3 nights in LA started with a trip down to Santa Monica pier and a bite to eat on Third Street Promenade, then a night at the Staples Centre watching the LA Clippers get beat by the Houston Rockets... we just happened to be sat with a load of Houston fans as well. Second day we went full on tourist with a bus tour around Beverley Hills and Hollywood - a walk down Rodeo Drive, a tour into the hills to see the Beckham's new pad, the walk of fame and an awesome sandwich at Fat Sal's! The day was topped off by watching the sunset while walking down Sunset Boulevard! Last day was a busy one, a quick trip down to Venice Beach (which was really cool, loads of unique stuff going on down there) and then a tour of the Warner Bros studios (Central Perk, The Ellen Show, batmobiles galore and even the sorting hat). Lastly we said our goodbyes to the van which has been an awesome companion over the last 3 weeks.
28 February 2017
A few days traveling down the coast we went to Monterey, headed into Sequoia national park then back out to Santa Maria, Santa Barbara and Malibu. Sunshine, snow and plenty of wildlife before we hit LA!
25 February 2017
So excited for a day trip over to Alcatraz! Quick 20 min ferry over with amazing views of the rock looming over us as we approached. We did the audio tour of the cells where we learned all about what life would have been like and about some of the notorious inmates that tried to escape over the years. Once we were back from our trip we headed to pier 39 to Bubba Gumps for some shrimp and margaritas!
24 February 2017
Another busy day started with an 8 mile cycle over the Golden Gate Bridge. The cycle wasn't too bad only two hills to get to the bridge, where we had amazing views back over the city skyline! We headed over the bridge and down into Sausalito which was sooo pretty! Only a couple of streets but filled with shops and cafes and wine shops, which we made the most of. Food and then a quick stop for some wine tasting before we headed back over to San Francisco on the ferry. Once back over we headed for happy hour at Boudin $6 fizz is too good a deal to miss. Here we waited to meet Lynette and Nora. It was so good to catch up we had a great evening a few more drinks and food ready for our trip to the Rock the next day. Oh and a surprise treat from Andrea and Sam from home, they know I love a Percy pig!!
23 February 2017
Busy first day in San Francisco started with "super" burritos in the Mission District (man vs food style) and a wander around the area admiring the street art. Quick bus over to Union Square for a beer at Golden Gate Tap House followed by awesome cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory! A slight wait for the cable car as one of the earlier ones had got stuck (good sign) and despite the cold it was a fun ride over the hills to Fisherman's Wharf. We took in Pier 39 and explored the wharf where we had our first taste of clam chowder, more things should come in bread bowls!!
22 February 2017
A couple of days covering a lot of miles from Las Vegas up to a very snowy Lake Tahoe where we stayed overnight before moving on to Sonoma County. Loads of wineries and vineyards on the way, we stopped a nice little town called Windsor where Laura met Charlie Brown! Unfortunately a day at the wineries was ruined by a power line being down and the fire brigade blocking our way! Typical.
19 February 2017
Vegas baby!!! We had the best few days here, it was tough to drag AD away. We met up with our friends Sarah and Bethan that we had met on our India trip and had the biggest laughs. The three days started off with fizz at Caesars palace, a trip to Paris and the Eiffel Tower, Sarah dancing on stage with a jazz band and the biggest frozen margaritas ever. The next day we spent exploring all the casinos before heading out again at night where we danced and gambled the night away till 5am, winning big with a $40 jackpot! After recovering the next day and a bit if TGI Friday we headed out for a night at Cirque du Soleil which was just amazing, breathtaking acrobatics and crazy weird staging.
16 February 2017
An amazing day walking down into the Grand Canyon. We walked the 6 mile round trip down to Skeleton Point, only took us 4 and a half hours so not too bad going! Legs were a little weary when we got back, so glad we had a hotel for the night with a gorgeous fire instead of the van. Tea consisted of ribs and steak as we had to refuel from the long walk. It's definitely one to tick of the bucket list. The photos will never do it justice, amazing colours and just the size of it was epic!
14 February 2017
Brief stop for the night where we stayed in Prescott National Forest, pitch black when we arrived but really nice in the morning. Valentine's Day so we found a Chinese restaurant and downed our meal as the place closed at 9pm - we arrived at like 8:30, they were hoovering up around us - one we'll always remember I reckon!
13 February 2017
San Diego next, where we did a trolley tour for the day. First stop was Little Italy which has more pizzas per head than Naples I reckon, a cool little area celebrating everything Italian. Next was the Old Town where we hit the market, wandered round the old buildings and had our first ever try of root beer, much to the surprise of a couple of guys from Minnesota who had to stay and witness it! It's a bit too much like cough syrup really! We also saw the harbour which had a couple of active warships currently docked (the USS Nimitz and another which I forget) as well as the USS Midway which is now a museum. Last stop was the Gaslamp Quarter which we really liked, loads more cool little bars and restaurants, somewhere we'd like to revisit! The tour ended back at Balboa Park which is a beautiful area with 17 museums, right next to the San Diego Zoo. We picked the van up and drove to our site for the night... the car park of a casino on a Native American reservation, not weird at all!!
12 February 2017
Short trip down to Ocean Beach for the afternoon, a small little town with a few cool bars and a nice beach and pier. We had drinks and nibbles at a place called The Joint which did Japanese/Spanish tapas, bit of a weird combo but tasty! We drove down to Silver Strand beach to watch a beautiful sunset before finding a camp for the night.
11 February 2017
USA!! USA!! First stop was to pick up the van in LA, there were loads of different designs to choose from but we both liked the alien one 👽A short drive down to Anaheim where we spent the day at Disneyland - we went on Splash Mountain, Star Tours (like an awesome simulator), Indiana Jones (biiiiig queue for that), Gadget rollercoaster, Teacups and lots more!! We even met Woody and Mary Poppins!! In the evening there was a cool light parade with Alice in Wonderland, Snow White, Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and others, then the firework display above Sleeping Beauty's castle which was really good. A long day but loads of fun!