TRAVEL – trek america’s grand trek – los angeles

travel - trekamericas grand trek day 22 los angelesCalifornia so far has been amazing, and has to be my favourite state of the entire trip! From paddleboarding in Lake Tahoe, to hiking in Yosemite, celebrating the 4th July in San Fran, visiting the Cali coast and of course, experiencing a Dodgers game in Los Angeles, it’s safe to say that I would definitely head back here!

Today was our free day in LA which kicked off with a Hollywood Walk of Fame tour. We were on a bit of a time limit, so me and Polly dashed around the strip taking photos and trying to find Johnny Depp’s, James Franco’s and Orlando Bloom’s stars (luckily we found them) before all heading to a viewpoint where we saw the famous Hollywood sign. It was quite misty so we couldn’t get a clear pic but it was so nice to tick another attraction off the list!

travel - trekamericas grand trek day 22 los angeles - will smith hollywood walk of fametravel - trekamericas grand trek day 22 los angeles - michael jackson hollywood walk of fametravel - trekamericas grand trek day 22 los angeles - me and james francowill smith, michael jackson’s star, me and james franco’s star
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Me, Bobbi, Kirsty, Steph, Emma and Dave then headed to Universal Studios for the day, whereas Matty, Polly, Marc and Rob hit Venice Beach. Universal was so much fun! We did the studio tour around the sets – we even passed a film crew doing takes for Home and Family, as well as doing the Fast and Furious and King Kong 3D experiences which weee really good! When the tour had finished, we went straight to the Minions ride as Bobbi was such a Minions fanatic. It was our first 3D simulator ride of the day and it was amazing! It was then onto The Simpsons which I had to say was a bit better and was worth the long wait!

travel - trekamericas grand trek day 22 los angeles - universal studiostravel - trekamericas grand trek day 22 los angeles - universal studios studio tourtravel - trekamericas grand trek day 22 los angeles - universal studios the simpsons rideuniversal studios, studio tour, the simpsons ride
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Getting a tad hungry in The Simpsons land, we visited Lard Lad where Bobbi got the biggest donut that I have ever seen! It was so tasty but sickly at the same time aha! The next stop was Moe’s Tavern, where Kirsty got a ‘Flaming Moe’s’ which tasted a bit like Borrocca and wasn’t as nice aha! We then went to Krusty Burger where you guessed it, you get an actual Krusty burger which was so delicious!

travel - trekamericas grand trek day 22 los angeles - universal studios the simpsons flaming moestravel - trekamericas grand trek day 22 los angeles - universal studios krusty burgertravel - trekamericas grand trek day 22 los angeles - universal studios krusty burger mealflaming moe’s. krusty burger, an actual krusty burger meal
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Once we refuelled, it was time to tackle more rides so it was onto Transformers and The Mummy which was a rollercoaster ride. Transformers, well, to say it was incredible was an understatement! We queued for hours but it was my favourite ride of the day!

As the sun was beginning to set, we somehow thought it was a good idea to end the day with Jurassic park – a water ride. With the promise of getting a good soaking, we were all a tad scared yet excited! What’s more, what was such a hot and sunny day was slowly turning into a cloudy one and the thought of another Cedar Point moment had crossed my mind. Luckily there was a malfunction with the ride and we only got a bit wet – yay!

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After such an amazing day, we all hit the shops where me and Dave got Dodger jerseys, with Steve picking us up at 9pm to take us back to the hotel (what a gent!)

It was so nice catching up with everyone when we got back and see how their day at the beach was! Me, Polly, Steve and the boys all had a drink together as this would be our final night before we head off on our separate ways. All I can say is, viva Las Vegas baby!

sigyhl

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TRAVEL – trek america’s grand trek: san francisco, california

travel - trekamericas grand trek day 18 and 19 - san francisco, californiaWaking up from the night before, realisation soon set it that today we finally get to tick off San Francisco from our bucket list, and best of all, we get to celebrate the 4th of July there!

Also after 13 nights of camping on the trot, we finally get to stay in a hostel! Oh, what’s a bed again? It was only a three and a half hour drive to San Fran and before we knew it we arrived at the famous Golden Gate Bridge. Steve dropped us off where we quickly walked across it, taking in the amazing yet foggy views (the city gets really foggy during the summer months). It felt so surreal to be here!

travel - trekamericas grand trek day 18 and 19 - san francisco - golden gate bridgetravel - trekamericas grand trek day 18 and 19 - san francisco - views from golden gate bridgefoggy golden gate bridge, views from it
linebreak After soaking in the views, we quickly checked into our hostel and got ready to go out for a sunset boat cruise. It was so nice to dress up and feel glam! On the way to the cruise, we paid a visit to Fisherman’s Wharf, where a few of us got a light bite to eat. Me and Polly decided to try out a dish called lobster bisque in a large bread bowl. It was actually really delicious! From there we walked to the famous Pier 39, where we boarded our boat, grabbed a cosy jacket and plonked ourselves onto one of the nets at the front. Aside from not seeing the sunset (as it was so foggy), the cruise was so much fun! We all got two free drinks each, had a laugh and danced to the music blaring from the speakers!

travel - trekamericas grand trek day 18 and 19 - san francisco - fishermans wharftravel - trekamericas grand trek day 18 and 19 - san francisco - lobster bisquetravel - trekamericas grand trek day 18 and 19 - san francisco - sunset boat bridge viewfisherman’s wharf, lobster bisque, view of the bridge from the sunset cruise
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It was then onto the first of many bars, where we all indulged in cocktails (and garlic fries for me and Polly). I’m not gonna lie, I am a bit of a cheapskate, so in one bar I walked up to the bartender and asked for the cheapest and strongest drink they had (little did I know just how strong this $3 drink would be). It tasted like a combination of tequila, fireball and Wild Turkey all rolled into one! But it did the job perfectly. At this point, we all split up, with most of the group heading home.

I made a couple of American friends at the $3 drink bar, and asked them what place they would recommend for us next. They suggested heading to a gay bar, and so we all set off (the boys didn’t know where we were going at this point) and in we walked into this bar, where they all played pool (I’m such a good wingman FYI), whilst I watched, had a couple of drinks and secretly laughed as the boys soon realised where we were, and were a bit startled after a trip to the toilets! By this time it was getting pretty late, so we said goodbye to our new friends and headed home via a takeaway. It was such a good night, and it was nice to let our hair down! Plus we didn’t do too bad, we ended up rolling in at 3am…

travel - trekamericas grand trek day 18 and 19 - streetstravel - trekamericas grand trek day 18 and 19 - san francisco - brunchsan fran’s streets, delicious brunch
linebreak Our first night in San Francisco was sooo good, and if this trip has taught me anything, it’s that I can surprisingly somehow still function without any sleep!

This morning I had a little lie in before heading out to explore on our free day with Polly, Marc and Rob. Rob led the way and took us through some dire-looking streets (and I mean the pee and weed smelling dire). However after a quick loop, me and Polly found a nice place for brunch at a cute independent café whilst the boys (who were pretty impatient with our wandering) grabbed a Starbucks. I have to say, our avocado, egg and toast brekkie was so lovely! Once we refuelled we headed up to Coit Tower, which had some amazing panoramic views of the city (we didn’t pay to go up it, but the gardens themselves still had spectacular views!)

travel - trekamericas grand trek day 18 and 19 -coit towertravel - trekamericas grand trek day 18 and 19 -coit tower viewstravel - trekamericas grand trek day 18 and 19 -coit tower 4th of july viewscoit tower and views
linebreak We then headed down to Fisherman’s Wharf to hit the arcades, where we met up with Dave (who came back from a trip with a few of the others from Alcatraz), went into a photobooth and watched some street artists perform. Me and Polly had a little dance and it was so nice to chill and have a wander.

travel - trekamericas grand trek day 18 and 19 - arcadearcade
linebreak Later that afternoon, we joined a few of the others for an ‘urban adventure’ through Chinatown and North Beach. Our first stop of the tour was to get our fortune read at a Chinese temple, then it was onto a local fortune cookie-making factory before completing Chinatown with a tea tasting session. Then it was onto a quick walk around North Beach where we saw some amazing graffiti and shops before hitting a pizzeria. (I’ve never eaten so much pizza on this trip, so I opted for pasta!)

travel - trekamericas grand trek day 18 and 19 chinatowntravel - trekamericas grand trek day 18 and 19 chinatown streettravel - trekamericas grand trek day 18 and 19 - graffitientrance to chinatown, street, graffiti
linebreak After tea we headed back to the hotel, got ready in our 4th of July gear and headed out to the famous Cheesecake Factory. Their cheesecake slices were so massive that most of us shared a piece between us! Me and Marc opted for Reese’s peanut butter slice which was so nice, yet a tad sickly aha! As it was Rob’s birthday, Marc got him a pink tiara and a Frozen watch that he had to wear all night. We met up with Kirsty, Holly and Bobbi and headed to Pier 39 to see the fireworks which were okay – nothing to special (maybe it was the fog?) Once the fireworks had finished, we hit a few bars, which were a bit quieter than we expected, but we did find a dive bar with dollar bills all over the ceiling which was pretty cool. We decided to join in this trend and write on a $1 bill and sign it with everyone’s name on from trek and hang it up (it’s so weird now to think that our note is still there in San Fran…)

travel - trekamericas grand trek day 18 and 19 - cheesecake factorytravel - trekamericas grand trek day 18 and 19 - notetravel - trekamericas grand trek day 18 and 19 - note on ceilingreese’s peanut butter cheesecake from the cheesecake factory, dollars on the ceiling
linebreak As the night was still young, we tried to find another bar so me, Kirsty, Marc and Dave headed out but we couldn’t find any near our hostel, so we grabbed a slice of pizza at a takeaway before heading back.

A couple of us weren’t really tired, so we hung out in the common room, drinking, chatting and playing pool until 5am (so hardcore aha).

sigyhl

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TRAVEL – trek america’s grand trek instagram snaps week three

travel - grand trek insta snaps week three

Week three and here’s another installment of my trekamerica insta snap series!

It’s a bug’s life in the Nevada desert / Paddleboarding in Lake Tahoe

linebreak Yosemite: Climbed to the top of Lembert Dome / Hiked in Nevada Falls

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A foggy Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco / Discovered this amazing untouched spot on the Californian Coast

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Day 14 and we stopped in the Nevada desert on our way to California. It was such a long drive and the campsite we arrived at was so desolate! We even saw snakes! A water fight and drinking games did however take our minds off it and the next day we headed to Lake Tahoe to paddleboard and hang out at the beach. Then we arrived at Yosemite where we did plenty of hiking (thunderstorms happened, again), saw some Giant Sequoias and had a food fight! San Francisco was the next stop where we did a foggy sunset cruise, partied the nights away and celebrated the 4th July, before heading to the beautiful Californian Coast where we saw whales, dolphins and elephant seals! 

Stay up to date with all the latest goings-on with my USA trip on instagram – @sazwatson.

sigyhl

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TRAVEL – all about america

travel - all about americaIn two weeks time I shall be jetting off to New York to start my seven week trekamerica adventure!

Is it normal to be excited yet nervous at the same time?! After what seemed like weeks of planning and decision making, (travelling around Australia was on the cards with another option being a Thai adventure) in the end I chose trekamerica’s Grand Trek.

A 43 day camping tour starting and ending in New York, the Grand Trek visits some amazing cities including Chicago, LA, Vegas, San Francisco and New Orleans, plus some spectacular sights such as the Grand Canyon, Yosemite National Park and Monument Valley. Covering 26 states, I just couldn’t pass up this once in a lifetime opportunity.

I am hoping to do some packing and what places I’m looking forward to visiting posts before I go, with some diary posts of what I’ve been up to when I come back.

To keep up-to-date on my latest adventures, check out my instagram – @sazwatson.

If anyone can recommend me any places to go or eat at in New York (where I shall be on my lonesome) it will be very much appreciated!

sigyhl

Keep up to date on the following channels:

Follow me on twitter - sazwatson Keep up to date with my adventures on instagram - sazwatson Find out what inspires me on pinterest - sazwatson

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