Sunday, March 27, 2005
Last breakfast in SF
Just come back from fantastic meal in china town - even if it was a little speedy. Before that we went back to Tosca and sampled their world famous and lethal cappucino. It was a coffee with a large dose of brandy. We are now sitting in darkness at the hotel as there is a power cut on the block. Lights out on the holiday indeed.
picnic by the bridge
Friday, March 25, 2005
Hi from sunny San Fran
We have 2 days to go on our holiday and can you believe we're sitting in a net cafe writing this! We're trying out our new wireless laptop and, yep, it works.
we're off up to Haight shortly and from there a walk through Golden Gate park.
Tonight we are planning on going out in North Beach and drinking some cocktails.
It's been an incredible holiday so far and we can't wait to tell you all about it and show you some pictures - we've taken more than 240 of them!
Thursday, March 24, 2005
Beat nik baby
I left my heart in...
Finally. We have made it to san fran after 10 days and 2,000 miles. We drove in via a tour of the city. It was exhilerating to see the Golden Gate Bridge again. We hit the shops and goody made straight for her favourite shop Anthropologie. We also stocked up on essentials at Old Navy. We now have three relaxing days to soak up the city. Some exploring some wandering and plenty of eating and drinking.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Big sur wash out
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
sunshine in Yosemite
What a difference a day makes! The sun shone all day so we headed back into Yosemite and were able to do the Nevada Falls hike. It was a tough hike up through snow sometimes thigh deep but the views from the top were stupendous. Jelly legs today, but worth it. Daz has finally had the red jersey surgically removed. It was getting quite whiffy!
Sunday, March 20, 2005
Yosemite white out
Saturday, March 19, 2005
Friday, March 18, 2005
Come on wales!
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
We have spent the day at a cowboy ranch on the western rim of the grand canyon. It's been an incredible day. The canyon was staggering, reached after a 1 hour drive through a joshua tree forest. The ranch was hilarious - singing songs around a camp fire. And we spent the night looking at the stars through the hole in our tipi roof. Finally - in the news today is a survey of the deadliest cars in the us. Its the car we are driving! Great! But the Blazer has served us well. We have been driving along river beds and dirt tracks.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Monday, March 14, 2005
We are pretty footsore after walking the length of the strip today. The mega hotels are immense with lÃ¬ve tigers, rollercoasters, gondoliers and marbled hallways all part of Vegas excess. The people are immense too and travel round Vegas on moving walkways. We are hitting the slots tonight and will be eating mexican. We are on the road tomorrow to Hoover dam and the cowboy ranch and listening to our roadtrip cd.
Sunday, March 13, 2005
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
On your marks.....
Four days to go before the off and suddenly it feels like we have no time left to do all the planning and preparation. Three months ago I always felt a little silly checking if roads were open or closed, or the temperature in Las Vegas.
But now there are so many things to do - not least get money sorted, check routes etc, plan the itinerary.
I've also just checked the temperature in Las Vegas..... highs of 27 degrees celsius.
BBC Weather - Las Vegas
And San Francisco is a mild 20 degrees.
BBC Weather - San Fran
But there's plenty of other stuff to apart from be smug about the weather.
I have a rough idea of what routes we're taking but I need to be sure - we don't want to take a wrong turn in Death Valley!
Friday, March 04, 2005
Driving, driving and a bit more driving
Of course with any road trip, there's the small matter of the driving. Road trips don't exist in the UK simply because there's not enough road for it to become a defining feature of any trip.
But in the States roads have been synonymous with the notion of exploration and a genuine linkage between states as different in history and society as any country in Europe is different from its neighbour.
I wonder if that difference still exists - or has the age of local flights and national TV collapsed those differences into a homogenous "all"?
How different will the various stops on our journey be?
And of course, this holiday is not just about the stops it's about the roads in between.
We plan for the stops yet the journey itself is an unknown.
And the unknown breeds uncertainty.
But I have a suspicion that somehow the journeys will end up being the most memorable part of our holiday.
Not long until we find out......
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
Hiking plans... early days
As we're going to be in Yosemite for two days and the Big Sur area for two days obviously we hope to do a bit of walking.
I've done some early research and for beginners like us there are plenty of great trails.
In Yosemite I fancy the hike to the top of the Yosemite Falls - it's pretty strenuous but looks great. We don't have acres of time but enough to get a sense of one small part of what looks to be epic country.
Yosemite Falls trail
In Big Sur there are plenty of hikes from Pfeiffer state park.
Big Sur trails
I'll see what Goody makes of these.
Here's the plan!
14 days - three states, more than 1,400 miles in a 4x4, visiting a number of national parks, as well as Las Vegas and San Francisco.
We fly into Las Vegas on 13 March and spend two nights - at the Luxor.
We then drive to a ranch west of the Grand Canyon - where we'll be staying in a teepee.
We drive east to the southern rim of the canyon and spend a day marvelling at the place, staying in a local motel.
Next day it's down south to Flagstaff and after some mooching around we head west along Route 66.
We'll break up the journey by staying in Boulder City - probably.
On the 18th we drive up to Death Valley.
Then its around to Lone Pine - don't you love the name! - and then south and round the Sequioia National Forest until we head north to Yosemite.
We spend two days in Yosemite - it's the part of the holiday I'm looking forward to most - and then head west to Big Sur an the west coast.
After two days on the coast we head north to SF - where we stay at out favourite hotel, the Mosser, before flying home three days later.
A lot of driving. But then the US is a lot of country.
I'll try and post a map showing the route later on.
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Countdown to trip
With under two weeks to go to our holiday, Goody and I are now pulling all the details together for the trip.
Our tickets arrived today and that's increased our excitement and made the holiday real and more than something that we read about in our myriad travel guides.
We've got to sort out driving licenses for our 4x4 - if we don't then we won't get very far.