Boom! I am back from my Californian sojourn. It’s taken me a few days to recover from the LA to London to Dublin to Donacloney travel extravaganza so I will ease my way back in. To coin a phrase “Oh I just don’t know where to begin…” In fact, I got back late on Sunday night and went to see Elvis Costello and the Imposters on Tuesday night! Great timing.
So, California. Drove from San Francisco to San Diego and all parts inbetween. When in San Fran I did not spot anyone with flowers in their hair, but there were some Gay Pride paraders who seemed to decide this is a clothing optional city! Across the Bay to sunny Sausalito, what a fab place. Art galleries and wine tasting is the order of the day there! Recommended.
Went to the wild wonder of Yosemite! It was 110 degrees and blue skies all the way. Beautiful scenery and so interesting to learn about the Native Americans who once lived in this region. Stopped off at the little Gold Rush town of Mariposa on the way back and encountered a rattle snake! That was a hair raiser.
From thence to Carmel, shrouded in sea fog but otherwise most charming. I took a drive to San Jose and yes, I now DO know the way! Went to the Winchester Mystery House which was a fascinating example of what can be produced when a traumatised Millionairess is left to her (spiritual) devices. Spooky place.
Stopped off at the Henry Cowell Redwood Park to see those mighty giants. There was one redwood hollowed out at the base that you could camp in, such is the scale of the monster. Quite charming.
Travelled down Big Sur, stopping at the Bixby Bridge for a panoramic view. Stopped off at the famous Hearst Castle, El Casa Grande for a glimpse into the world of a 1930’s billionaire, W.R. Hearst. Terrific view up that steep hill and a definite oddity.
Ended up in Santa Barbara which I found to be compact and very walkable. Great Pier and some lovely shops along Union Avenue. I then traveled to L.A.- staying in the “Pretty Woman” hotel, at the top of Rodeo Drive. It was my pleasure to meet up with Patty (and her husband) of ATW renown and spend some time putting the world to right! I did all the L.A. touristy things, but perhaps the most dramatic view came from the Griffith Observatory, high above L.A.
After that, I went to the desert – to Palm Springs. It is essentially Las Vegas for geriatrics!!! Really hot, people slightly mad, and with a great tramway that takes you from the desert floor to 8500ft in 15mins! Amazing view of the San Andreas fault from that vantage point although you might consider seeing it more of a worry!
I left the Desert and headed for San Diego, staying at La Jolla. Brilliant spot, and a fantastic town, and as close to Mexico as I ever need to get.
I then went back up the coast to Laguna and Newport, for some chill out time before catching the flight back home.
During this time away, I followed America politics closely, via Fox News. I was horrified by what happened in Nice yet was impressed by the way Fox News called it out for what is was – Jihad. I believe the BBC weren’t really sure of the motive, a traffic based incident? Anyway, I enjoyed being able to watch Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and even the smug Megyn Kelly. I also liked watching US ads on TV – very funny, albeit accidental.
A big thank you to all who kept ATW going, and to Pete Moore in particular. Much appreciated.
Hope this brief epistle finds you all well, I will revert with the usual political stuff in due course!