A big what's up from the USA!
As we hoped the US is proving to be a blast! It brings back memories of Aus with the heat and the party atmosphere :)
So our first full day in San Fran consisted of a lot of sleeping, woke up for breakfast and then another sleep :) the jet lag has hit us pretty hard and in fact made me quite emotional, but after a little cry I felt right as rain. We signed up for free cheese and wine in the hostel and got chatting to some other travellers; we met a lovely couple from Cornwall who had been travelling for 6 months. One of them was a dentist and the other a radiographer, so we all had a good chat about jobs and the current job market at home. Chris and I then wondered out to China town and Union Square, had a little shop and watched the city change from day to night.
Our second day we dropped off our bag at the hotel where our tour would start from; as we weren't meeting the group until the evening we went on a hop on hop off bus around the city - the perfect way to see it with the limited time we had. San Francisco is such a beautiful and romantic city. One of my favourite elements of the city is the multi coloured houses with cosy patios and antique style fire escapes, I found my dream house which was peach coloured with a cream coloured fire escape :) the city smells amazing and the locals are very friendly. We went to Fishermans wharf where we saw seals and Alcatraz island, saw the restaurant where God Father was filmed, saw the church where Marilyn Monroe had her wedding photos taken, saw city hall, saw Haight street which is where the hippy 70's movement was huge and still continues, saw Lombard street the most windy road in San Fran, saw the financial district and last but not least the Golden Gate Bridge!
That night we met the group: Jo & Derrel from Ireland who are on their honeymoon and just delightful, Claire & Sarah from Bromley who have been travelling for 5 months and are at the end of their trip, Marcel from Germany whose hilarious, Claire from Aus whose crazy and Adam whose our tour guide and the sweetest guy! We have all clicked immediately and are the perfect group to be with in the US :) we all went for tacos and hit the sack early.
Next morning we had another tour round San Fran but it included a few different stops like the twin peaks which is a hill that overlooks the whole of San Fran - breathtaking. We had another walk round Fishermans wharf and Chris treated me to an I Love SF t-shirt, we had some crab sandwiches and sat by the sea. Next stop was Yosemite, we drove several hours watching the sun set over the snow covered mountains and passed threw towns that literally had five buildings in them: a bank, a saloon, a supermarket, a motel and a souvenir shop. We pitched our tents in the middle of a Forrest and as a special treat we got to see a very rare phenomenon ( well for us it is) a moon-bow. The tallest waterfall in the US was just down the road from us and so we popped down to see a rainbow that goes across the waterfall as the moonlight shines on it, well worth it at 1am.
Yesterday we got up early; I had lucky charms my favourite american cereal and Chris had rice krispies his favourite English cereal :) That morning Adam asked if we wanted to go on a trek and we all agreed on a 4 mile trek; it was in fact a 5.3 mile trek and over 7200 feet up but it is called the 4 mile trek!!! Afterwards we read that it was the most difficult and steepest walk which made me feel better about all my moaning :) at one stage I was right at the back and a tear began to build up as I couldn't see it ever ending, but I was the first girl to finish yay we did see some amazing sights such as a black bear, we all stood silent and whipped out our cameras we also saw squirrels and as Claire from Aus has never seen one that was also a highlight. Adam estimated that it would take us 2 hours to walk it, the brochure said between 4-5 and we did it in 2hours 40 minutes. I thought I was walking with superheroes as they all seemed totally at ease; I was always the one to suggest breaks but it only worked 2 times out of 10. Everyone stopped to take photos of the waterfalls, the valley, snow covered mountains and I stopped to breath! Chris at one stage grabbed my hand and dragged me and said that I was being a wimp, this was all being said as I violently perspired! Once we reached the top it was completely worth it :) we high fived one another and I gave myself a round of applause haha we all had a lolly and lunch then headed to Bishop to camp overnight.
We had a BBQ around the camp fire with beers and marshmallows then we had another treat, again at 1am we went to the hot springs! I was so happy as we missed out in NZ, so there we all were sitting in the hot springs with nothing but moonlight and a beer :) we got about 5 hours sleep and are now driving through Death Valley....sorry I have to type that again...we're driving through Death Valley!!! We're rocking out to Eagles - Hotel California, there's no better song. Were in Las Vegas tonight and considering our group it's going to be a wild night! I will try my hardest to win the jackpot for you all :)
Love to all, Love Jess and Chris xxx