We all literally loved Vegas. It was by far my favourite place so far and we didn’t want to leave. However, the next day we walked out through the huge pyramid casino to the van and headed to California and San Diego. A long seven hour trip later and we got to the camp site and set up. That night we went along to the San Diego Baseball ground to watch the Padres play the Colorado Rockies and in true sporting spirit, I got myself a cute little baseball jersey. I’ve always wanted to go along to a baseball game and do the whole cliche hotdog and foam finger thing, so it was awesome to go along as a group and experience that.
We all had an early one after that ready for the zoo the next day. San Diego zoo is supposed to be the best zoo in America, and although it was great, I would say I’ve been to zoo’s before that were just as great. Chester zoo being one of them. However, San Diego Zoo did have koala bears and pandas which were awesome and the best thing there, the polar bears. My favourite animals are polar bears and I sponsor one with WWF, so I was so excited to finally see one close up. They were just amazing and I would have stayed there all day if I could have. Unfortunately, the sun wasn’t out and we were heading to Mission beach for the afternoon, but we still enjoyed chilling on the sand and walking around the bars and shops. I may have treated myself to a rip curl maxi and a pair of Volcom shorts as I’m a surfer girl at heart and the store was awesome. After a bit of food, we went back to the camp site again and chilled before retiring.
At this point, the mood in the camp totally dropped and we all knew it was the last day together. Half of the group were leaving after only doing a half trip from Coast to Coast along the south. Yet six of us still had another half to go to make up the whole 360 trip. We were losing some amazing people and we were all so so close at this point, so it was a pretty shitty time.
The next day we drove to Hollywood for a Hollywood tour, taking in Beverley Hills, the Hollywood sign, the famous handprints and walk of fame quickly before getting back to the Hacienda hotel and dropping bags. That night was our last meal together and we went to the Olive Garden nearby with the worst service I’ve ever had in a restaurant but somehow we got through it unscathed.
The next day the tour was officially over but we had a free day before the start of the next trip so we wanted to stay together for another day and chill. We went to Venice Beach and it was everything I imagined. Just so vibrant and buzzing. The muscle beach was hilarious but then there was the skate park which was awesome and famous basketball courts which were amazing to sit and watch. There were some awesome stores selling vintage clothes and a store that printed T-shirts while you waited so I got myself a Breaking Bad tee and a cute white jumper from the vintage store and I was pretty happy. After a few hours chilling, we had another final meal to say goodbye. We then drove to a nearby hotel and dropped off five of the guys with emotional goodbyes. Seriously going to miss them all. Four guys from London with some of the best banter I’ve ever been subjected to. We also lost Amy from Kent who was just gorgeous. Leah from Wales and Dave from Newcastle also left and I loved them both, so I am absolutely gutted to lose them.
Yet, day 36 came around and that meant meeting a new 7 people in the morning. A totally different dynamic with only four guys this time and 9 girls but everyone is so lovely. We headed back to Hollywood for the guys who missed it the first time and had a crepe breakfast to make ourselves feel better. At this point it really hit me that we’d lost some amazing people, and people we’d grown so so close to within 5 weeks, so I was a bit of an emotional wreck for a few hours realising they had gone. But we headed to Santa Barbara to the beach and to get to know the group. After a walk around beautiful Santa Barbara, a Vans store and Abercrombie to buy treats we went along to the camp site and set up for the first time on the second part of the journey. Thank goodness the new tour leader had new tents as I couldn’t have put up with the old tents a day longer. We had burritos for dinner, drank a few rums and had a walk to the beach to look at the moon and the stars before retiring.
The next day was one I had waited a long time for, Yosemite National Park. We had a 6.30 rise to get ready in time and headed up through California to the San Francisco area. After a stop off for lunch in a grassy green park, we continued to the national park. Yosemite is one of the most beautiful places I have seen in my life. We worked our way through the national park, taking in the most stunning scenery and stopped off at a few viewing points to take some amazing photographs. We found our way to the giant sequoia trees and had a walk through the Forrest area. These trees are literally huge, it would probably take 20 people to get a chain of people around the base of them. So amazing to take in, if you love trees like I do. After that we went along to camp and had a few drinks and a chill before I fell asleep around 9pm.
The next day was hiking day and ten of us decided to tackle Yosemite. The hike was 8 miles long and tools us 5.5 hours but the views were actually breathtaking. We walked up the mountain to the side of a waterfall and then walked down the other side taking in another two. They were stunning and everywhere was just blue skies, trees and mountains. I highly recommend you visit Yosemite if you can. That evening we treated ourselves to pizza takeaway, cider and a chill out by the camp again. Hiking Yosemite and the Grand Canyon are two things I will probably never forget.
The next day was time for San Francisco. On the way, we went over to Treasure Island, a practically deserted island next to San Fran, to help ourselves to our daily packed lunch. We could see San Fran in the distance over the ocean and it was amazing to be in a big city again. We had a quick tour of San Fran and took on the painted ladies houses and Haite Ashbury, a cool hippy area which looked amazing.
This night was a hotel stop and we settled in to the ‘Good Hotel’ which I must say was pretty good. Me and Georgie, my room buddy, quickly washed everything in our cases before meeting the group to go again for a sunset boat cruise. I don’t know if you’ve heard but San Fran is really cold, like England cold which is really odd. So we all had to jacket up quite considerably. We headed onto the catamaran which took us under the Golden Gate Bridge, near Alcatraz and around the harbour. Due to the wind and cold, the majority of us stayed indoors, eating drinking and joking before heading onto the deck for what seemed like a rollercoaster ride in the waves. So much fun though. Afterwards we are together on a high after the boat and lots of chocolate from a fudge store before crashing back at the hotel.
Then the 18th came and it was my birthday! The day I’ve been waiting for and I got to spend it in San Fran! Me and Georgie got up early and met two others before heading into San Fran for a fry up and shopping. I was desperate to get to American Apparel and ended up treating myself to the most amazing pastel hoodie in pink, mint, peach and lilac. I also bought the peach riding pants (nude underwear extremely necessary) and a gorgeous strappy peach dress. Actually can’t get enough of peach recently. Everyone then met up together and we went into the city for a curry and the first curry of the trip so far. The group had bought me a surprise walking pink pig as they know I love small cute things and they’d grouped together to sign a card which I will definitely keep safe forever. I was so happy. We headed back and packed our bags for an early start on the friday morning.
After a quick change the next day, I didn’t bother even putting my face on before getting into the van for a drive to Redwoods National Park to see the biggest trees in the world. We drove for the longest ride so far, around 10 hours, with a quick stop off for a BBQ lunch and food shop stop. We arrived at the campsite in Klamath California, Redwood National and State Parks and set up. The girls made a huge and amazing Jambalaya and we sat by a campfire eating s’mores for the evening.
Day 43 we arose, ate breakfast and headed into the park for a walk around the Redwoods. The trees were incredible, some being around 1000 years old and apparently some of the oldest trees in the world are 2300 years old which is pretty mind blowing. We had so many group photos and climbed lots of trees before having lunch. We then took a different trip into the park to visit Fern canyon, literally a canyon cut through the rock covered in fern, trees and mops waterfalls. It was so beautiful and it was so so fun climbing the fallen trees over streams and rocks. We had an early afternoon back at the camp site and me and Georgie passed out for a few hours in the tent before smelling food and exiting the tent. It was kebabs and mash for tea, drank down with my favourite Cruzan strawberry rum and lemonade.
By the way I’m sorry if there is too much detail in these posts, however I’m also keeping it as a daily diary for myself for the future so I don’t want to forget anything I did :)
Hope your summer is going amazing! Follow my path around the U.S Coast on Instagram – @inthefrow and Vine – IntheFrow. For every section of these posts, you can find them in the Travelling Category :)