West Coast Adventures: My Trip in Photos

While I don't quite agree that the 'West Coast is the Best Coast,' I can't help but be jealous of the endless summers of the western most states. Living in Boston for my entire life, and settling down in Scotland for University, a girl needs some sun every once in a while!

On Thursday, my parents and I headed to Las Vegas to meet with my brother, a California transplant, in Las Vegas to start off on our warm-weather vacation, which ended in Los Angeles. Here's a roundup of what I experienced, as told by the many photos I took along the way:

It always baffles me how long the flight from one side of the country to the other is. 6 hours to get to LA, and then an hour back east to get to Las Vegas. The journey from Boston to LA takes as long as a flight from Edinburgh to Boston! How crazy is that? 

Vegas was the first stop on our short trip. No one in my family had ever been before, so it was a bit of a culture shock to say the least. The bright lights, busy atmosphere, and totally modern feel was a far cry from the cobblestone streets of Edinburgh, a calm city-life of Boston. Everything in Vegas isn't an original- the Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, and Pyramids of Egypt are all trying to be something they're not. But I guess that's what makes the city original in its own way. 

Still, the one thing I really didn't like about Vegas? That you had to walk through a smokey casino to get everywhere. Outdoor walking just wasn't a thing, and everything was a lot farther away from one another than you would initially think. 

The food in Vegas was absolutely superb. And the best part is, there are so many different styles of restaurants that cater to different tastes and price-points. One night we had classic burgers and fries from Shake Shack (my parents first time!), and the next we had some pretty posh French Cuisine from Bardot. I'd say there's really something for everyone in Vegas. 

I certainly am not the 'right' age to be going to Vegas on holiday. Being 18 there is awful because not only can you not gamble, but you can't even drink. I was absolutely deprived. In fact, I even got kicked off the gambling floor for simply watching my parents play the slots. Even so, I was able to have a good time by enjoying other activities such as the roller-coaster at New York, New York, and watching an insanely beautiful acrobatics performance called Le Reve. 

Once our short time in Vegas was up, we headed through the desert on a four hour drive to LA. It was pretty barren along the way, but I found it fascinating to see what a real desert looked like (I hadn't seen one since I was 3!). 

In-n-Out burger was a must. And my brother claims that these are the best burgers on the west coast. I had never been before and was very impressed with the quality of the burger for a fast-food chain! 

For our first night in LA we paid a visit to my dad's best friend's house for Iranian food. A lot of Iranians live in LA, so there's no shortage of good kebab and rice. If you're ever in the Westwood area and are feeling adventurous, I'd definitely recommend trying some Iranian food.

We spent the next morning at a farmers market just three blocks from the beach. Fresh fruit, vegetables, bread, and flowers were for sale from local farmers, and there was even live music! After the market, and after my brother dropped my dad off at the airport, we headed down to the beach to cycle along the bike path. I was actually pretty convinced that I didn't know how to ride a bike anymore because I hadn't done so since I was, say, 12? But, as the old adage goes, you never forget how to ride a bike. I was a little bit unstable at first (I blame that on my lack of balance), but I only tripped up once! I was so proud of myself for being able to do something any five year old could easily do. 

Once we had biked-off all of our vacation weight, we gained it all back at Mr. Chow's Chinese restaurant in Malibu. This wasn't your average take-away type Chinese food. Each dish was incredibly fresh, flavorful, and unique. Some of our favorites were the glazed shrimp, crispy duck, and drenched fish.

But the real big story of the night? (And one I'll probably be telling for ages) We saw a celebrity! Two, in fact. Once we were seated in the (near-empty) restaurant on Sunday night, I noticed a couple sitting near us who looked vaguely familiar- especially the girl with her blue hair and plump lips. Once the couple had left (with a body guard), my brother and I started talking about reality TV, and how those people looked like they could've been on one. The hostess came by and told us 'Oh yeah, that was Kylie Jenner and her boyfriend Tyga.' 

Yeah, so I saw a member of the Kardashian clan. And we were eating at the same restaurant. That has to be the quintessential LA experience. 

I still have one day left here in LA, so who knows who I'll see next. Overall, this trip was a nice break from the chilly air of Boston and the rainy days of Edinburgh. Maybe I just won't go back!  

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