Friday 29th of March was the start of a trip of a lifetime for myself and my husband Sam. We were heading to Los Angeles, California the beginning of our 5-week trip to the United States of America.
LA was our first place into the unknown. We walked along the Hollywood Walk Of Fame and then the Santa Monica Pier, we would open our hotel room blinds and see the Hollywood sign, we toured the hills to see the houses of the rich and famous and then the best part of our two days in LA was the trip to Anaheim to spend the day in Disneyland!
We then jumped in our hire car and drove down to San Diego. We traveled there to visit the famous San Diego Zoo and of course eat in Little Italy….that we did!
After two nights in a place that felt like home, we headed to Las Vegas. This was one of my favorite parts of the trip. The drive through the desert was long and we arrived on the famous Vegas strip at night. It is definitely, what it is like in the movies, bright lights and people everywhere. We stayed in the Cosmopolitan Hotel and the balcony overlooked the famous Fountains of Bellagio and the Vegas Strip. I did not want to leave! Sam being an obsessed car-racing fan we headed to the Las Vegas Speedway to watch the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals. On our last day, we hopped on a tour bus and travelled to Hoover Dam on our way to the Grand Canyon. We got into a helicopter (my first time) and flew into the Canyon. It was beautiful view and we even got to sip on some champagne! We then travelled back at sunset and then flew over the Vegas Strip…..was such a great experience!
Our next stop was San Francisco, it was the first time in the trip it was cold and rainy! We did the tourist thing and jumped on a double decker bus, which drove through many parts of hilly San Francisco. We drove over the famous Golden Gate Bridge and into the beautiful Napa and Sonoma Valley on a wine day tour. We also took a boat over to the Alcatraz Prison where we did an audio tour teaching us all about the prison and its inmates. The Fisherman’s Wharf was a great place to do some shopping and eating of course.
After four days in the cold, we headed to hot and sunny Miami. It was here we were able to relax by the pool at the hotel. We also visited the Everglades National Park, we rode on an air boat in search for alligators. We were only lucky enough to see one!
We then spent the next week in the Big Apple, New York City. We visited the 9/11 Memorial on our first day. It was an emotional time, being that is where it all happened back in 2001.
Being such a huge city, we headed over to the Rockefeller Centre to see it all from up high. There was so much fog though, so we were not able to see much. We did however spot the Statue of Liberty. That night we visited the Empire State Building to see New York at night. It seemed that every other tourist had the same idea so we had to wait to get a good view. It was great to be able to see everything lit up in the dark. On our third day, we caught a plane at 4am and headed over to Buffalo. Our tour guide who was going to take us to the beautiful Niagara Falls met us at the airport. We travelled by bus to the first of the falls ‘Horseshoe Falls’ which lies on the border of the United States and Canada. Being that they had just come out of winter there was large blocks of ice floating in the water. The force of the water rushing down is something I can’t even explain. You would not want to jump in that’s for sure. After an hour, we headed into Ontario, Canada to visit the American Falls. We were unable to get a closer look by boat due to the ice so instead we headed into the tunnels under the falls, which then led us to the top of the falls where we could try take selfies with the falls.
Our last few days in New York were spent shopping, eating, shopping and then eating some more. We went by boat to see the Statue of Liberty and also hired bikes in Manhattan and rode to and in Central Park.
The next stop was probably my favorite, Hawaii! We spent our first couple of days in Maui where we relaxed by the pool, walked along the beach day and night and drank champagne for breakfast. We attended a Traditional Luau on our last night. We learnt how to Hula dance, ate traditional Hawaiian food, drank the famous Mai Tai cocktails and watched a traditional luau performance. After 3 days, we hopped on a plane to Honolulu and stayed on Waikiki Beach. Walking through the streets at night, we would see many musicians singing and playing an instrument just like Bruno Mars did when he lived in Hawaii and before he became famous! There was a particular band made up of a father and his two young children playing songs from Bob Marley to of course Bruno Mars. They were unbelievably talented and I made sure every night we would stop and watch them. We also hiked through the rainforest, Manoa Falls that is famous for its involvement in the Jurassic Park movie.
After a week of some much needed RNR in Hawaii, we were on our way home. We needed to stop over in New Zealand before heading home and decided to stay for a couple of nights. We stayed in Auckland and were able to do some exploring through the fishing wharfs and the city. We took a boat over to Waiheke Island, which is known for its wine region and did another wine tour. It was such a beautiful island, so beautiful I could easily live there.
This was the end of our trip after 12 flights, 2 countries and 8 US States it was 35 days of lots of eating, drinking, walking and exploring. Safe to say we had the time of our lives and made many memories we will cherish forever. Coming back home we were really looking forward to good coffee and nice home cooked meal!