Thursday, 25 December 2008

Happy Christmas!

Clare and Andy wish everyone who reads our blog a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year!

Monday, 8 December 2008

I Left My Heart In San Francisco.....

Well it's (finally!) time for the last episode of our America journey, only about 4 months after we got back! Our final destination was San Francisco. We only had a few days before we had to return home but, as ever, we endeavoured to pack as much in as we could!

We started off at Pier 39 were there was lots of exciting shops and restaurants, not to mention the odd one or two hundred seals. You can hear them long before you see them and they just spend their day lounging round the place, making a racket! Quite a sight to behold!

From the next pier along, we got the ferry for our night tour of Alcatraz Prison. This was amazing and really quite scary once it had got dark! We were supplied with a very informative audio tour which told us all about Al Capone, the Birdman and the only three people ever to escape from the Rock. Slightly disturbing was the fact that we were on the last boat off the Island at about 10pm, but nobody seemed to be counting people on and off! I thought it might be fun to rough it overnight but Clare had other ideas!

We couldn't leave San Francisco without checking out some of the famous hills. We'd heard they were steep but we hadn't realised the half of it! But there was 3 weeks of American food to burn off and we felt we needed the exercise so we gave it everything we had!

When we reached the top of the mountain...sorry! hill... by a complete stroke of luck we managed to bump into the old tram service that took us all the way back down again and into town. When they told us they had two spaces left, we thought we were in luck... We didn't realise that those two spaces were hanging on for dear life on the outside of the train.

I think a fitting end to the holiday is to leave you with two video clips of the experience!

All the pictures, and some more crazy videos, can be found here.

Well, thanks for sticking through this rather protracted account of our holiday! I guess I'll have to think of something else exciting for next time.

Monday, 1 December 2008

California Dreaming.....

After quite a few weeks off, I thought it was about time to continue the epic saga of our America holiday. After Las Vegas, we flew to L.A and were met at the airport by Clare's friend, Elise. About a year before we were married, Clare spent 6 months in India with the organisation Oasis helping in the slums of Mumbai and at a centre for women and children with HIV. Elise was on the team with Clare (along with Hazel) and is from L.A. She very kindly took the day out to show us around and had planned a lovely itinerary that took in Manhattan Beach, Venice Beach and Santa Monica. We had a lovely day with her and it was great to catch up.

L.A. is unlike all of the other places we visited. Everywhere else, we were able to catch a bus or subway and could navigate without being reliant on taxis or cars. In L.A., everything is so much more spread out so we decided to do one of the many Hollywood tours that run. This took in the Hollywood sign, Beverly Hills, the Star Walk of Fame and my favourite, the Rock Walk where I almost touched hands with Jimmy Page!

We also had a two day pass for Universal Studios. Here we had a guided tour of many of the movie lots and went on some amazing rides, including the Mummy Returns, Jurassic Park and The Simpsons Ride.

If you want to see more photos of our time in L.A. see here.

Well, we're almost at the end of our holiday. One last stop... San Francisco!