After 2 years of no holidays (I blame the house purchase) it felt like I needed a trip of some sort. My usual holiday buddy had booked herself up with a trip to Bermuda, so instead of missing out I decided to travel solo. The gay and I had discussed going to San Francisco together but our dates weren’t able to coincide. One day after work I marched to the library and got some travel guides. I chose the USA because they speak English and they are more set up for lone eaters at restaurants. A few friends had also recommended G adventures so I visited their website to look at tours available. I chose the San Diego express (from LA to Las Vegas) based solely on the fact I got to spend a whole day in the Grand Canyon. With a bit more research I added on a week either side of the tour and it happily slotted in between my friend’s hen do and wedding.
I don’t mind admitting it, but I do love a plan, so my bag was packed a week before I flew and I wrote my itinerary in my trusty moleskine. It’s not totally rigid, it mainly just includes details of transport I need to catch, hotels I’m staying at and all those booking confirmation numbers you get. Following the gay’s advice I purchased a three pay as you go all you can eat data plan for £15. Its been a great purchase as i’ve been able to roam for no extra cost. It’s been useful for mapping myself about, booking restaurants and ordering ubers (of which I’m a recent convert). I’m also a regular Instagram user so my photo uploading has not been affected 🙂
On a cloudy Monday morning at 9 am I set off on my American adventure. As part of my trip is a tour and they don’t like suitcases, I’ve gone with a Berghaus Jalan travel pack as I can carry it on my back, zip away the straps but also wheel it. As Ive only 50 L for 3 weeks, trusty Rusty wasn’t able to join me. Instead I have the my Sullivan family lucky beaver, I took her to school on my first day, because as I told my mum she has buggy teeth like you. I caught the train from Letchworth followed by the Piccadilly line across to Heathrow, thankfully I can nap anywhere so I nodded off on the tube. I thought flying solo would be an anxious affair but it was a breeze; check in was queue free, security quick and terminal 2 was empty. I was sat in an window seat, with a fidgety American on the aisle and a British sleeping man in the middle. The 10 h flight was spent with a nap, watching far from the madding crowd, dinner, nap, toilet, nap and ending with gazing at the Golden Gate Bridge as we landed at San Francisco.
Immigration was a drawn out affair with a 90 minute queue. But I wasn’t concerned, I’m on vacation after all! I jumped on the BART to Millbrae, and checked into the Aloft hotel. Dinner was basic with a walk to the local in-and-out where I was quizzed by a local into the wellbeing of the baby (the royal one) and the current location of the queen. Both of which I had no idea. I returned and followed signs for ice as I’m always impressed American hotels have such a room.
At 10 pm after being up for 23 h I joyfully jumped into bed, only to be awoken an hour later by a loud voice telling me to evacuate and the fire alarm blaring. Calmly I grabbed my phone, passport from my bedside put on some shoes and exited. Fortunately it was a false alarm but a fire truck with some fine American firemen rocked up, so it wasn’t all bad!
Photos can be found here