USA West Coast Tour (2012)
We went to USA together as 4 friends in 2012. One of our friends had to go back to Turkey earlier than us in August, so we were left only 3 people for our vacation time. Since I have already traveled on the east coast in my work and travel adventure in 2010, I was thinking to travel nowhere but the west coast. Besides, we were working in New Jersey all summer and we had the chance to visit close states like New York and Philadelphia a few times already. There was no need for an east coast tour.
In 2010, we bought a 5 day tour to travel east coast. It was really mesmerizing. We have seen many old structures, museums and important landmarks but there was a little problem catching up with the tour. We couldn’t spend enough time in many locations. We were like running around all the time. So, I have decided to rent a car, book the hotels we want and travel freely.
You can see our program above. We bought our round trip flight tickets (Philadelphia – Las Vegas) from Expedia. Hotels were booked through Expedia and Booking. For the car rental, we listened to our experienced friends in Wildwood and rented the car from Fox Rent a Car.
07-10.09.2012 – Las Vegas
We went to Philadelphia from Wildwood by bus and headed to the airport. Our 4-5 hours US Airways flight departured at 20:35 and landed to Las Vegas at around 22:48. Again used the shuttles to get to our hotel. Our hotel was the Stratosphere Hotel and it was located in the beginning of the famous Las Vegas Strip with LA’s tallest 350 meters tower. As all Las Vegas strip hotels has, our hotel had casino aswell. As soon as you step into the hotel, you are between the slot machines, roulette and blackjack tables. Since we arrived to our hotel after midnight, we stayed around the hotel and checked the casino inside the hotel a bit.
Our first LV day plan was to walk along the Las Vegas Strip and check all the casinos one by one. We started from the left side and turned back from the right side. We woke up a little later than we expected and started our trip at around 10 am. In USA, everything is HUGE. It was really taking some time to check out the casinos, play games and walk between the casinos. We were able to reach to Mandalay Bay which is at the end of the strip just before sunset. When you enter the casinos, your sense of time disappears. Some casinos are connected to each other from the inside and you are stuck inside for hours without seeing any daylight. Casinos are full of light and some of them are designed to look like regular sky so that you don’t know how long you have been inside.
On the way back, we continued our trip in the legendary casinos of Las Vegas and watched famous water shows and theaters from Bellagio and Mirage. Being the cheap students, we fed ourselves from mc donalds and subway during the day. When we turned back to hotel it was already after midnight and we went to top of the tower to see the awesome Las Vegas night view. Our little journey started at 10 am and ended at 2-3 am the next day after walking at least 14-15 hours. We also ended up exhausted.
As we have seen all the casinos on our first day, we were relaxed to know that we can spend time to other things. We were swimming at the pool, watching people freefall from the 350 meter tower. In the afternoon, we also went to top of the tower and tried the atractions there. It was a really exciting experience to do those atractions at that height.
In our last night in Las Vegas, we went to the car rental office near the airport to get our already reserved car. At first, they didn’t want to approve my driving license and denied to give our car. Then a supervisor involved to our problem and checked the license himself. In the end we were right. They also had to upgrade our car to an SUV instead of a sedan because they didn’t have any sedan class car. After taking the car, we went to walmart to buy a GPS device and a few more things to eat during our journey.
Since we came back to hotel really late, we just slept and rested for the journey.