19 things to expect when you move to California 

1. Everyone back home (a.k.a England) thinks your life is now all beaches, sunbathing and eating kale.

2. You will loose the ability to walk anywhere. Driving is life.

3. Prepare to spend too many hours of your life stuck in traffic.

4. Get used to answering the question “where about’s are you from in England?” with something that has to be related to your home town’s distance from London or Manchester. Any other attempts to explain your origins will be met with blank stares.  Continue reading

How did we get here?

What feels like a lifetime ago, almost 4 years to the day, to be precise, me and D were about to share one of our best summers. Looking back, it was one of our hardest, and most challenging, but it still has to go down as one of our best. And there is a reason to me telling you about it: it’s the story behind how we got to where we are now. Those three short months of Summer 2013 play a huge part in how our lives have turned out. So, kick back, grab your favourite snack and enjoy this short segment of our life so far. Continue reading

Vegas baby!

Vegas had always been on our list to visit while living on this side of the world and we are so lucky that we made it happen in our first year. We had been talking about it, looking at hotels and flight prices for a few weeks when one evening, D suddenly snapped his laptop closed, exclaiming “I’ve done it! We’re going”. He had booked us three nights at The Venetian. I couldn’t wait! Three nights exploring the glitz and glamour of the lights of Vegas. Bring it on!

We arrived at The Venetian hotel on a Friday evening and quickly made our way to the check-in desk. I had read several things online about offering tips to the clerk and asking if there were any complimentary upgrades Continue reading

Travel bucket list

We all have places we want to see. I have lost count of the times I have said to D “I would like to go to *insert random place name*”. The most recent one was Texas. I saw a TV advert for TravelTexas and it just looked like so much fun. But that’s the main reason why we say we would like to go to a place, right? We see something in the media, we read a book set in that place, or we know someone who has been there and they’ve told you all the interesting tales of adventures and exploits in a foreign land. And you want to do the same. So here’s my list of places I would like to visit. I won’t give it a “before I die” scenario; they’re just places that I think would be nice to see, with my own eyes and create some of my own tales to tell those who will listen.

#1 Australia

As much as the stories of snakes in toilets, and spiders falling from car sun visors scare the living daylights out of me, I would still give it a go. I would love to see Uluru (Ayers Rock), dive in the Great Barrier Reef with creatures who have too many teeth and explore the streets of Sydney to find those quirky cafes and bars that every city has to have. It’s a dream to see the southern hemisphere and experience the “backwards seasons” that just make my mind spin (I mean, 30ºC+ heat on Christmas Day?! *mind blown*). Sydney.jpg Continue reading

Palo Alto in a day

The first time that I visited the West Coast I found a small haven that I instantly fell in love with. It was a town that just took my heart and it made me realise that I could picture myself living here one day. Fast forward 4 years to 2017 and I want to introduce you to Palo Alto.

Calling Palo Alto a “small town” isn’t really correct. It’s larger than a town, but not quite on the city-scale. It’s 30 minutes south of San Francisco and is the birth place of many tech companies, such as Hewlett Packard, SurveyMonkey, and Groupon. I guess I shouldn’t leave out that Palo Alto is also the home of Stanford University, the world’s 2nd best place to study. It’s a place that gets it’s name from the 1,077 year old sequoia tree that still grows there, and is the Spanish translation of the term “tall tree”.

But it’s not the tall trees or tech companies that has me loving Palo Alto. It’s the small-town feel and the ability to find something to eat from a different corner of the world every 20 feet, because let’s face it, a day out isn’t complete without the smells and feels of tons of different foods that you can’t eat because of your commitment to your current no-carbs, no-sugar, no-fun, healthy eating.

Despite that, I took some time out last week and ventured towards Palo Alto. It was rainy, cold and dreary which meant my first stop had to be coffee at my much loved Blue Bottle Coffee. It’s housed in an old cinema with so much character, a beautiful fountain and plenty of outdoor seating in the courtyard, more suited to a summers day than the one I arrived on, but hey-ho, I wasn’t going to let a little rain put me off! I ordered my coffee* and took my seat outside, ready to enjoy some people-watching and Instagram-stalking.

*The cookie accidentally landed on my plate and it would have been rude to turn it away..

Continue reading

A walk on the beach

A walk on the beach? In mid-January? You must be kidding, I hear you all shout. And we didn’t freeze our butts off? Nope! It even started to get a little toasty the longer we stayed. Am I making you all jealous yet? I hope not 😉

So me and D took the opportunity to spend a lazy afternoon in the small town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, which is just over an hour away from where we live in San Jose. So many people had told us about the town and how pretty it was but it took us over a year to get there! And after just a short visit, I want to go back to explore some more. Among the independent shops and restaurants, you can find quaint coffee shops and bakeries, similar to those that you can find in rural villages and towns in the UK. I even stopped (perhaps a little too long) to ogle the treats they had on offer.

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As our trip was a flying visit, we didn’t get to sample any of the treats that they had to offer, Continue reading

A weekend in LA

Since being in the US, D and I have been lucky to be able to visit lots of exciting places. Most of our trips have been in California, with the exception of Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe. At the beginning of September we planned a weekend away to Los Angeles with an old friend from the U.K! We spent two nights in the city, saw many interesting things and walked plenty of miles.

So here is it, my top 10 tips for an awesome trip in LA!

Keep it central

LA is a very big city, with a lot of interesting things to see. But they are pretty well spread out. Depending on what you want to see/do, try to find in a hotel that is central to that area. Common sense, right? We stayed at the BLVD Hotel and Suites, two blocks north of Hollywood Boulevard Continue reading