capitol Reefs, another national park, and Dixie Forest (quite similar to Alpine landscapes). It took us 5 or 6 hours to get to Bryce but the views along the road were splendid !

In Bryce, we mainly walked and drove. We wanted to do horse riding but we were too late to reserve a ride and it was quite expensive anyway. The first day we admired what’s called the amphitheatre – made of these strange orange rocks and stones called “hoodoos”-. Yet again, the landscapes were very different from what we had seen previously. From where we were standing, it was like we were contemplating the remains of an antique city. Some hoodoos looked like soldiers, other, gods or kings and queens.

That night we slept in a tipi. Tipis are much bigger than we thought, you could easily have 8 people sleep in there ! We thought we were going to be bitten by mosquitoes and other bugs and insects but fortunately none of that happened. Yay ! Instead, we woke up several times due to the cold. The temperature dropped severely during the night (around 10-15°C) and we weren’t prepared for that.  We woke up freezing in our sleeping bags ! Oh, and there were fireworks that night, for some reason. Well, it wasn’t really good (the “grande finale” lasted like 10 seconds haha!)  so we went to bed a bit disappointed.

The next day, we went on a hike that went deep down the canyon, among the hoodoos. It was really hot and the last part of the hike was very steep but we were rewarded by the amazing views we got to see – among which “.Thor’s hammer”

See for yourself ! 🙂

Take care !

Xxx