Monday, 1 August 2011

Travel Bug: West Coast USA.

All the trips I have ever been on my life have been planned. They have been places I have always wanted to go. So this trip was completely out of the blue, totally spontaneous, unplanned and has always been a place I have thought of but not really been anywhere near the top of my "to visit" list. 

I am going on an 11 day tour of West Coast USA next March 2012! My friend and I had planned another big trip for March next year but the dates fell through. Since we had booked the leave off work and had longer to save for our next (big AND exciting) trip we decided we would go somewhere else. This was totally new to me!!! We now had a choice to visit anywhere we wanted (financially limited though) we had no clue and it was tough. It took a good couple of days to decide. I initially wanted to go to the Caribbean - particularly Barbados as my friend Lou Lou lives there with her hubby. My pal Lotte (who I am holidaying with) liked the idea of Mexico which I found really appealing too! In fact, Hawaii, Barbados, Mexico and Disneyworld Florida were all places we looked at first. Then Lotte mentioned she really wants to visit Los Angeles and my face dropped.

Lotte: LA sounds awesome doesn't it?
Me: mmm not really a holiday place is it? Sounds like the place you go to get plastic surgery. (I don't mean to be rude but I dont see LA as a go to place at all. It's just celebrity land!)
Lotte: Yeah but it's LOS ANGELES in CALIFORNIA!
Me: Now California DOES sound amazing!

Then we started reeling off places like San Francisco, the beaches, San Diego etc and it was then we realised California was going to be our destination. Just we could not afford travel and places to stay all over California! Then we saw an advert for American tours and we found the perfect one we want. It just sounds awesome!!!!!!!!

Day 1: We fly to LA and spend a night in down town LA. We land quite late at night. 

Day 2: We have the option to visit San Diego or spend a day at the beach - Pismo beach. It depends on the weather. I am not sure if it's beach weather for March in LA. Anyone know?

Day 3: We spend another day in Hollywood where we get to see the Hollywood walk of fame and take in all the sites. I definitely want a picture of the Hollywood sign behind me. 

 Pismo Beach.

Day 4: We go to San Francisco!!! I am really looking forward to seeing this city and travelling over the Golden Gate Bridge. It's iconic.

Day 5: We spend a day in San Francisco. We really want to take the cable car down to Fisherman's beach and I'd quite like to visit the island of Alcatraz. The old state prison. There is an optional excursion tour for this day but we'd quite like to explore for ourselves.

Day 6: We leave San Francisco early morning and travel to Yosemite National Park. Just looking at the views of this place has me in a ball of excitement. It just looks tranquil! The valley, the waterfalls and the lakes - wow! 
This really is my version of paradise and we get to camp the night here. At the moment this is what I am really looking forward to. It will be totally different from the buzz of the city to spending time here.

Day 7: This is an all travelling day and not particularly thrilled about it either. I just hope all the Yosemite air will tire me out! We do get to take a boat ride on the Colorado river for lunch though.

Day 8: Grand Canyon - Nevada.

 We are spending the day here and it will be my first time visiting any of the 7 natural wonders of the world. We have booked a helicopter ride to fly over the canyon and we'd quite like to do the sky walk as well. Then in the evening we travel to kids toy town.

Day 9: VEGAS!

We get a free day here to explore for ourselves. I may dabble in a little gambling, go on the roller-coaster at the New Yorker hotel and see the fountain display at the Bellagio!

Day 10/11: We spend another half day in Vegas before we journey back to LA to get our plane and land back in the UK. I probably imagine we will be shattered!

At first I had my doubts before booking it. I hate the idea of a tour guide touring us around and having to take coaches to places. However, we read the reviews and they were all so fantastic. We have decided we don't want to do many of the excursions and see some of the sites for ourselves. The hotels are gorgeous and we are seeing loads of things in 10 days. It's going to be packed full to brim of fun and I now think we're really lucky to get the deal we have gotten.

Bring it on!


ktjane said...

Sounds amazing! I haven't ever been that far west, but I know that it is absolutely beautiful!

Steph{anie} said...

I'm so jealous! The farthest west I've traveled in the states is Arizona. California is on my list of places to visit for sure! You're going to have a blast!!

Alex(andra) said...

That's awesome!!! I've always wanted to visit out west. I've only been to Colorado, which is one state west of mine. Mike's been to San Diego for a band thing and he loved it. California is supposed to be beautiful.. You're going to have a great time!!!

Starlight said...

This sounds amazing. One day I want to go on a road trip in the USA - from coast to coast.

Colette said...

I hate you. That is all.

No seriously, when I first read California I was like 'yeah, not really interested' but when you list all the sights down together it makes me SO JEALOUS!!!! I don't know if it's a place I'll ever get to visit but it sounds like an AMAZING trip.

Mere said...

I have been almost all of the places you have listed in this tour and let me tell you, YOU'RE IN FOR A TREAT!!! It's gonna rock your socks off!

Love, Mere

Kristen said...

I've been to the grand canyon and it rocks. Vegas too is amazing.

Stacie said...

You are going to see places in my country I have never seen! You can look up average temperatures for Pismo Beach and decide if you think it'll be too cold or not. The water definitely isn't warm that time of year... I cannot wait until you make all of your travels! I know you'll see lots of amazing things and take tons of pictures to share!

Sarah said...

I live close to San Fran and we go at least once a month. It's amazing and you will have so much fun! Definitely do the tour on Alcatraz! It'll be pretty chilly in March, so make sure you wear a nice sweatshirt so you won't be freezing! :]

Sarah said...

By the way, make sure you buy the Alcatraz tour tickets ahead of time. Purchase them online the day or two before....they usually sell out pretty fast so it's not uncommon that you would be unable to purchase same day tickets once you arrive. I learned the hard way...I arrived on Saturday to take the tour and they were sold out of tickets until Monday!

Amanda said...

And on either day 4 or day 5 you get to meet ME!! :) For real, I'm so excited you're coming! And I echo Sarah, make sure to get your Alcatraz tickets in plenty of time. That is the sole reason I have yet to go there, we always forget to pre-purchase and they're always sold out. Sad.

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