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!

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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: yosemite national park

travel - trekamericas grand trek day 16 and 17 yosemite national parkAfter a chilled day in Lake Tahoe, we woke up and packed our tents away ready to head to Yosemite!

On the drive there, me, Marc and Annalie were in the back of the van playing cards when Marc suggested a forfeit game. You had to guess what suit and colour a card was and whoever loses their guess has to be the winner’s ‘slaves’ for the day. It was a tense moment, but luckily I won (after a Texas Hold’em streak no less) and they were, for the lack of a better term, my b*tches for the next 12 hours. Woop!

travel - trekamericas grand trek day 16 and 17 yosemite national park - volcanic islandstravel - trekamericas grand trek day 16 and 17 yosemite national park - volcanic islands viewthe volcanic islands
linebreakOn the long drive to Yosemite, we stopped for lunch at the Volcanic Islands on Mono Lake. It had some amazing views and we also got to look around the visitor’s centre. With the forfeit in full force, I kindly asked Annalie to make me a wrap, whilst sending Marc to get me a glass of OJ (I could get so used to this!)

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linebreakAfter lunch, we got back in the van and after a few hours drive, arrived at Yosemite with the first port of call being a hike up Lembert Dome (no rest for the wicked, eh?) It was such a tough hike but we finally made it to some spectacular views overlooking the park. Steve gave us the option of hiking to the very top of the mountain (where you could literally slide down to your death at any moment). After much debating, me and Bobbi decided to face our fears and give it a go. It was so scary climbing up with hardly anything to hold onto – we had to follow Steve’s exact footsteps – but once we made it, it was such a breathtaking experience. Just as we were taking plenty of selfies and milking in the views, it started thundering (typical) and so we headed back down and went for a dip in the lake. The water was so murky however, that only Holly and the boys decided to go in.

travel - trekamericas grand trek day 16 and 17 yosemite national park - yellowstone viewtravel - trekamericas grand trek day 16 and 17 yosemite national park - the gangyosemite views, the gang 
linebreakToday is Holly’s birthday, so we all got her a card and a delicious chocolate cake. What’s more, as a special treat, Steve relieved us of our cooking duties and grilled some delicious steaks! During tea, someone (okay, that might have been me), decided to (playfully might I add) put some birthday cake on Marc’s face – only a teeny bit. This little act was met with a ‘caking’ in the face off Steve and a condiment fight soon ensued between Kirsty and Marc. The best bit? When Kirsty grabbed the last slice of chocolate cake and smacked it onto Steve’s bare chest (I can still hear the smush of the cake now). I never laughed so much! What a food fight! Once we cleared ourselves up, me, Marc and Matty introduced Holly to beer pong whilst the others chilled in front of the camp fire. It was girls vs boys, and me and Holly actually won two of the three games! I also took this time to take advantage of my previous card win, and got my ‘butlers’ to fetch drinks from the cool box to me and the others. Oh, the good life!

It was safe to say that night we all had such a good time and Holly had an amazing birthday. Bring on tomorrow!

travel - trekamericas grand trek day 16 and 17 yosemite national park - giant sequoia 1giant sequoias
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Food fights, drinking games and an ‘okay night’s sleep’ later, Steve took us to our first of many Yosemite attractions today. Giant sequoias!

Walking through the woodland and seeing the world’s most massive trees was so cool. We climbed onto fallen down sequoias and even made our way through ‘tree tunnels’. It was like being a child again, and I loved it! It was also a great warm up for the tough hike Steve had in store for us today. Once we finished our ‘mini’ morning hike, we paid a quick visit to see the views of Half Dome – a challenging hike to many visitors.

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linebreakThen it was time for the Mist Trail to see the spectacular Nevada waterfall. Polly and Kirsty decided to opt out of this hike and headed off to do their own thing, whilst the rest of us got our daypacks at the ready and made a quick pit stop to the toilets (turns out this trail has hardly any rest stops – oh how this would come to bite me in the arse!)

I’m not gonna lie, this was such a hard hike (I know I say this about every hike, but each one we do tests our limits). You were going uphill the whole time, climbing over massive steps and trying to work your way past people coming down. It was tough, but we finally made it to the second waterfall for a quick bite to eat.

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linebreakUnfortunately at this point, the thunderstorms that had decided to follow us on our trek came and it was absolutely pouring it down. We made our way over a rocky bridge and took shelter in a hollowed out wall, when suddenly, yep, I needed to pee. At this point there were no more toilets, so Steve suggested that I head to a bush for a ‘drop and squat’. I know, I didn’t like the sound of it either, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Me and Steve headed back out into the rain, soaking wet, clambering over the rock bridge passing people who’d had stuck it out in the rain (they were so much hardcore than us) and then came the time to find my spot. Everytime I was literally about to go, a group of people emerged from the bushes. It was so nerve-wracking! I shouted to Steve, who was waiting patiently (and probably thinking I needed to go for something else as I took so long finding a place) that I was going to have a wander and find a secluded area, when, the heavens finally opened (and they literally did, it had stopped raining) and I came across some very well hidden toilets. Hallelujah! I never felt so grateful for a disgusting, smelly toilet in my life!

travel - trekamericas grand trek day 16 and 17 yosemite national park - glacier pointglacier point
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Toilet troubles aside, I reunited with the group and Steve informed us that the thunderstorm had made the rest of our hike near impossible. The rocks would be slippery and it would be just too dangerous to carry on. We headed back down the trail when Bobbi suggested that we could visit Glacier Point, a place she had been to before that was meant to have amazing views of the park. She was right, as soon as we got there, we couldn’t stop taking photos!

We soon reunited with Polly and Kirsty and headed back to camp for hotdogs and fries after a long day. We were all pretty exhausted and this called for only one thing – laundry! Tomorrow we’ll have a 3.5 hour drive to our next stop San Francisco!

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

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