My West Side Story is Better Than Yours

It seems that I’m still suffering from my West Coast hangover. Laurel and I recently flew to San Francisco and then on to Las Vegas and I must say that the only thing better than the vacation itself was hanging with my amazing friends and traveling with Laurel who has to be THE best person ever to take a vacation with. We had an absolute phenom time on our West Coast tour and have been devising a plan to head back there soon.

I’m fairly certain that if Jesus ever retires, He would do so in California. The temperature there is set to Heaven.

Here are a few of the random lessons I learned during my stint in California:


1. People who live in or by San Francisco cringe when out-of-towners call it “San Fran,” “Cisco” or the “Rice a Roni place.” It’s simply called “the city.”
2. Boudin’s has THE best clam chowda in a bread bowl (hands down) and the outside seafood vendors on the wharf have better seafood than the surrounding restaurants serve.
3. Don’t giggle when someone tells you to bring a jacket and scarf in July. They aren’t kidding and you’ll be wishing your sweet san fran that you listened to them.
4. Peet’s lattes kick Starbucks’ lattes right in the foam.
5. Jet lag isn’t a movie starring Chow Yun-Fat. It’s a real thing that actually takes adjusting to.
6. The West vs East time zone gang wars are hard to get used to. Make sure you remember which bandanna is in your back pocket before you call or text someone on the opposite coast.
7. Carrot Top really looks that in person.
8. People don’t ride trolleys up and down the street half hanging out, arms waving and throwing their hats in the air.
9. The street performers in the city will come and get you if you roll your eyes at them and walk away.
10. I think I just may be a California girl at heart.
11. Archie & Rebekah are the best tour guides/hosts a girl could ask for.

After our California tour date, we headed to Vegas for Laurel’s birthday bash and quality time with casino royale. I’m more than certain that if Jesus ever retires, He would most definitely not do so in Vegas. I don’t think I have to tell you what the temperature there is set to.

Here are a few of the random lessons that I learned during my stint in Vegas:


1.You need to take an awkward photo in front of the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” sign while tourists from all over stand in line and gawk at you. Pretend you’re famous and they’re paparazzi and glam it up for the camera.
2. Whatever you do, don’t try to be cute and wear heels while walking up and down the strip for hours. It’s not cute when you’re in a dress walking like Frankenstein with swollen feet while you try to remember when your last tetanus shot was as you contemplate flinging those blister busters and walking barefoot.
3. You will never, ever get used to Vegas’ hot breath breathing down your neck. Dry heat is not better than humidity and I’ll arm wrestle anyone who begs to differ.
4. Go to New York New York’s Nine Fine Irishmen Pub and eat the Drunken Onion Rings. They’re so good and they promise not to drunk-dial you later that night.
5. Take a Craps lesson and play a round or two. It’s fun but walk away before Vinny takes all your money and you understand why they call it that.
6. Debbie Gibson prefers to be called Deborah and eats at Wolfgang Puck too. She’ll sweetly come over and say hello to the table, but don’t try to be clever and drop the words ‘electric youth’ in conversations with her. She’s into much more mature things now.
7. The cards that people are handing out on the sidewalks aren’t baseball cards.
8. Go visit Red Rock. It’s a gorgeous drive that will slap the gold dust off your face and bring you back to reality.
9. I wished that I could have collected dollar dollar bills for every time someone echoed the phrase, “What happens in Vegas…” I would have been very wealthy, but would have probably blown it all on Craps.
10. Whatever you do, don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s Vegas. It’s glitter, rhinestones and plastic in the middle of a desert. Take time to be silly and let loose. However, do so while keeping your morals intact (trust me, it can be done!) because what happens in Vegas (or anywhere for that matter) doesn’t just stay there.
11. Teri is the best and most glam tour guide and she makes everything more fun.

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