My brain is half hyperactive and half midst in the shut down process. I am really badly jet lagged and slept only about 90 minutes last night. To make things worse these 90 minutes of sleep were broken up in three parts. Yes, that’s nasty. To be honest it’s maybe half jet lag and half me being embarrassingly excited about a snap travel decision I made yesterday evening. Okay it’s 80-20. Go figure!
Maybe it is strange that I start my travel recap with my least favorite moments of the USA trip. This is for one reason: Because I can!
No jokes aside. I am really brain dead and silly and feel in the mood to tell you a few fail stories rather than describing the beauty of my favorite places and giving them the love they deserve. I’ll do this when I am fully awake again. I also really want to include some useful links and I am just not in the mood to research them all. And if you’re being honest you’d much rather want to read about the fails, too, don’t you?
So let’s go see what I really didn’t like/ what went totally wrong on our trip in no particular order:
Okay okay we could have known but we really were not lucky with the weather in some parts of our trip. When we arrived at Forks it was sunshine and no Vampires were to be seen whatsoever. We had booked three nights in the town of nothing but a supermarket, cheap motels and endlessly twilight references. Did you know there’s such as twilight firewood? Me neither! But I was really keen to go to the rainforest and even more to explore the beaches there. For our first full day we had planned to explore 3rd Beach. You get access to the beach only by walking about 2 miles through the forest. When we got up in the morning it rained really hard but we decided to go anyways. About 10 miles into our drive to the trailhead we had to go back. Hands down I’ve never seen so many uprooted trees blocking the streets. And we both value our lives too much to go in the woods under those conditions! We went to Ruby Beach instead for 2 h but spent the afternoon on our motel bed. The forecast for the next day wasn’t any better so we decided to leave one day early. Aside from seeing Ruby Beach (which was fantastic and one of my Top 10 Moments by the way) we didn’t get to see any place on my list. And I’ve put quite some research and consideration in this part of the trip. This was my biggest disappointment as this was the area I was really really keen to see.
2. Horseshoe Bend – Page, Arizona
Again this was a place I really really wanted to go. It was 2 pm and freaking hot when we arrived. The walk from the parking lot is maybe 10 min but if you’re a fast walker and wear the right shoes for the sandy ground you can make it in seven I guess.
Maybe this is the right moment to tell you a story about me and heights. I am not afraid of heights in general. Quite the opposite is the truth. Usually I find it exhilarating and I love ziplining and even want to go skydiving within the next year.But I am a klutz and trip a lot. Look at my shins for visual proof! So when there is no handrail or safety precaution whatsoever I get dizzy. And a cliff is not the best place to get dizzy! But I am stubborn and I wanted to see fucking Horseshoe Bend!
So I was lying down flat on the ground robbing to the edge of the rock. And when I speak of the edge of the rock I mean there was another smaller plateau beneath. I risked a glance over the edge and it was beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous and exactly matching the pictures. I didn’t really believe in this. I took a picture. I realized that my palms were really sweaty but we were in the bloody desert so this wasn’t too surprising. Then I realized that something was off. There was a strange throbbing sound under me that got faster and harder. For a second I was a bit confused but then recognized it as my hammering heart. Suddenly I felt very cold and my chest tightened. As careful and as quickly as I could I removed my body from the ‘edge’. I haven’t had many panic attacks in my life but this was one. Stefan wasn’t ready yet so I said I’d wait for him in the shadow of a bigger rock. But when I saw him standing near the edge it was over. I started hyperventilating and even teared up a little. God was I embarrassed! He wasn’t even that close to the edge but I couldn’t watch it anymore! I concentrated on looking into the other direction and was more than relieved when he was ready to go a few minutes later! It took me a giant Iced Coffee Latte and several hours to go back to normal! So far for me seeing Horseshoe Bend!
3. Grand Canyon – South Rim, Arizona
Grand Canyon – the tourist trap! Okay maybe the South Rim is not really a tourist trap as you just pay the National Park fee but I felt so trapped! Whereas Stefan liked Grand Canyon I was not a fan! First I really don’t get why everyone is making such a fuss about Grand Canyon. Sure it’s a nice view – for maybe 3 minutes. Then it is just plain boring! and one of my biggest travelling pet peeves is all the other tourists. Which is quite contradicting as we shamelessly always do all the touristy things 😛
But I guess the real problem about Grand Canyon is that it’s too accessible. Don’t get me wrong I am all for making those places accessible for those who can’t see it otherwise but next to those people let’s say my least favorite fellow tourists are drawn to those places as well. To sum it up I spent the day either
a) crammed in a bus with 50+ other tourists (To illustrate that a bit: I am 5’2 – I am always standing face to armpit!)
b) in anxiety of Stefan or I falling off the cliff
d) a+c or b+c
So all in all in my eyes it is an overcrowded, hot and giant hole in the ground. Nothing more.
4. Burlesque Show – Las Vegas, Nevada
What are the three top things you need to do in Vegas? In my eyes it’s drinking a giant boozy slush, watching the Bellagio Fountains and seeing a show! Some might argue it’s gambling a bit but I am just not a gambler at all. I might not have pushed for it myself but when our friend Sandra, who we met in Vegas suggested to go see a show I was all in! We flipped through the program and as Britney Spears sadly doesn’t come back till October we settled for a Burlesque Show. We stayed at The Flamingo and so it seemed convenient to go to the one there.
When I think of Burlesque I think of the Christina and Cher movie or of Dita von Teese but I certainly don’t think of what we got to see! Because all we got to see was tits!
The show contained of 6 lightly clad girls mixing up the same three dance moves to different songs of different genres. They changed costumes between the songs to match the genre (though they didn’t have much to change, I assure you!). Every new song started with the girls in their bras but at some point usually rather sooner than later they got rid of it. But not in a skillful striptease kind of way, they usually just ripped it off. The show was okay-ish but totally not what we had expected. We expected a variety show with some striptease elements but only got to see bouncing tits. Most of the guys seemed to like it though 😉
If there had ever been any doubt about my sexual orientation I can now say I am 100% straight. At least I got that one affirmation for my 45 bucks! Oh and we had a pretty legit discussion about who of them had gotten a boob job and who not! (2 for sure, three for sure not, 1 undecided!) and Stefan swears one even had a butt job!
5. Atlanta Airport
I only say: When you plan to leave the airport and settle for a longer layover always check if your airline let’s you check in the luggage in advance. Delta does not! Which made us instead of eating a Hot Dog in front of the Matlock Building (yes, I am that old and I always loved Andy Griffith) and following the wonderful recommendation Laura kindly provided me with, we spent the entire 11 hours layover inside the airport building. Did I mention that we could have gone for a 5 hour layover but decided it would be to boring to sit at the airport for 5 hours? Yes! Worst. Fail. Of. The. Trip! Luckily the wi-fi worked brilliantly and we got some distraction!
You see not everything is always rainbows and butterflies even when you are travelling. We’ve had many little setbacks and obstacles during these 4 weeks but the important part is that you won’t remember the tiny things later anyways and about the bigger ones, it’s easiest to laugh them off! At least that’s my approach. And also there are always so many great moments and funny days!
So for now I try to work spend the afternoon not falling asleep and then going to bed early and hopefully getting a full night’s rest!
What are your travel pet peeves?
Any epic travel fails?