Saturday, June 7, 2014

Day 20 - Sea World San Diego

Wednesday 30 April.

Today was our first full day in San Diego, and since we only had two full days here we decided to go to Sea World today.

The day was very hot and very windy. In fact it was a record high temperature for this day ever.  Average temperature for April 30 is 20 degrees Celsius, but today was 34!  Also the famous Santa Ana winds were blowing strong.  This meant that most of the thrill rides were down as it was too windy.

But we did get a lucky break during the day, we were walking around quite grumpy about the roller coaster being down, when we were spotted by the "Surprise Crew", and they surprised us with dinning with Shamu! Since there were eight in our party and the voucher was for six, all we had to do was pay for two of the kids.

Here are some photos from our day.

Be warned, if you sit in the 'Wet Zone' you will get extremely wet!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Day 19 - Santa Barbara to San Diego

Tuesday 29th April

We spent the previous night in a really lovely motel, Marina Beach Motel.  We actually found it from watching an episode of World's Greatest Motorcycle Rides!  We watched one particular episode a number of times, it was when the host Henry Cole was riding down Highway 1 from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

I think Melissa and Hannah were a bit over having to share a bed as we found lots of notes that they had written and laid out for everyone to see...

Our drive south to San Diego was expected to take about 4 hours, so we allowed ourselves until lunch time to explore Santa Barbara.

So we borrowed some bikes from the motel (and hired some down the road for the kids) and went for a bike ride along the waterfront.

The bikes aren't what we are used to, they are all cruisers, with no hand brakes, it took a while to get the hang of peddling backwards to stop.  I managed to take some photos with my phone while biking...

Santa Barbara is really beautiful and another place we would love to come back to and spend some more time.

Sadly the drive today wasn't very interesting...

Apart from a bit of a coastal route through Malibu, the rest was all highway driving.  We did stop quickly in Malibu and Melissa had a run along the beach while Hannah was sleeping in the car...

Then even Melissa had a sleep in the car, this is a miracle, as Melissa hardly ever sleeps in the car...

We soon arrived in San Diego for the last destination of our holiday.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Day 17 - San Francisco to Santa Barbara

Monday 28 April.

We were on the road not long after 8am for our long drive south to Santa Barabara.  

We had planned to make stops at Monterey first then making the short hop over to Carmel for lunch.

Both families stopped in Monterey, although we didn't see each other.  We spied the signs for Cannery Row which is a waterfront street in Monterey where the old sardine canning factories have been transformed into shops, galleries and restaurants.  There is also an aquarium here, but we didn't have the time to have a look.

Nick and I both agreed that we would love to come back here and spend a night or two.

Our next stop was Carmel-by-the-sea, or Carmel.  Carmel was known to Wendy and I as a location that Danielle Steele often uses in her romance novels.  The town was very charming and another place where we could happily spend a night.  Unfortunately we only stopped for lunch and didn't have time to look far - also didn't take any photos.

Our plan now was to drive to Santa Barbara and stop whenever we saw something interesting.

This part of coastal California is known as Big Sur, and it didn't disappoint!

We stopped at the Nepenthe Restaurant (wish we had waited for lunch to eat here instead), and we admired the views...

Along the road were lots of camp grounds and cabins for hire, once again, somewhere we would love to come back to again.

Our last stop was at McWay Falls, which is somewhere else I found from Pinterest...

After about 7 hours in the car we arrived in Santa Barbara for the night, we were all gushing about how great the day was, and even though it was a 7 hour drive it was well worth it.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Day 16 - Fort Point and Fisherman's Wharf

Sunday 27 April.

Today we all set off together, both families had separate lists of what they wanted to do.  Our list had 16th Avenue Staircase, Fort Point and Fisherman's Wharf.  The Godfrey's list also had the 16th Avenue Staircase, then Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street and the Cable Car Museum.

I first found out about the 16th Avenue staircase from a photo on Pinterest...

and I soon discovered that it was quite close to the house we were staying in.  Details of the staircase and a map with its location is here.

My photos certainly didn't turn out as vibrant as the one above, even with the tweaking I did - it was threatening to rain all day so I just had my point and shoot instead of the DSLR.

We then caught the bus to the Golden Gate Bridge, we were heading down under the bridge to Fort Point, and the Godfrey's were going to walk over part of the bridge like we did the day before.

This is Fort Point... here.  It was quite a long walk down from the top to underneath the bridge...

We were walking around the top of the fort, when Wendy sent me a text saying that she could see us... we looked up and saw this...

and here is the photo she took looking down...

Here are some photos that Wendy took from their walk over the bridge...

We then made the hike back up the hill to catch the bus to Fisherman's Wharf.  The bus didn't take us quite there so we had to walk for about 20mins.  It was then that we realised how far it is to bike if you hire bikes at Fisherman's Wharf to cycle over the bridge.

We ate IN-N-OUT burger for lunch, then Melissa wanted to see the Sea Lions at pier 39, so we stopped to have a look.

After a look around Fisherman's Wharf, we headed into Union Square to pick up our rental car.

We stopped to see the Painted Ladies on the way back to our house.  Sadly, there seemed to be a demolition site in the middle of the row, and two houses were covered in scaffold and wind break.  But it was still worth the look anyway.

We went home to pack up for our trip down Highway 1 the next day.