Warning: I know I always say that these posts are photo-heavy but this one actually is. But it's Vegas, baby! Despite me not be a particularly wild party animal (therefore expecting to hate Vegas), it ended up being my favourite place EVER. I would hugely recommend going there and will be going back at some point soon because it was really just that good. Even being under 21 didn't stop me from having a great time. 

We drove into Vegas in the daytime, so the first couple of pictures are my first view of Sin City. It's quite weird, to the left of the strip there are just rows and rows of residential housing and to the right it's all completely desert. And Vegas was pretty hot during the day but it was a dry heat so easy enough to copy with (especially combined with exploring huge indoor shopping centres). We pulled up to our hotel- Circus Circus, great hotel, great location- and settled down in our rooms. None of us had bought appropriate club-going shoes so we all headed to Ross to buy some horrendously cheap ones before grabbing some quesadillas and heading back to the rooms to get ready for the night..

The view from our room- the tall building is the Stratosphere- very north of the strip!

Once we had all glammed up for the evening, we actually had a tour of Vegas in a party bus- essentially loud dance music, neon lights, drinks on ice and a stripper pole in the back of a converted minibus. Sounds tacky but ended up being a lot of fun. We started by heading to Fremont Street in Downtown Vegas and my god, Vegas is a totally different place at night! The crazy lighting alone was so over the top and kind of magical. Fremont Street had a live Bon Jovi concert projected onto the ceiling and everyone was belting out 'It's My Life' in a huge almost street-party type of thing. Amazing.

Then we were driven down to the Vegas sign to have some photos taken and that was equally incredible to see in real life. After that our driver dropped us all at the Bellagio to watch the fountain show and I can't even describe how cool that was. Just go, if you can, and see it for yourselves. The fountains dance along to the show tunes that they play and it's a wonderful experience (Fountain shows? So much cooler than fireworks). We met up with a friend of our tour guide and she showed us around the strip at night and took us into some casinos and bars (F.Y.I Margaritaville in Flamingo is so much fun). With aching feets and an overwhelming sense of tiredness, we waited at the Bellagio's taxi rank to get one back to our hotel but because we were a large group it worked out super cheap to get a limo back. Driving down Vegas strip in a limo was literally like something out of a movie- so so so so fun!

Excuse the blurriness of the last photoI had such a fun time reliving that night in Vegas whilst typing out this post- it all seems so surreal but it was honestly the best time ever. I stayed in Vegas for two nights so round two will be in the works very soon but I hope this gave you guys a nice insight into the city. I can't wait to tell you all about what we got up to the next day/night but that's all for now..

Have you ever been to Vegas?

USA Recap Part IV: Hiking in the Grand Canyon

We camped for the night nearby the Canyon and the next morning, we all headed back to the South Rim with plans hike down on the Bright Angel trail. We ended up hiking down about two miles or so- with no problems, other than the rising temperature- but on the hike back up again, I had a seriously bad panic attack (I think due to the altitude). Being stuck practically on the edge of a cliff in the middle of the day with searing hot temperatures and no energy to keep moving, I was pretty worried.. but the group that I walked down with were so lovely and encouraging, and some other groups joined in helping too- huge thanks to the guy that gave me his entire packet of potassium shots, although you probably aren't reading this!

Once we reached the top again, we walked around the visitor centres and then headed back to our campsite for an evening of s'mores, open air showers and freezing cold 1am "need more blankets" tent banter. The next day we left the Canyon to head to Vegas, driving along the iconic Route 66. We stopped off at Seligman, a seriously small madcap town- definitely recommend stopping off there despite the ridiculous heat!

So there you have the fourth instalment of this travel-related series. We're kind of approaching the halfway point but the next week or so was my absolute favourite so I guess you're all going to have to watch this space once more (psst.. I've got Vegas next- it was incredible). See you then!