When asked how I welcomed in 2011 I will be able to reply "Why, I was dancing on the Strip in Vegas...how about you?" And yes, I will get a kick out of that no matter how many times I am asked. That's right people, I was dancing up a storm on the most famous street in the City of Entertainment - and probably one of the most famous streets in the world: Las Vegas Boulevard. I have been to a good number of street parties in my life, but none as big and crazy (and cold! desert my ass. pfft.) as this one. Since we are all students and couldn't afford to whip out upward of 70 dollars to get into one of the nightclubs, we joined the people's party and froze our student bums off instead. Luckily there was good music blaring up and down the strip, and lots of space to dance. And that is really all I need to have a good time. I was jamming hard and enjoying the crazy crowds and vibrant atmosphere. But most of all I was thriving off the awesome company: a bunch of international students that I have spent the last semester with at Willamette. We like to call ourselves the United Nations, and considering we represented seven different countries (South Africa, England, Germany, Columbia, France, Japan and Finland), I think the label is fitting. It was lots of fun jamming with this mixed bunch of people. My own highlight was shouting the countdown along with thousands of people, only doing it in French along with my French friend Romain. Then came the fireworks! Woweee. They were epic. A Happy New Year it was!
The night before New Year's Eve us girls managed to get ourselves onto the guest list for the Playboy club in the Palms - just by standing around and looking pretty really. We were thrilled that we didn't have to pay the 50 dollar entrance fee into this rooftop club to attend the 21st birthday party of skater boy Ryan Scheckler (ja, don't worry, I hadn't heard of him either - although you may have heard of the MTV show 'Life of Ryan') and see Snoop Dog perform. It was awesome! The view from the top was unreal, the music perfect for dancing and watching Snoop Doggy Dog perform all his classic songs a meter or two away from me was pretty darn cool.
Other Vegas highlights included a trip to Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. An engineering feat of note, Hoover Dam is massive! The coolest part about this little expedition was that we were able to walk into the state of Arizona and find ourselves in a different time zone for a few minutes. Now I can add Arizona to my list of states visited in the States. :-) Lake Mead is gorgeous and the views of the desert from both of these wonders was quite breathtaking indeed.
Tomorrow I drive to Los Angeles along with a couple of the students. New adventures await!
Happy New Years Day!