Day 21: Going Home

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Our trip has come to its end. We got up fairly late or at least late for us on this trip at around 9am and walked up Lombard Street to the IHOP again. I had eggs bacon and toast and banana and nutella crepes and CJ had the same but with Pancakes instead of crepes. They were pretty good and set us up nicely for an expected long day. Our checkout time was 12pm and our flight wasnt until 4.30 so we had some time to kill so we walked back down to Fishermans Wharf to pick up some last minute souveniers We set off for the airport and despite taking a couple of wrong turns looking for the rental drop off, we arrived in good time and said goodbye to the Jeep which has transported us across the country. I am now sitting in the departure lounge watching the clock tick before we get on the plane for a 10hour flight back home. Its been a great few weeks and the scenery and people we have met have been amazing. I think CJ and I have done well not to kill each other after we discovered each others annoying …

Day 20: The Rock

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Today we visited the famous state penitentiary, Alcatraz. We got up fairly early as we needed to be at Pier 33 by 9:30 and walked down Lombard Street to the IHOP. I can’t remember what we had but im sure it was probably eggs. After breakfast we jumped in the car and drove the short 10 min drive down to the pier. I had prebooked a parking spot in a lot nearby, partly to save a couple of bucks and partly so we were near to the departure pier. We arrived right on time and joined the queue to board the ferry. The tour we had booked on acutally included a tour of Angel Island which is the largest of the islands in San Francisco bay. The ferry first did a loop round Alcatraz and due to the overcast weather and fog, it looked really moody and grim. The ferry soon arrived at the dock at Angel Island and by this time we were really cold despite putting on trousers and hoodies and I actually put on a second hoodie. The Angel Island tour included an hour long tram tour of the island and an audio track played while the …

Day 19: Touristy Stuff in San Francisco

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No driving to do today, Horray! We got up and CJ went outside to call his folks and I went for a stroll down to the bay where I could see the Golden Gate Bridge, it was partly hidden by fog but it still looked cool. I stopped at Starbucks and picked up some coffees as there was no way I was drinking coffee out of the machine in the hotel. We attempted to make tea in it last night and with powdered creamer it was the worst cup of tea I have ever drank. I threw mine away and made a coffee which was pretty disgusting too. Once I returned and CJ finished his call we walked up Lombard Street and stopped at a tiny cafe called Cafe Golo which I had read some good reviews for. The place was really small with about six tables and we took a window table. I had blueberry pancakes and OJ and CJ had Granola and OJ. I liked the place, it felt a bit quirky but the two stuff were a couple of old ladies who were really friendly. After breakfast we continued up Lombard Street and then turned towards the …

Day 18: Yosemite National Park

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For the first time since we arrived in the US, this morning was cold and I mean it was ‘you could see your breath’ cold and annoyingly I didnt realise that the window right by the bed was completely open so our cabin was chilly when we woke. I guess that is what happens when you are up so high and shielded from the sun on both sides by mountains. We got up and went to the onsite restaurant for breakfast, niether of us wanted much so CJ got some oatmeal and I had a couple of slices of toast and coffee. The drive ahead of us today was estimated at 250miles which isnt huge, distance wise but it was through Yosemite National park so I expected it to be a long drive, time wise. We ended up taking a side trip too so it probably ended up being a long distance too. We stopped at a gas station at Lee Vining and got totally ripped off for a full tank of gas (£41) and then headed up to the Tioga Pass. This is a mountain pass that goes through the Sierra Nevada mountain range and is the highest mountain …

Day 17: Wild Wild West

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Another long drive ahead of us today, 350 miles, so we got up early and set off. We had some complimentary muffins from the motel and we got some coffee from starbucks which we ate and drank  while we drove. We made a pitstop at Walmart for more bottled water and while CJ used the restroom I chatted to a guy outside and got asked to ‘hook a brother up…’ with spotted dick and custard which was his favourite pudding apparently. We drove for about an hour and we had finally left LA and found a town nearby that had an IHOP so we pulled in for a proper breakfast. CJ had crepes with banana and nutella and I had crepes stuffed with hammy, cheesey, scrambled egg. Mine were not that nice. We drove on and soon we were in the desert again with mountains surrounding us in the distance in all directions. We stopped and swapped over regularly today because we knew we had a lot of miles to cover in the heat. As the mountains ahead of us closed in the desert was replaced with green irrigated fields and soon trees and forest. The views again were spectacular …

Day 16: Jon’s Star Tour

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For the first time since we arrived, CJ woke up before me and was out side when I woke. I got up and joined him, as we had a day in LA today, he went back and I went for a stroll round town. I bought some coffees and returned to the hotel. Once we were both sorted, we jumped in the car and headed to Grand Central Market in Downtown LA. Grand Central Market is a large building chocked full of eateries. The place was really busy and the queues were ridiculous, we picked out breakfast mainly due to the length of the queue and had egg, bacon and tomato sandwiches and coffee. After breakfast we wandered around downtown for a while before it began to get hot again so we retreated to the car to cool down. We decided to just do a tour of LA in the car today so I set up a bunch of waypoints in the satnav and we set off. Our first stop was the Griffith Observatory which provided great views of the city and also a sciencey museum explaining about the sun and planets. From there we headed back down the hill and …

Day 15: End of the Road

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Today we were woken by the resident rooster at the Airbnb property we stayed in. I got up and went to sit outside while CJ stayed in bed. I met Paul outside and asked him where we could go for a healthy breakfast, he was busy with his morning and said he would return which he did along with a plate of bananas and fresh homegrown figs. Apart from a fig roll I had never tried a fig before and it was pretty nice and gladly there were no wasps inside. Later he brought us out some fresh coffee. Airbnb came good for us again. We sorted our shit out and left the property. We decided to have our healthy breakfast at a diner called Molly Brown’s and we both had the scrambler combo which was scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns and toast. Healthy tomorrow. We got gas again and set off for LA taking the scenic route through the Angeles mountains. Soon the desert was replaced with tall pine trees and the road wound its way towards the mountains. We increased our elevation until we were at around 2500m and the roads continued to curve around the mountains …

Day 14: California

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Not much has happened today and the only photos I took were of my breakfast. After we woke, CJ got up and went to the gym while I stayed in the hotel room and tried to get yesterdays blog post to publish. For some reason I keep having problems accessing the site. Most of the time I can get to the site until I start uploading the photos and then it just times out. Once CJ returned we packed out stuff and checked out. We drove for about 40mins to get clear of Vegas before we stopped at another casino called Whiskey Pete’s that housed a IHOP which is a massive chain restaurant that specialise in serving breakfast. CJ had French toast with strawberries and banana and I had a combo which consisted of eggs, bacon, sausage and shredded potato and a slightly smaller portion of French toast with strawberries and banana. It was very tasty but we both ate too much and felt very full and sleepy. We set off and after a while we crossed our final state line into California. The landscape was mostly flat and open through the Mojave desert with cacti and scrub so not …

Day 13: Pinball Lizard

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Image courtesy of CJ Las Vegas is not my kind of town. It is hot, really busy and I dont really gamble so today we decided to do non Vegas stuff. We slept late this morning and neither of us got up before 10am and when we did we found that it was grey and overcast outside and by the time we got down to the lobby, it was raining but only a light drizzle and it was still over 25 degrees. I wasnt aware that it rained in Las Vegas. Breakfast wasn’t included with our hotel stay so we decided to find a diner somewhere off the strip to eat and I found a place called ‘The Egg and I’. The place was very busy and we had to wait for a bit to be seated but when we did CJ had Eggs Benny and I had Eggs and Bacon. After breakfast we set off to visit the Pinball Hall of Fame which was located about 10 minutes off the strip. It was a large warehouse building filled with not just pinball machines but old video games such as Space Invaders, Defender, Frogger etc and other games such as …

Day 12: Viva Las Vegas

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The day started off grey and overcast and soon it was raining again and then soon there was another thunderstorm. We had breakfast and after talking with Wendy the owner, we packed the car and left Abineue Lodge.  We had a four hour, 250 mile drive ahead of us to Las Vegas and for the first hour or so it was pretty heavily raining. Once we got out of the rain it gradually got warmer and clearer until we ran into another rain storm. This one was worse than the previous one and the rain was so heavy people were pulling over onto the hard shoulder because visibility was so poor.  We drove through the storm and again it quickly cleared and got hotter, and hotter, and hotter. We reached the Hoover Dam and it was 40 degrees. We pulled off the interstate to go to the dam and just like the the Grand Canyon it was teaming with tourists and took us a while to find somewhere to park. The Dam was impressive as a feat of engineering and even the bridge above it that the interstate runs on was impressive. We walked half way across the dam figuring …