United States of America · 17 Days · 16 Moments · April 2019

West Coast of America 🇺🇸

12 May 2019

DAY FOURTEEN: Our last full day in the West coast of America! Roger and Lina took us to some of their favourite places which of course included 3 coffee stops for the boys. First stop was the Getty Villa which is a fake roman villa which was still very impressive although it was fake. Then we headed into Malibu and had our first experience of take out food from Jack in the box $1.39 for 2 tacos 🌮 although Doug ate mine as it tasted like cardboard! After going down malibu pier we went to their local designer outlet and we saw some sites there! After a busy day doug and I went for our final meal at a local restaurant near Santa Monica Pier which was amazing! Overall a great finish to another amazing Journi. Xoxo

11 May 2019

DAY THIRTEEN: Today was all about the food! Roger recommended a few good places for coffee and then of course we had to sample the breakfast and huge cakes! (FYI we shared this slice but it was still huge!) On the way down to the beach we went into whole foods to see the range of goodies and came across the 6 cents pills for everything you could imagine! (We didn’t buy any!) We spent some time at the beach before it rained then we went for an early dinner to treat Roger and Lina for having us stay. To finish the day they took us on a little tour of some the places they like to go.

10 May 2019

DAY TWELVE: Today I just geeked out! We went to the Warner Brothers studio tour which I think you definitely get your money’s worth. The first 2 hours were a guided tour to see some of the 30 sets they have unfortunately nothing much gets filmed on a Friday but we still learnt a lot about our favourite films. If you’re just going for the friends tv set or Harry Potter both the tours in the UK are better however I loved seeing the studios. Afterwards you go on a self guided tour to see the costumes, sound and get to experience being in a show yourself. After a long day we decided to go through some of the back roads to see the huge house then we came back and had a lovely home cooked meal by Roger. Perfect!

9 May 2019

DAY ELEVEN: Another cloudy day in paradise, we drove up to the Hollywood hills to go to the observatory which gives you some amazing views of Los Angeles. Unfortunately we just got very cloudy views but it was still impressive to get our first view of the Hollywood sign. Having the car we decided to see how close we could get to the sign which lead us down some interesting roads and some very small ones for our huge car! We then went into Hollywood to see the Walk of frame and the Chinese Theatre. To finish the day we went to a rooftop bar and then went for food and again we shared a starter but we were warned how big the plates are. Fingers crossed we see some of the LA sunshine soon!
Extra photos from day TEN and ELEVEN 🥰💖

8 May 2019

DAY TEN: We choose to go to the Venice Beach area after parking the car in a very dodgy area we went to see muscle beach but I was really disappointed. We later understood we had got their too early so we headed for some lunch and Doug finally got his Philly cheesesteak fix he had been after. Going back to Venice Beach (a lot better this time) we went to the skate park and this has to be one of my highlights just watching people doing tricks, they are so talented! Doesn’t matter were you go there is always filming going on. The afternoon we walked to Santa Monica Pier which is probably trying to be a posh Great Yarmouth but I still really enjoyed it. After an amazing home cooked meal by Roger we went to a sports bar for Doug to watch yet more basketball however, the compromise was I got to order doughnuts however it was more cream than doughnuts 😖

7 May 2019

DAY NINE: Had a very chilled morning looking around a cloudy Santa Barbara before heading to our final destination of our trip Santa Monica. I didn’t actually know how many cities are in the Los Angeles area...a lot! You 100% need a car to get around. On our final part of route one we stopped to watch some surfers which I really enjoyed. Then we reached ocean avenue to Rogers and Lena’s apartment. This is the view from their place, we had a relaxing afternoon of catching up and a lovely homemade meal. Then after a few wines and releasing the time it was time for bed!

6 May 2019

DAY EIGHT: Today we headed down the famous route one to head to south California. First stop was a yummy breakfast in Carmel which was a very cute town with some hobbit like houses. We had to stop in the bakery for some goodies for the journey! Unfortunately it was pretty cloudy but this meant the route wasn’t very busy and we still got to see the amazing views! We didn’t stop in big sur so maybe that was a missed opportunity but always a good excuse to come back! We arrived in Santa Barbara late afternoon and headed into town. I really love Santa Barbara amazing food places and good shops! (Although we didn’t buy anything) we then had some mexican and Doug got his daily basketball fix although his team lost so the bad mood hit pretty quickly! 😂 Would recommend stopping in Santa Barbara to anyone!
DAY SEVEN: Sadly we have to leave Yosemite and move back to the coast to Monterey. After a late check out and a dull drive of bleak scenery we made it to Monterey. The hotel was another win and was right in the harbour area. We had our first taste of valet parking which is odd giving your car keys to a stranger. We had a quick walk around but headed back to the hotel for happy hour. Normally my drink would of cost $25 so I got to live the high life a little bit longer through happy hour. We spent a long time talking to some Americans which was a fun experience in its self. There is actually at times a language barrier even though we’re both speaking English! Monterey was a lot more touristy than I imagined and is trying to be a popular seaside town but it is nothing more than this. It did the job for a night stay but I wouldn’t rush back. The hotel was the win at this stop!

5 May 2019

DAY SIX (part 1): Not often something takes my breath away but Yosemite National Park is one amazing place. I honestly don’t think I could describe the feeling you get when visiting. It is stunning and one of the best places I have been. I will never forget this place and will definitely be back. This needs to be on everyone’s bucket list it is truly magical. We got up super early to get a parking space and we were lucky enough not to have to pay the park fee. We did a couple of hikes and on the first one I lost my leg to the water. So had to dry out my socks and shoes. I then got more into the hiking and this is when I totally embraced the experience. It was so hot which was a surprise. I can understand why 10 people a year die here due to lack of water and falling. A water bottle is a must!! We had done 10,000 steps before 10am. The free shuttle is great and allowed us to see a lot of the park in a day. Totally a one in a lifetime experience!

4 May 2019

DAY SIX (part 2): This has to be one of the most surreal moments of my life. We knew there are bears in the park and mountain lions but when walking on our second hike we came across a black bear. I just stopped dead and grabbed Doug! The bear wasn’t bothered by us at all, once I realised this I felt a bit more comfortable but didn’t want to stick around too long to find out. There are around 200-300 bears in the park so we were lucky to see one as the park is SO huge you don’t often get to experience that. After 35,000 steps it was time to head back to the suit for food. These nachos were a starter that we both shared. Yosemite loves big portions! So sad to be leaving this place tomorrow and I’m not sure anything will top it. Thank you Yosemite for the best memories. 💖

3 May 2019

DAY FIVE: It was time to leave San Francisco and move onto Yosemite...today has been the weirdest of days! We managed to find the car hire and we upgraded our car to this HUGE thing! 😂 We have five spare seats and a trunk but it’s much better than the small thing we were getting. We made it to Yosemite after an hour working out what gas we needed for the car. No hand book was given! Some poor man helped us! At the hotel our room wasn’t ready so we kept getting free drinks which was fine with us. We eventually got our room to find we had been delayed because we had the suite. Which is huge, not sure how we got this but it is amazing! We then headed for the hot tube and made some more friends from Boston and then headed for food. The onion rings were a side dish and I ordered a starter as a main and it was still huge! So today was a day filled with BIG things!

2 May 2019

DAY FOUR: Most of the morning was spent working out how to get to the Golden Gate Bridge. Before today I wasn’t a huge fan of the San Francisco locals however today they were really helpful. We found the cheapest route via bus but FYI the buses don’t give change. But still a very cheap ride always use the busses in America! Once we got to the bridge we decided to walk over it and see the views from the other side. The walk feels a lot longer on the way back! We then went to Golden Gate park which I was a little disappointed with. When we walked in 3 cars had been broken into and the locals told us not to leave any wires or jumper in the car as they will take anything. A good tip for tomorrow! We walked through the park which is huge but you have to pay to see a lot of it. We then walked SO many blocks to the painted ladies houses and again it was nice to see but not a huge highlight. We then walked more (over 30,000 steps for the day) back to the hotel area for food!
DAY THREE: Off to Alcatraz we went. Normally it’s really foggy on the island but we had an amazing day of warm weather so we didn’t fully understand the bleak place it could be. We did a walking tour first to learn about the 5 attempts to escape the island which was really interesting ranging from making their own lifejackets out of kitchen gloves and spending 8 years collecting military uniforms for the escape for it to just fail in 20 minutes. Kinda felt sorry for these people considering some of the crimes weren’t actually that big especially if you think how we treat criminals today. The audio tour finished with us seeing William Baker who was one of the last criminals that used to live at Alcatraz which was all a bit crazy! After an amazing day we headed to a bar to catch some sunshine and then off to chinatown for a meal which was delicious.

30 April 2019

DAY TWO: Ok so maybe I do have jet lag I woke up at 5:30am but have ploughed through a full packed day of exploring! Started by heading to Fishermans Wharf going to the shops and finding out they can charge you for a paper bag! Not happy! To get to Lombard Street which I have always wanted to see we had to walk up the biggest high I have ever seen and it didn’t disappoint. Thank god as I had to stop multiple times to get up the hill! We then went to Pier 29 to see the sea lions. 100% never seen so many seals in the wild all in one place. Highlight from today! Onto to another first we went to Bubba Gump Shrimp which was interesting, ate a lot of deep fried fish. Carried on shopping on the Pier then we headed to a bar to watch the Golden State Warriors in action!

29 April 2019

DAY ONE: We’re back! After nearly 3 years of being away from the US we’re back for an American road trip! We left London and watched a number of people get their items taken off them at security. Seriously people trying to get two bottles of red wine in your hand luggage & in a see through plastic bag is not going to work! After a 10 hour flight we made it to San Francisco. Had an hour just trying to get through passport control but it didn’t matter because we saw the Golden Gate Bridge from our plane & what a welcome that was! Jet lag seems to be ok for the both of us so after dropping our bags off at our very cute hotel we went exploring. Seen a few stereotypical American things already a cop with a coffee in hand, a dog on a walk with shoes (yes shoes) and of course us with pizza! Had to be done! So far an amazing start but now its time to finally fall asleep to trash (yes getting into the American spirt) TV although Doug keeps seeming to find the basketball so he is very at home!