If you’re considering a trip to the States, may I heavily suggest you conquer the west coast? As an Aussie, I put it off, thinking our weather and ~vibes~ were similar enough, but what a fool I was.
I swindled my way onto a Contiki tour through California, Arizona and Nevada and ticked a lot of bucket-list stuff off the list. But, I also ticked some random things off a list I didn’t even know I had. There were some activities in the mix that I would never have considered before (and some I’d never heard of) that ended up being surprise highlights.
So, without further ‘ado, here are four things you simply must add to your itinerary on the west coast.
Get paddled in Vegas
Vegas is known for its casinos, its shows and its party vibe. Something I didn’t expect? Having a banger time at a German restaurant. During dinner at Hofbräuhaus, if you order a shot, you get slapped with a wooden paddle.
It truly was dinner and a show. Roars erupted in the outside area every few minutes as someone else got a paddlin’. I won’t lie to you, it hurts, but if you’re in a big group (a la Contiki), it’s one for the memories. Shot term pain, for long term LOLs and all that.
Drive an excavator
Yes, you read that correctly. Admittedly, if you work with machinery, this activity might not get the motor running (ay). But for people like me with baby-smooth hands that have never done physical work, it was a blast. A 20-minute drive from the Vegas strip, you can rock up to a big warehouse next to a big ol’ patch of dirt for Dig This.
It was an optional activity on the Contiki that only myself and my new bestie Emily went on. And boy, did we rub it in to all the suckers who missed it. We dug holes, stacked tyres and did wheelies(?).
Also, it has our short country King Keith Urban‘s seal of approval. Enough said.
Go on a brisk booze cruise
Sunset cruises are without a doubt my favourite thing to do on a holiday. When we had this booked on the itinerary for windy San Francisco, I was…sceptical. In my mind a sunset cruise is strictly for warm, calm weather. But as previously discussed, I’m a fool — the cruise was phenomenal.
It was wild and cold and bumpy and so much fun. I felt like a joyous little kid again being pummelled by waves on this bad boy. You get a rain jacket on board and one free bevvy — which is plenty ‘cos you really need both hands free to hang on for dear life.
As an added treat you get up-close views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the iconic seals on Pier 39 — it’s magic!
Get hitched in Vegas
Okay, so I didn’t get hitched in Vegas, but two of my friends did. And if you’re in a big group — I highly recommend you do it.
We rocked up to Graceland Wedding Chapel, filed into pews and then the woman running the show called out two names from our group to get married — a huge surprise to all of us, but especially the now-betrothed.
The King himself then sauntered in, belting out ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ before making the suckers getting married do some dancing and vows. Also maybe Friends did me dirty, but I thought when people got hitched in Vegas that they actually got hitched. Turns out, that’s not necessarily true, so go pop the question!
If you’re keen to follow my man-sized footsteps, you can check out the Contiki tour I did, here.
Now, go enjoy your wacky adventure!