Monday, 13 February 2017

Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, USA

Hello hello! No weekly round up this week I'm afraid, as I'm doing a round up on my American road trip. But, I promise - there are a LOT of pics to get stuck into! Where did I leave it last time? Ah yes. Canada. So, we spent a few days in Vancouver (after we stockpiled in Costco for antihistamines and ALL THE BARGAINS) before we packed our bags once again ready for our West coast road trip. 

First up - Las Vegas.
Our flight to Vegas went smoothly and we were soon taxi bound, on our way to The Cosmopolitan.

Word of warning. Nevada was hot. They weren't kidding about the desert heat!

We were all starving and we were in the mood for America's finest: Bubba Gump. I know it's not the most refined place but what can I say? I love shrimp.

Our hotel was having a 'film night' but instead of having it was a outdoors, in the pool! (The Bourne Identity was being shown)

A little Snapchat pic (follow me joieandthevivre if you want to see more random snaps!)

Jen's snap whilst lying in the pool...

During our time in Vegas we managed to catch a couple of shows - Cirque du Soleil's 'Zumanity' and Penn and Teller. (No Britney for us as she wasn't performing on the night we had free! Boooooo)

Ah, but here was the one. The thing we wanted to see the most whilst were out in Nevada...any guesses where we're headed?

Up and away...

Got it yet...?

The Grand Canyon!

Ever since Thelma and Louise, I've always wanted to see the Grand Canyon with my own eyes. A major bucket list item ticked off!

The flight wasn't as smooth sailing as it seemed though - the day before we flew, our flights were actually cancelled due to the weather taking a bad turn (thunderstorms and LOT of lightning) meant it was just too unsafe if we were to fly. Luckily we had managed to get rebooked onto the early morning flight before we had planned to leave Vegas to make our way to the next city.

After our heli flight, we picked up J from the hotel (she slept in as she's already been to the Canyon before), we checked out and picked up lunch at Eggslut (oh my lord) before getting a cab to McCarran airport to pick up our Jeep. Gotta love L, she drove the six hours to get to Los Angeles and even navigated through the confusing and scary highways! (A tip if you are road tripping, hire a sat nav or make sure you have a smartphone and download Google'll be your life saver!)

The drive suddenly made a dark turn. We were driving near the Mojave desert when the skies suddenly darkened. A dark brooding cloud was slowly creeping over the skies and the sun had disappeared..I had noticed how gloomy it had gotten and then realised we were right in the thick of it - I heard a huge 'thunk' sound on the roof of the car. Huh? What was that? A huge something had hit the windscreen and we were worried the windscreen had cracked. What on earth was going on? More rocks had come from the sky and we realised what it was...hail!?

Hail the size of golf balls were coming down from the skies and our poor Jeep was taking a beating. (The Jeep was brand new but by this point had hundreds of mini dents on the body. Hm...this might make returning the car an interesting task...!)

We stopped in the middle of the freeway (everyone pretty much stopped too apart from the random few cars who braved it and were still moving slowly along the freeway. The sheer amount of hail stopped us from being able to see anything in the road. Truly, a very,very scary moment...

A few minutes later (it felt like forever!) the hail soon eased off and we were able to shake off the nerves and turned on the engine to make a move.

After a snack stop (Subway and Starbucks) and a couple more hours, we had finally navigated through to our pad in Los Angeles (we stayed in a Airbnb, in Hollywood).

Dear lord, I LOVE Airbnb but this pad wasn't quite up to scratch (a dodgy loo and unchanged sheets...poor L's first experience at Airbnb was a sullen one and I suspect this has put her off Airbnb forever!) On the plus side we were able to put some washing on! (How glam - hanging all of our pants on the curtain rails and said rail coming out of the wall. Sigh.)

We pretty much crashed after a late dinner, ready to explore the City of Angels the next morning...

For a spot of sightseeing and a tour of the celebrity homes...(this was seriously my favourite thing -we got to see Bruno Mars, Adam Levine and Justin Timberlake's house just to name a few!)

J and I fancied checking out the Warner Brother's studio tour later that day...

When I was little, I used to watch films on TV and think 'wow...this is the only place to be if you want to act'. Even at 6 years old, I don't think I was too far from the truth! I loved playing along to all of my favourite characters from all of my chidhood movies (a lot of Disney here..!) I always had a soft spot for L.A.

When I used to get mad and cross and wanted to throw a tantrum, I would promptly grab my blankie, (that I had from when I was a toddler) threw my teddy bear and a pretty dress into said blankie and tie it up at one end of a bamboo stick and clearly announce 'I'm going to Hollywood!!!'

My mum loves retelling this story much to my dismay... Nonetheless - my flame for Hollywood never blew out.

Visiting the WB studios and visiting the sets was amazing, and you'd be suprised just how many shows and films have filmed here. (Pretty Little Liars, Desperate Housewives, Jurassic Park, Gilmore Girls, True Blood and even The Big Bang Theory.)

We were lucky enough to visit the actual set of The Big Bang Theory as they had finished filming for the latest season - we weren't allowed to take photos though but trust me, everything you see on TV, like the elevator shots and the interior shots of the living room? SO small in's all about the angling that makes the set seem bigger!

If you are a Harry Potter fan, this will be a treat. The WB studios also kept a lot of the costumes that were worn by the cast, along with other paraphernalia.

We even had the chance to be sorted by...The Sorting Hat! (I was Hufflepuff...)

I LOVE Margot Robbie and was lucky enough to also catch a glimpse of some of the props she used whilst filming Suicide Squad...

Any Batman fans in the house?

Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman's outfit in Batman Returns.

The Batmobile...(one of them!)

At the end of the tour we were shown through to one of the most famous sets...

I don't even need to introduce this one, surely?! Hello to all my fellow 'Friends' fans!

The most famous coffee shop on TV - Central Perk.The tour was incredible and I would highly recommend it if you are stopping through LA.

Whilst in L.A, we wanted to check out Venice beach. My god...the traffic?! Well done to L for having to put up with the traffic and madness. The traffic in L.A is truly as bad as they say!

Although it didn't take us long to get settled in with the sun and sand...!

The next morning we woke up early to try and head off to our next destination: San Francisco! Nothing in this trip has gone smoothly...this time, as we were making our way out of Hollywood, J realised she had hadn't seen her passport for a while and she couldn't find it in her luggage. Uh oh...we turned straight back to the flat and turned it upside down - after what felt like FOREVER... SUCCESS!! Passport retrieved...Panic over and we were ready to roll.

We actually stopped off at shopping mall on our way to San Fran (did I mention we LOVE shopping? This one was meh in comparison to the Vegas malls though!) and when we had finally got there we noticed that it was considerably cold. I really wish I had researched this properly, but San Fran gets foggy in the summer. I was in shock just how cold it was. In an act of desperation, I was going to commit and buy a down jacket from Uniqlo but decided to just wear EVERY layer I had. #lookinghot. Not.

During our time in San Fran we checked out Lombard Street..famously known as the most crooked street in the world!

I'd hate to be driving down this...but what an incredible location?!

Don't you just love this beautiful house?

One of the things we also wanted to see was Alcatraz Island. To be frank I hadn't known too much about the history of the island, but when we arrived, this ended up being one of the most education activities I've ever done.

It had the most eerie atmosphere, as soon as we walked into the main building

Here was where the prisoners communally showered

The typical prison cell for an inmate.

Very very eerie, but we learnt about the prisoner's way of life at Alcatraz, and also learnt about the stories of notorious prisoners who had managed to escaped Alcatraz. Did you know Al Capone also did time there?

Before we left San Fran, we had the pleasure of seeking out Mr. Holmes Bakehouse for cronuts

Before making sure we caught sight of the famous sights in SF: The Painted Ladies. The most gorgeous houses on the block...

And of course, we had to grab a pic of the Golden Gate Bridge...!

We had an epic trip. After San Fran, we flew back up to Vancouver to spend some more time with the family before we headed back to London. A truly awesome and memorable trip. I'm already making a list of the places I didn't get round to seeing (or eating, for that matter)...!

Thank you to my lovely and gorgeous family for making this trip truly fantastic.

 (Ahem. This is NOT a flattering pic but this is the result of arriving in Canada from Gatwick - flying from an awfully delayed flight, we had not slept for almost a day and a half. Eek. But this pic cracks me up every time - look at how knackered I am - my eyelids are positively closing! Thought it was too funny not to share...)

I know I have overloaded you with photos in this post, but I hope you liked my snaps...

F x 


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