Friday, 24 July 2015

A Californian Adventure

The half way point at Glacier Point, Yosemite

This was one of my favourite holidays, for all sorts of reasons. We flew into Las Vegas, hired a car, and drove through Death Valley, to Yosemite, to Sonoma, and San Francisco, before driving down Highway 1 to San Diego and, finally, flying home after a few nights in LA. I had the BEST time. Each place we visited had it's own landscape, food and atmosphere and our daily routine changed with each city. 

Here are some of my favourite memories:
  • Stargazed in Death Valley and Yosemite
  • Watched the sunset over the Grand Canyon
  • Drove an automatic car on the 'wrong side' of the road
  • Pulled a one-arm bandit in Las Vegas
  • Cycled along Venice boardwalk
  • Scuba dived in La Jolla's magical underwater kelp forests 
  • Hiked until my feet blistered in Yosemite National Park
  • Screamed on the Giant Dipper in Santa Cruz, followed by a snacking on a corn dog 
  • Escaped from Alcatraz National Park
  • Visited Hollywood Bowl to watch an anniversary screening of Back to the Future, with the original score played by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Got a parking ticket in Venice for parking facing the wrong direction
  • Spied a little brown bear eating his dinner from brambles in Yosemite
  • Watched Cirque du Soleil's Mystere  
  • Cycled across the Golden Gate Bridge 
  • Posed next to Route 66 signs in Seligman, Arizona
  • Cheered for San Francisco Giants at their bayfront stadium, against San Diego Padres
  • Kissed at the top of Santa Monica pier's Ferris wheel
  • Paddled in the Pacific Ocean at California's beautiful beaches
  • Slipped on rock at Huntington Falls in Golden Gate Park (and walked around with a soggy bum)
  • Ordered expensive steaks which were carved table side at Carnevino in Las Vegas
  • Stumbled upon an in-store (mewithoutyou) at San Francisco's Amoeba Records
  • Watched dolphins jumping in and out the water from Carmel beach
  • Shopped in Beverly Hills and squealed a little in front of the Beverley Wilshire 
  • Cracked open a rock crab on Santa Barbara's Stearn's Wharf
  • Ordered off-menu Animal fries at In-N-Out Burger
  • Celebrated 4th July with San Diego's Big Bay Boom fireworks display
  • Went to a gig (Soak, The Echo in Los Angeles)
  • Snacked on dim sum in San Francisco's Chinatown
  • Mixed a souvenir cup cocktail at the Purple Zebra in Las Vegas
  • Toured a vineyard (Sanford Winery, from Sideways!)
  • Walked down Bubblegum Alley in San Louis Obispo
  • Ordered dinner at some of San Francisco and LA's amazing food trucks
  • Admired McWay Falls
  • Toasted marshmallows for s'mores under the stars at El Capitan Canyon
  • Ate a burritto in San Francisco's Mission District
  • Sampled some of Sonoma county's pinot noirs and chardonnay... and pinot gris... and sparkling...
  • Queued to see the pandas at San Diego Zoo
  • Scoffed doughnuts at San Diego's 'Donut Bar' (Creme brule, maple bacon, and boston cream. Fit.)
  • Watched waves crash into the cliffs along Big Sur's coastline 
  • Ate BBQ food at LA's 97 year old Grand Central Market
  • Laughed at seals, sealions, and elephant seals
  • Stood on the outside of an historic cable car up and down San Francisco's hills 
  • Camped in Panamint Springs, Death Valley, after day time temperatures of 120F
  • Watched surfers ride the waves, including my very own surfer on his first lesson in Venice
  • Took in the views at the top of Mammoth Mountain in Mammoth Lakes
  • Guzzled local craft brews and visited breweries and tap rooms
  • Snapped a photograph of Bixby Bridge
  • Explored the International Surfing Museum in Huntington Beach
  • Saw the lone cypress on Pebble Beach's 17 mile scenic drive
  • Posed in front of the Hollywood sign in Griffith Park

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