*Special* California Day One and Two

Well after the busy streets of New York, California was a revelation. We got to our Motel late on Saturday night and after a beautifully classy meal of crisps and Ben and Jerrys from the food mart next door (where Gareth saw two kids blatantly shoplifting…) we fell asleep…


Sunday morning came and we were up early and in the car. Gareth was keen to test out the Mustang, so we drove down to the waterfront.

Gareth and the Mustang

Gareth and the Mustang

It was really good to see the sea, and it was a glorious day, really hot and sunny. After days of art galleries, Gareth wanted to do something different so we went to the USS Midway, one of the few WW2 aircraft carriers open to the public.

USS Midway

USS Midway

I don’t have much of an interest in the military but from a sailing point of view it was interesting – it served until the 90s so bits of the tour were a little Top Gun…

A big coil of rope...

A big coil of rope…?

The flight deck housed several planes, and they had a plane from every era from 1945 when the ship was commissioned through to today.

The Flight Deck...

The Flight Deck…

We then did the tour of the bridge, with an interesting veteran telling us about the different areas, and navigation onboard back in the 40s through to the 90s. Whilst on deck, we also saw this plane writing a message in the sky…

Of all the things to write in the sky... Car Insurance?!?!

Of all the things to write in the sky… Car Insurance?!?!

After the Midway, we decided to have a wander along the seafront. They have some old Navy sailing ships… one of them was apparently HMS Surprise. I know this much, they needed new sails…

Oh my, look at those sails!

Oh my, look at those sails!

After a lovely lunch in a waterside restaurant, we wandered inland and came across Little Italy, where there was some sort of festival going on. There were stalls everywhere and live music and food on the streets, so we meandered through and had a look.

Little Italy

Little Italy

After all that excitement 🙂 we walked back to the car as Gareth was having withdrawals, and we drove back to the apartment via a big food store, picking up a few utensils (the motel had a fridge and a microwave… Nothing more) and heading back for an evening of catching up on sleep, American Wheat beer and re-runs of Friends…


As wonderful as San Diego is, the fact that Ron Burgundy isn’t real and walking the streets was too much of a disappointment for us and we decided to start on our road trip. After a brief consultation with the guide book, we decided to head for Santa Barbara – it is somewhere in the middle of San Diego and the Big Sur.

The Californian landscape...

The Californian landscape…

Driving into Hollywood...

Driving into Hollywood…

The Hollywood sign in the Hollywood hills

The Hollywood sign in the Hollywood hills

The church of Scientology...

The church of Scientology…

It was a hair raising few hours of driving as we got used to crazy Americans and their big cars, and after driving through LA in traffic, stopping for an uneventful (and frankly very bland Subway) and getting over the brief excitement of seeing the Hollywood sign on the Hollywood hills, we rolled into Santa Barbara.

The road on the way to Santa Barbara

The road on the way to Santa Barbara

More amazing Californian landscapes from the car...

More amazing Californian landscapes from the car…

It’s gorgeous, and if we ever come back to California, we will spend much more time there. The beaches we drove past on the way in were picturesque to say the least, and you can see the Spanish influence (the town was started by a Spanish missionary) in the architecture. It was also, like most of the places we have been so far, very clean and tidy. We booked into a motel for the night online, and after the one we stayed in in San Diego, weren’t expecting much. However, this place was amazing! Lovely rooms, with a huge bed (very important when your husband is 6ft 3), an awesome view of hills out the window, and a beautiful pool, surrounded by tall palm trees.

Me and Gareth in the pool in the starlight

Me and Gareth in the pool in the starlight

There was nothing for it, after a long day’s drive, we got changed and headed straight to the pool – in the starlight… Absolutely beautiful.

Laura and Gareth xxx

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3 thoughts on “*Special* California Day One and Two

  1. Rollerz says:

    Tell me you requested a ‘Flyby’ in the tower??!!!! ;0) x

  2. […] Jubilee, I spent a week in Spain, got married, and spent three weeks in New York and driving around California! Phew! 2013 has a lot to live up […]

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