Friday, August 30, 2013


this weekend is labor day weekend and the official end to summer, so we're going to make the most of it and try to fit all the things we wanted to do this summer but didn't have chance to into our 4 day weekend. heres a list of things that hopefully we'll be able to make a start on in the next couple of days.....

nyc summer wish list
- govners island- a small island open only in the summer and weekends just opposite lady liberty herself. apparently you can bike and canoe for free there.

- pop up outdoor swimming pools- theres a few dotted around the city for summer but i have my eye on the one in brooklyn. its right on the river overlooking downtown and has sand and everything! theres a queue to get in and a time limit as to how long you can stay in the pool, but hey, we are in new york...

- food trucks- i have to admit that i have yet to taste the delicacies of the infamous gourmet food trucks that line new yorks streets, so we'll try to hunt one down and see if they're as good as everyone says they are. 

- brooklyn flea- i have only been to brooklyn flea market in the winter when its indoors, and so am desperate to check out the outdoor one held in williamsburg, brooklyn

- smorgasburg- this is a massive food market held in brooklyn over the weekends packed with over 100 vendors. mmmmm....

- ikea ferry- i know this seems petty, but its free! you take the ferry from wall street to ikea brooklyn past statue of liberty and all. nicks agreed as long as there are ikea meatballs involved!

- far rockaways- there a new subway train up and running at the weekends that takes you from manhattan to this beach its apparently good surf. 

- coney island- i'm desperate to get to coney island amusement park mainly for some candy floss.

- citi bikes- i've been pestering nick since these bikes were up and running a few months ago to take a tour around manhattan on the 'boris bikes' of nyc. maybe this weekend i'll finally be able to persuade him. it looks like its going to be a busy weekend...better get going....

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


from san francisco we meandered down highway one which takes you all along the coast to los angeles. we stopped along the way at monterey and spent a few day in santa barbara. santa barbara was another air bnb find. we stayed in a couples converted out building in their garden and not only did the couple welcome us in so well, they gave us the key to their private beach and let us use their surf boards. just one of the reasons air bnb is so good!

driving south from san francisco we were so surprised at the amount of fog. sometimes driving along the coast we couldnt even see the sea yet it was right next to us.

i cant quite remember where this was but we were driving and stopped to see what all the commotion was as there were crowds of people having pulled over in a lay by on the side of the road. i walked out to see what they were all gawping out and spotted this seal on the shore, totally missing all the other seals, mistaking them for rocks. the amount of blubber on that beach was incredible. when one seal moved there was a blubber ripple across all the seals. amazing site.

then we spotted dolphins! about 6 of them serenely diving through the may need a telescope to spot them in this picture though - i didnt have a big enough lens to zoom!

Thursday, August 22, 2013


next stop san francisco, the brighton of the US (or in my opinion it is anyway). this was the city i was most excited about exploring. a west coast city full of entrepreneurs. and i did love san fran, but as i'm discovering now you just can't get to know a city properly unless you live watch this space san fran....! i think we are so spoilt in nyc, the city entertains you, you land and new york is loud and proud, but with many hidden depths that take time to discover. whereas san fran has a quiet confidence, she knows shes pretty fly, but she's comfortable enough in herself to let you take your time in uncovering her beauty. nick and i are so used to frantically charging around a city to see and experience as much of the city as possible that san fran shocked us into chilling out! i'm looking forward to coming back here to find out more about her, she's a dark horse.

now i've been dying to have a little rant about 'air bnb' this whole here goes. we discovered this site on holiday and it came up trumps everytime. its basically where local bnb's, or even normal people looking to make some cash advertise their spaces/spare rooms. san fran was our first air bnb experience. we stayed in this gorgeous double room with a kitchenette area in a town house near golden gate park. it was cheaper than a hotel, or dingy motel, we met some great people who lived there and others who were staying there, and got to stay where the locals live. they'll be more about the wonders of air bnb so stay tuned!

my amazing husband managed to get us tickets to alcatraz, it took him a whole evening, but he did it. this place gets booked up so quickly, so book a few months in advance if you're heading to san fran. to get our tickets we had to book it jointly with another tour and so we opted for the cheapest, a walking tour around china town, so popular that we were the only ones on it. but actually it was a really good tour. so anyway, alcatraz. it was incredible. nick was entrusted with the camera that day and my oh my the number of pictures of prison cells i had to trawl through was pretty impressive, so you're lucky theres only 3! you get an audio tour of the prison and can pause it at any time and they relay all the stories of failed escapes. this was nick's best day, and possibly one of mine too. geeks. 

the story goes that the prisoners used spoons from the dining hall to make this hole behind the heating grate.

we didnt time our visit to the golden gate bridge very well. instead we learnt about the engineering of suspension bridges, dad you'd have loved it.

 thankfully we'd taken some pictures of the golden gate bridge the day before without too much mist.