How the West Was Won (Part One)

grand canyon 2015Earlier this month I went out west for a week, with a long list of Things To Do. I’m so happy to say I did everything on that list, and really enjoyed the experiences I had!

grand canyon 2015The whole trip was instigated by my favorite band ever in the whole world — Metallica — playing a show in Las Vegas, and expanded by the best airfare dates being a week apart, instead of the two days needed for the show. I’ve never had any interest in Vegas and nothing I’d heard about it sounded appealing, so I decided to do a three-part trip: a day trip to the Grand Canyon, some time in Vegas, and the rest of the time in Los Angeles.

grand canyon 2015The Grand Canyon was amazing. I’ve wanted to see it in person since writing a report about the state of Arizona in fifth grade, twenty-two years ago. Dreams do come true! Rather hilariously, the Grand Canyon is so deep I got slight vertigo and couldn’t explore it as much as I could have.

grand canyon 2015Las Vegas in real life really wasn’t my cup of tea. All the buffet and foodie suggestions I received were tied to gambling in the various hotel casinos, which allowed indoor smoking. Besides being a staunch non-smoker, few things smell more terrible than stale cigarette smoke wafting up from the wall-to-wall carpets in every casino I encountered. Carpeting! Seems like the most unhygenic option possible.

grand canyon 2015I loved my AirBnB a few miles south of the strip and my hotel a few blocks east of the strip, and I went and got my ears pierced. Actually, funny story: the piercer did not like the placement of the existing piercing in my ears, so rather than give me new holes above them he repierced my lobes. I guess he takes his craft seriously?

grand canyon 2015The concert: oh, the concert. I loved it. I loved seeing James Hetfield (lead singer) so full of energy, and the band played an amazing set — really well thought out, and had songs from almost every album. They played my favorite song, Nothing Else Matters, plus Whiskey in the Jar (a cover) and their new song, The Lords of Summer. Almost three weeks later, I’m still in Metallica withdrawal which I’m hoping to cure by seeing them again this year … somehow.

grand canyon 2015All of these photos are from the Grand Canyon, obvs; I took a few of the strip, but they were kinda crappy shots. After the concert I got a little driving tour of the northern half of the strip and all the lights were actually quite beautiful — but I didn’t think to pull out my camera.

grand canyon 2015
My favorite shot from the Grand Canyon :)

Part two tomorrow!

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1 Comment

  1. Gorgeous! The Grand Canyon has the be one of the coolest places on earth. I never get tired of seeing photos of it.

    When my dad went on a trip out west he had similar thoughts about Vegas. I’m with you on smoking. I haven’t been to the casinos here in CT for years for the same reason. (Plus I have zero interest in gambling!)

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