Blogs from California, United States, North America - page 3


North America » United States » California » Los Angeles December 21st 2015

R: Next morning we headed on to Santa Monica, the first of the Los Angeles beaches we came to. Santa Monica is a victim of urban sprawl, and while not unpleasant, its fairly urban with a so so beach, and a pier with rides on it which I vaguely remember from last time I was here. Our primary objective here was to visit the two British shops in the continued search for Christmas puddings. success! "Ye Olde Kings Head" had stacks of them, along with crackers, mince pies, brandy butter, not to mention Cadbury products, Tesco cook in sauces, pies, pasties and prawn cocktail crisps. We asked what the guy was going to do with all the left overs after Christmas and he was pretty sure they would find a good home! We had a bit ... read more
Hollywood Boulevard
Commissioner Gordon is on holiday
Oh no!

North America » United States » California December 20th 2015

R: Today we completed the drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles - well, nearly. We are about 30 miles outside on account of price and availability on Saturday night. Route 1 hugs the coast for the route down to LA and beyond, so it's pretty easy to navigate here. After San Francisco is a series of state beaches, all with big surf, crashing waves, and varying amounts of sandy beach. The weather was cold though - so no taking any plunges for us. We stopped at Half Moon bay first, then continued down to various look outs including the poorly named Pigeon Point (for once I was disappointed not to see pigeons), Natural Bridges beach and Santa Cruz. We finally capitulated to eating a Taco Bell, and headed down to the coast, which had a ... read more
Downtown Carmel
Downtown Solvang
A brief tinkle on the ivories

North America » United States » California » San Francisco December 18th 2015

If your daughter lives in London and you live in New Zealand you have to fly to the other side of the world to see her. Of course this is totally worth it, especially with the added bonus of needing to stop off somewhere half way to avoid deep vein thrombosis and the agony of up to 24 hours cooped up in cattle class with a child repeatedly kicking the back of your seat. Our choice of stopover this time was San Francisco because 1. we've never been there, 2. it's a city with so much resonance for baby boomers like us as the home of hippies, free love and nostalgia-laden music and 3. there was a good deal on the flight. I would have liked longer, but when Rhys found out that San Francisco is ... read more
The Height Ashbury area
Interesting shop fronts in the Height Ashbury - this was the first gay bar
Sea lions at Fishermans Wharf

North America » United States » California » San Francisco December 18th 2015

C: It was a relatively short drive down to SF from Bodega Bay and our first stop was the pretty town of Sausilito, just north of the bay on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge. From here you can see straight across the bay to the city and after a little meander along the waterside we found lunch with a view, sitting outside in the sunshine eating pizza with SF and the Golden Gate in the background. Particularly nice in December! There was also a guy on the beach doing amazing balancing art with different sized stones and pieces of wood. We then got to drive across the GG bridge and visited the park on the other side. It's a huge park, similar to Central Park in size and shape but the main thing ... read more
Beautiful Japanese garden
Pier 39 Sea Lions

North America » United States » California » Bodega Bay December 13th 2015

R: We arrived in to Bodega Bay quite late at night and just as another Pacific storm was coming in. It's most famous as the setting for Alfred Hitchcocks film "The Birds" - a film based on killer sea gulls attacking the local residents. Cate being from the seaside has a slight fondness for sea gulls, personally, I hate the things. Now I feel a bit ratified. Bodega bay is a sweet little place, more a line of shops and services along the sea front. It's a sheltered bay (but didn't feel so sheltered with the storm coming in) and a headland which is on a different tectonic plate. It was a stormy night, made worse by the sheriff turning up over and over again to deal with a child custody issue at the hotel, and ... read more
Bodega Bay
Harbour Seal
Pelican @ Bodega Bay

North America » United States » California » Napa Valley December 12th 2015

R: Our next plan was to head to Yosemite national park - but it wasn't to be, the national weather service reported a winter storm coming in with several feet of snow forecast overnight the night we were planning to stay, so we decided to make a tactical detour and stay near the coast. From Fresno we headed to Napa - we were going to come here anyway, but decided to extend our stay. Napa is wine country, so we headed for the wine welcome centre to discover more. From there you can buy a pass which you can use for a tasting in 12 winery shops in downtown Napa, which ranged from a single taster, up to 6 different pours - and the size of these depended on the generosity of the bar tender. So ... read more
Christmas lights spectacular
A matter of importance in Napa
Napa Downtown

North America » United States » California » Roseville December 11th 2015

CHRISTMAS 2015 PEACE ON EARTH AND GOOD WILL TO ALL! Well wouldn’t that be nice! This year more than any other I can remember, it feels like the world is falling to pieces and the peace of the infant Savior is what we need and pray for. I write this after a wonderful Thanksgiving shared with my brother, Raymond , his family and his in- laws who welcomed us into their home. It just reminds us of how much we have to be thankful for despite the world condition. We are thankful for our children and grandchildren as they grow and thrive. We have enjoyed Leslie and Tim and their boys numerous times this year. That drive to Seattle just gets easier. Jack at 10, is barely inches shorter than his Nana. I am sure the ... read more

C: So we left the bright lights and headed off to California. We wanted to go to Death Valley but I think we underestimated the distances a bit as we ended up driving nearly 500 miles in one day and doing DV the speed tourism way. It was very impressive, however, a massive basin of salt between mountains that looked like solid sand dunes. We were below sea level at one point And it was the hottest place we'd been to though still nowhere near the temperatures they get in summer. Unfortunately it was dark by the time we left so didn't see much of the scenic road out and got to our overnight stop, a seemingly very dull industrial city called Bakersfield very late. Thank God for 24hr Denny's and a really scruffy motel! The ... read more
Badwater Basin at Death Valley
Artists palate
Sunset at Badwater Basin

North America » United States » California » Pismo Beach December 9th 2015

For those of us in California, we know the famed Pacific Coast Highway as either PCH, State Route 1 or Highway 1. It runs along most of the California coastline. The southern end point is Dana Point in Orange County. The northern terminus is at Leggett in Mendocino County. The Golden Gate Bridge is part of the PCH. For this, and many other reasons, it is called the All American Road. The image we have is the bright red convertible cruising down the coast, with cool ocean breezes, lots of tempting places to stop, and no timetable for a stop or destination. Travel experts call it the classic American route, and that it belongs on everyone's bucket list. If you have never driven the entire route, I strongly suggest it, with or without the red convertible. ... read more

North America » United States » California » Santa Barbara December 8th 2015

First and foremost, I am going on my first international trip to London for New Years!!! Yayy!! the process of getting there has been an interesting one indeed. Since May I have not had internet so therefore no blog. I decided to try out love and move out to the woods with someone I had been dating for awhile to learn about farm life. After a stressful season and heartbreak, my branching out lead to meeting some really awesome people from London. The invite and pull out to the UK could not be ignored and I decided to jump on the idea and head out Christmas Eve. This begins, sparks and fulfills a dent in my wanderlust. So far I have created a Couchsurfers, Airbnb, and Trusted Housesitters profile to further expand my adventures. Although I ... read more

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