West Coast Road Trip Planning – Part 1

Welcome to part 1 of the West Coast Road Trip Planning segment of the blog.

In total our trip is 24 days so this will be a 3 part series each looking at 8 days of our trip.

As with our NYC trip, things may go a little differently, we missed going over to the Statue of Liberty for example due to the weather, these things happen, if you’re planning a trip, don’t stress if you miss something, its 100% normal.

We fly out on the 12th October to Seattle, arriving in the city about midday, hopefully we can sleep on the plane and we can stay awake during the day, minimising the jet-lag that way we can maximise day 1 and 2 to explore as much of Seattle as possible in our 36 hours in the city.

On the morning of the 14th we take our first steps on our long trip south when we head to Mount Beljica, this offers some stunning views of Mt Rainier and according to the internet it is a fairly easy trail for hiking beginners, one website even says that its a great introduction to hiking for Kids! Perfect!

From here we will probably head to Randle as its a fairly easy stop on route to Mt St Helens, possible hike at Lava Canyon all depends on how tired we are from hiking Mt Beljica.

After a potential stop at Mt St Helens we will continue south to Portland (side note, NBA, please schedule a Portland Trailblazers game for the 15th November, thanks!)

Following Portland I am currently considering driving north to Cannon Beach even though our planned stop is in Newport which is south of Portland, this is mainly because Cannon Beach looks awesome and then we can drive the coast road past places like Otter Rock, etc. If you have been to Cannon Beach let me know in the comments if its worth the extra mileage.

Next stop is Gold beach approx 177 miles south of Newport taking the scenic route with view points such as Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint, Cape Perpetua, Heceta Head Lighthouse and a couple other spots.

Day 7 we plan on checking out as many redwoods as humanly possible, heading to Eureka we stop off at Redwoods National State Park and Patricks Point State Park.

Last stop for part 1 of this series is Fort Bragg, our final stopover before San Francisco. This section will mainly feature a drive through the Avenue of Giants this runs parallel with Highway 101 but takes a slightly more scenic approach through the redwoods for what should be an awesome little drive.

Have you driven Highway 101 or Highway 1.. any tips? Let us know in the comments! Thanks.

West Coast Here We Come!!

The next big trip is in the pipeline! We are going for a West Coast USA Roadtrip in October/November.

For now a very brief overview of our itinerary;

  1. Fly to Seattle
  2. Drive to Randle via Mount Beljica
  3. Portland
  4. Newport via Otter Rock (Potential 60 mile detour to see Cannon Beach (is it worth it? if you have been let me know in the comments))
  5. Gold Beach (Via Cape Perpetua and other awesome looking Oregon coast locations!)
  6. Eureka!
  7. Fort Bragg, CA not Fort Bragg, NC (Very important that the Sat-Nav gets this correct)
  8. San Francisco (Via Bodega Bay)
  9. Monterey
  10. Pismo Beach (Via BIG SUR! & Morro Bay)
  11. Los Angeles (Via Malibu)
  12. Disneyland (I realise this isn’t a destination like the rest but… if I don’t included this I will be killed by my girlfriend)
  13. Vegas Baby!
  14. Grand Canyon
  15. Bishop (Via Death Valley – Badwater Basin, Zabrinski Point, etc)
  16. Yosemite and all its awesomness!
  17. Oakland
  18. Fly Home 😦

In total, the trip is 23 days and features a few days in LA, San Francisco and Yosemite, overnight stops in most other places.

Total Mileage approx 2,690 miles.

Will publish some more detailed breakdowns over the next couple of weeks/months but some things we want to do include; some NBA games (LA Lakers, Portland, Golden State Warriors), Disneyland, LA Zoo, Mt Rainier, Hollywood, Griffith Observatory, possibly an NFL game.

We also need to work on our hiking skills (which are pretty much non-existent) as we plan on hiking up Mt Beljica, the Hollywood Hills and Yosemite.

Have you done the West Coast, what are your recommendations? Let us know in the comments.

Having a Life Plan Doesn’t Always Work

When I was 15 I started my work experience at a Quantity Surveying practice (I wont bore you with the details), I completed two weeks, really enjoyed it and decided to continue working with this practice for the summer holidays.

I was given a contract and then started to work as a trainee pretty much every school holiday until I finished school, and then again with college. I always had a 5 year plan, its changed slightly over the years, but I have always been ready for ‘life’. When I was at college the plan was;

  • Finish College
  • Go to Uni and get Degree while working
  • Become a Chartered QS
  • Long run goal – Director.

I finished college with distinction in Construction & the Built Environment, I went to Kingston University to study a 4 year part-time degree (1 day) while continuing with work 4 days per week. I was hitting my goals, but then I got sidetracked by a change in career, I guess I was bored at work, fed-up of what I felt was under-valued and tried to move into Commercial Agency.

This was not fun, nor what I imagined, I had left university and my goals had all changed.

I wanted to return to Quantity Surveying and to get my degree, I got a new job and re-started my degree at the University College of Estate Management, I was back on track with a revised 5-10 year plan;

  • Get Degree
  • Get Chartered
  • Become Director

People have always told me I’m lucky to have the career I want, and to have 5/10 year plans, etc. however nowadays I just feel like a hamster on the wheel, maybe I have been watching too many YouTube videos or reading too many Blogs, maybe I’m just in a bit of a rut at work, but I always wanted the big house and the nice car and even my Bucket List item of Making £1Million by the age of 40.

Fuck that.

What good is making a million by the age of 40 when (in my opinion) I wont get to enjoy it, I want kids by then and we all know that kids put restrictions on what we can do, travelling the world a prime example and something I REALLY want to do, you cant do that with kids.

Maybe losing my dad at 66 has made me think that retirement is severely overrated, granted he smoked 20 a day for the last 50 years but we never know what health situations can happen, people I know have been the healthiest, non-smokers around, yet something bad can happen to anyone.

I want to enjoy life as much as I can, I want to enjoy my remaining 20’s and however much of my 30’s as possible before I settle down and focus on the “real world”.

And by enjoy, I pretty much mean travel – life is enjoyable, but I want it to be Awesome!

Check this video and tell me it doesn’t make you want to travel –

Seriously if that doesn’t make you want to travel, how about this one –

Even before now 80% of my Bucket List was filled with Travel plans but now I’m taking out;

  • Own My Dream Home  –  As a kid my dream home was a mansion in the Tuscan Hills of Italy, now the perfect home is somewhere that just feels like home, somewhere I can live happily, raise my kid’s and just have a great life. This goal may take some time to achieve.
  • Own A Holiday Home  –  I pretty much hate British weather, I think it sucks, maybe a beach house in Italy or a Mountain retreat in Switzerland.
  • Own A Dream Car  –  Something like a Lamborghini, a Ferrari, an Aston Martin, etc.
  • Make £1Million By Age 40.
  • Own a Tailored Suit and an Expensive Watch.

All OUT.

Now I completely understand that travel costs money, but I want to make sure I maximise money as much as possible over the next couple years so that I can really shift my focus from living to work into working to live!

Time to replace those old dreams with new dreams because its better to fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell not stuff to show.

My Top 10 Travel Moments (So Far)

Today’s posts is a quick, simple and severely lacking-of-photos look back at the top 10 travel moments I can remember from my life so far.

10. Playing Basketball in the Meadowlands Arena – At the age of 14 I was lucky enough to go on a basketball trip to New York City, on the trip we got to play on the actual NBA Court of the then New Jersey Nets (now Brooklyn Nets), it was a great experience and one I will never forget.

9. The Gambia – Feeding monkeys, a boat trip down the the River Gambie, street markets (I think) in Serrekunda, eating Barracuda caught by the local fisher-men, the entire trip to the Gambia was definitely a different experience considering at the time (age 15) 99% of my holidays had been to France.

Exceptionally hot and humid, but for the young me a great experience to see some massively different culture that the world is home to.

8. Road Trip to Lake Garda – Driving from Southampton to Lake Garda and back was quite the experience, we of course stayed in Lake Garda for about 10 days, the San Bernardino Pass on the way home was breathtaking just a shame that back then I wasn’t really into Photography nor was Instagram a thing but here is a photo I stole from my sister.

Also we got to visit Venice… which despite being absolutely baking (mid-summer, thousands of people) was pretty stunning no matter where you looked.

7. Disneyland – Disneyland as an adult while it’s fairly empty due to all the kids being at school if far improved from when I was 9, very of little of which I remember. 2017 on the other hand I do remember and it was a great trip especially the Illuminations at the end of the day. Well worth the trip.

6. The Eiffel Tower – When you’re a kid and you’re scared of heights and you start going up in the lift to the top of the Eiffel Tower and you start crying when you realise how high it is… when you get half way and your mum (the center of your universe at that age) says she will put you in the down lift you should believe her, I did!

However I was tricked! Up we went all the way to the top, I vaguely remember some fairly nice views while I crawled around on the floor trying to stay away from the edge and contain myself. Note to self: don’t always trust your parents.

5. Barcelona Basketball Trip – I was lucky at the age of 15 to go on yet another basketball trip, this time I went solo! Yes 15 year old me managed to get the correct flight, land in Barcelona Airport, find the camp organisers and then get home again all by myself at the age of 15! I class that as a fairly solid achievement for a child.

The actual trip was fairly awesome, again & unfortunately, it was before I really knew how to use a camera or Instagram was invented so sorry no photos.

I did however get to see the La Segrada Familia, Park Güell, La Rambla, etc. now I just need to go back so that I can photograph the shit out of it.

4. Blue Lagoon & Iceland – Iceland was a pretty unforgettable experience, a school trip where we managed to fit in quite a lot, including some of the amazing waterfalls such as Skógafoss and Gullfoss, standing where the North American Plate and Eurasian Plate meet, going to the small Island of Heimaey and climbing, what used to be the volcano which erupted in 1973.

That’s a small list considering how much we did but I would definitely recommend going, or going back if you have already been.

3. NYC 1st time – I still remember stepping out of the station into the middle of NYC and seeing the sky-risers tower over me. We were taking part in a basketball trip over to the Minuteman Invitational Tournament and we were staying in New Jersey (see moment number 10) so our first trip into the city was by train so we got to see a little of the city from a distance before we headed underground through tunnels, etc. then we arrived.

I wont ever forget my first trip into NYC and what is my favourite city in the entire world.

2. Bratislava – Bratislava from what I can remember was awesome, lots of drinking, looks of cool Insta-perfect buildings if you love a mixture of architect, old city buildings and at the time snow. Me and a few friends visited Bratislava for one of their birthdays and I am fairly sure its a trip which I will always remember.

I would highly recommend Bratislava if you are into a mixture of historic buildings and the occasional binge drinking 😉

1. Bar 65 in NYC – My third trip to NYC featured a bite to eat and a few cocktails in the Bar 65 at the Rainbow Room on level 65 of the Rockefeller Center, I am scared of heights but I am fairly sure that this was the best thing I have ever experienced, we didn’t get the picturesque sunset I had wished for but we got a perfect view out across NYC and if you take one thing from this post, its that you need to go and have a drink here!

What are your top 10 travel memories? Let me know below 🙂

I’m a Big Kid

So my next holiday is booked! Boom!

And I am going to Disneyland Paris! Damn I’m such a grown-up.

Trying to find a holiday 2 weeks before you plan on going is fricken hard, we booked time off like 3 months ago with the plan of booking and paying for something in the near future… financial restrictions and lack of free time resulted in me and my girlfriend trying to book a week long all-inclusive trip to the Canary Islands 2 weeks before our departure date. Continue reading “I’m a Big Kid”

NYC – The Review – Part 2

If you haven’t read Part 1 of the NYC Review check it here. 🙂

Now Part 2!

The High Line is fantastic, an old disused subway line that used to run above the city converted into a park that glides above the city featuring plants, sitting areas, awesome views and a different perspective on such a vibrant city.

The wildlife, the colours, the difference from walking on pavements for 99% of the trip, the High Line is really great and its free! Continue reading “NYC – The Review – Part 2”