California, the round up

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March 7th 2011
Published: March 12th 2011
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The Pink View

California. I think I like it. No, make that, I know I like it. A week just isn't long enough though. We would have loved to have visited Yosemite, San Diego and to have been able to cross the border to Mexico, but you just can't do that all in a week. That said, I am not at all disappointed that we decided to confine our trip to LA, Highways 101 and 1 and San Francisco. There is something very familiar about this part of the US. At least, I think there is. It could just be that, when you have home in your sights, everything starts to feel that little bit more familiar.

To emphasise just how British I am - we have been extremely lucky with the wether. Beautiful sunshine for three days in a row in San Francisco isn't all that common, or so I believe. Apparently, a week ago they were forecasting snow - I am rather glad that we avoided that. San Francisco is, in the sunshine, a beautiful city. It is a place where we have found it even easier than normal to feel at home. Unlike Hollywood, it feels real and has a sense of history about it - the majority of the buildings in the centreal area have clearly been here for quite some time. Wondering around at ground level, I sort of feel like I am on the set of King Kong (the re-make)- don't know why, I just do.

Before we came to the US on honeymooon, neither of us had a desire to travel here. In fact, we came on honeymoon because we thought that we were unlikely to visit ever again. Now that we have visited two states, however I am rather intrigued by the other 48. The appeal is, of course, partly in the ease of travelling here, the lack of language barrier and the familiarity of the food but I am discovering that America has a lot more to offer than that.

The Blue View

Our last destination on this amazing trip, and as such a hard one to review. In part because I am writing this in the UK (home?) and it almost feels like it was all a dream already, and in part because of the events that surrounded this part of the trip.

I don’t feel that we made the most of our time in Los Angeles, but I put that down to misinformation and the delay with the luggage both firmly the fault of the otherwise excellent Air New Zealand (who despite all this I would still rather travel with than any other carrier). I also wonder if the Oscars had an impact but I’m not really sure that they did, I think LA is always like that.

It is a strange place, filled with the weirdest of people, living alongside the normal people in complete integration. There is also such a strong Mexican influence here that at times it felt like we were in a foreign speaking country not the USA. If I had been in Mexico this wouldn’t have bothered me but I wasn’t expecting the merge of cultures and it did somewhat put me off. Then we left LA and headed north - and everything changed.

The drive north was good fun, although a touch stressful being on the wrong side of the road. It has the potential to be absolutely stunning but visibility of only about twenty yards didn’t enhance this drive for either of us.

Then there was San Francisco…..

This was one of the few places on this trip which we headed for with an ittinnery of things to do in mind. This no doubt altered our perception of it in comparison with other places, and the weather certainly helped being beautifully sunny for all but our last half day.

With all that said it is a place that I like a lot. Despite the cold, which was a shock, I can see the appeal of the place. I can’t see enough appeal to consider moving there but it certainly has a fair bit to offer for a “vacation” as they say in those parts.

All in all California from what I saw is a very different beast to Florida, the only other state I have visited, and has a lot to entice visitors (if you can forgive them the appalling adverts a certain governator stars in).


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