|March 2008! Canary Islands|
So we decided a trip was on the cards, how when we are trying to save for mortgages and a wedding (hers not mine!) who knows, but we wanted to do it. Neither of us were too bothered about Europe, so of course as we always do, we set our sights high and decided Chicago may be the next place for us. Now if you don’t know either of us then you have no idea how organised we both can be or the fact that as soon as we come back from 1 holiday we are instantly looking for another. I think it helps us get over the holiday blues!
|April 2015! Grand Canyon!|
We were both disappointed when just a long weekend in Chicago was coming back at around £850 without spending money, that was so far out of our budget, so when I tweeted Steph the next day and suggested we look for the UK, giving up our hopes of getting some goodies from Target we joked about setting up a Go Fund Me page – well if Kanye West’s Go Fund Me Page can raise $7,000 in under a month we will be headed off to Chicago no problem! Obviously, we wont do that…..would we?!
As you know Matt & I were recently in Vegas for 7 days with our really good friends Steph & Dan. We had such a great holiday and I am currently in the process of making a photo book of a once in a lifetime holiday! However, as I have mentioned to you all before, Steph has her own YouTube Channel Loved By Steph and she actually did some vlogging whilst we were away. Initially I was nervous about being on one of her video’s as I will quite often go without make up or not always look my best, but after a while you forget that you are being filmed and especially after a couple of drinks, just don’t care haha! I wanted to wait until both vlogs where up before I shared them with you, so here we go – here is our lovely holiday!
Please make sure you do a “thumbs up” if you like what you see and why not even subscribe to her channel!
As usual I did quite a bit of research on both Vegas & San Francisco before we went on holiday and there was 1 place in San Francisco that kept cropping up in blog after blog and it was Boudin. One blogger that I have been following for some time seemed to really enjoy it & she is a lovely lady so I knew she wouldn’t steer me in the wrong direction!
When we were in San Francisco, it got to Wednesday and I genuinely didn’t think we would get to have dinner there. I decided that I was ok with that and would mean that I would just have to come back. However I was really happy when Matt suggested having a big breakfast there on Thursday before cycling over the bridge! So we got up early on the Thursday got the Muni Bus down to fisherman’s wharf & headed over to Boudin.
As soon as I looked at what was on offer I knew I wanted to try the French Toast with seasonal fruit, Matt ordered a egg & bacon sandwich and we were told to wait at the end and our name would be called when our food was ready. So as there was also a bit of a shop to look around we had a browse! There were so many cute little bits, Matt saw a lot of chutneys and jams but because we weren’t sure if we could take them home we had to leave them there. Here are a few cute bits that I liked the look of:
My name was called and we took a seat outside, both choices looked great, personally I think mine was more appealing, what do you think?
I took the first bite and I think my exact words were “Oh My God, this is so good!’ I ate the lot! I wasn’t sure what to expect with sourdough bread, but it was so yummy! Matt really enjoyed his sandwich too and polished off the lot! It definitely filled me up! We looked round at what others had ordered (I often like to see what I could have had!) And there was a couple eating a chowder of some description out of a sourdough bread bowl. It look steaming hot and really yummy, I do wish we could have had lunch or dinner there, but it wasn’t meant to be! Maybe if we have a return visit we can try some more that they have to offer!
If you are planning a visit to San Francisco, as well as Pacific Catch make sure Boudins is on your list of places to eat, you won’t regret it!
Anyone who knows me is going to read this and think “has she lost her mind?!” BUT I am going to put it out there anyway, I think San Francisco has taken the Number 1 spot as my favourite US City! I know, NYC has always been top choice, but there was something about San Francisco that just made me really relax and enjoy it. It may have been the Pacific Sea air, the relaxed atmosphere or just the kindness of everyone that we met, but it definitely made its way into my heart. So I thought, just like with Vegas, that I would share with you a few things that we got up to!
We stayed at the Chelsea Motor Inn, which is on the corner of Lombard & Fillmore Street. I chose this location mainly because of the price and the fact that when I was looking to book it said there was free parking and we were potentially going to rent a car! Well I am glad I made the choice, the rooms were spacious and we had a great view of the bridge from our room. There have been a lot of reviews on Trip Advisor about the noise from the street, we stayed mid week, but didn’t hear a thing!
Both Matt & I are not always ones for eating at ‘regular’ resturants and like to try out where the locals eat, so on our first day whilst waiting for the Muni (best way to get around town by the way $2.25 for a ticket that lasts 90mins!), a restaurant caught my eye called Pacific Catch and one a bit further down called Noah’s New York Bagel’s, I kept a mental note and the following morning, whilst Matt was still snoozing, I did a bit of research on yelp & trip advisor to see if they were any good and we weren’t disappointed! We had a breakfast bagel in Noah’s one morning and it was a little bit of New York in San Francisco – warmed my heart a little! Now Pacific Catch, that’s a different kettle of fish entirely. We were sat, unsure where to eat, we didn’t want to go back to Union Square or Fisherman’s Wharf we wanted to stay local so I reminded Matt about the restaurant I saw earlier that week and decided we would head down there. We arrived at 6.30pm on a Wednesday and it was already booming, the few tables outside were full, the tables inside were almost full, the phone was ringing off the hook! We took a seat at the counter opposite the very open kitchen and had a browse through the menu. Watching the chef’s hard at work just fueled my hunger & trying to work out what they were cooking against the menu was great fun and looking at the food being produced we were expecting to pay A LOT more than we did! We had the Cabo Calamari for starters then for mains I had the Thai Coconut Shrimp and Matt had the 3 Taco Platter, the food was incredible the service was faultless. Just sat at the counter watching the chef’s and all the locals coming in to pick up their take-away’s and having a chatter with all the staff just showed how popular it really is! If nothing else in San Francisco, eat at Pacific Catch at least once! I do have another recommendation…..but I am going to save that for later!
If you fancy a nice walk and to get to see the scenery then head down to The Ferry Building Marketplace ideally on a Tuesday or Thursday, have a mooch round the farmers market first then head inside. Once you have had some free testers and maybe even some ice-cream, go back out side and turn right & start walking towards Pier 39! The views of Coit Tower and looking out at the bay is lovely, we just took our time and enjoyed a nice walk. When you reach Pier 39, its great to have a look round and look in some unique shops maybe have a corn dog or a churro. Don’t forget those cute Sea Lions, they are noisy and a bit smelly, but when you see them all curled up with each other they look so cute!
BUT I think I had the most fun on the day we cycled over the Golden Gate Bridge, the day was lovely and warm and it made the bike ride even easier! We rented our bikes from Blazing Saddles and headed off along the bay, we stopped took plenty of pictures then headed up a hill to make a start on the trek over the Bridge! We stopped a couple of times whilst cycling across to take photo’s, when we hit Vista Point we headed down the hill into the bay then back another GIANT hill. You start to cycle through a really cute seafront neighbourhood into Sausalito, we took a break and when you looked back at the houses set into the hills it reminded me a bit of Devon especially with the sun beaming down on my back. Sausalito is such a cute, quaint little town and reminded me very much of Nashville in Indiana. We had the best ice-cream there at Lapperts – make sure you take a visit and have the Cookie Monster flavour.
There is plenty more that I could share with you, but I think that is enough for now. Feel free to drop me a message if you want any more info or have any questions, I would be more than happy to share with you all!
I have managed to cross another something off my list…..VEGAS! we came back a few days ago now, returning back to work and getting into a “normal” routine has been hard work. Vegas is one of the most surreal place I have ever been too, there is just so much to do and so much to see its crazy! I have honestly never been so unhappy to return to the UK, I can well and truly say I have post-holiday blues! So I thought what a better way to get over it than by sharing some of my tips with you all. I am going to start off with Vegas and San Francisco will follow over the next few days!
Best place on the strip to shop is Fashion Show Mall, there is everything you want there from Bath & Body Works, Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret to Nordstrom. Although if you don’t fancy walking that far, the shops at Caesars Palace are brilliant and make you feel like you are outside when you are undercover!
If you fancy a bit of discount shopping there are 2 premium outlets close by one North and one South of the strip. North outlet is the larger one with a lot more shops and I managed to come back a bargain from Kate Spade! If you fancy getting a really good bargain, you can pick up a VIP Discount Booklet from the Information kiosk at either local for $10. We did and we definitely saved quite a bit.
Don’t worry, I will be sharing my purchases with you all soon enough!
Best place to eat on the strip in my personal opinion was TAO in The Venetian. The food was superb, service was impeccable and the atmosphere was brilliant. My favourite dish was the Crispy Coconut Shrimp with Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce it was beautiful, the mix of Coconut and Peanut Sauce was lovely!
I also really enjoyed eating at Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar, we love watching Diners, Drive – In’s & Dives on the TV, so when we heard that he had a restaurant in Vegas we wanted to make sure we went in there. The drinks and food were amazing, I couldn’t eat all of my food but you could tell it was cooked to perfection.
Initially when you are looking at how much it costs to get in clubs before you go it’s mad, it’s on average $70-80 per couple just to get in – DON’T pay it! Keep your eyes peeled for people offering the chance to get on the Guest List. We managed to with every club we went into, we saw Scott Disick at 1OAK, a DJ at Light and David Guetta at XS.
XS was just brilliant; we had such a good night as a group as a whole and seeing David Guetta was once in a lifetime! The club was mad, there was several “tables” that you could hire, a room with the DJ’s in AND a pool – which I can honestly say was very warm! Don’t worry, I didn’t go for a swim, just dipped my feet in!
There aren’t many typical attractions to talk about with Vegas, but here is just a few things that I think you might fancy doing:
Gondola Ride at The Venetian – the indoor one is a must!
NY NY Rollercoaster – it’s only about 2 minutes long, but is brilliant
The Mirage Volcano – if it’s a bit nippy out, this will definitely warm you up
The Bellagio Fountains – a spectacular show
Cirque Du Soleil – we saw Mystere at Treasure Island and it was brilliant, you just don’t know where to look!
High Roller – the best view of the strip, it’s quite expensive, but I wish we could have done it during the day as well as the evening.
Finally, it’s not on the strip but if you ever get the chance to do Vegas then you have to book a trip to the Grand Canyon. We did a helicopter tour at sunset and it was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. It is simply stunning and so peaceful; it was lovely to share it with my partner, my best friend and her partner.
If you have any questions about Vegas feel free to drop me a comment and I will make sure I get back to you with any suggestions or recommendations!