Coming home from holiday I’ve literally not known where to start when people ask me about our trip. I don’t like to generally talk about a holiday too much, but on this occasion I really don’t know where to begin. We stayed in 7 locations and travelled over 1,800 miles in just under 3 weeks – thank goodness I had my camera and travel journal with me!
But I so want to share things on here, so today I thought I’d start with 5 of my favourite days in California. Of course, there were more than 5 but I thought I’d focus on those key memories. In fact, I scribbled down the 5 on the afternoon we got home on a notepad before I had a nap (good ideas always come about just as I’m falling asleep). Here goes!
1. Bike riding over the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
I was jet lagged and had been awake since 4am so, full of energy and excited to be in San Francisco, we spent the morning of our first day of the holiday bike riding. We started at Fisherman’s Wharf, over the bridge and down to Sausalito before we got the ferry back to Pier 1 and then cycled all the way down the Fisherman’s Wharf. We reckon it was about 10 miles all in all. I remember cycling over that bridge with the wind in my hair thinking “I’m here, I’m on holiday, this is going to be great” and it was. Plus a very sweet lady congratulated us on cycling over the Golden Gate Bridge when we were struggling up a hill on the way to the ferry. We loved her.
2. Visiting Yosemite National Park
I loved Yosemite; if we could have stayed there longer we definitely would have. We stayed in quite a luxurious spa lodge (thanks Flight Centre!) which was only half an hour from the entrance to the park and, after feeling a bit chilly in San Francisco, the air there seemed so fresh yet warm with the sunshine. Plus there was still a bit of snow on the ground. We barely scraped the surface of the park; I’m almost embarrassed to say we only really did the touristy bits, but next time. Next time I’d like to go there, do a proper hike and camp there. That would be amazing.
3. Driving through Big Sur
Waking up in the beautiful sunshine in Carmel by the Sea, I was so excited to see Route one as we drove through Big Sur. Our route took us from Carmel down to San Simeon and it was one of the best days. I did some driving, we stopped at several spots to take in the view, enjoyed a strawberry scone at the Big Sur bakery and saw hundreds and hundreds of elephant seals on the beach. Oh and on one stop we came across the friendliest set of squirrels – they were seriously not afraid of us and when someone gave one of them a nut they went crazy for him and literally chased him through the car park!
4. Seeing the sites of Newport beach with Stu’s uncle
After a heck of a day driving from San Simeon to Santa Monica, before then driving through LA at rush hour we were in need of a rest! So we had a little lay in before Stu’s uncle took us on a bike ride to Balboa Pier and then down Newport beach. We had lunch at the end of the pier at Ruby’s diner (the chocolate chip cookie milkshake was heavenly!), cycled and then went for a swim when we got back. The day was rounded off with a BBQ in the sunshine. Going on holiday and spending time with a local really was a good way of getting a rounded trip.
5. Spending the day at San Diego zoo
Oh my, I knew San Diego zoo would be good but I had no idea that it’d be that good. Another beautiful day with blue skies and a lovely breeze, we spent the day mooching around the zoo and seeing more animals then I knew what to do with! The layout of the zoo is great (things aren’t too far apart and it follows a logical course), if you wait long enough you will see the animals that are hiding (unlike UK zoos, sorry) and we saw pandas! That was amazing. Plus, after a couple of trips to view them and a lot of patience, we were lucky enough to see an Arctic fox. A member of staff told us it was quite rare to see them, so it was a real highlight.
Ah California, I love you.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little holiday insight. I’ll share more soon!