Tom + Zara's Travels

The previously mentioned Bubblegum Alley - San Luis Obispo. Pretty disgusting isn’t it - times like these when you wish your screen had a scratch n sniff button….

The previously mentioned Bubblegum Alley - San Luis Obispo. Pretty disgusting isn’t it - times like these when you wish your screen had a scratch n sniff button….


So far on our American road trip, we have driven over 2,200 miles down the west coast from Seattle to Central California and I have to say, the Big Sur has been my absolute favourite journey so far. 

The Santa Lucia Mountains abruptly rise and the rugged coastline spans on for over 90 miles - each mile absolutely breath taking. The California Highway 1 along this stretch hugs the coast as the long, windy road takes you in, out and around the mountains. Despite climbing over 5,100 feet above sea level, you never seem to be too far away from the glistening shores of the Pacific Ocean which let me tell you, dramatically changes from the normal dark blue shades to a wonderful green the closer you get to San Luis Obispo. 

We pulled over a few times to take a few pictures and were lucky enough to see a couple of whales feeding in the waters close by. One American chap who had a set of binoculars seemed to think these were Killer Whales (gulp). 

We really wanted to stop off at Hearst Castle to break up the 140+ mile journey but unfortunately,  there was a big bike event happening which not only added an extra hour on to our drive time (they hog the roads don’t they these cyclists), but the race was ending at the castle so we decided against it in the end.    

Not long after driving past Hearst Castle we noticed a group of cars parked up on the other side of the road and lots of people taking pictures…..Zebras! Lots of them all playing together in a field with some horses. Amazing! Such beautiful animals. I would have loved to have shown you some pictures but Tom wouldn’t pull over (he says he couldn’t, I disagree).

We eventually arrived in San Luis Obispo later than expected but what a lovely, town. Very quaint, it’s a University town with lots of shops, bars and restaurants etc. We settled at Main Street Grille and had a feast and wandered back to our motel via Bubblegum Alley - yep, an alley with walls (21m long by 15ft high) covered in chewing gum. It was pretty disgusting but smelled surprisingly fruity. 

We met up with our fiends Sara and Marc who are currently doing a 10 day road trip of some of the west coast for their honeymoon. We planned to meet in Monterey (the sardine capital of the world apparently), a pretty city built around a bay with lots of shops, restaurants and bars - the perfect for a good old fashioned knees up.
We spent the afternoon at Fisherman’s Wharf, familiarising ourselves with our new surroundings before settling at Monterey Wine Market and Bistro for a glass of vino where we took a window table and watched the seals playing in the sea and even spotted (another) whale. This was a beautiful spot.
After more drinks at The Chart House we then headed to El Torito for dinner. Boy do the Mexicans know how to serve drinks. Whilst I drank frozen margaritas (when in Rome), the others drank beers which came served in comically huge glasses but only 16oz apparantly?
We stuffed ourselves with Mexican food and had a few giggles along the way.

Marc gave us a £1 coin and just holding it in our hands felt so strange because of the range of currencies we’ve gotten used to over the last 12 months. It felt so heavy and looked so…BIG? I think the conversation even stopped for a few minutes whilst me and Tom looked on in awe at this coin. Sounds strange I know!

It was so great to see some familiar faces (and get lots of hugs from
Sara) after being away from home for so long. Enjoy the rest of your honeymoon Sassa and Marc you’re going to have an amazing trip that you will remember forever! Thank you for letting us gatecrash for the night and we owe you dinner when we get back home!

I went off in search of a road map and behold….

Only a week or so ago I realised how much I was missing the sanctuary of computer games. I’d left Zara knitting at home at our airbnb so I could find a road map to log and better plan our adventures. I found a dark dungeon type room with some very friendly bum fluffy bearded teenagers with enormous TV screens playing video games. I spent an hour in there after a whatsapp request to Zara. I went back again later that evening…and the next day where Zara had to sit and knit for an hour and a half.

The previous day we found an arcade which had a retro selection of games for 25c a go! Frogger, Soul Calbre, Star Wars, Asteroids, Strikers, Pacman, Track n Field. 

The best 2 days of our entire journey around the world.

Having some fun in the arcades in Santa Cruz. Did you know this is where some scenes from Lost Boys were filmed? Unfortunately the fairground was closed so we weren’t able to play on the roller coasters and I’m still getting over the fact that there wasn’t a helter-skelter in site. What kind of fairground doesn’t have a helter skelter?!


Our airbnb in Coarsgold. Chillin after our HUGE (sarcasm) hikes in Yosemite and before we head back to the coast.

Yosemite…or Yossymight as Dad calls it. 

San Francisco

San Francisco!

San Francisco!

San Francisco!

San Francisco!