Contiki Grand Southern tour part one
Howdy everyone, this post is brought to you live from the US of A! For those of you who don’t know, I’m currently on the adventure of a lifetime road tripping across America for a month with Contiki Tours. Our 27 day vacation takes us to 20 states between LA and NYC passing Vegas, Miami and Washington along the way. We’re currently on day 7 of the tour and here’s what I’ve got up to so far…
So I was literally only in LA for one night before the tour started and sadly I didn’t get much chance to explore the city. I hopped in a taxi from LAX airport straight to Downtown LA where I stayed at the trendy Miyako Hotel. I met some of my Contiki tour friends at one of the nearby bars and then headed to bed after over 13 hours of travelling ready for the tour to begin the next day. LA I will be back!
Wow, what an experience I had! I danced, I drank, I gambled and I fully embraced the Vegas spirit by exploring a number of the mega hotels, catching a Cirque Du Solei show and cruising along the iconic strip in a limo – it doesn’t get much better than that! Particular highlights included the Bellagio fountains, a pool party at MGM Wet Republic and seeing dolphins at the Mirage Hotel Secret Garden attraction. Unfortunately I was really sick the first night (no shock there) but I made up for it on night two and partied until the early hours. Vegas, it’s been a blast!
I have no words that can describe how I felt when I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time, it was truly breathtaking! The landmark attraction is just incredible from every angle and photos do not do it justice at all. We stayed at Yavapei Lodge in the Canyon village so we were right at the heart of the action. During our time there we stargazed, watched the sun rise, hiked halfway into the Canyon and watched the sunset in the distance whilst enjoying a picnic at Hopi Point, one of the highest parts of the Canyon. My highlight though was taking a helicopter ride across the Canyon for the most incredible views I’ve ever seen! My time at one of the seven natural wonders of the world was absolutely amazing and something I’ll never forget.
After the Canyon we departed for Durango, Colorado via the stunning Monument Valley in the state of Utah. We made a very brief stop at the landmark landscape to get those all important photos and the views were amazing – definitely worth a visit for those driving along Route 66!
Durango, Albuquerque & Amarillo
We’ve had a stretch of short one night stops at these three cities passing states from Colorado, New Mexico and Texas. We white water rafted in Durango and explored the mountain city before stopping over in Albuquerque for the night where some of the group went hot air ballooning across the valley. Amarillo was the location for our U.S. freedom party where we dressed up in red, white and blue to represent the colours of the American flag and we all tucked into some hearty Texan steak for our group dinner.
I’ll be blogging again in a few days where I’ll bring highlights from Dallas and Memphis and I’ll also be doing an Instagram take over for Travelex UK live from New Orleans as we get further in to the tour. Don’t forget to follow my journey on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and add my NEW snap chat account @jessica16_x
Til next time!
Love Jess x