Our USA travels in April this year – specifically our time in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Maine – depicted in this week’s One Word Photo Challenge – Sapphire. Most of the pictures are not exactly in sapphire, and ended up in different shades of blue! I enjoyed adapting this colour challenge into a travel post on one of our trips to Bangladesh in Scarlet, so thought I would have a go again 🙂
We arrived in Los Angeles and were staying with family in a nice suburb area the first few days. It takes so long to get anywhere to anywhere here! The amount of time it took us to get home from airport, we would have driven Sheffield to London! The long 11 hour flight was delayed, we were severely jetlagged with a 9 hour time difference, and we didn’t care to do any of the more popular attractions in the city.
We convinced kids they had already seen all there is to see in Disneyland when we went to the Disneyland Paris. IF we do another one, it would have to be in Florida! Also convinced them against Universal Studios, long queues and very busy (for the record, I have been there and LOVED it 🙂 I will let them do it if they want to as I did, when they are young adults themselves.
After 5 cold months in England, we were ready to hit the beach! Already loving that the temperature was in the high 20s after leaving England in 9 degrees. I really LOVE sunny California, been here many times when I lived in the States and was happy to be back after 10 long years. There is simply so much outdoor activities one can do here. I LOVE the national parks, Yosemite is my favourite, loved San Diego, love the food, the coast, if I ever was to live in USA again, it would definitely be in California!
Unfortunately we only had 3 days in LA…We went to two beaches – Huntington and Newport beach. Golden sands, very clean and not crowded at all. Couldn’t really swim as waters were too cold but was fun to see Pelicans flying above us, splashing our feet about in the water and playing in the sand.
We went on a hike to one of the local national parks (can’t remember name) but it was too hot and we were still severely jetlagged to enjoy it much. It was interesting seeing the flora and fauna in such a dry climate. Very different from what we have in humid England.
We went to the Griffith Observatory, a very cool place, great for children and adults alike. Visitors can look through telescopes, explore the various exhibits, see live shows in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, and enjoy spectacular views of Los Angeles and the Hollywood Sign. Shahaar didn’t quite appreciate why that was famous 🙂
The one ‘American’ wish we did grant the kids was eating at IHOP, they enjoyed their stacks of pancakes and waffles doused in cream and syrup 🙂
We went to San Francisco after Los Angeles, driving via Bakersfield where we went wine-tasting with the family. We then drove to San Francisco taking the famous Coastal Highway 1. Glimpse of our time in Morro Bay, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Big Sur and Pacific Coast Highway 1 Coastal drive in sapphire shades. To read more about these parts of California trip – which was absolutely amazing – go here, an epic coastal journey!
In San Fransisco we had amazing food with our friends who knew some great local joints. We had the best Burgers at Unami Burger, also had amazing Korean and Mexican dishes. Food is great here and so is the city itself. It has lot of character, very pretty to walk through in many of the areas, great views from some places and VERY hilly!
Ashique and I had done some of the more touristic spots in San Francisco, such as Fishermen’s wharf and the winding and scenic Lombard Road. Shahaar was really keen to see the Golden Gate Bridge as he was learning about it in School. We went to Golden Gate Park, another great place to visit with LOTS to see and do! We went to this ‘beach’ like area and then took a walk on the bridge from there. Learnt a lot of local history from Ashique’s uncle along the way. We had an amazing time meeting all the extended family who live here. Few months back I wrote a piece on being grateful, highlighting our travels with family in USA.
We then flew to Boston, spent a day here, and then drove onwards to Maine where we spent a short magical time with the Whittleseys – a musical and earth loving family, one of the most caring and kindest people we have had the fortune of meeting on our journeys 🙂 Our time in Bowdoinheim, Maine visiting organic farm, seeing wildlife, enjoying stunning bay views and spending time with their family.
The second last bit of the epic USA trip was our time in the Poconnos with a large group of 30 people. Here is one blue shade image of that trip, our cottage overlooking the lake Wallenpaupack with steps leading down to the waters. Amazing place! Read here to enjoy our tales of Feasting in the Poconnos.
Few things give me more pleasure than being near a water body – be it a lake, a river or even better the ocean! Absolutely love moutains and forests too, but being an Aquarius, a water-bearer, I am always drawn to the big blue. It is one of the many reasons we are so looking forward to our one year in New Zealand in 2015 🙂
This post is written as part of #WeekendWanderlust hosted by JustinplusLauren, #TheWeeklyPostcard hosted by Travel Notes and Beyond, #Weekendtravelinspiration hosted by Reflections Enroute and #FridayPostcards hosted by Walking on Travels