Day 4 Goodbye Jacksonville

It was time to say goodbye to our lovely little pad in Jacksonville. After a quiet few days, it was time to get back on the road to Orlando.

Not before stopping for the ultimate pic!

They even had my ë! It must be mine…..

The weather got worse the closer we got to Orlando, but one hotel room upgrade later, we were settled into Disney world.

Settling into the room, I had a momentary brain blip, stressed myself out, confused the bank, gave myself a headache and joined the weather in misery!

Matt suggested a trip to the Hard Rock, but upon trying to get there we realized it was in Universal Studios, so we will wait until then.

Giving up on doing anything other than eat for the night, we got some grub and went back to the room.

Disney time tomorrow!!!!!!!!!

Day 8 – Monterey & Santa Cruz

First stop – Monterey aquarium to see the sea kittens aka sea otters!

The aquarium was highly recommended everywhere you went and although quite expensive, it was good! My favourite was seeing the fish and sharks get fed in the kelp tank. A diver went into the tank to hand feed them calamari (haha). What made it was that the driver had a microphone so it was completely interactive. It was really comical watching the sharks nudge him and try and sneak inbetween the tubes to get food – they were like dogs!

Of course I was a giant child every opportunity I got enjoying the touch pools and peek-a-boo spots! I think Jackson was ready to deny knowing me…..

After the aquarium and a quick bite to eat, it was time to hit the road Jack and head for Santa Cruz. The drive was on some great windy roads with some very beautiful views of the coast. I loved the changing landscape; from city, the highway, to beach, to vineyards, to mountains and back.

At Santa Cruz we checked out the famous boardwalk. It was packed and the buzz was evident from a mile off. The challenge was on and we hit the miniature golf….(yes I won….with a handicap in my favour….) It turns out my coordination hasn’t much improved!

After a few more scenery stops….

We finally arrived in San Francisco!

Day 6 – Hearst Castle

Well today did not go at all how I thought. Best laid plans and all that…..

My morning ended up being spent in the local Santa Barbara doctors clinic (don’t panic, nothing major….just lady issues!). So instead of heading out for the highway, I was instead sat talking to a very lovely nurse. Turns out the healthcare is efficient, friendly AND I qualified for it to be free – phew!

By the time I was done, it was already 1pm so we had to cut a stop out from our plan for the day. The agenda was now Hearst Castle.

We had a scenery stop and toilet break for me on the way, but otherwise it was hard core road tripping to get there and get on a tour before it was too late in the day. Luckily we made it and got on the 4:40pm tour.

Bus number one was ours and we hopped on for the beautiful drive up the hill to the perfectly positioned Hearst Castle. 

At the top we were given a walking tour which told us all about the Castle and it’s artifacts, some of which turned out to be a couple of thousand years old. The rebel in me couldn’t resist breaking the rules and sneakily touching a couple!

After our visit, I decided to take Bumble Bee for a little spin on the next stretch of our road trip! After a few dodgy moments of forgetting which side of the road you drive on here….we were off…

…Off on our way to Monterey….our stop for the night!

Day 5 – Santa Barbara

Waking up in the Disney hotel was just as cool as going to sleep in it…but a tiny bit sadder as you have to leave it!

After breakfast (a huge portion of French toast and an Instagram worthy donut that I would show you, but SOMEONE ate it before I had chance to get a picture!), we headed to the car to get the road trip properly started. 

Music on, satnav running, shoes off, sun out and the open road ahead of us we started off on our way to Santa Barbara.

There was a fair bit of traffic on the way there but luckily we were in no rush. The beginning of the journey looked very much like a bigger version of the UK motorways but the closer we got to Santa Barbara, the prettier it got.

We stayed in a beautiful motel for the night. I was so excited it felt like I had my own little apartment and was living the American dream. I insisted we cooked in our little kitchen for dinner. So queue, the gourmet mexican fajita dinner we prepared after visiting the local Spanish supermarket! 

I was feeling a little run and tired, so Matt and I decided a film night was necessary. Being in American meant it couldn’t just be a normal movie night though….we had to hit up a drive through!

It felt almost like I had slipped back in time (ignoring the new cars, new film and high tech details). We went prepared with snacks and drinks and people watching was almost as interesting as watching the film. There was something really awesome about sitting in the car with the film coming through your speakers, watching other people sitting out on camping chairs and snuggling in the boots of the massive vehicles.

The drive home was quiet where I was fighting to stay awake. I happily fell into bed when we got in to our little apartment – ready for the next stage of the road trip.

Day 1 (Part 2) – On the road again

So today I start again! It has been an awesome three weeks catching up with family and friends and I have enjoyed the rest, but it was time to hit up North America.

My lovely sister-in-law and mum gave me a lift to the airport with my little bundle of trouble niece…

We got there a bit early so I had some time to kill at Gatwick. Of course it would only be right to have a full English breakfast to finish up my England visit again. I was ready to leave!

The flight was long, packed and miserable. The air was limited as it was so full and I felt very poorly coming off the flight. Add a long customs line, baggage collection and wait at the rental car collection centre and you have one super tired Zoë!!!!

Plus side, my friend was there to meet me at the hotel and will be rocking America with me for the next 10 days on our road trip. We were hoping for a mustang, but ended up with a yellow Camaro….I have named it Bumble Bee.

After checking in to our hotel and grabbing a quick pizza for dinner, it was time to try and sleep off some of the jet lag….wish me luck!