The first of my California blog posts is officially here! I've decided to put them together as a day-by-day diary so I can fully get into what we did, what we ate, where we stayed and what we would recommend. I do also have vlogs to edit so if you fancy things in more of a moving format then keep your eyes peeled for those!
We booked our whole trip through Virgin Holidays as I have always been with my mum on package holidays with them. While it may be a bit more expensive to do it that way, its probably the quickest and simplest way to book a road trip type holiday if you don't want to stay in motels or hostels. The travel agent also knew a lot more about which routes to take and where to visit as we didn't have much of an idea of what was achievable in terms of driving distances. So if you're not sure where to start then going to a travel agent like this can be really helpful to get some ideas and plans.
As our package was through Virgin Holidays obviously we flew with Virgin Atlantic. In the past I have always loved flying with them but this trip wasn't as good as previous ones we have had. While they did provide the cutest mini Fabs everrrrr (see below), the overall feel wasn't that good. On 2 of the 3 meals they had run out of options by the time they got to us and we had to have what was left, both times it was the one we didn't want, and while this obviously is complete #firstworldproblems, the air hostess didn't seem very apologetic about it. A few of them also weren't very friendly when we went to ask them for some assistance a couple of times. It just wasn't the standard I have had in the past from Virgin.
But once we landed in San Francisco all annoyances were immediately forgotten (after a 45 minute wait to declare a cheese sandwich that we didn't even need to declare, fail!). When we stepped out to our transfer we were told that they were having the biggest heatwave of the year and it would last until the day we were leaving, perfect!
We landed in the afternoon so as soon as we got to our hotel and dumped our bags we headed out to check out what San Francisco has to offer. Annoyingly I didn't take any photos of our hotel, but we stayed at the Holiday Inn Fisherman's Wharf. It's the second time I've stayed there and I would definitely recommend it as it's in the perfect location to head out in the evening with the Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39 area in about a 5-20 minute walking distance (depending on your walking speed and what area you want to see).
As I have been to San Francisco before I roughly knew my way around so we straight away headed for Pier39 as I knew it was nearby and would have stuff for us to look at even in the evening. On the pier we stumbled across this circus performer show which was really funny to watch. Bearing in mind at this point it was around 4am to us in UK time, so we were rather tired by this point! But we had a stroll around the pier and took in the beautiful views of the bay.
Feeling slightly peckish, we noticed that there was a Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant on the pier so we thought it would be the perfect place to have our first meal of the trip. Not so much. We asked for a table by the window so we could see the sunset by Alcatraz and they said we would have to wait about 10 minutes. Over 30 minutes went by with no one telling us anything, then they sat us nowhere near the window, forgot half of our order, forgot Luke's drink and instead gave him a cocktail, then took longer than the food to replace it for a beer. All in all a bit of a disastrous meal, I probably wouldn't recommend going here judging by our experience, but they may have been having an off day, who knows!