Page 16 of RedPlanetClaire Travel Blog Posts

North America » United States » Nevada » Las Vegas September 1st 2012

Tuesday 28th August We left Los Angeles at 6am to avoid rush hour traffic which starts at 7am and lasts a lot longer than an hour. We stopped on the outskirts of LA for gas and bought subway sandwiches for breakfast. At this gas station, and as I have seen at other gas stations, there’s TV on the actual petrol pumps! This particular pump had a loop of X-Factor trailers. Glyn drove along the 15 until we got to Apple Valley which was totally rough and run down. I then started driving and took a small detour to go on the famous Route 66. The road itself was mostly quite well maintained but very undulating, it was like driving over solid sand dunes and fun for a while. On the road side were many closed businesses ... read more
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas

North America » United States » California » Los Angeles August 29th 2012

Friday 24 August Glyn and I got up at 6am to leave at 7am to go to Disney Land which opened at 8am. Disney essentially is for children but we still had fun, although it was a bit saccharine in places. Many of the rides were impressive but not thrilling. Glyn convinced me to go into the Enchanted Tiki Room which was a bunch of fake tropical birds singing cheesy songs, the only word to describe it (apart from awful) is twee. As we were there so early, we managed to get the best rides done within two hours. I liked the Star Tours and Space Mountain. Peter Pan was crap. Glyn was chuffed to finally get some gumbo, which was also a huge portion. Regretfully we went to watch Captain EO, having not researched it ... read more
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North America » United States » California » Los Angeles August 24th 2012

Wednesday 22nd August We left Elk Grove at 7.30am and soon hit the rush hour traffic which wasn’t so bad, especially as we could use the diamond lane (carpool). We were followed by a police car for a while which is never nice. We travelled down the 50, passing by Charles Manson in Fulsom jail, towards Lake Tahoe and soon the landscape got hilly. There were also lots of trees and the road became twisty and turny. Our satnav, Sheila, disagreed with many of our decisions, but she was wrong quite often. It’s a good job we’d also bought a map! Sheila wanted us to go up to Lake Tahoe itself and when we got on the 88 and 89, she tried to convince us to go down a ravine. We briefly stopped to water the ... read more

North America » United States » California » Sacramento August 23rd 2012

Sunday 19th August It took a few hours to drive to Sacramento from San Francisco, and then down to Elk Grove where Susan and Howie live. It was dark by the time we got there. Howie and Susan’s house is also occupied by their Mum and three dogs who greeted us for sometime when we arrived. It’s a pretty spectacular house with a pool and Winnebago in the back yard, the latter also being the guesthouse where we were to stay for the next three nights. We were so impressed by the size of the fridge that I took a photo of Glyn next to it, it had double doors!! I’m pretty sure that most Americans wouldn’t find this unusual as I’ve noticed that in the USA most of their electrical appliances are larger than ours ... read more
Old Sacramento
Learning to pan for gold
Going gold panning

North America » United States » California » San Francisco August 20th 2012

Saturday 18th August So as per usual we were awake by about 6am. I’d been woken a few times in the night by much yelling and car screeching in the streets. We’d pre-booked Alcatraz and were damn grateful as it turned out that the next available tickets were on 27th August. As we’d driven for so long the day before, we decided to walk to Pier 33 as Google maps claimed it was a 40 minute walk. But Google map makers must be über fit! It certainly woke me up scaling Lombard St at 8.30 am! But at least it was fairly clear for taking photos. We were on the first trip of the day and the journey across the water was windy and cold. Alcatraz was interesting (I’ve been once before in 2009 and it’s ... read more
San Francisco from alcatraz boat
Lombard St
Lombard St

North America » United States » California » Crescent City August 19th 2012

Wednesday 15 August We left at 8.30 am and started the long drive from Tacoma to Newport which took about 5 and a half hours. We passed by Olympia, the Capitol of the State. Unbeknownst to us, there was some old guy shooting at freeway traffic but we missed him - or he missed us. We crossed a bridge to Portland, which was also the border to Oregon. Tim said that everyone moves real slow in Oregon and then we promptly hit heavy traffic. We moved real slow. It was a long, long drive to Newport past lots of dense woods and passing a good few logging trucks. I was excited to see a covered bridge just like the one Geena Davis died on in Beetlejuice. We checked in at the Econolodge which Stacey had booked ... read more
Sealion at Newport
Foggy Oregon Coast
Seagull and cat at Crescent City

North America » United States » Washington » Tacoma August 13th 2012

Saturday 11 August After a 7 hour flight to Philadelphia and a 6 hour flight to Seattle, we finally arrived. Tim and Stacey were waiting at baggage claim and got there long before our luggage did! I still find it weird that baggage claim is next to the exit in American airports if you’d already landed somewhere else within the States. Glyn and I were relieved to get our baggage through after telling customs we had no alcohol or food when our luggage contained M&S Jubilee beer and chocolates that barely kept us within the weight limit. So concerned I’d been about the weight and had left clothes behind, that I clean forgot to check how much alcohol I was actually allowed to bring in - if any! We’d landed at around 7pm local time and ... read more
Man cycles at Point Defiance
Glass Museum

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Staffordshire » Stoke-on-Trent April 18th 2012

Glyn and I started planning the USA trip this week. The flights are booked and I am so excited that I could pop. We will start the trip by visiting Tim and Stacey in Tacoma, They already have much planned including Snoqualmie Falls, Mt. Rainier, Tacoma stuff as well as a bit of Seattle. And Stacey will be making homemade icecream and cakes. Stacey and Tim made our wedding cake and it was awesome, so I look forward to more cakes.They are also planning a party in our honour, so we are very chuffed! One thing I've always wanted to do since seeing 'Return of the Jedi' is visit the Great Redwood forests, so we shall do this and also fulfill another childhood dreams of driving through a redwood - one of those already with a ... read more
Tim and Stacey

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