When They Build The Road You Want While You Wait #Travel #MondayBlogs

Last week I explained how there is much excitement in the Amber household as we plan next summer’s road-trip to Canada

Our plan is to fly to Calgary and over two weeks drive to Vancouver here are some of the highlights we’re looking at for our first couple of days: Calgary Tower , Fort Calgary , there is the famous Calgary Stampede which takes place July 7th – 16th and the  Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology near Drumheller

Meanwhile I’ve realised just how many other road trips we’ve done and I’m sharing them with you.

Last week was the 3000 mile trip to LA and back, all on the back of a packet of crisps, read the post here http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-9r6

This week is about the next trip to the west coast of America.

About a year after our trip to LA hubby and I (pre marriage and no kids) wanted to go back and see more of America, this time we flew into San Francisco and home from LA with a road- trip in between. We’re not huge city fans, so we jumped into our hire car and headed straight over the Golden Gate Bridge northwards, we were pleasantly surprised not to have to pay a toll, finding ourselves amongst rush hour traffic heading the right way out of the city.

First stop was the Napa valley region and a spot of wine tasting, interesting but when you’re driving and then flying home you can’t a) do too much tasting and b) bring too much wine home.

Next we drove almost to the Oregon border to the Redwood National Park , had a picture in front of  the giant “General Sherman” tree, but the park was very snowy and we hadn’t packed much cold weather clothing. Heading back down south we took the coastal road route 1 which hugged the rugged coastline, this was late Spring and there had been some ferocious storms, we’d been driving several hours and long past the last turnoff, when we were stopped by workmen. A landslide had knocked the road out and they were making a new one on the side of a very steep cliff, if we’d like to wait a while we could pass or turn around and go back. We decided to wait while they laid the shingle and graded and rolled it, then they waved us through, hubby asked what I could see down the drop off “absolutely nothing! Keep driving!”

We headed back to San Francisco for a spot of sight-seeing, and nearly got arrested for going down a closed road when we were lost, our saving grace was our accent and the fact hubby’s old style driving licence bamboozled the police officer. Think we went on a Twin Peaks trail, but I was still not speaking to hubby over the near arrest. Forgot about this until just now, I was dying for a pee when we were in the Bay area, found the public rest rooms, queued for ages crossing my legs only to discover non of the toilets had doors on them! I was so desperate by then, I had to forgo caring, assuming I was far enough away from home that I wouldn’t see anyone I knew. Then we headed down towards Bakersfield and the Sequoia National Park we do love our trees!

Passing through LA this time we decided to head to San Diego for a bit of sun, it had been snowy up in the Redwoods, the closer we got to the Mexican border the more security checks there were, we stopped just north of the city and next day went to the San Diego Sea World

A quick trip to Palm Springs, with an interesting drive through a dust storm. (Think we were ticking off nearly every weather condition on this trip) Palm Springs was lovely and warm in the city and then we took a cable car up the mountain to Mt San Jacinto State Park where it was snowing and we really hadn’t dressed appropriately again, at least we had booked dinner by the roaring log fire.

Lastly we high-tailed it back to LA, and fitted in The Universal Studio Hollywood Tour we sat in the Knight Rider car and tried to interact but it couldn’t understand our English accent, really enjoyed the studio tour, seeing characters from the latest Bat Man film at the time and seeing a well used pond feature in The Waltons and may more movies and TV series.

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Next week I take off without the Hubster to Australia.

Los Angeles And Back On A Bag Of Crisps #Travel #MondayBlogs

Here at the Amber household we are deep, deep, deep in plans for our next family holiday. It’s a BIG event for us, we haven’t had a family holiday for FOUR years. Long story short we haven’t been able to agree on a destination and other family things have got in the way.

We’re not a family who sits on a sunny beach, if we do find ourselves on a beach we’re the ones digging the monstrous hole with an architectural structure, moats, walls etc. Great for a UK beach, not so good long-haul when our son would prefer to check in a large, durable garden spade (all the better for digging) rather than clothes in a suitcase. Foreign holidays for us tend to be road-trips and our next one we taking on Canada! More about this over the next few weeks.

SO because I’m super excited, I thought over the next few weeks, I’d share a few snippets from some of our past road-trips.

My first ever long-haul was decided by a packet of crisps – I kid you not. Years ago I worked in catering and I found an offer on a pack of crisps for “free” flights on Virgin Atlantic. I remember buying a huge amount of badly flavoured crisps just for the tokens on the packets, enough for two adults. Choosing the destination was easy, I wanted to go as far as I could get for my potato crisp. We picked LA.

Things didn’t start well, we had a puncture on the way to the airport, then we were hauled out of line at Uk security for a thorough bag check and LA had just had a bad earthquake and serious mud slides, but hey, it makes a trip interesting.

I remember being unable to comprehend matching the flight travel time to the difference in the actual time zone upon arrival. Hubby and I (pre- marriage and kids) had few plans, pick up a car, go to Disney, then see what happens. I didn’t realise he was a closet road-tripper.

We travelled around 3000 miles in just two weeks! That trip we flew the Grand Canyon in a six-seater plane. Hubby up the front with the pilot taking great photos, me down the back feeling very green with all the air turbulence. We visited Las Vegas, feeling the pull of the glitz and glam, the heat and wilds of Death Valley, the hydro-electric plant at the Hoover Dam and the amazing Utah arches national park, even going as far as The Four Corners which borders Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.

Next Time: Our trip from the Giant Redwoods to San Diego.

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