The Ultimate Australia Bucket List

Goin' down under? 
I am! 
& yes that means I have already (& a long time ago) made my Australia-specific bucket list!
I have big plans for Oz in terms of how many places I want to see and things I want to do while I'm there. 
It might not be realistic to do in 12 months but I will try my bloody hardest!

Selfie with a quokka 
- if you don't know what a quokka is, Google it. It's literally top of my list!

Feed a kangaroo

Be fed kangaroo
- shady I know but its a local delicacy appaza

Hug a koala 

Sail the Whitsundays & Visit Whitehaven Beach 

Go on a wine tour

Bondi to Coogee coastal walk 

Visit Wave Rock

See the Pinnacles in Namburg NP

Swim with Sea Lions, South Australia 

Shell Beach

Drive along the Great Ocean Road
- & see the 12 Apostles 

Watch Uluru sunrise / sunset 
- you can do this on a camel, ideal. 

Try an authentic Aussie BBQ
- Oi Sheila stick another shrimp on the barbie love

Learn to surf
- might be problematic because I won't want to be in the water too long incase I get eaten by a shark, but i'll give it a go

Walk across Sydney Harbour Bridge
- may even run, what a daredevil! 

Try Vegemite 
- & probably regret the decision to do so!

Scuba dive / snorkle in the Great Barrier Reef
- as long as theres no sharks!!

Drink me some goon
- classy cheap box of wine 

Dance to 'Mysterious Girl' under the Millaa Millaa Waterfall
- yes, the very waterfall used in Peter Andre's Mysterious Girl music video

Visit each State
- Yep, NT, QLD, NSW, VIC, ACT, SA, TAS & WA I'm coming for ya! 

Watch tennis at the Australian Open
- this would mean I'd have to be in Melbourne in January 2017, but I'm sure I can get there, not a big country to travel round ;) 

Australia Zoo

Visit the world's whitest sand; Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay 

Swim with sharks
- Ha! 'Harmless' sharks, i.e whale sharks. At Ningaloo reef in WA they swarm March-July. I actually had a dream I was eaten by a whale shark the other week. Not the best omen tbh. 

Fraser Island

Uluru Base Walk 

Aurora Australis
- probably one of the hardest on the list, as it'd involve me being in Tasmania in September time, but it would amazing to see them. Northern Lights done, now for the Southern! 

Three Sisters, Blue Mountains

Jungle Surfing, Daintree Rainforest 
- not going to lie, this looks hilarious! A multi-person zipline swing through the jungle at 120km/h. 

Katherine Gorge, Nitmiluk NP
- & Edith Falls

Monkey Mia Dolphins
- dolphins swim up to the shore everyday and you are meters away from them

Kangaroo Island
- they have kangaroos AND seals AND penguins AND koalas - heaven! 

Kakadu NP

Turquoise Bay, Exmouth

Drink Bundaberg Rum at the Bundaberg Rum Distillery 

Karijini National Park

Valley of the Winds walk at Kata Tjuta 

Whale Watching Hervey Bay 

Wilsons Prom 

Visit Nature's Window; Kalbarri National Park 

Camel Ride on Cable Beach, Broome

Cape Tribulation 

Wineglass Bay, Tasmania 
- who doesn't love anything wine related!

Penguin Parade on Phillip Island 

Learn to throw a boomerang 

White water rafting; Tully

Try the famous vanilla slice in Sorrento 

Bay of Fires, Tasmania 

1000 Steps hike; Dandenong 


Figure 8 pools; Royal National Park NSW

Hike through the Grampians

View from Eureka Skydeck, Melbourne

Climb Cradle Mountain, Tasmania

Soak up the sun in Esperance 

Sleep in a swag in the outback 

Complete 88 days Farmwork 

Drive the Eyre Highway, Nullarbor 
- Australia's longest straight road 

Master the didgeridoo ;) 
- ambitious, maybe i'll settle for just one go on it.

..... I will know doubt add more to this over the next few months as I do more research!

I found this link on Buzz Feed and has loads more exciting things to stick on an Aussie Bucket List

♡ G

View Post


Sure am folks.
Another year, another adventure. 
So stick another shrimp on the barbie Sheila because I'm coming down undaaa!

2016 will see me leave the nest & head down under for 12 months to 'find myself' in the outback. 
Yes, Australia.
I am beyond excited / quite scared.
First solo adventure & I had to pick the other side of the earth didn't I! 
Visa has been accepted, they are positive I am not a threat to their country; just their Quokka population when I try and steal them to start my own army ;) 
& I am ready to go, kind of
Just a few minor things to sort out, like flights, insurance, where I'm actually starting, etc etc. 
Nothing too major.
Now to research the shit out of Oz & plan plan plan!!!

I am going across to work & play my way around the massive country & try to see and do as much as possible in my time there. 
Obviously I have a bucket list sorted (coming soon to a blog near you ;) ) & aim to complete it all!

I feel like right now is the perfect time for me to bugger off for a year & avoid being an adult; i'm young(ish), single, no kids (human-kids that is, I have a kitten), no real responsibilities, my job is killing me and oh yeah, I just want to go. SO WHY THE F NOT!

I don't want to look back and see that I spent my twenties stuck in work not doing anything & spending all my money on over-priced drinks in 147 (shittest & only 'club' in Llandudno); I want to be able to share stories from when I travelled round Europe, across the US & Australia & beyond. 
Whats the point in working if you don't spend it on things you love doing?
Realistically the amount i've spent on my last two trips & this trip could have gone towards a mortgage on a house ... no thanks. That means I'm tied down to one place then & can't run off and play in the wild. 

Im excited to meet new people, see some incredible landscapes, try new food, get a tan & stop being an albino, take selfies with kangaroos, koalas, crocs & quokkas, go completely out of my comfort zone & just have the most fun as possible. 

"We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us" 


♡ G
View Post

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

View Post

Top Travel Tips

I'm no travel expert & not trying to be but when you go away you pick up on things that will make future trips easier. 
These are some my top tips if you're doing anysort of USA cross-country / camping / roadtrip / Trek America style holiday. 

1. You can take a suitcase. It might not be the same for all companies but with G Adventures we got a booklet after booking with all the trip information in and says to preferably bring either a duffel or rucksack style bag. Now if you've only got suitcases at home and after forking out £££s on a big trip you may not want to part with more money for a duffel you might not use again. Some people on our trip had suitcases and it was fine. The most you're going to have to carry it is from the trailer to your tent / hotel.

2. Buy your sleeping bag & pillow there. Me & Emily did this, mainly because we literally had no room to carry a sleeping bag. On our first day of tour we stopped at a Walmart and everyone had the chance to buy anything they may have forgotten or needed for the trip so we bought a sleeping bag and a proper big pillow for like $30. There was no way I was going to attempt to make a pillow with my clothes or do without; I wanted one luxury item! This can also apply to any toiletries that may add to the weight of your bag - just buy them there. 

3. Buy the right sleeping bag! Our information pack said we needed to take a season 4 sleeping bag. They specify which type for a reason so listen to them. Yes it was hot the majority of the time and I rarely actually used my sleeping bag. But in those national parks it got cold. Some nights I was sleeping in long pjs, a jumper, hoodie, inside my sleeping bag liner AND sleeping bag. I was never cold because I had so many layers on but others did have trouble sleeping due to the cold so make sure you have the right sleeping bag & access to some extra layers you can throw on if it does get too cold. 

4. Deet. Deet. Deet. Lots of deet. All the deet! If you don't fancy masses of bug & mosquito bites covering your body I'd buy a decent repellent! Get one that has at least 70 deet. Mine was 100 and was great! It had been 2 weeks before I got my first bite, meanwhile everyone else was covered. I only got bitten after that because I just kept forgetting to reapply it. And if you do get bitten, make sure you take a bite cream - there's nothing worse than itching the bites and making them worse!! 

5. Learn to sleep in a moving vehicle. If you're like me and can't cope with early starts and getting a lot less sleep than you normally would, the time on the bus is the perfect time to get a few more hours sleep. Yes its a little antisocial but trust me after a few days everyone's doing it! 

6. Your guides won't know everything! Yes your guide will be from America / wherever your trip is based but it is a pretty huge country so will be impossible for them to know everything about everywhere you're going so try not to bombard them with all the questions and don't get pissed if they don't know the answer. Our guides were great and did know loads of info about different places along the way and if they didn't know the answer they were straight onto finding us an answer. 

7. Be prepared to get stuck in. Do not go on one of these trips and expect all your meals to be cooked for you. Everyone gets stuck in and does their bit. We had a group of 14 so spilt into 3 teams and each took it in turns to cook, do dishes and clean the bus. It gets things done quicker and gives you chance to bond with different people in your group. If your not a culinary goddess you will be by the end. One guy in our group had no idea how to even open a tin of beans without a pull string but by the end he was getting right in the action with the cooking. 

8. Tents are actually really comfortable. I've had a bad back for a few years and the worst its ever been was after sleeping in a tent for 4 nights at a festival during university. I was dreading having 4 weeks in a tent (well, 16 nights, the rest we were in hotels) and coming back needing a wheelchair. But that was not the case at all! The tents were so spacious for 2 people and so easy to put up. We were all provided with air mats which were so comfortable and you didn't notice you were sleeping on the floor (apart from when you put your tent on a slope, that was interesting).

9. You can survive without wifi! In this day and age its probably hard to go even an hour without using wifi. But you can do it! We've all been there, after an amazing day of really cool activities you want to filter the shit out of your pictures and post them on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter for all your friends to be jealous of. But in some places along the trip it might not be possible, national parks for instance. But embrace the change and you'll find its actually really nice to just enjoy the company you're in and where you are rather than be staring at your phone all night. Our bus did have 2 wifi devices which worked most of the time but it wasn't an issue when they didn't because we were on the coolest road trip so just look out the window!!

10. Everyone needs to charge their stuff. Everyone will be in the same situation as you. You will all want to charge you phone, ipod, kindle, ipad, tablet, camera etc and there won't be enough chargers. Now if you cba standing in the toilet for hours with your phone plugged in to charge you can use the ports on the bus. A good idea is to all chip in (or each buy your own) different charging ports to plug into the bus to try and get as many things charging at once. We had a few issues on our trip when peoples things would be unplugged so someone else could charge their stuff. Not cool. If someone is on 87% and you're on 5% just ask. One thing to help with this is to buy a portable charger before the trip, make sure it has full charge and use it sparingly through the trip. I bought one off Amazon which had 4 full phone charges on it. And when you get to the hotel stops .... CHARGE EVERYTHING!!  

11. Flip flops are a life saver. If you're not a big flip flop wearer just buy a cheap pair because you will need them. At camp sites sometimes you get lucky and have really nice showers, sometimes not so much. Flip flops are essential during these times so you can wear them in the shower to avoid stepping in god knows what!

12. Sweating is the norm. "Be prepared to sweat. Stop caring about sweat. Accept that everyone is sweating" Emily, Aug 2015. It is hot and humid and you will find you will sweat more in those few weeks than you have your entire life. You will sweat just sitting down on a bus, you will sweat as soon as you're out of the shower. Embrace it.

13. Head Torch!! This will become your best friend. Trust me. If you're like me and pretty messy and unpack everywhere in a tent, you're going to need 2 hands to find things - with a head torch this is possible. It also scared away a skunk that was circling my tent while I was trapped inside. Just sayin.

♡ G

View Post

Top 10 Things To Do In Las Vegas

Las Vegas; the ultimate adults playground
It is probably on a lot of people's bucket lists to visit this fun, flashy & fast-paced city and whether you're going for your 21st birthday or your 50th, on a hen/stag do or just a long weekend away with friends there is a lot of fun things to indulge in.
I visited in July 2015 as part of a cross-country road trip of the US and loved my time there!
I would love to go back and for a bit longer so I can see and do more of the amazing and weird experiences available. 

Goes without saying, you're in a city with a casino within reach at all times. Whether you're a gambling-virgin or poker-wizard theres tables for everyone. And if you don't fancy trying your luck on a table you can always have a go on the masses of slot machines in the casinos. I would suggest at least reading up on how to play if you've never gambled before. & if you have a gambling problem / addiction maaaaaaybe Vegas isn't for you. Each casino & hotel has a theme so try to explore as many as you can!

Bellagio Fountain
Probably one of the most recognisable fountain displays you'll see. The Bellagio Hotel has a large 'lake' outside and at different intervals during the day & night (Mon-Fri 3-8pm show every 30 minutes, 8pm-12am show every 15 mins) there are beautiful fountain displays to a different song. I only saw the display at night and it was incredible. It attracts a lot of people but the area around the fountains is so big you'll be able to see behind crowds. Be warned though that the last fountain display at night starts at 12am.

Las Vegas Sign
The famous "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign. Its not a trip without hunting it down and taking a picture standing in from of it. I do regret not getting better pictures / going during the day too. I was very very drunk when we went to the sign and my photos are all blurred / can't actually read what the sign says. I think its like a right of passage for every tourist to Vegas just to prove you've been.

Fremont St Experience
Fremont St is in downtown Las Vegas and is the old old strip. A short taxi from the main strip you can reach Fremont St and tbh it is worth a visit. It has all the old casinos and hotels which are still in use and popular with tourists. I would recommend a visit to the Golden Nugget which has a ginormous glass fish tank in the middle, as well as Binions (which you can't miss!) and while you're there take a picture (for free) with a stack of cash, 1 Million Dollars of cash to be precise. Oooo.
There are loads of bars, shops & food places along the old strip so if you're not interested in gambling here there's plenty more things to do. Every hour make sure to look up at 1500 foot long screen above the strip to watch the 6 minute long Viva Vision Light Show - the screen runs down the strip and has songs playing with amazing light shows above!

Stratosphere Rides

The Stratosphere Hotel is the tallest free-standing observation tower in the US and is well worth a visit to the top!
From the Observation deck you get a panoramic view of the Las Vegas strip and surrounding areas - I highly recommend going up just before dusk so you can see the area in daylight and as the sunsets and the city lights up its seriously cool to witness.
Now apart from the amazing views; its the rides I want to discuss.
There just happen to be 3 rides at the very top of this very tall hotel.
First is X-Scream; it can only be described as a small track leading off the side of the hotel to your death - you just never know if you're going to make it back or not. If the ride attendant was having a shitty day I'm pretty sure he could just send you flying off the edge and that'd be it. It was terrifying!
Next we have Insanity; literally the perfect name for it. A massive claw hanging off the side of the hotel which spins you round and round and makes you go insane. I literally felt high and like I was going to be sick everywhere. That was extra terrifying.
& lastly we have Big Shot; shooting you up 160ft into the air without warning and messes up all your internal organs because they all explode and move around. 100% the most terrifying!
I would 100% recommend going on them all if you're an adrenaline & ride-junkie like myself & for $36 you can go on all three all day with access to the tower
& if you're feeling extra craycray you can just jump off the hotel if you like? No really, thats a thing.
For $119 you can jump off the hotel (in harnesses I'm assuming?) and get a cool picture.

Another one for the adrenaline junkies; the New York New York roller coaster, The Big Apple.
At $15 you go on a crazy roller coaster through and outside the New York New York hotel & casino. It looks amazing from the outside, but riding it is hilarious. I laughed out of fear the entire time because of how crazy the track is. SO many loops!! Its actually quite a long ride too so you're getting your moneys worth!

Go to a Club
There are hundreds of clubs in Las Vegas and if you're a girl the chances are you'll be allowed in for free, very quickly and it'll be a very cheap night for you. Guys however, get ready to fork out $$$ to get in!
Las Vegas plays host to some amazing artists & DJs in the clubs so make sure you do some research of who's playing where if you want to go to the best places!
Encore Beach Club at The Wynn is so good! We went and didn't even realise Lil Jon was playing so had an amazing surprise and time there!

Explore the Hotels & Strip

Try and explore as much as possible. Starting at Mandalay Bay to The Stratosphere is basically the main strip and is 7km to walk. Its do-able, but very tiring. It is very hot in Las Vegas, you're in a desert remember so if you do plan on walking the strip, make sure you drink plenty of water and try to stay in the shade. If you can't be arsed walking the entire way there are free shuttle buses that link up between lots of hotels.
Each hotel has a different theme and to get a feel for this you need to explore the inside not just the outside. You can find all sorts within the hotels; from spas, shopping malls, food courts, fountains, botanical gardens, museums ... etc etc. If you don't fancy exploring the whole strip and fancy a relaxing day at the pool make sure you visit some of the hotels pools & pool parties to really soak up the Vegas vibes!

Party Bus

Get one. If you're traveling in a group it'll be the best start to a night out you've ever had.
We got one with Elite Transportation and was $40 per person. It picked us up at our hotel just off the main strip and drove us to 3 main stops over 2 hours; Las Vegas Sign, Fremont St & Bellagio Fountain. The best thing about the Party Bus is that you can take as much alcohol as you want on board, play your own music, dance on the seats, on the pole, do whatever you want whilst zooming down the strip of Las Vegas. If the floors aren't sticky by the end of the ride you've not done the party bus right!
$40 might seem a lot to pay each, but it'll be the most hilarious & fun pre-drinks you've ever had!

Zipline down Fremont St

One of the coolest ways to view the Fremont St strip; flying over it.
SlotZilla run two different ziplines over Fremont St; the lower zipline or the upper zoom line.
The lower zipline is just $20 and flies you half way down Fremont St 77 feet up in the air. The upper zoom line is $40 and flies you the whole length of the strip from 114 feet high and the coolest bit, you get to fly down in a 'superman' type post lying down.
It was great fun and something totally different to do instead of gambling or drinking and you get such a great view of all the casinos and lights in downtown Vegas.

♡ G

View Post

Ready Set Bake

I will proudly hold my hands up and say that Great British Bake Off has well and truly become an important part of my weekly routine. 
8pm on Wednesdays will never be the same again.
So to celebrate the end of a fantastic season with the final tonight I've dedicated a whole post to show my love for Bake Off & its people & some of my favourite Bake Off moments. 

What a season eh! 
Full of innuendos, laaaairs, Mez Bez winks, Hollywood's piercing blue eyes & the occasional soggy bottom ;) 
Oh and of course the amazing (and not so amazing) cakes, tarts, pastries & peetas that we've seen!
I've got into a bit of a naughty routine with Carol, and it seems that most weeks we'd find ourselves going out to buy some sort of cake to eat during Bake Off. 
Last week I'd bought us some cream slices 
But then we realised it was chocolate week, so obviously we had to eat the cream slices a day early and go out and buy a massive chocolate cake for Wednesday 

I will miss Bake Off :( 
But what will I miss the most you ask?
Well thats simple, 2 things:
1. the love & inspiration of my life; the one & only MB, MezBez, Mezza B, Mary Berry, Queen of Laaaairs. 

I love her. 
& I love that she wears jeans & she's a diva & full of sass & loves to throw a wink around.
I feel me & Mezza would have a great time if we went out on the town. 
We'd get right 'laaaaaaairy' ;) 
& she loves her booze does our Mez, notice how she always perks up whenever someone was adding a bit of alcohol to their bakes. 
One of my favourite things to do during & after Bake Off is to check on the tweets by the hilarious @MaryBerryNOT
Genuinely crying at the most of the time.

2. Tamal. He has got every girl wanting him right now. He's the ideal boyf; he cooks, he's a doctor, he's sweet and kind and lovely and he's the perfect boy to bring him to introduce to the parents.
I need him.

Favourite Moments

Flora over-complicating every bake
Literally every bake! & She got told, every week that she was spending too much time on her decorations or intricate designs and not the actual bake but did she listen? No. Last week she did it again in every challenge and it cost her :( Shame because I really hate Ian and wanted him to leave.
Last week @MaryBerryNOT was on point with her tweets about Flora:

"We want a centrepiece"
Flora: I'll make an entire chocolate table with a centrepiece made of pegasus feathers and unicorn farts

"We want a chocolate tart"
Flora: I'll make a 7 layer tart thats served on a layer of unicorn tears with functioning fireworks

Paul's sunbathing lady
TV gold. Watching Paul put together a sunbathing-icing lady was genius.
He pissed himself the entire time, as did Mel & Sue. It was a great shame when they came to eat her in the end, poor girl. Just look at that bod.

Matt's luminous green dough
Making that fruit cake looked hard enough without all the tennis court details, and Matt wasn't having the best week! Everyone is making the dough for the court and turns out this thick grass-green, meanwhile Matt's sloppy bright toxic green concoction was hilarious. He even tried to scrape it off at the end to cover his mistake, but nothing gets past those bright blue eyes of Paul Hollywood.
It also made me laugh that he baked the icing for the tennis net in the oven instead of set in the fridge like everyone else.
Oh Matt.

Nadiya's facial expressions
Nadiya is one of my favourites so I was very glad that she made it to the final. The main thing I like about her is her facial expressions. She goes through so many each week and we witness her roller coaster of emotions; her turmoil when she's last in technicals, her joy and tears when she's star baker or her anger when she pastry went wrong.

Marie not turning her oven on
In one of the earlier episodes, this moment really made me realise what comedy gold Bake Off is. The sheer terror on Marie's face when she realises she hasn't turned on the oven is classic.
I liked Marie, her whips hair that fanned out when the oven opened was always a joy to behold, for those 2 or 3 episodes before she went.

Paul's 'King of Bread' Lion
This was amazing! Even Hollywood said he'd never had attempted anything like that. Paul even got himself a handshake AND special mention at the end of the show! Woooo go Paul.
I'd refuse to hand it in because they'd have to rip it apart to taste; what a waste of like 5 hours!!

Catch the final of Great British Bake Off on BBC1 tonight at 8pm!
I'll be happy if Tamal or Nadiya win, NOT IAN!!
Goodbye GBBO, until next year!

♡ G

View Post

Favourite Things About Autumn

Um, question.
Where has 2015 gone?
Like srsly. 

Its October, basically Christmas, and then we're into 2016 & its the Olympics. 
Where did London 2012 go?! 

However its not all doom and gloom because October is one of my favourite months;

1. Birthday
Yes its my birthday next week. 24. What an age eh. When I was younger I used to think of 24 year olds being really old and having their life together and be buying a house and getting engaged and planning a family. Well, thats actually a lot of people I know - but not me. I refuse to conform. I would much rather be spending my 20s travelling and meeting new people and experiencing new thing rather than being stuck behind a desk complaining about mortgages and bills and how much your husband and kids annoy you. 
Naturally I'm dragging out my birthday over 4 days and plan to get suitable drunk on the penultimate night with 4 of my bestest pals.

2. Kitten
Sadly a few weeks ago my dearest boy Albus (cat) was knocked over and died. I've not felt pain or loss like it before (no offence to anyone previously who's died) and was a struggle. He was the man of the house and we were all his bitches, if he wanted to take up with entire sofa so no one could sit down he'd do so, if he wanted to sit on the table next to your plate and watch you eat he'd do so, and if he wanted any of your food, he'd bloody well help himself. 
We noticed the house was quiet and empty without me and even still me and Carol (mum) look out for him and wait for him to come home. We knew we needed a kitten, well, 3 of us wanted 2 so that there would be twice the love in the house, but noooooooo, Big Steve (dad) wasn't having any of it. We even pleaded that 2 kittens would be better because otherwise he'll either have to pay for
 a. Intensive therapy because we were all struggling with the loss of Albus
or b. have to pay for my gastric band surgery once I've eaten all my feelings. 
Still no. 
But fortunately we found a perfect little princess to come into our new home. Little Muffin. 
Me & Laura had our heart set on calling it Dobby, but turns out she's a girl and Big Steve has forbidden all Harry Potter character names :( 
We get to bring her home this month so I can have something to love and obsess over once again.

3. Australia
No, I'm not going to Australia this month. However I am booking it. I am hoping to head out at the beginning of March next year and start my 12 month Working Holiday Visa and spend the year working & travelling my way round Oz. Its my birthday present to myself. Nice & expensive I know. 
I have already put together a list, folder, powerpoint presentation with handouts of my trip ... I joke. Just a list of everything I want to see and do while I'm there. 
Don't actually think my family realise I'm serious about going and am booking it in a week ha! 
See ya!

4. Rugby World Cup
So far Wales are doing well, with a smashing victory over England on the weekend we are heading into todays (yes I'm writing this on the 1st October) game against Fiji with high hopes and a lot of confidence. Granted we did lose some more players to injuries! But the reserves we're bringing out have plenty of experience! So here's hoping we made it out of the 'Pool of Death' and go all the way to the final on the 31st!
With England's disastrous loss to Australia means they are out of the World Cup and Wales are through to the Quarter-Finals, just one match left against Australia next Saturday to determine which of the two teams are to face potentially South Africa & Scotland. 
Cymru am byth!!

5. Knitwear
I love autumn and winter clothes, all the jumpers come out to play and boots, massive pretty scarves and big coats. Walking round all wrapped up is just perfect :) And being wrapped up warm in bed in your tog 378 duvet with your fleecy onesie is just bliss! We're actually having really nice weather at the moment, granted its getting noticeably colder because of the clear skies but the sun is shining and makes perfect adventure-day weather.

6. Soup & Stew Season
No one eats salads in the autumn. Its cold and you don't want to eat cold food. I won't allow it.
Its all about stocking up on the Heinz soup tins, or fresh meat and veg to start making your own soups and stews in the dusty slow cooker. Nothing beats coming home from work and cracking open a tin of Heinz soup and dipping in your crusty bread. Or on a cold day in work, popping home for lunch and opening the door to the smell of slowly cooking beef stew in the cooker. Mmm

7. Crunchy Leaves
 Stepping on crunchy leaves. That is all.

8. Bake Off Final
I suppose i'm not happy about this, mainly because it means it'll be over then. But Bake Off is my life and it means I can have cake on Wednesdays and laugh at all the great tweets by @MaryBerryNot and count up all the different facial expressions Nadiya pulls and pray that Ian won't win! Oh, and more importantly, I can lust after the goddess that is Mary Berry.

♡ G

View Post

USA City Reviews: San Francisco

I loved the US
If you'd not already gathered from my constant posts about it!
I will shut up about it one day ....
"but it will not be this day"
LOTR quote for you there ;)

We visited ALOT of states and cities in the space of 4 weeks and in that time we got a taster of each place and enough to know if I'm interested to visit again or recommend visiting to people.
I'm going to do a selection of reviews of places that I personally loved and want to encourage people to visit too as well as tips from how to get to and from airports / prices of attractions. 

San Francisco
I love SF.
If you can tolerate the constant changing of the weather you'll love it too. 
Always carry layers!

Getting from the airport:
We arrived at San Francisco Airport and chose to use the BART train to get into the city. 
If using this train make sure you research before hand which stop is closest to where you need to be and which coloured line you'll need. 
There are signs in the airport for the 'Airtrain' and 'BART' so follow these until you reach the coloured line you need.
Our journey was to the Civic Centre / UN Plaza stop and it took roughly 25 minutes from the airport and cost $9. Alot cheaper than a taxi.
One thing I will warn about it the homeless population, it is massive. We had no problems, but just be careful of your belongings if you're arriving late at night and walking around with suitcases or backpacks looking like a tourist. 

We were staying at the 'Good Hotel' on 7th St. 
It was just a few minutes walk from the BART stop. 
We had no problems at check-in and our room was great.
Very spacious rooms, TV, free Wifi, bathroom with shower & bath. 
We stayed there for 3 nights and it was great value for money.
There were lots of places to eat for breakfast on the same street and if you wanted you could use the gym & pool facilities at their sister hotel across the road.
The hotel also has bikes you can use for free but they go on a first come first serve basis.  
Its just a short walk from the Civic Centre Plaza and if you don't mind walking further you can reach the Union Sq in about 15/20 minutes. 
The staff were all very friendly and they have lots of maps and leaflets at reception of various activities to do in the city.

Getting around:
SF is a big city; do not try to walk everywhere. You will get tired very quickly once you discover how many hills there are in the centre!
Cycling (stick to the coast as flat) or bus tours are a great way to see alot of the city if you're short for time. We chose to do the 1 day Big Bus Tour which cost $45.

It covers all the main stops and because its hop on and off you can get off and go explore off the bus route. 
If you want to cycle we used Blazing Saddles and they have shops all over the city. They give great intros to the city and bike safety and can custom plan a route for you depending on what you want to see. Beware though that you're paying per hour so if you get delayed somewhere or lost you'll be paying for it. 

We did and visited a lot of the typical tourist attractions, which may not be the best way to experience what the city is like for locals but girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. 

The Painted Ladies at Alamo Sq are pretty to look at, it doesn't require much time and can be a passing stop on the way to the Golden Gate Park.
The park I would 100% recommend going to visit. 
Just a short drive or walk from Alamo Sq you reach the pan handle entrance. 
Fact: Golden Gate Park is bigger than Central Park in NY
There is so much to do and see in the park so if you have time dedicate a whole day just to the park. 
We unfortunately did not so we chose to visit the Japanese Tea Gardens. At $8 entrance fee (to non US residents) it is worth a visit. There is a cafe and gift shop (ideal) and the gardens are so beautiful with loads of gorgeous ponds and flowers. 
A quick walk round one of the lakes where you can rent pedalos or rowing boats and relax on the water. 
If When I return I will make sure to spend more time exploring the park and reach the end so I can get better views of the Pacific Ocean.

Its not a visit to SF without a visit to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Whether you take pictures from Fort Point, walk, cycle or drive across or get a boat under it, it is great to see! We drove across on an open top bus and then later cycled across.
Chances are that they'll be fog but when its clear its amazing.

We cycled from Fisherman's Wharf, across the Golden Gate Bridge and down into Sausalito. You can get the ferry back across to either Fisherman's Wharf or or the Ferry Market Building. 
The queues for the ferry were very long (it was a bank holiday) so if you have something booked for after your cycle make sure you leave plenty of time to get back in time!
Now I need to mention Sausalito. It is a small Mediterranean style town across the water.
It is beautiful.
I wish we had more time to spend here and I urge anyone going to San Francisco to make sure you allow yourself a day just to spend here. It has lots of shops and cafes and restaurants on the water and is very pretty.  

Alcatraz, the famous prison on the rock is so interesting.
 Make sure you book in advance! Tickets sell out fast so if you want to go make sure you book before arriving. Ferries start at 8:45am and you should put aside a few hours to visit the island. 
You can only buy from this website and adult prices are $29
You get stunning views of the SF skyline and GGB on the ferry across. 
The audio tour was really great and goes into a lot of detail about the inmates, staff, the building itself and any attempted escapes.

Pier 39 is a bit of a tourist trap but worth a visit. It is full of shops and bars and restaurants, all of which are probably more expensive than places outside the tourist areas. 
We ate at Pier Market and the food was delicious. It was worth the money and the line of people waiting to eat there showed how food the place was. 
Try to avoid the chain restaurants. 
I was really looked forward to seeing the Pier 39 residents; the seals.
Unfortunately they weren't there as it was their mating period (July). 

Fisherman's wharf is an area on the bay full of bars and restaurants. You can get seafood everywhere! There's loads of takeaway options if you want cheap and good food to grab on the go. 
Its a very busy area so expect queues and crowds. 

Palace of the Fine Arts is a beautiful area to visit. It is a very unexpected style building in the city but it is lovely. There is a large pond and you can walk around the ground for free. A great stop for a picnic or sit on the grass to soak up the sun. A short walk from here are the Lucas studios for any Star Wars fans ;)

If you want to travel around in a fun way I suggest you try out the Cable Car system that runs round the city. We queued for ages to get on one and then they just stopped them for no reason so we had to walk the mammoth hike that is Hyde St! It is literally the longest and steepest road every! But near the top of this road you will find Lombard St, the world's most crooked street. It is very busy with people either wanting to drive down for the fun or tourists walking in the roads trying to take pictures. From here you get stunning views of the city and over towards Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill. We never went but from Coit Tower ($7 to top of tower) you can get panoramic views of the city, as long as you don't mind walking up the masses of stairs to get up the hill!

Chinatown is a great area to wonder through, full of shops and restaurants and markets. You can buy all your souvenirs here at much cheaper prices than from Pier 39 & Fisherman's Wharf. They have loads of great juice bars for a refreshing snack. At the end of the main street in Chinatown you reach the Dragon Gate which leads you out to Union Sq. This is a good area for shopping and eating. Full of your typical high street & designer shops and chain restaurants. If you're ever out late and in need of dinner late, The Cheesecake Factory here stays open until 12am so very handy if you find yourself wondering the streets of San Francisco late at night trying to find somewhere open for dinner. The portions are massive too so you won't go hungry again!!

♡ G 
This app is now available as a mobile app:

View Post
Next Post Newer Posts Previous Post Older Posts Home