Our Adventure Part 5: California

Day 46: Heading to Southern California

Back to the state that gave us the desire to go and travel, it still remains our favourite. We started off the day driving down towards San Francisco. We chose to stay north for our first night, in the Marin Headlands (separated by SFC by the Golden Gate Bridge). This was mostly due to cost, it is crazily expensive to stay in SanFran!

Golden Gate Bridge

We checked into our hostel after a fairly long drive and popped over the bridge into the city to catch a glimpse of the awesome red bridge before heading to bed!

Day 47: A day in San Francisco

Often people's favourite city, we didn't quite fall in love with it as much as we thought on our last visit so this trip was focused on seeing what we perhaps missed!

We headed towards the famous Pier 39 and battled the crowds as we wandered around the shops and arcade. Kim attracted a little audience as she beat the top score on the basketball hoops lol. The evening ended in another visit to the Cheesecake Factory (only an hour+ long queue to wait) and watching Bridget Jones' Baby in the cinema... great film!

πŸ˜‹

Day 48: Alcatraz day

Today I awoke after about 2-3 hours sleep and asked Kim if we could check-out of our hostel and move on. This was definitely the worst of the accommodation we'd stayed in (very weird roommates, gross bathrooms) & it frustrated me how expensive it also was! Kim chose to keep me happy rather than endure another day of spending time with a grump lol. We had a slight situation however as we needed to stay in SFC all day so we could finally do the Alcatraz tour we'd been hoping to do in 2013 (cancelled due to national park shutdown).

Which burger do I fancy?

With spare time in an American city, we did what any tourist should do and headed to an American diner for some brunch.

Wow... it was worth the wait!

This was one of our favourite tours so far, so well run and organised! Seeing Alcatraz at nightime gave it something extra too as you could really get a sense of what it was like the night the prisoners escaped! The 'did they make it/didn't they make it' is such a tough call, the bay doesn't look that far away when you're here however the conditions in there are apparently deceiving... who knows!

Day 49: Santa Cruz - Yosemite

We had a very decent nights sleep. It's amazing how much you appreciate a decent pillow, big bed and your own bathroom after a few hostel stays and camping! Kim got herself a hair trim in Santa Cruz and then we headed on down towards Yosemite NP.

Cute Airbnb

We were excited to stay in another Airbnb and it seemed we had picked another great one! Tucked away in nearby Oakhurst, this was a lovely private space for us. The older couple that owned it were very sweet and accommodating and we immediately felt at home! So much so, we headed out for dinner and straight back to the room for British Bake Off and snacks in bed.

Day 50: Yosemite NP

This is such a beautiful park, there are so many trees! We spent the day driving through Tioga Pass as we had done on our last trip, except this time we weren't restricted on where we could go (NP shutdown caused us a few problems on our last visit!).

Wildlife in the Airbnb garden!
Lovely Airbnb FT best car ever ;)

Day 51: To Monterey!

Today we left Yosemite and drove down towards Monterey. We spent some time exploring and again drove the 17 mile drive - which was one of our favourite drives on our last trip. It was as beautiful as before.

17 mile scenic drive

We caught an Uber to a well reviewed Mexican restaurant and had a couple of strong cocktails before heading to bed that night.

Day 52: Carmel-by-the-sea

We loved Carmel on our last visit but this time we fell even more in love! A beautiful sunny day helped out, as did spotting dolphins playing in the sea! This place is an absolute dream.

Spot the dolphin!

The street heading down towards the beach is full of quaint shops, bakeries and restaurants so we took a stroll and had some lunch in a lovely cafe. We also stumbled across Bella the dog who came with her own business card... just to remind us we're still in the USA πŸ˜„.

After lunch we took a stroll along the coastline to look at some of the nice houses, we also stumbled across a beautiful wedding, they picked a great day β˜€οΈ!

Coastal walk

That night we ate at A.W. Shucks (Kim was craving this after our last visit in 2013... we are retracing our steps a lot haha). Afterwards we headed back to the bakery for a treat πŸ˜‹.

Cocktails with dinner

Day 53: Big Sur

It was time for the ultimate highway 1 moment - the Big Sur! We had rainy weather last time we did this drive so we were really excited that there was a random heatwave going on this time round!

We had a great time driving along the coast in the glorious sunshine & stopped for an In'n'Out burger in Pismo Beach (where we had our first ever one back in 2013 and so where Kim found heaven!). I noticed Kim gently folding a straw wrapper as a souvenir and made her buy a tshirt because it was just too cute. We later stopped for a drink in Santa Barbara overlooking the sunset.

That night we found some healthy food and stayed the night nearby Calabasas ahead of a day in LA.

Day 54: Universal Studios

We decided to treat ourselves to a day in the theme park after we'd somehow been pretty money savvy on our trip so far. We got up super early to ensure we got there in good time and ended up waiting for it to actually open!

We did all the rides in good time and tried butter beer, discovering it's actually just an absolutely awesome frozen version of cream soda!

Soooo good

That evening we drove down to our favourite spot in the world... Laguna Beach. We had 3 nights booked in a beautiful motel to round up the most amazing 8 weeks in mainland USA!

Day 55: Laguna Beach

Oh Laguna Beach we love you! Our motel is soo nice and it's within walking distance of all the decent restaurants and the beach! Great choice πŸ‘πŸΌ.

Freebie

There is such a good atmosphere in this place, it is pretty upper class but it's not snobby and so makes us feel comfortable. We got chatting to a lovely lady in a shop who seemed really happy to chat to us as she was also a Brit, she was living our dream ;). She gave us a little wooden post card as a gift from her after I bought a top, it was really sweet of her!

That evening we took another stroll along the beach and caught a beautiful sunset, a real 'wow' evening ❀️.

Gorgeous sunset

There's no better way to end an evening here than on a rooftop bar with a couple of drinks followed by a cutch beside the poolside fireplace at our motel ☺️.

Perfect evening

Day 56: Soaking up the last of California

Our last day of our mainland USA trip! We spent it relaxing by the pool face timing loved ones and soaking up the rays! Sounds dull perhaps but it was a lovely day!

Beautiful Kim in our favourite spot

We took an Uber back to the hotel we stayed in on our last visit so we could enjoy the sunset view from their rooftop bar however it wasn't as spectacular as the previous nights & we got a little chilly once the sun set so moved on for dinner en route back to our motel.

Another Laguna sunset

California we love you... next stop Hawaii!

Created By
Kelly Broome
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Credits:

Kelly Broome & Kimberley Barton

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