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Los Angeles Honeymoon Travel Diary

So on Day 7 of our honeymoon, we finally arrived in Los Angeles 

Since our schedule was so tight and we prioritised visiting theme parks for this portion of the trip, we basically had a single afternoon to see as much as we could in LA. So after lunch we hit the ground running.

Hollywood Sign

First up was the Hollywood sign. To be fair we could have just left it at this picture but I had scouted out a viewing point where I could park and get out of the car on Google Maps so we headed on up the super windy hills.

Los Angeles - Hollywood street

Hello Hollywood. Topher was a bit disappointed as he thought it would be bigger but I had to remind him that it is big, we just weren’t particularly close!

Los Angeles - hollywood sign

Tourist selfies of course!

Los Angeles - diane and topher hollywood sign

Los Angeles - diane hollywood sign

Griffith Park

Then it was back in the car to drive to Griffith Park. It was huge. I wanted to find the carousel where Walt Disney used to take his daughters and where he got the idea for Disneyland. It was touch and go but we found it!

Los Angeles - walt's carousel

Griffith Observatory

Back in the car for our final driven stop which was Griffith Observatory. As far as I remember (not a lot!) I never went here with my family so this was a first for the both of us. It’s just so iconic! There is paid parking available but you can actually park at the bottom of the hill and hike up for free.

We were tired but it was definitely worth it. I think it took us about 20 mins. Warning – it is steep!

Los Angeles - Griffith observatory

Inside the observatory:

Los Angeles - griffith observatory ceiling

And the park in front of it.

Los Angeles - observatory park

The view was amazing!

Los Angeles - downtown view

Los Angeles - observatory view

Los Angeles - LA view

By this time it was time to check into our hotel, The Moment. I was really happy with our stay here and I definitely recommend it. The Sunset Blvd location is ideal and the hotel is clean and modern.

Los Angeles - The Moment Hotel

Los Angeles - hotel room

Walk of Fame and Grauman’s Chinese Theater

After getting all checked in, we headed straight out and walked about 15/20 minutes to Hollywood Blvd so we could see the Walk of Fame and Grauman’s Chinese Theater. It was super busy but we had a good time trying to spot names we knew on the street.

Unfortunately they seemed to be setting up for an event at the Theater so you couldn’t walk right up to it and look at the hand prints but we saw a few cool ones from the edge.

Los Angeles - grauman's chinese theater

Los Angeles - disney star

Absolutely shattered we headed back to the hotel as we would need our rest for Universal Studios in the morning!

Los Angeles - street art

Next up, what we ate in Los Angeles

Here’s where we’ve been so far:

Part 1: New York

What we ate in New York

Part 2: San Francisco

What we ate in San Francisco

Color Factory

Madonna Inn & A Californian Roadtrip

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San Francisco Honeymoon Travel Diary

Our flight to San Francisco landed early afternoon on Day 3 of our trip.

We hopped on the BART train into the city as the airport is no where near the city and we were met with this:

San Francisco - fog

It still the outskirts but my oh my was there a lot of fog. I was expecting fog but it doesn’t look particularly pretty does it? We also didn’t have a good time getting to our hotel. There were hills of course and hobos a plenty. It seems like San Francisco is one of those cities where you can easily walk through good and bad streets very quickly. But not letting this deter us, we checked into our hotel and headed out.

San Francisco - hotel

We figured we’d start with an uber touristy afternoon and catch a cable car on Powell Street up(or down?) to Fisherman’s Wharf. The sun had reappeared by this point and though we were tired, it was pretty exciting. We purchased a 3 day Visitors transport Pass each that would give us access to the cable cars and buses and we were off. It was a bit of a wait for a cable car but we finally got on one that had space.

San Francisco - powell street

Despite dreaming of hanging off the side of a cable car, Topher didn’t want to do it at this point so I happily obliged!

San Francisco - diane trolley

Fisherman’s Wharf was as expected, rather busy and full of tourists but we had a great time. After food we wandered around the shops and found it a whole lot more pleasant than we found Times Square in New York. At least the shops seemed a bit different than the usual chains. I’m sure these were chains too but they were a bit more out of the ordinary for us.

San Francisco - fishermans wharf

We had originally wanted to go up Coit Tower (pictured below) but decided against it due to the fog. I’m glad we did otherwise we would have been shattered!

San Francisco - coit tower

We also decided to just look at Pier 39 from afar as I’m sure you can see the big crowd there. We were just across the way and could see and hear all the sea lions! On sunny days it gets packed apparently.

San Francisco - pier 39

You may scoff but we decided not to do Alcatraz. I did ask Topher if he was interested and he wasn’t. I wasn’t really either so we went to the Disney Family Museum instead. I was happy enough to just get a photo of it. If you do plan on touring Alcatraz, be sure to book far in advance as you can’t just walk up on the day.

San Francisco - alcatraz

Our final stop of the afternoon – evening at this point was Ghirardelli Square, home of the famous chocolate headquarters (at least until the 60s when they moved and the square was made into a historical landmark). We nipped into the shop and I got myself a pumpkin spice flavour hot cocoa. Nom. It was getting quite cold at this point so the hot drink was definitely appreciated.

San Francisco - ghirardelli square

After waiting in the cold for ages for a cable car, we headed back to the hotel for some much needed rest.

Day 4

We headed out early in search of pastries on our way to the Disney Family Museum. Aren’t the houses so pretty?

San Francisco - architecture

The Walt Disney Family Museum was opened in 2009 by his daughter, Diane Disney Miller and is all about the life and legacy of Walt Disney. Being a massive Disney fan, I had to give it a visit.

San Francisco - disney family museum

I had an amazing time wandering round and reading everything. I know it’s silly but it was kind of emotional – it’s crazy to think that a man who failed so many times just kept going and achieved everything he did.

San Francisco - disneyland model

This may be a bit random but I loved it and it was new information to me. During the 30s and 40s, Walt wore hats but in the 1940s he started wearing his hats in a very careless manner. His wife Lily hated them and after a bull fight in Mexico, tried to toss his hat into the ring. Walt managed to grab it before she could and as a birthday present, he had the hat bronzed into the shape of a heart and filled with her favourite flowers!

San Francisco - walts hat

After the museum, we walked up to the Golden Gate bridge which luckily despite the fog, we could just about see.

San Francisco - golden gate bridge

San Francisco - topher & diane

Then it was a bus towards Lombard Street, the bendiest, twistiest road ever! Lombard Street is actually a super long street, the bendy part is just one small bit. We jumped off the bus as close as we could and hiked up this huge hill to get there.

San Francisco - road to lombard

Since we were so tired, we didn’t walk down Lombard Street – Topher just stood on a wall to get this shot!

San Francisco - lombard street

After lunch we walked through Chinatown which is the biggest one outside of China itself.

San Francisco - chinese lanterns

San Francisco - cable car

I especially loved all the street art we saw.

San Francisco - chinatown

San Francisco - chinatown street art

San Francisco - chinatown gate

san francisco - transamerica building

Finally, we popped back to the hotel for a much needed rest before heading out for dinner in the evening. Topher finally got the courage to hang off the side of a cable car!

san francisco - topher trolley

After dinner we walked to the Ferry Building Market Place for dessert.

San Francisco - night time

Pretty!

San Francisco - ferry building market place

Day 5

We caught a bus to the Mission District for breakfast and saw even more street art.

San Francisco - mission district

Then it was another bus to the Golden Gate Park for our Segway tour with Golden Gate Park Segway Tours!

San Francisco - japanese gardens

I was really looking forward to this as I’ve always wanted to ride a segway. I didn’t realise that it’s all quite techy and you don’t so much as drive the thing as it actually reacts to your body. You lean forward and it goes forward, you lean to the side and it goes to the side. It’s like an extension of your body. I was worried about falling off but it turns out that it’s really hard to – you only do if you bump into something so it’s very important to have your own “bubble”.

All the segways were named and this was mine!

San Francisco - segual healing

The first couple of minutes were so weird but after that it was so easy. Topher and I had a blast. He actually said he didn’t want to walk ever again!

San Francisco - segway

Our tour guide was awesome too. He was a native from the Netherlands and came over to San Francisco the year before the Summer of Love when he was 17. He played in a band which opened for the Grateful Dead one time too! On the tour we not only whizzed around but we learned a bunch of history about the place as well. Like I had no idea that the Golden Gate Park is manmade. It’s actually built on top of sand!

San Francisco - conservatory of flowers

Hippy Hill – They were having a free opera concert there that day.

San Francisco - hippy hill

Tired out and slightly sunburned from the unexpected weather, we headed for lunch and a wander around the Hippy Haight District.

San Francisco - hippy street

San Francisco - haight district

We finished off our day at the Painted Ladies as what’s a trip to San Francisco without seeing them?

San Francisco - painted ladies

Day 6 was our last morning in San Francisco and that was spent at the Color Factory which I’m doing a stand alone post on next week so stay tuned.

The next post will be what we ate in San Francisco.

Check out my other US Honeymoon Adventures:

New York City Honeymoon Travel Diary

New York Food – What We Ate on Our Honeymoon

San Francisco – What We Ate on Our Honeymoon

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New York City Honeymoon Travel Diary

Time for the barrage of honeymoon posts. Totally not sorry. First stop, New York

New York City baby! As mentioned before, I’ll be doing separate posts just for the food because there was a lot of it and it was hard enough choosing photos for this post. Sorry for the subsequent photo bomb.

So New York was at both the beginning and end of our trip. We did 2 days and an evening at the beginning, followed by 2 and a half days at the end.

Day 1 (kinda)

Our flight arrived in JFK around 4.30pm local time so after immigration we hopped on the subway to Manhattan to our first hotel. Why not a taxi? It’s $50 which compared to around $16.50 for two of us to use the Airtrain and the subway seemed like a no brainer. We weren’t in a massive rush and had hand luggage only so it wasn’t a problem. I’d watched a Youtube video on how to use the subway so it was pretty easy.

After checking into our hotel in Midtown on 6th avenue and freshening up we headed over to the Empire State Building to tick off our first landmark.

New York - empire state

The views were absolutely incredible. It was my third time heading up in my life (Topher’s first) but it was my very first time going at night and I loved it.

New York - empire state building view

Then we were off to a late dinner, passing the Flatiron building along the way.

New York - Flatiron building

Bellies full we headed back to the hotel and collapsed.

Day 1 (the real day 1)

Up bright and early (I love east to west jet lag) we hopped on the subway downtown to see the Statue of Liberty. A first for the both of us. If you’re not interested in actually going to the island I fully recommend getting the Staten Island Ferry as it goes right past and it’s free. We wanted to go inside so we purchased tickets online about a month and a half earlier.

Unfortunately we didn’t get them in advance enough to get access to the crown but I just wanted to go inside so we got Pedestal tickets which also gives you access to Ellis Island and the Immigration Museum. If you’re desperate to get as far up as you can, book as soon as you can as they only let a few hundred people up there a day.

New York - state of liberty

We wandered all around the island and the mini museum inside the pedestal before getting the ferry over Ellis Island. This was something I was really looking forward to as it’s awesome to think of the amount of immigrants who went through this building so they could get a new life.

New York - ellis island

Back in Manhattan we had lunch then walked to see Wall Street before getting the subway to our next destination.

DSC_3953

Washington Square Arch! It’s so cool being able to see landmarks that you’ve only seen in the films before.

New York - washington square arch

New York - east village

Later in the afternoon we arrived on 6th avenue to go to Rockefeller Center and go to the Top of the Rock.

New York - Radio City

It’s tall!

New York - rockerfeller centre

I found the Jordanian flag!

DSC_3980

Though I loved the view from the Empire State Building, it did fall slightly short of the view from the Top of the Rock. Mainly because the Empire State itself could be part of the view. I’m glad we chose to see one during the day and one at night. It was pretty gloomy that day and the ticket office tried to advise us not to go as it was raining but we just said “Don’t worry, we’re British.” Sure, if you wanted to see for miles it was too gloomy for that, but we saw everything we wanted to see, including the Statue of Liberty.

New York - top of the rock

New York - central park from above

After dinner we decided to head to the iconic Times Square. It was busy and chucking it down with rain. We got our selfies then ducked into the Disney Store for shelter.

New York - times square

Magical points to who can say which film this character is from!

New York - disney store

Day 1 over, time for bed.

Day 2

We started the day at the Museum of American Natural History where we spent the morning taking selfies with dinosaur bones before heading to the East Village for lunch. Topher spotted some awesome street art (good Instagram husband, good) which I had to get a pic of.

New York - mickey street art

Then in the afternoon it was time for our helicopter tour! I was really excited about this and Topher was super nervous about it. Funny considering he was the one who suggested it.

New York - helicopter

New York - topher and diane

It was a bit scary when we first left the helipad but the views were amazing and even Topher had a great time. We shared our helicopter with another British family.

New York - helicopter tour

New York - helicopter view

Then the evening we went to see The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway which was really great. Since we’ve seen it in London too it was really interesting to see the difference. This version had a lot more jokes and the acting was a tad over the top at times but I had a blast. Topher and I were singing Masquerade to each other for days after! Shame, shame, shame.

Then we were off to San Francisco the following morning. When we returned to New York late on day 12 of our trip, we checked into our hotel in Chelsea.

Day 3 (technically day 13 of the trip)

We started the day with breakfast out, followed by a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge – another dream achieved!

New York - diane on brooklyn bridge

New York - brooklyn bridge

DUMBO

New York - dumbo

Unfortunately due to the slight gloom, you could only make out the Empire State Building with your naked eye. Even in editing I couldn’t get the thing to appear. Oh well, we saw it and that’s all that matters.

So this is the part of the trip where I dropped the ball a little. I planned so much but I didn’t really plan on how to get to Williamsburg where we were wanting to have lunch from DUMBO. All I knew was that it was about an hour and 15 minute walk from where we were and there was no direct subway there.

So off we went. We’d already walked across Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge and according to the map, this looked about the same distance. Well, it wasn’t! It was two roads and they went on forever! We toyed with renting the city bikes but they cost a lot so we decided to soldier on. This is when it got really hot and there was nothing but residential apartment blocks around. Nothing pretty to look at and no where for a bathroom break. Torture. This is my dissatisfied face.

New York - annoyed in brooklyn

We laughed about it though and when we eventually reached Williamsburg it was great. I think I’ll eventually have to do a separate post about all the street art we found. Plus the view of Manhattan was really pretty.

New York - manhattan from brooklyn

Afterwards we headed back to our hotel to freshen up (seriously needed!) before going out for dinner.

Day 4/14

We started the day walking the High Line in Chelsea which was really cool.

New York - the high line

New York - view from the high line

I loved that you can still see the original train tracks.

New York - original railway tracks

We then had a wander around Chelsea Market (I bought a new bullet journal!) before having lunch.

New York - chelsea market

It was then a trek up 5th ave to see Grand Central Terminal and eventually Central Park. We actually got diverted on the way to Central Park as it turned out Trump was in town for the UN meeting and all the streets around his tower were cordoned off. I think Topher said it best, “And I thought he couldn’t annoy me any more!”

New York - grand central terminal

New York - central park

For dinner we hopped on the subway back to the East Village before retiring early for some much needed rest.

Day 5/15

This was the last day and also the day we gave up. Topher’s feet in particular gave up so I had to adapt our plans. This was a challenge as we had to check out of our hotel that morning and couldn’t simply sleep in. We needed somewhere we could hang out for a considerable amount of time. So I racked my brains and came up with the New York Public Library.

New York - public library

The reading room was gorgeous and perfect for what we needed. Topher sat and watched videos on his phone while I set up my bullet journal. Happy as a clam!

New York - reading room

New York - bullet journal

After that we grabbed some food before picking up our stored bags at the hotel and getting the subway back to JFK for our flight at 9.30pm.

We had an amazing time and no doubt we’ll go back one day. I heart New York!

I’ll be posting my food adventures on Wednesday.

Have you ever been to New York? How did you find it?

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Check out what we ate in New York!

See the next instalment of our trip where we visited San Francisco 

And what we ate there. 

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Wanderlust: European Cities I Want to Visit

Current mood: Wanderlust

Now that things are starting to get a bit steadier around here, I’ve found myself dreaming of doing things I’ve always wanted to do but never really had the money for. Travelling. I’m not talking about backpacking around Thailand or spending a couple of months in Australia or South America but about some short and sweet European destinations.

Travel is in my blood. Until just after I started this blog I had hit 32 countries. But since 2012 I haven’t been anywhere new. That’s mainly due to not having money and when Topher and I did have money we would always go to Disney World, Florida. I freaking love Disney but my feet are getting itchy. I want to start seeing the world again.

We’re making a good start with our honeymoon. It may not be a new country but it’s one new city to me (San Francisco) and three new cities for Topher. When we met, Topher didn’t consider himself into travel at all but now he’s really come round to the idea…as long as we can still go to Disney!

We decided that 2018 would be the year that we try to do some small European trips to new places and I’m already dreaming of where I want to go. Here are 4 at the top of my list.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Wanderlust - Dubrovnik, Croatia

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Nothing to do with Game of Thrones I’m afraid – I want to visit Dubrovnik to see the sites! It looks gorgeous and I like the idea of going to a sunny city that’s filled with old and new.

 

Reykjavik, Iceland

Wanderlust - Reykjavik, Iceland

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I know so many people who have gone here and I really want to go too. The chance to see the Northern Lights, the Blue Lagoon and all the amazing street art I keep seeing Instagrammed in the city itself.

Even though I prefer warmer holidays, I would definitely find a massive jacket and go to Iceland. Though I don’t think this will be one of our 2018 destinations due to the price!

 

Tallinn, Estonia

Wanderlust - Tallinn, Estonia

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Estonia generally looks beautiful and the capital city of Tallinn is no exception. It’s on the coast and all packed in so everything appears easy to get to. Though looking at the other regions of Estonia, it looks pretty tempting to rent a car and see them all!

 

Lisbon, Portugal

Wanderlust - Lisbon, Portugal

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Is it just me or is everyone and their mother going to Portugal this year? I read somewhere that Faro, Portugal is the hottest destination for 2017. It sure seems like it.

Well, I want to go to Lisbon. I’ve always been a city break kind of person and luckily Topher hates beach holidays too. Even though I’ve been to Lisbon before, I want to go back. I loved the architecture, the vibe and also the food! I’m a big fan of seafood, sangria and pastel de nata.

What’s on your travel bucket list at the moment?

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My week #19 – Birmingham, Dresses and Pizza

my week 19 - 2

*The target dress *Pickles sitting like a human again

*Pulling weeds in the garden *Birmingham

*Birmingham street art *Pizza Hut

*Luna having a dance *September goals in my bullet journal

 

So this week has been the week of focus. After trying on the dress I’m going to be wearing to the weddings we are going to this month before we went away, I was satisfied with the fit. After returning, I was not. I put on 3 and a half pounds while I was away on both the hen party and the trip to Devon and that was fine with me. The only thing that wasn’t fine was that now the dress was uncomfortable to wear. And I can’t afford another one. Therefore I was on it this week. I hung the dress up in the landing so I saw it numerous times each day. That gave me the focus to go and lose 3 and a half pounds this week. Yay! So now I can eat, drink and be merry at the wedding this weekend!

Speaking of wedding stuff, Topher and I headed down to Birmingham this week to have an engagement shoot with our wedding photographer. It was a super sunny day and there was so much laughing throughout the shoot. Fingers crossed our poor photographer got some good shots out of us – we are so awkward! Afterwards we went to Pizza Hut and had a wander around the Bullring before heading back up north. Lovely day.

Since the sun made an appearance this week, I managed to get out into the garden to get some work done on it. We want a border around the edge but there is some serious tidying, trimming and weeding to do so I’ve made a good start this week. I think I may end up enjoying gardening!

And finally, I have to say that I’m in love with my bullet journal. I am so pumped for September. I’ve got all my goals and all my trackers set up so I am ready for it.

How was your week?

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