Las Vegas: Day 1

Where better to go after a day exploring one of natures wonders but sin city itself, Las Vegas! We managed to snag pretty good rooms at Caesars because of an Internet deal, so we were all pretty excited. We started the day the American way... Brightly coloured cereal.

After a quick (read numerous arguments) discussion about the route and a check of our roadmap we set off for our 9 hour roadtrip.

As the sun was setting we were drawing closer, Vegas is so strange it's literally in the middle of the desert, there's nothing and then suddenly you drive over the crest of a hill and there it is, a shining star.

We arrived around 8pm and drove the length of the strip snapping photos before finally checking in, it was our first experience with valet parking and I regret to say we were severely unsmooth! The car wasn't looking it's best after 9 hours on the road and we hadn't really prepared the bags. We all got the giggles and kept hushing each other and there were many murmurs of "act cool".

A few snaps of the room, and the jacuzzi bath which was probably the best thing ever, they had that bubble bath that actually bubbles loads like in the movies.

The view from our room was amazing! We could see the bellagio fountains which was a real treat, we all ran dreaming to take a photo and get our instagrams up straight away. It's well worth using that comment section on hotel booking forms, because I just put please could we have a nice view and we got this... Pretty incredible.

They also have those white fluffy robes, we spent the first night living in them and watching movies, not quite the party atmosphere you might expect from Vegas but we loved it.



All too soon we had to leave San Francisco. We'd got too used to the chilled out people the laid back lifestyle and even the hills. Luckily we were off somewhere epic... Yosemite National Park.
N.B. In America you can't do a roadtrip justice without buying one of these crazy colourful drinks that they call slurpies for like a dollar. Kinda tastes gross but that's all part of the fun right?

We arrived!!! And what a view to welcome us in.

As we drove for most of the morning to get there, we really only had the afternoon to hike. We decided on one of the shorter hikes where we could take in Vernal waterfall and apparently get some beaut views of the halfdone which both sounded pretty perfect.

Photos from half way up, and nearly there, we had a LOT of rests on the way up which we kidded ourselves were just to take photos. 

After quite a bit of huffing and puffing and consulting a few people on "really quite how much further is it?", and "how many more bends before we see it". We found it!

On the walk up we appreciated the view but when we got to the top we were blown away, it was breathtaking. Seriously one of the prettiest places I have been in my life. I feel so lucky to have seen it, I think I'll make a pact when I'm slightly older and richer to pay for my parents to come out to America and see it as I know my dad especially would love it.

After all that walking we were starving. We had decided to stay in a little town outside Yosemite park to save money. It was a good decision, we stayed in Maryposa a tiny town of just 700 and they had the kind of American diner you can only dream of! The Happy Burger Diner is a real taste sensation, a definite top 5 in bestt burgers I've ever had. I went for bacon cheeseburger and crinkly fries, and they do steiners! 

Nature and food, two of my favourite things.


San Fran: Day 4 - Berkeley

Ok so I am a massive O.C. Fan, like huge. I love going to visit American uni campus' anyway but Berekley was special. The town had a real hippie vibe to it, and everyone is very chilled out and happy to chat.

"She doesn't even go here"

Umm correction I bought the jumper! I'm allowed to pretend I go to my hearts content now! After a laid back lunch on one of the mainly sunny grassy areas on campus we headed back to San Fran for some retail therapy!

Retails therapy happened to include buying a pint of Ben and jerry's each and enjoying it while watching the sun go down.

San Francisco you have been amazing, we all agreed we could very happily live here!


San Fran: Day 3 - Muir woods

Day three in San Francisco began like every other day, with PB and J and plenty of fruit courtesy of our hostel. We'd picked up our car rental the day before and we had a day trip planned for north of the golden gate.

After rolling around some seriously hairpin bends, blasting our roadtrip playlist and singing along at the top of our lungs to chillies roadtrippin' we arrived at the destination of our adventure that day, the Muirwoods.

Majestically tall redwoods that just went on and on...

And on!

After our trek through the forest it was time for the picnic we had brpught and we were by no means roughing it. Our picnic was made up of ham and cheese crackers, schnapple iced tea, mint m&ms (incred!) and lindors, I don't think we could have eaten better if we'd have tried. We found a spot right in the midst of all the foresty dappled sunlight and dug in.

We were having far too good a time eating that before we knew it it was 4pm and we had to race back to the west coast beach for the subset which was supposed to be one of the best in Cali.

But not before a quick stop on the way to get that one snapshot to send to out loved ones back home.

And we made it! Becky was so thrilled to have made it in time to see the sun go down she actually fell over in excitement! 
Which led to us all breaking down in fits of giggles, still quite hysterical we set of in search of more food and then bed.


San Fran: Day 2

Our second day on the west coast greeted us once more with bright sunlight. Excited to make the most we rolled out of our bunks and got ready for a day of exploring Alcatraz. 
You can see Alcatraz from the San Francisco mainland but as you draw nearer to the island on the boat a chill seems to descend in the air and the island becomes distinctly creepy.

In the 70's after the island was no longer home to its inmates, Indians occupied the island fighting for their rights their messages can still be read today.

Chilling like villains ... Literally!

The tour of Alcatraz is well worth it I learnt so much about the history that I had no idea of I think it's 30 dollars or so from memory, and you get these super cool headsets to boot! 

Being inside some of the cells was surreal, imagining living there for any length of time was impossible. The whole place seemed hopeless even in the bright sunlight.

Of course that didn't mean we didn't have a little fun!

Standing on the island looking across the bay you could see the whole of San Francisco, so close, but so unreachable due to the strong currents that swept the bay. It was odd imagining how helpless the prisoners must have felt, and strange feeling sorry for people who had obviously done terrible things to end up there but it was difficult not to feel compassion for them, especially when some inmates recounted stories of their time on the island through the headsets. 

I was glad we visited but even happier when we returned once more back to the comfort of the the wharf and the bustle of everyday life.