USA Road Trip – Day 14 – Home Time

Our final day in San Francisco and our final day of the road trip!

We all woke up feeling a bit hungover and also sad that it was our final day. The past 2 weeks had flown by but also felt like we had been away months as we had visited so many different places and experienced so much.

We decided to start the day at Taylor Street Coffee Shop. This place has rave reviews online and seemed the place to go for breakfast. It’s tiny and we had to wait for a table but the food was delicious, more English breakfast and omelettes rather than the American traditions such as pancakes but would definitely recommend if you are in the area and need a place for quick food.

From here we had to head back to the hotel to pack up and check out, always the worst trying to squeeze everything back into your suitcases! Thankfully the hotel looked after our luggage for us so we could have one last walk around before heading to the airport.

We all decided to pop back to the shops just in case we had forgotten something or found a last minute deal. We also did the touristy thing and posed with the cable cars! Then finally we popped to a sushi restaurant for lunch where the food was so good and such good value!

Then it was sadly time to get a cab to the airport ready for our 11 hour flight back home to London.

It had been the absolute best 2 weeks away and I would love to do another USA road trip in the future – The Deep South, North California and East Coast are definitely on my bucket list!

Love, Chloe xxx

USA Road Trip – Day 13 – San Francisco has us now!

We woke up from a well deserved lie in and decided to eat breakfast/brunch at the little café next door to the hotel, American pancakes with all the syrup are the best!

Originally our plan was to hire bikes and ride over the Golden Gate Bridge, but unfortunately the weather had other ideas – cold, wet and grey. Not really the weather for bike riding or taking in the views. We were also pretty tired from late nights and busy days so we decided to take the day at our leisure.

After brunch the boys decided they wanted to check out the gym and pool at the hotel, so Megs and I took this as the perfect opportunity to go shopping! Our hotel was walking distance to Westfield Mall so it would have been rude not to take a look!

I don’t know what it is about American Malls or Outlets but they are just so much better than anything the UK has to offer plus everything is so much cheaper! This mall was huge with every shop imaginable. Of course I spent most of my time in Bath and Body Works (Seriously when will they open one in the UK?!) We could have easily spent all day there but we had to get back so we could find something fun to do all together for the rest of the day.

We met Matt & Fraser and decided to get a taxi to Fishermans Wharf. Along the bay From Pier 39, you still get a view of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge however this area of San Francisco felt very touristy and like a British seaside town (not that there is anything wrong with that!)

We looked around the souvenir shops and then found Musée Mécanique – a small museum filled with antique arcade games and quirky artefacts. It was a bit creepy but also fun to play the old games and try to beat each other at the racing games.

Even though the weather wasn’t the best we decided to walk from Fishermans Wharf to Lombard Street – the famous steep road with 8 hairpin turns! I thought it was one of those things you should see and get a nice photo of. Unfortunately as we were there in March it wasn’t in full bloom like I had seen in pictures, instead it was super busy and pretty hard to walk to – just working off those pancakes! But still look at this road and imagine living on it!

As we hadn’t done enough walking for the day haha, we then decided to walk back to the wharf and then all along the marina to the yacht club. We thought there may have been a nice place to stop for a drink or something but we couldn’t find anything. By this point it was super windy and cold and we just needed somewhere to rest our legs and have a bite to eat and some drinks, so we took to trusty google maps and walked inland towards The Tipsy Pig.

The Tipsy Pig was just what we needed, a modern but homely bar/restaurant and we seemed to be the only ones there, well I guess it was 4pm on a Wednesday! We were a little peckish so decided to order some snacks to share – Macaroni Cheese, Cheese & onion biscuits (like scones) with dips and of course fried shrimp – it was all so delicious! We also had a round of cocktails.

We said we were only going to stop for a break, a drink and a snack, but as it was so welcoming and all so delicious and I had bought a pack of cards with me (always prepared) we ended up staying for hours. Sampling even more cocktails and playing card games. What holidays (vacations) are all about!

Before we knew it, it was gone 8pm and dark! So we decided to get a taxi back to the Sports Bar we went to on our first night. We befriended some American guys and spent the evening playing shuffleboard against them and drinking even more cocktails!

A great spontaneous day, Love Chloe xxx

USA Road Trip – Day 12 – Alcatraz, Seafood & Basketball

We had to get up super early for our first full day in San Fran, as we had booked tickets for the first boat over to Alcatraz Island, so we needed to be at the marina for 8.30am! Thank goodness for cold pizza haha, but we also managed to grab a couple of hot drinks & muffins for the 12 mins boat trip over as it was pretty chilly at that time of the morning!

We were the first group of the day on Alcatraz Island and it was so nice to experience it all when it was relatively empty and quiet. As the longer we stayed, the more people that joined (as I think the boats bought people over roughly every half an hour) so I would definitely recommend visiting early in the morning as the island and prison are pretty small so it starts to feel quite cramped by lunchtime. Also book your tickets way in advance as they do sell out!

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We did an audio tour of the prison and it was so interesting but a bit creepy! We also met a former Alcatraz prisoner, William Baker which was really exciting as there are only 2 Alcatraz Prisoners left as the prison closed in the 1960’s. So he had lots of stories to tell!

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We got the boat back to San Fran around 12.45pm and then walked to Pier 39 which is quite famous as it has lots of shops and restaurants and also seals lay on the deck there so everyone goes to see them, they were pretty cute!

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We had lunch reservations at Fog Harbour Fish House and the food was absolutely amazing, I think we tried most things on the menu and the chowder was so delicious! We also had a great view of Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge.

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After lunch we mooched around the local shops and enjoyed the weather as it was really sunny but not as hot as the previous places we had visited. We then went back to our hotel and chilled for a bit, well Matt and I had a nap haha.

That evening we got a taxi to a place called Oakland which is over the bridge from San Fran as we had tickets to a Golden State Warriors basketball match. This was such a fun evening as its quite a fast game and there is always something going on like music and cheerleaders etc, so we all had a really good time, watching the game, drinking and dancing.

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We finally got back to the hotel about midnight! A long but amazing full day in San Francisco.

Love Chloe xxx

USA Road Trip – Day 11 – San Francisco

It was a bittersweet moment waking up on Monday morning. We were excited to fly to San Francisco and enjoy yet another new place, however we were sad at 1. giving the car back as it had been so much fun driving around and exploring hidden places and 2. It was the last stop of our trip and we felt like our time had just flown by!

I loved staying at The Garland hotel it felt like you were a million World’s away from the craziness of Hollywood even though you were only 10 minutes away and I really wish we could have stayed longer. I think if I were to ever come back to LA I would only want to stay here. We packed up, ate one last breakfast, said goodbye to the pool area and made our way to the car hire shop to begrudgingly give the car back.

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From the car hire building we got on a shuttle bus to the airport. The traffic was crazy (LA traffic is constantly crazy!) and we must of crawled for about an hour to get to our terminal building, I honestly think we could have walked faster! and then once we were finally through and into the terminal building our flight was delayed! Not a great start to our final location however it just adds to the adventure! Or so they say 😉

Luckily the flight from LA to San Francisco is only 50 minutes so by the time we took off it felt like we were ready to land again and I was starting to feel excited about our final adventure.

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We would have loved to have driven this final part of the journey and I know many people who have done this and said it’s amazing but unfortunately we just didn’t have the time. If we were to ever do something like this again I would definitely love to drive this part and explore more of Northern California.

Once we had landed in San Fran, we jumped in a cab to our Hotel – Handlery Union Square which is right in the centre of the city. It was weird to be surrounded by high rise buildings and be back in the craziness of the city when we had spent the last week surrounded by beaches and feeling pretty chilled out.

The hotel was in a perfect location though as we could walk to all the shops and restaurants, so after we had checked in and checked out our rooms we decided to go for a little wander and check out our new neighbourhood.

We ended up in a place called Tap Rooms, a really cool American Sports bar, with all the beers you could imagine and all the American games ready to play such as foosball and shuffleboard. The walls were covered in screens showing all of the sports imaginable. The boys were very happy and myself and Megs enjoyed relaxing over a few drinks. Then we decided to try and beat the boys at shuffleboard!

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We were having so much fun that we hadn’t even noticed the time but the boys were telling us it was time for dinner. Megs and Fraser decided that they fancied sushi and Matt and I fancied pizza, so after numerous meals together we decided to go our separate ways and after having a quick look on google Matt found that Tony’s Pizzas was the place to go.

We jumped in a cab and made our way to Tony’s where we were greeted with a bit of a queue , a queue that went out onto the pavement! It seemed like it was a pretty popular place and we were told that it would be roughly a 45 minute wait but that we could visit the surrounding bars and they would text us when our table was ready. We were happy with that and popped across the road to a bar for a few drinks. It was quite nice to have a bit of a date night just the 2 of us and explore our new surroundings.

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Back at Tony’s we were seated in a cosy corner of the restaurant and couldn’t help but look at all the awards which the chefs had won and the celebrities which had visited, it seemed like we had chosen the right place to go for pizza!

The menu is pretty big but they only make a certain amount of each pizza a day. So the original pizza I chose had already sold out but the waitress happily helped me pick another one and I wasn’t disappointed. I can’t remember the exact pizzas we chose but mine had crispy kale on top which was delicious! The pizzas were so huge though that we couldn’t finish them so we took them back to the hotel in take away boxes. I love that about America how you can get anything boxed up to take away.

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A fun first night in a new city and ready for more adventures tomorrow!

Love Chloe xxx