One Second of a Road Trip

I’m so proud of us! We managed to keep going with our one second every day videos the whole time we were on the road (Andrew found a reminder service, SO HANDY).

As much as the photos are cool, and re-reading our blog posts is similar to having a diary, this is just another way to see the absolute highlights of every day.

So, here we have it: LA to Vancouver, our holiday before we begin living at a holiday destination ­čśë #sorrynotsorry

Observations of the USA

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After 16 days through the states, I’m pretty much an expert now. Ha! No, I don’t think I could ever be, but the experience of driving the coast has opened my eyes to some ridiculous, funny, stupid and different observations of this country.

  • McDonald’s is legitimately everywhere. We’d be driving through a small town (comparable to Yallingup for example) and there will be a McDonalds, Taco Bell and Starbucks on offer. If not more!
  • Car pool lanes. These are bloody genius! If you have two or more passengers, you can drive in the furtherest left hand lane, which is always quieter.
  • All the food and beverages are sweeter or are cinnamon flavoured. Soy milk is sweeter, tonic water is sweeter, chewing gum tastes like cinnamon. It’s ridiculous.
  • Most people we met were super friendly, but always think they’re right. They want you to have the best trip, so you need to cancel that hotel you have in Pismo beach immediately and book in at Morro Bay.
  • The catch phrase is “SO good”.
    – That donut was SO good
    – Her hair looks SO good
    – That bar is SO good
  • Speaking of bars, every single one has at least one TV showing any game of sport. Even the classy bars will have it on, and then you hit Buffalo Wild Wings where they show at least 10 different types of games on 50 screens around the restaurant.
  • Pick up trucks are no joke. To me they resemble monster trucks, and scare the life out of me on the road.
  • Customer service is insane! As the staff work off tips they always go above and beyond to make sure you have the best experience. So, even though at times you know they’re faking it, it’s a nice change to the grumpy hipsters back home.
  • Having said that, tipping SUCKS. American companies need to sort their shiz out, pay their staff the correct wage so that the customer doesn’t have to.
  • On top of that, please just include the taxes in the price tag of any item. I don’t want to have my $5 note ready, to have someone tell me “Oh, that’ll be $6.20 thank you”.

Rant over. This country, like all others has positives and negatives. I loved the trip, and wouldn’t have done it any differently at all. I just find these little differences fascinating, and thought you might too!

Big American love,
Hanbel.
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Into the Woods

Back when we started planning this trip, Andrew suggested getting off the beaten track and heading in land for a few days. He figured we would probably have had enough of big cities, and want to see some of the countryside and quieter towns.

I LOVE THIS BOY.

The last few days have been so cruisey and full of the most amazing sights, that these photos absolutely will not do justice.

We started off with a VERY long drive to Lake Tahoe (we got an hour or so in before realising the road was closed off, and had to turn around and go another way). It also pissed down with rain the afternoon and evening we were there.

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Despite this, it was one of the most beautiful drives either one of us has done, we had no idea there would still be so much snow on top of the mountains!

Plus, the next morning, it looked like this:

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We didn’t have enough time to properly explore, we would have loved a few days here but had to keep moving.

Another five hour drive (I’m getting way better on the roads by the way, just not in cities – may have almost hit a parked car yesterday…) brought us to Klamath Falls, in Oregon. The quickest route took us just over the border into Nevada, before crossing back into California, which meant that we did three states in one day!

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We hit the hay, preparing to wake up early and get going. I’d read about a lake in South Oregon that was highly recommended and was dying to check it out. It added an extra hour to our drive, and the park cost US$15 to enter, but I would pay it again and again for this view:

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Quick facts and then I’ll shut up, I promise. Crater Lake is actually a basin of an erupted volcano, the deepest lake in the US and is the cleanest and clearest large body of water in the world.

And it’s so pretty!

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I’m quickly falling in love with this state. It’s so much greener and more beautiful than California,┬áthe drive into Portland was breathtaking.

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They also have some pretty tasty food, and beer is half the price. Winning!

Hanbel.
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Are We There Yet?

For those of you who might not know, Andrew and I decided to hire a car in LA and drive it down to San Diego, and then all the way up to Seattle.

We have our mountain bikes with us, and this seemed like the most logical and cheapest way to transport them to Whistler. Once we hit Seattle, we’ll take a bus to Vancouver and then another to Whistler (to avoid extravagant costs for taking a car over the border).

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“Jessicar Rabbit”

So, now you’re informed, I can start my rambles about how awesome road trips are. I just LOVE them. Benefits include:

  • More space for all of our baggage,┬áplus we literally haven’t touched our bikes since we loaded them into the car
  • Road trip snacks
  • No queues for boarding planes or trains
  • Not having to be at a station at a specific time
  • Getting to see the sights along the way, there are some incredible things we’ve come across that we would have otherwise missed
  • In’n’Out on the road (although I don’t really get the hype)
  • THE LIST GOES ON AND ON

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Back to our trip. We left our tacos and friends in San Diego, and started heading north. We vowed not to drive more than four to five hours each day, mainly for our sanity and to prevent a murder-suicide situation. Which brought us to Pismo Beach; a sleepy little beach town which was an absolute gem!

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Wandering along the pier before dinner, we stopped to watch some surfers catching waves (it was freezing and I definitely thought they were crazy). As we turned to walk away I overheard someone say “Oh, are you going to take photos of the whales?”. Yep, there were mother flippin’ whales hanging around the beach. It was the perfect night with my perfect human.

The next day we hopped on highway 1, taking crazy turns through mountain ranges and cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. If you ever get the chance to take this drive, please do. It’s breathtaking, and scary, and unbelievable.

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Salmon Falls

I wish we’d had time to stop and take in more of the highlights, but we did as many as time would allow. Our final pitstop was Santa Cruz, to check out the original store and the sweet little town. I’d spend another day there in a heartbeat.

We hit San Francisco later that night and were completely overwhelmed with people, traffic and one way streets. I think we adjusted to the quieter towns a little too well ­čśë

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Toodles for now, hope you’re all as well and happy as we are.
Hanbel
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Doesn’t It Mean Saint Diego?

San Diego, definitely not a whale’s vagina [Mum, that’s an Anchorman reference], definitely a taco lover’s paradise.

This Californian city is so close to the Mexican border [you can literally see it from Imperial Beach] that it’s heavily influenced by the food, language and culture. We’re staying downtown in a quarter that has fairy lights in every single tree, jacaranda trees in full bloom and happy hour on every corner.

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We’ve spent our three days here chilling with Andrew’s awesome mate Rico, checking out some coastal towns, eating lots of tacos and visiting our first Walmart.

IMG_0303IMG_0307Imperial Beach…┬áThe mountains in the background? Yep, that’s Mexico.

Karena’s Mexican gave us our best meal, their ceviche was out of this world. They also served up some┬ásensational bean tacos and satisfied Andrew’s michelada cravings.

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We spent one morning walking through La Jolla, which was my favourite area. The ‘Coastal walk’ takes you from one beautiful beach to another, lets you get up close and personal with seals and sea lions and shows off with some┬ábreathtaking views.

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We even managed some exercise in this trip, going for a run around the Marina. I do not suggest doing this post-tacos. I managed to keep them down… just.

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We’ve now jumped back into Jessicar to┬áhead up the coast, and start our journey north. Holy guacamole, I underestimated how difficult it would be to drive on the other side of the road and car. I honestly feel like I’m learning to drive all over again, and giving Andrew a heart attack in the meantime. Let’s just say that it’s best that he drives through the big cities.

I’m also trying to source some healthy food which is a S-T-RUGGLE in this country. However, they do have the biggest range of protein bars and peanut butter flavoured anything, so I’m happy for now!

IMG_0325Must. Stop. Eating.

Til next time,
Hanbel.
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