After my trip in 2007, I couldn’t wait to go back to America, and as it was my 21st it made perfect sense to head back, especially as we planned to return to Vegas. This trip was a lot better planned – we found Trip Advisor and other good sites and settled on an itinerary of Hollywood, Santa Monica, Las Vegas and then a quick stay in Manhattan Beach before we returned home. We flew Virgin which was and still is my favourite airline, although they do tend to be a bit more on the pricey side.
We (my boyfriend and I) stayed at the Hollywood Celebrity hotel which is two steps away from the walk of fame and has free breakfast including unlimited bagels, Philadelphia and juice – perfect! We hired a car this time which is what lead me to my obsession with In N Out burger. After this we stayed at Bayside Motel in Santa Monica. I don’t think I would stay there again, it just felt a little shady and was very overpriced for what it was. The highlight of Santa Monica was body boarding in the waves and the amazing sunsets over the beach.
After this we headed to Vegas where we stayed at the Excalibur hotel. Reviews made this place sound only one step up from Disneyland with regards to children everywhere but we didn’t notice them much in September. We also got a very good deal through Smarter Vegas for a widescreen room, which seemed far nicer than some of the better hotels standard rooms. We sampled our way through most buffets with Wynn being the favourite and I had quite a good win on the ‘Rich little piggies’ slots there afterwards. I also hit a very good jackpot on this machine, although I wasn’t playing max bet so I missed out on a biiig payout!
Finally we headed back to LA and stayed at Manhattan Beach for 3-4 days at the end, it was a nice low key and not touristy place although there isn’t a lot in the direct area. This suited us fine as by then we just wanted to relax for our last few days.