Last year our family of seven embarked on a 3-week road trip in California, Nevada, and Utah. It was a daunting prospect to be on the road with 5 children aged 12 and under, but we found a way to make it fun and manageable. It took a lot of forward planning to make our trip the best holiday we have ever had.
We arrived in San Francisco late in the day and headed straight to Baker Beach where we met up with my sister, Sarah, and her family who flew in from Washington. Sarah has planned the next stage of the road trip, as this is her dream “vacation” (she’s American now), and she had kids of ideas of things to see and do. So I wasn’t expecting to walk onto the beach to have a fantastic view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
After our two days at Yosemite, we drove back to the coast to the unmissable Monterey Bay Aquarium. This was top of my sister’s list of things she wanted to do in California.
It didn’t look like much from the outside, especially for a well-renowned tourist attraction, I did wonder why it is said that this aquarium is the number one in the world.
When we arrived at Zion it was midday, which actually became 1pm as we drove into a different time-zone. It was HOT and the car park was full so we had to park in town. We soon realised that we weren’t prepared for this. We didn’t know that we would be encountering 25 degrees heat, and didn’t have enough shorts or sun hats.
I had no idea how many stars there were on the Walk of Fame. There are around 2,500 stars that cover 15 blocks. It was really exciting at first, spotting all the names of celebrities. The kids didn’t recognise many names – but they did see a few: Daniel Radcliffe, Donald Trump, Shrek, Winnie the Pooh. We read as many as we could, but the streets were inevitably busy with tourists, street performers, and cameramen.
The second day of our road trip we were still in California, and we spent the morning at Descanso Botanical Gardens. Another early start for us jet-lagged brits, and it was already hot! We thought that the weather was hot all the time in California, but people kept telling us that we were having great weather.