12.12.2011

I went on vacation; here are my thoughts.


So you might have noticed that I have been absent lately (BAHAHAHAH who am I kidding? No one noticed this.) The reason for me being MIA has been a terrific combination of laziness, business, and going on a vacation. Unlike my sister, who goes on vacation like it's her job, I never leave my house. It's just that I'm not particularly enamored with the idea of traveling. Besides, is there anything more douchey than when rich white kids talk all wanderlusty? "You need to attend the school of life and get your degree in world cultures. This year I'm taking 3 months to get my masters in Exploring the Streets of France". That's cool, but if I don't show up for work, I don't get paid, so I can't exactly leave town for 6 weeks. Am I jealous? No, I have Google street view; I've seen everything I need to without the smug attitude that comes with saying "You haven't lived till you've seen the sunsets of the Serengeti".

Anyways, my idea of a vacation is absorbing as much low-brow culture as possible; I think that's why I love Florida so much. Is there any other state that fully embraces how trashy it is? I feel like if you called Alabama or Georgia 'a pile of garbage', some native would go "Hey, come on now, Atlanta just got that new contemporary art museum, so that ain't so bad." Meanwhile, if you said the same thing about Florida, the response would be "Hell yeah, we're trash! Fucking proud of it! I ain't putting on pants just cause it's my daughter's wedding. Fuck all y'all snobs." And yeah, I love this. I love how self-aware Florida is. I love how I feel both totally unwelcome and embraced with both arms wide open every time I visit. I like Florida because I fit in; I want to surround myself with other trashy people and eat at Cracker Barrel and we all look around at each other and think "There isn't nobody in here with a proper haircut; we're all in this together." Also, fat people.

I hadn't been on a vacation in over a year, so I decided to take a week off work and go somewhere with a guy I just started seeing. I was told this would be either the best idea or the worst idea, but really - who cares? I'm not donating a kidney. This time I wanted to branch out and go somewhere different than the East side of 'Merica; I know the South inside and out, and I could probably drive Florida with my eyes closed, so we decided to find the second trashiest place in the U.S. and settled on Las Vegas. Spending a week in Las Vegas is enough to drive anyone to kill themselves (especially in this post-The Hangover world we live in), we also decided to visit Los Angeles. All in all, we put our feet in three different states: Arizona (for like 30 minutes), Nevada (the biggest little eyesore in America), and California (home of former disgraced Governor Arnold "Jingle All the Way" Schwarzenegger). Here is a summation of my vacation:

DRIVING
We flew into Las Vegas, but after that we drove everywhere. Rental cars in the U.S. are so cheap, I cannot wrap my mind around it. It cost us a little over $100 for a week; that's how much I'd pay to rent a car and drive up to my parent's house in Northern Ontario for a day. For an extremely busy pedestrian city like Las Vegas, driving was super smooth and easy to do; there is literally no traffic in that city. Thousands of cars, no traffic. I guess good city planning? We drove out to the border of Nevada and Arizona, drove to the Hoover Dam, drove to Los Angeles. The drive to LA was amazing; tons of mountains and deserty-things, but I'll talk more about that later. Okay, so everyone talks about how driving in LA is insane and those people are 100% correct; you cannot fall asleep when you're driving in Los Angeles or you will get rear-ended or crash into a Starbucks or run your car off a cliff like the wheelchair kid in Mac & Me. Luckily we drove like Mad Max the whole week and never got into an accident. I know that people joke about the traffic in LA a lot, but it wasn't really ever a huge issue (this could be because Toronto is a nightmare when it comes to traffic, so I'm used to it).

THE DESERT
I always thought it would be awesome to drive through the desert, so we made our way west on a small highway. The trip took something crazy like 6 hours, but it was worth it because I saw a cactus (you know the kind that look like a person with their hands in the air during a bank robbery?) We also drove through Joshua Tree National Park and I saw snake holes. Also there was snow on the ground in some parts. I know, right? WTF. Also everything looked like Road Runner. I felt like I was in a cartoon.

FOOD
Santo dios. We ate a lot of food out of trucks parked in parking lots. All of it was delicious. I want to live my life forever eating out of food trucks. I ate a Pogo that was just cheese. JUST CHEESE. I ate a bun with mac and cheese in it. I had fish tacos from Mexican ladies. Also I drank my first Four Loko; Jesus Christ, I have never drank anything so disgusting in my life (and I LOVE the taste of cough syrup).
I also tried In-and-Out burger for the first time in my life too; this is a big deal, since cheeseburgers are my favourite food and I consider myself to be a bit of an expert. I will say this: I liked In-and-Out, but they're no Burger's Priest.
For the first time in my life I saw lemons and oranges growing on trees, on people's front yards no less! It was really remarkable and made me feel like a child discovering something for the first time. I felt bad taking fruit off people's lawns, so one night I crept up to a house and ripped some oranges off a branch and ate them in the car. Here's the thing about oranges straight off the tree - they're not really sweet. They taste more like orange bathroom cleanser. They smelled wonderful though.

WEATHER
It was always about 20 degrees in Los Angeles. I can't believe that. I'm used to 0 degree Decembers.

RADIO
There are like a million Spanish stations and the rest are good rap stations.

CHRISTMAS

Everyone was buying real-live Christmas trees and everyone's house had tons of lights on it. And if you don't celebrate Christmas, there were tons of glitzy Hannukah decorations on everything. LA is a very festive place for a city that doesn't get any snow.

CELEBRITIES
I honestly don't care for celebrity culture. Actually, scratch that - I fucking love it, especially bony junkies like Lindsay Lohan, but in regards to getting star-struck over people, I just don't. I'm more likely to get star-struck over character-actor Stephen Tobolowsky than George Clooney. So I wasn't actively looking for celebrities while in Los Angeles (and really - would that make for a boring-as-hell trip or what?). But I did see some people that I thought were cool.
Mike Tyson - I physically bumped into him by accident because I'm a clumsy asshole. I am taller than him, which felt super weird, because I always imagined he was 7 feet tall.
NeNe Leakes - NeNe was staying at the same hotel I was, which made me feel very fancy. Because if NeNe Leakes doesn't represent class and elegance, then I don't know who does. I felt a little star-struck over NeNe because people know how I feel about the Real Housewives franchise (aka I LOVE IT). I considered asking her for a picture, but then decided to bask in her glamour from afar while I checked in.
Patricia Field - There was a gala (EW) at my hotel wherein the biggest celebrity there was Kendra Wilkinson (so, the saddest event ever) but Patricia Field was there taking pictures with people and she looked so happy and adorable. I hope I'm her when I'm old (her, or Betsey Johnson).
Amanda Bynes - I'm pretty sure it was here, but it could have been someone else who's had too much work done for someone under 30.

That's about it. I have a post about Vegas slot machines soon and will also be talking about two 'Merican foods that I found totally unnecessary (aka Total Necessary). Peace!

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