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April 2017: Spring Break

We just got back from an amazing Spring Break trip. Although it was short (only a week) it was a really lovely time. We flew from Minneapolis to Las Vegas early Friday morning. I’m not really sure how to describe Las Vegas, it is the strangest place I have ever been to, it really is like a playground for adults. The whole place has this luxurious but also crazy feel to it. The hotels are stunning and each one has their own unique design. I thought I embrace the Vegas way and try some gambling, I was up $40 but then lost it all and in the end I won a dollar. I don’t think I am quite made out for the gambling lifestyle but at least I didn’t lose any money. My American friend, Hannah actually won over $100 in a Black Jack game and the slot machines! We also went to a couple of Pool parties during the day, ate out A LOT and went to the clubs at night. Nothing really shuts down in Vegas as everyone’s there just to have a good time. It took a little while to get used to the craziness of
Vegas but I actually really enjoyed it. It was a little glimpse into how some of the rich live! Maybe I will go back when I am prepared to bet more than $20!

We left Vegas on Monday morning, had a light breakfast, and then got our rental car to drive to Palm Springs, California. The drive was straight into the desert which was amazing to see but also a little scary as the further we got from Vegas the more isolated the roads became. The drive to Palm Springs took us about three and a half hours in total. Palm Springs is a cute little desert town that is surrounded by these beautiful mountains on either side. The air is really different there because there is no coastal breeze and the mountains create a wall almost so it is is very humid and quite heavy. The weather was beautiful, each day was around 35 degrees Celsius, a nice change from the negative temperatures in Minnesota. It didn’t even really feel like we were in America anymore, Palm Springs has a more European feel to it like maybe somewhere in Spain. As the area became notoriously famous in the mid-90s all the architecture is mid-century modern. It is a really unique little place. We enjoyed the sunshine and sat out by the pool most days, took a walk around the town and explored the restaurants and the nightlife. We had a small inconvenience on our trip however when one of the tires became flat on the rental car, apparently a nail had hit it during our drive to Palm Springs so we were very grateful that we didn’t discover the problem while driving through the middle of the desert. We quickly solved it and were able to enjoy the rest of the day.

We left Palm Springs on Thursday and drove another three hours to Santa Monica, California. I wasn’t sure I would be able to get to see this part of California before I finished my year abroad so I was so grateful to get to explore it. We stayed in a beautiful Airbnb house in a neighbourhood of Santa Monica. The weather was a little colder and cloudier compared to the weather in Palm Springs, but at least it prepared us a bit more for our return back to Minneapolis. We tried to fit it a lot as we only had two days there. We visited Venice beach, Beverly Hills and went up to the Griffith observatory where you can see the Hollywood sign. On St Patrick’s day we went to a relaxed bar called the ‘Cottages’ where everyone was wearing green and they were also serving green drinks. It always fascinates me how much Americans love to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, of course I appreciated it a lot as it made me miss home a little less. We also found a British pub and shop that sold things like ‘Robinsons Juice’, ‘Jelly tots’, ‘Flakes’ and ‘Yorkshire teabags’ and so so much more. I felt like I was in heaven, you forget how many products you can’t get here. We then packed our bags, said goodbye to our Spring Break adventures and flew from California back to Minneapolis on Saturday evening

The trip went so quickly, now it feels like it was so long ago. I am so grateful to have been able to travel to beautiful states in America with amazing people. The next few weeks for me are a little hectic, I have a lot of deadlines and group presentations, but I will be able to power through. I still haven’t booked my flight home because as much as I love Ireland and Manchester, I just don’t want to leave Minnesota. I think the next few months will really be bitter-sweet for me as I have a lot to look forward to but I will also have to start to prepare to return home.

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