Well im sad to say that this will be our last blog as we are now both safe and sound in the uk again. More on that later as we have a bit of catching up to do on all we have done since the last one.
Well after having a great time at Families in Auckland and being made to feel very welcome, if your reading this Brian and Family thanks for a great few days, we headed to Fiji.
Our plan in Fiji was to basically do nothing and i think that we achieved this pretty well. Arrived in Fiji and the weather wasnt that great so we were worried our plans to top up the tan were gonna be ruined. We spent our first night on the main land of fiji Nadi, and had an unexpected reunion with our friends Ruth and Orla in our hostel. This was great and actually caught the boat to our islands together.
Fiji was so beautiful and on the boat to our island home for 6 nights we were getting excited as all ther islands we past were amazing. Arriving at our isalnd Waya Lai Lai feeling a little sea sick, we were greeted by the staff singing to us. We were excited as had our own beach hut which was great although it was very basic, had an amazing view tho.
The extent of our activities in Fiji was a sunrise hike in the thick mud and in bare feet...as the fijian guide said it was an easy walk and could be done in flip flops....yeah right we were all nearly dying especially walking on rocks in barefoot, but it was gret fun. Then we sunbathed and swam and probably napped. We only really moved from thr beach when the drums called us for food!
In between catching some rays and swimming we did visit the village and actually went to church which was really cool with all the village kids singing, and had a weaving lesson from some of the village woman. This is all the exciting things we did really apart from trying the local tipple of Kava. This is like mud and is a root of a plant and is basically an anesthetic that numbs your tounge. You have to have like 10 cups to feel any major effects and we only had 2 at most as it was like drinking mud...bet you all want to try it now.
We loved having our own room but it did get worse as the week went on. Especially when we had a bird come into our hut and crap everywhere. As vic has a phobia of birds this wasnt good and was scared for the rest of the time. And Sarah is scared of spiders and the biggest hairest spider we have ever seen was in our room...it would scare anyone but luckly it just run out so i didnt have to deal with it!
After our very relaxing time on Fiji we headed to LA. We travelled back in time and lived valentines day twice (well the afternoon) and landed in LA ready for our californian road trip. Our first day in LA we headed to Universal Studios Hollywood. we loved every minute of this especially the studio tour as lots of films and tv shows have been and are being filmed here which was ace. The rides were good and had a good scare in the house of horrors. Finished off a good day by grabbing food at the Farmer's market and shopping and star searching at the Grove (apparently a popular hang out for celebs).
We did an LA city tour which was great taking in all the famous sights of Hollywood, including Hollywood Boulevard (walk of fame), the Hollywood sign, Venice Beach (inc a very pretty sight working out on muscle beach), and loads of stars homes in Bel Air and beverly hills. It was again another great day and things were looking good for a funn time in USof A.
Well this was the day that the road trip began, after picking up our big ass car (had to upgrade to get sat nav) and hitting reverse instead of drive we were off heading to Vegas baby.
Driving along the freeways was bit scary at first but soon got used to driving on the wrong side of the road. Although Sarah got behind the wheel for the first time and and pulled out the parking space and was on the wrong side of the road..!!!
After a few rest stops we finally hit Vegas and the sat nav sent us right past it and we got a tad lost but figured out and we drove down the Strip and found our hotel. we stayed in the Paris hotel (thanks mum and dad), it was amazing and just complete luxury. We did look a state though turning up with our big backpacks and traveller look in a posh hotel.
we went and made ourselves presentable after getting over the room we were staying in..it was amazing. Headed down for dinner and had our first glass of rose wine in 4 and half months..it was so nice! Then we hit the casinos, this place is just something else the hotels and casinos are amazing and cant get over how big they are. I think we both were walking around with our jaws ont eh floor cos we were so amazed by the place. On our trip here we crammed in as many casinos as we could and had the best cocktail from Treasure island and tried to take it all in..which was hard as there is so much to take in definetly wanna go back there.
We also splashed out on a helicoptor ride over the Hoover Dam and Grand canyon which was awesome. We had the best seats on the chopper right up the front, and the views were amazing. The Canyon is just amazing and cant describe how huge it is. We then landed on a ranch in the middle of the canyon and had a late lunch. We then went to see the horses and spoke to real cowboys before having a gunfight reinactment which was very funny. The flight back was cool as we got to fly over the strip to just as it was turning dusk. That evening we got changed and hit the strip again cramming in as many casinos and hotels that our feet would carry us too. Its mad just being able to walk around on the streets drinking alcohol..which we took advantage of with the best cocktail we had had in a while from treasure island!
We left Vegas for a long 10hr drive to Yosemite national park. As mum said in her itinery we made sure we had petrol (or gas) before setting off. Programmed into the sat nav our destination and decided we didnt want to go that way so got a map and tried to navigate across death valley. But we basically drove up and down the same road for about 45mins until deciding to follow the sat nav as we didnt know which roads on the map would be closed because of the snow.
Had a fun day driving to yosemite stopping for gas and a bit to eat and found our log cabin hostel without getting lost once. Sarah had fun driving down all the windy roads. It was my turn in the morning to drive to the park. As we got further into the park the snow was just amazing and made our visit to yosemite well worth it.
we both really loved it here walking around in the snow and seeing the amazing waterfalls and spent about 2 and half hours here before heading to San Francisco. Arrived in San Francisco across the Bay Bridge and was a bit disappointed when it wasnt red but realised we had the wrong bridge!! After a few wrong turns and vicky getting beeped for drifting over 2 lanes we found the hostel right near fisherman's wharf.
As soon as we walked into our room we knew this old, fat american lady was gonna be a snorer and my god did she snore for all 3 nights we were there! Got ready and walked to Fishermans wharf for dinner but it was quite late and alot of things were shutting so found an old school american diner and had a burger ..again. We realised we had no money between us so had to pay on a card, then thought about a tip and bascially scrapped all our pennies together which was very embarassing.
We had the car for an extra day so Sarah drove over the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito as we were told it had amazing views back over the city...well it would have if it wasnt pouring with rain but the place was still very chic. It was then onto Muir woods home of the massive redwood trees (and they were massive), the drive there was very exciting as it was very highand lots of twists and turns. Again it was still raining so we only stayed here for a bit and became tree huggers for this time.
Vicky drove back across the golden gate bridge and by this time it had stopped raining and we headed toLombard street, the crookedest street in America. We actually drove down it which was great fun to do and then got a bit lost in the city driving up and down the massive hills before heading back to the hostel to get change then return the car, which we felt a little sad about as we had grown very attached!!!
we thenhad our first of many visits to Peir 39 (cos we loved it here) to see the sea lions and did a bit of shopping. having made the decision to go for dinner at chinatown we then had to figure out how to get there...a nice tram driver helped us (not all of them were as helpful shall we say). We arrived in Chinatown and didnt really know where to eat so found a fairly busy one that had a mix of locals and tourists and actually had a really nicer meal.
Next day was our Sanfran shopping day, but we crammed in a few tourist things too like walking down Lombard street and going on the famous cable cars which was great fun. Also had the biggest and best pizza slice ever and only for about a pound it was great. After a pretty successful shop we went back to pack before going for dinner in Hooters!!
On our last day in San Francisco we caught a ferry to Alcatraz. This was great fun and really interesting but bloody freezing over there. After a few hours we heeded back to main land and had our last lunch together in Hard Rock cafe before Sarah was flying home from New York and i was staying on the EAst coast.
Well that was ment to be the plan but i (vicky) then realised that i wanted to go home too and suprise every one...which i think i acheived! So we sorted out my flights back and decided to have one last shop before heading to the airport. This was a bit of a mistake as we got caught up in the end of chinese new year parade and couldnt get back to hostel. We walked for miles and was basically run up the big ass hills to catch the cable car back we made it in good time in the end!
The final part of our travels was a whistle stop tour of New York. Heres what we accomplished in 3 and half hours. Visited ground zero, had the biggest cup of tea ever, saw statue of liberty, walked down times square, and hit central park which was gorgous as it had been snowing. We even navigated the subway which wasnt too bad and had to wheel Sarah's hand luggage around for the whole time we were here. had so much fun and know we wanna get back there at some stage.
Now we are both home safe and sound and hoped you enjoyed reading the tails of our trip. We had a great time and would not have changed anything for the world. People ask what our fav part was but it is so hard to choose as it was all just a wonderful experience. Until the next travels take care and thanks for reading and coming on our journey with us x