You may well have noticed several travel-themed posts emerge on my blog over the past couple of weeks, all to do with my recent trip to California (previously, I talked about my visits to Disneyland and San Francisco, as well as some of the food that I ate whilst I was away). Now however, I thought I would just tie up some loose ends as it were, and briefly mention some of the other places that I was lucky enough to get a look at whilst in the US, and thus bring this little travel series of posts to a conclusion...
Beaches. To me, they are the first thing that pops into my head when I think of California- sunkissed individuals strolling along the sand, whilst wetsuit clad surfers brave the waves and Palm trees line the sea front. Maybe I have just been into Hollister way to many times, but I have come to associate the West Coast with sunny, sandy havens and I was fortunate enough to get a good look at several of the most popular beaches in Central California, as well as visit one that I had always wanted to see...Huntington Beach.
In respect of what I had envisioned in my mind for seemingly forever, I was very satisfied when Huntington Beach lived up to my every expectation. It was the loveliest of beach areas, and was lined with shops, restaurants and as I walked along the front there was a consistent stream of surfboard-armed men and women waltzing past me. Back to my Hollister-reminiscing, and if you have ever been in a store you might well have noticed a board/window thing that streams a scene from a Californian beach right your way- this beach is Huntington Beach, and in the video you can see a pier, an endless expanse of ocean, and many surfers in the water (well, I can now proudly saw that I have stood on that pier and watched the surfers go by, which is quite a big tick off the bucket list in my opinion)!
Whilst on the Pier, we also spotted a cute little diner right at the end (Ruby's Diner), and because I was yet to indulge in a milkshake whilst in the US, me and my mom decided to each have a strawberry one. Well, what can I say...the Americans do know how to do milkshakes, I will give them that! This quintessential USA-style diner served us up some incredibly frothy, thick shakes topped with lots of whipped cream and even a cherry (the perfect state-side treat to enjoy on the pier for sure).
Onto one of the most famous areas of California now (if not the most famous)...Hollywood! As a serious lover of all things to do with movies, I was incredibly excited to visit this area of Los Angeles and although we didn't really spend very long there, I did acquire a decent stash of photos to remind me of my visit.
Walking along the Walk of Fame was rather hectic, with lots of people trying to sell you things and also quite a few individuals dressed up as certain characters that wanted to have their photo took with you, so we instead made our way over to the Chinese Theatre (the building in the above photo).
You may well know that outside the Chinese Theatre, there is a vast array of handprints on the floor by many well known famous people- I, being a massive fan of old movies, made it a priority for myself to seek out all the movie stars of yesteryear and did actually get a fair few good photos, despite the crowds that flocked around almost every tile on the floor. A particular snap that I am very happy with getting, is that of the handprints of Marilyn Monroe (I also did the typical touristy putting your hands into the prints thing, but I don't look all that good in those photos), who is of course an absolute legendary figure and one of my particular favourite old-school actresses (if you have never seen any of her movies, I definitely recommend a watch of Some Like it Hot or Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, which are two that I personally love!)
And the award for the worst photo of the Hollywood sign goes too.....me! In all seriousness though, it is incredibly difficult to get a decent snap of this iconic landmark as you firstly can't get all that close to it, and it is also really quite smoggy in the city. The above photo was taken near the Griffith Observatory, which is actually a really nice area beside Hollywood that has a lot of hiking trails, and lovely views of LA from up in the hills- however, it was extremely hot on the day we visited, so sadly we only took a quick stop for a photo opportunity, which is when I managed to get this photo of the Hollywood sign (which no matter how bad, I will look back on for years to come and feel pretty chuffed that I got to see such a sight)!
Let's all admit though, that this photo of the Legowood sign is a lot better quality than that of my Hollywood sign photo. During my stay in California, I was also lucky enough to visit the lovely city of San Diego and its surrounding areas, and while we were there figured a stop off to Legoland made sense. To me, Legoland isn't really as great as Disney, but it was still a nice chance to stretch my legs after driving all the way from LA to San Diego- most of my time there was spent musing around Miniland USA where I found the above miniaturised version of Hollywood!
Whilst we never actually went into the heart of the city of San Diego (unless you count driving past), we did visit some of the areas around it- a place I would definitely recommend to any shopaholics out there like myself, is the Westfield UTC centre, which is a effectively an outdoor shopping centre that is jammed packed with cute places to eat and also many great places to shop (think Sephora, Abercrombie, etc etc etc). As well as this, we also drove across the bridge in San Diego to a really lovely area called Coranado Island (this seemed such a cute little place, although we didn't actually get out of the car, apart from to take a few photos), which I went over to visit because of a not so well known tourist attraction that's over there. Earlier in the post, I reminicised about my love of old movies, and my particular love of Some Like it Hot- those of you who have never heard of, or seen this movie will have zero clue what I'm on about now, but the hotel that the majority of said movie is set in, is on the island, and the above photo is of it in all its majestic beauty!
Well then, after talking about the above photos I do feel as though I have finally tied up all the loose ends on my tales about travelling to California. It is such a beautiful state that you just have to make plans to visit it at least once in your life, and if you have read my last few posts (thank you very much if you have) then you will have seen how much there is to see and do there also!