Spring Break Road Trip to California: Study Abroad in the U.S.

April 30, 2019

For my spring break, I went on a group trip with 12 other students to California, planned by the International Student Alliance (ISA) at Colorado Mesa University. We had the opportunity to explore, learn more about each other and not to mention, have fun. I have to say it was one of the best weeks of my life. Here is our schedule for the week:

Day 1

We met around 6 a.m. to have breakfast before heading out to our first stop, Las Vegas. It’s a 7-hour drive, but there is nothing that good music and friends cannot solve; not to mention the views on the way are beautiful.

As we were just staying in Vegas for 1 night, we went to visit “The Strip” as soon as we arrived. It’s an area surrounded by luxurious hotels and casinos; I would recommend getting into the hotel called The Venetian, it literally feels like you are in Venice. After that, walk to Fremont Street Experience, it’s what you imagine when you think about Las Vegas. There are lights everywhere, people dancing, playing music, gambling machines… It’s fun!

Day 2

After a short but awesome night at Las Vegas, we were on the road again for a 5-hour drive to Los Angeles. We didn’t do much since we arrived past lunch time and we were exhausted. Just checked in, did some thrift shopping and had a “family” dinner. If you have the time, there are many options to choose from, such as visiting the Hollywood Sign or Griffith Observatory (preferably at night, there is a spectacular view of the city).

Day 3

We started the day visiting the LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art). It is mostly known for the public urban light sculpture they have outside. I personally loved the exhibition about old 3D pictures and videos. They had a French movie where depending on what eye you had open, you would see a different perspective of the same scene.

We took a little lunch break, of course at In-N-Out. It’s a must try whenever you are on the West Coast of the U.S. It was my first time trying it and I have to say I wasn’t disappointed at all.

To burn those burgers and fries we rented some electric scooters (there are a lot all around LA, and you can easily get them by downloading the app) and went towards The Hollywood Walk of Fame. The scooters are a really fun and convenient way to get around LA since the traffic is horrible no matter the time of day.

As this was a trip organized by an alliance at CMU, we wrapped up the day with some activities that are related with the club. In our case, we attended a discussion about Islamophobia at the University of California, Irvine.

Day 4

Our first stop of the fourth day was to the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). We had the opportunity to tour the campus and learn how their diversity board works. After that, we drove to Santa Monica Pier, which is pretty close, and spent all afternoon there. It’s a great place to have something to eat, enjoy the beach and go on a rollercoaster or thrill ride if you’d like.

A great plan for the night is to visit Downtown Disney. You get a small dose of Disney for free.

Day 5

I would really recommend visiting San Diego if you are around LA. It’s just a 2-hour drive and for me at least, it was a great surprise. We had lunch downtown, there are a lot of places you can choose from and it’s really pretty to just walk around and get lost. Since we didn’t have enough beach in LA, first we went to La Jolla Beach and then drove to Belmont Park. The drive there is one of the most beautiful ones I have ever done. You go all the way up and see San Diego from the top, it was amazing. Just across from Belmont is Mission Beach. We had the chance to watch the sunset there; the sun on the ocean horizon and it is magical.

We drove back to Grand Junction the next day.

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