Abilene to Los Angeles

usa-flight-2017-boys.pngDuration of this trip was from 28th November to 13th December so that we could take advantage of the boys’ early school break up to do one last overseas trip with them altogether

Leonie has been out for past month visiting her mother and took the opportunity to fly home with us. The purpose of this trip was to visit family in Abilene Texas so our grandsons could meet and reconnect with US family as well as experience a belated Thanksgiving dinner prepared by Leonie. We love our turkey day celebrations that is for sure!!

via Qantas QF7 (A380) Direct to Dallas great flight well looked after. Scott and Leonie were there to meet us. We picked up our Dodge Caravan hire car which was perfect for our needs.

Having previously had this type of vehicle in LA with four adults and two children on that occasion. So this time it was perfect for three teens and the grandparents (us) for our planned road trip to Los Angeles.

Beautiful West Texas Sunset
Headed West

In no time at all, we were away on our way to Abilene (2.5 hours west Dallas Fort Worth)

The first stop unanimously voted on as Cracker Barrell at Weatherford where we meet Scott and Leonie for dinner. Everything was up to its usual standard and the boys reminiscing about previous visits on their last trip.

After eight days in Abilene which included a couple days back up in Dallas/FortWorth where we did the JFK tour and visited the Fort Worth Stockyards before catching up with more family for dinner and movies.

A highlight of the stay in Abilene was the opportunity to watch a high school playoff game in the new Abilene Christian University (ACU) Stadium. It was amazing the Graham Steers were playing the Sweetwater Mustangs. Scott’s sister Stephanie teaches at Graham High and the rest of Scott’s family live in Graham, Texas so we happy to hop aboard the bandwagon and become steers supporters for the night.

Our Abilene stay included lots of good food at places like Perini ranch and BBQ brisket and a visit to Sonic which intrigued the boys no end having their orders served to the car window.


A highlight was a visit to the Abilene Heritage centre which provided a fantastic insight to Abilene down through history, the boys loved this and spent hours exploring and watching the shows and reading stories.


Soon it was time to hit the road towards Los Angeles taking in El Paso, White Sands National Monument the Santa Rosa Blue Hole and some of Route 66. It was pretty cold and miserable and wet when we set off but we made good time to be at the border for our first night. I always wanted to drive west of Abilene and keep going. Screen Shot 2018-07-18 at 11.11.53 am.png

Alberque was our next overnight stop where we ate at the Standard Diner before settling in for the night at another LaQuinta Hotel. These hotels are great budget rooms when traveling and the complimentary continental breakfasts come in handy as well.


The next stop along the way was at the historic El Ranch Hotel the historic El Rancho Hotel provides a unique Southwest Experience in the midst of the American West.  The El Rancho Hotel is a pillar of the West and was the Home of the Movie Stars throughout the 1930s to 1940s who filmed Westerns in the area.

Back on the road to our last overnight stop at the La Quinta Inn & Suites Kingman Arizona before arriving in Los Angeles.Dinner was at yet another diner, this one had not changed a thing in 50 years, Rutherford’s 66 Diner  2011 E Andy Devine AveKingman. 

We hit the road early the next morning and ready ourselves to handle the LA traffic. As I have driven in LA peak hour(s) a number of times before we thought we endeavour to get there before the peak.


We achieved this and had a good run into Hilton at Universal and checked in about 2pm.

Ian and I returned the car to the closest car hire which was at the Bob Hope airport. We took a taxi back to the Hilton and settled in for our final few days. It is always a relief to get rid of the car’s unscathed. The Hilton is the perfect location for everyone to do their own thing and for the boys to explore all that universal and the CityWalk where everyone could do their own thing. The grandparents could get a bit of a break and relax in the hotel before a full day at universal and our flight home.

We used a great car service Lansky Transfers (used previously when in LA) to collect us from the hotel and get us to LAX in plenty of time to check in and board QF12 for the flight home. Very reliable and no fuss, takes all the stress out of getting to the airport that is for sure.



This trip goes down in the archives as another successful travel experience with the boys we love being able to broaden their horizons. We like to spend their inhertiance on having great adventures and experiences with us not on us after we are gone.

13th December Flew home on QF12 from LAX

Last days before flying home

Our last few days…

Back to Hilton Anaheim which is located not far from Disney, decided to get a bit better hotel for this
part of the trip but used Hotwire.com and got the room for $80 a night.

No 1 Duck’s little brother

Although a little further from the entrance of Disney still easily walkable and near good restaurants and CVS pharmacy which is always good, they are like mini supermarkets which means we could stock up on supplies and fruit etc for the kids.Chris, Ollie and I had a down day, Ollie had been having a horror stretch of no sleep at night, started biting his tongue in his sleep again.We went for walks and slept while Charlie Emi and Sarah managed to get one more park day in.Sarah Chris and Charlie headed to ESPN bar for dinner and the kids and I had room service and settled in for some tv time.

They love Pooh
and Tigar
and Chip
My mate Tigar

These little ones are the best little travellers. Emily(4) and Oliver (2) are on their second overseas trip and with a passionate Disney lover like their mum, there will be many more trips to comeEveryone had been sick with a cold at various times during last week so everyone starting to look forward to heading to the plane, via a detour to the outlets on the way back to LAX.We decided to head back to Orange Outlets first for one last meal at the Saddle Chop Ranch before heading to Citadel to pick up some last minute things and fill in some time as it was raining today.



Car returned without incident and we all agreed we were pleased with our Chevy and the ease of checking back in and getting to airport to wait for our flight. Everyone had a great flight home, kids slept well and again we had extra seats to spread out.


Maxi taxi home for Sarah Charlie and the little ones and Ian collected Chris and I.Now where can we go next?


A look back our our Disney trip 2017…. To be added soon

Big meal for a little girl
Emi loves ribs

Hollywood, Basketball, Universal Studios and Rodeo Drive

Hollywood and Universal Studios

The next few days we headed to Hollywood before heading back for three more nights at Disney in lieu visit to Las Vegas which we decided to put off until another trip.

We set off after an iHop breakfast of pancakes and bacon.  It was decided we would call in at the Citadel Outlets on the way to our hotel in Hollywood.

Getting a reasonable hotel in Hollywood is no easy task, I alway recommend travellers stay up near universal and do day trips down to Hollywood Boulevard and Rodeo Drive.  The other alternative it to purchase and ticket on the Hop on Hop Off bus and it will allow you to visit all the areas without having to stay in the area.

Back to our visit to Citadel Shopping outlets, located on I5 they were about halfway between Disney and our Hotel in Hollywood.  Ollie was a asleep within minutes of getting in the car so I was happy

The best way to do ‘The Outlets’

to park the car and let him sleep while the others shopped.  As we didn’t was to be stuck in peak traffic we set off by 3pm to find our new home for the next 3 nights.

The traffic was heavy but not unreasonably so, my trusty navigators were on the job and we arrived at The Moment Hotel on Sunset Boulevard. A boutique hotel located along the world-famous Sunset Blvd, the Moment Hotel
Just a short five-minute walk to the famed Sunset Strip and Hollywood Walk of Fame we provide a unique one-of-a-kind Hollywood experience for guests traveling on vacation or for business. Features the chic flair of Hollywood, the modern style of LA, and the laid-back vibe of Southern California in one cutting-edge and minimalist package.

Stop number 2 of Hop on Hop Off Bus – Red Route is right across the road.

No1 Duck at it again!!!!!

After checking in we headed out to find some dinner near the Hollywood walk of Fame.

The boys were equally shocked, as I was on my first visit here, at how grubby this place was, not a sign of the glitz and glamour we all expect of Hollywood.  Dinner was at the Hard Rock Cafe, nothing to write home about but that could have more to do with how tired everyone was.  After a walk around the area we called it an early night.

Not a happy boy –
Loves his new mate

Everyone hoping Ollie would sleep without biting his tongue tonight. Sarah was running on Empty as Ollie has has some many bad nights biting his tongue in his sleep waking up screaming.

No such luck, he actually drew blood a few times in the night and his poor tongue was so sore. After a rough night we decided to hang in the hotel for the day to let Sarah catch up a bit and rest the kids up.  Chris and Charlie headed across the road to Ralph’s (a supermarket) to pick up some food and drinks.  Sarah, Ollie and Emily slept for most of the day.

In the evening we decided to head up to Universal for dinner at place that Charlie visited previously. The Saddle Ranch Chop House was excellent and just as Charlie remembered it, sure to become a favourite of ours.

It was decided that we would have another lazy start to the day tomorrow with a drive to Rodeo drive for lunch. 

Another rough but a little better night for Ollie, so after a sleep in we drove down and parked at No 2 Rodeo Drive, can’t beat the the valet parking so worth it. We had lunch at The Cheesecake Factory it was just a short wait to get in and needed to back back in time for the boys to go to basketball game.

Basketball was a bust as the main player boys came to see sat that night much to their annoyance and that of basketball fans everywhere, boys paid top dollar for good seats only to not see the best players play.
Still a good game but not what they paid for.

Our day at Universal Studios.

It was decided that after a rest up everyone was ready to tackle Universal Studios, highly recommend this as a day out for the family. Future visits we will be sure to stay up near Universal most probably

at the Hilton so that we can make full use of all the facilities around the park. Many food options and shopping opportunities to explore.

We opted for the ‘Front of line’ one day pass, a little bit more expensive but so worth it especially on busy days.  Ollie was in full flight after a couple of better night’s sleep and ready to visit all the characters.
Shrek was right there after we entered and Ollie and Emi held court with him for ages, they loved donkey sticking his head out as well.
We spent the day walking and walking, had lunch in the Moe’s bar it was good. They had the system worked out to keep the crowd moving. We landed a great table almost immediately which only enhanced our experience.  
After lunch it was off to meet Homer and the simpson characters, the kids loved this and the characters loved the kids especially since they were wearing their hats again.
The boys and Sarah did most of the rides and Emi did the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride with them.  Ollie and I found a shady spot outside and he just wandered around and amused everyone with his pluto hat.
We head to the lower level, a must do, only if the escalators are working, there is no way without them. It is a very steep descent but gives a great view over the city below. The kids said the best ride is down on this level called (to be added)
While Chris Sarah and Charlie were riding the bigger rides the kids and I spent time in the play area where Ollie had a nap before making friends with all the other kids and playing for ages.  It was a great section, only one way out so Grandma parked herself here and rested while they played.
After more rides then it was ice cream and donuts time. While the big kids got in a few more rides before we called it a day.  The boys were hoping to get to another game of basketball on the way back to Anaheim but we left the park a little too late. The gave it a miss as they were going to miss some of 1st quarter, of course it turned out to be a great game. We were all checkin at the Hilton to watch the last quarter and the boys hit the room service and Sarah and I decided we would make do with snacks from bard downstairs.  Everyone crashed pretty early and waited to see how Ollie would go.
Room Service

Not good was the answer, CVS was the answer get got some gel to numb his tongue so he managed a full day’s sleep with grandma the next day…

Disney Day and Characters Galore

After a day at the races yesterday,  the boys and I appreciated that Sarah spent half the previous day getting our passes organised before having fun in the park with Emi (4) and Ollie (2).

We set off earlyish to beat the warm day that had been forecast.

Grandma coming down with a cold so decided to hang in until later in the day before taking the little ones home for a sleep and well earned rest arvo.

After hotdogs and ice-creams in Mickeys Toontown. Ollie and Emi made their favourite purchases of the whole trip – Donald and Pulto hats.  We headed for the tea cups ride where Chris treated Sarah and Emi to the spinninest ride ever, of course his neck will be out for next few days. Hard tell his mates pick up an injury on the tea cups

The boys and Sarah stayed on at the park for the rest of the afternoon, evening and then head to ESPN bar in downtown Disney for a late dinner.

Loving the Dalmatian puppy that
comes out when the button is pressed
‘Again’ was all we heard for half an hour
Charmed all the park Photographers 

Grandma and the kids had
well earned sleep and everyone felt better for it.

After late night snack of pancakes and coffee from iHop next door to the hotel we settled down for the night.  Tomorrow it was early start with character breakfast in the park.

Our ‘No 1 Duck’

Our second trip to Disney
 in 2 years -Lucky kids
Love my Pluto Hat

‘One more’
Waiting for the pup to appear…
for the 20th time today

Character Breakfast and Our No 1 Duck meets The No1 Duck

Our no 1 Duck after Donald
showed her the stance
of all No 1 Ducks
Now where is that duck? 
Ollie with Tigar getting the obligatory autograph

Up early this morning, needed to in the park and waiting by the restaurant where we were booked in for the character buffet breakfast. This is a must do for anyone with kids visiting the park.

The is best opportunity to see a lot of characters and enjoy a very substantial buffet breakfast.

It is advisable to spend as long as you can at your table and there are ample photo ops with the various character that visit each table.

We sat on the balcony which gave a go view of the park and only had to walk a short way to access the breakfast laid out inside.

Mmmm Bacon!!!

The characters visit every table which makes again a worth while exercise for all ages, even the boys enjoyed interacting with the character. Meeting Max (Pluto’s son) and eye-ore were highlights for the the kids.

They loved all the characters Emi was a little scared of XXXX for a bit then was okay when she got to know him. The hammed it up with everyone that came by, of course the characters loved Ollie and his high fives and big grins.

How much do we all love Disney?
Right let’s get the bubble happening
See I got it
One of the many Princesses

After the breakfast it time to hit the rides, Emi went on the Big Thunder ride with her mother, Chris and Charlie, so brave for a 4 year old.

Charlie and I headed home early with Ollie who needed a sleep and Sarah and Emily needed to get around plenty more characters.

We headed back over to the park so Emi could meet No1 Duck, she dressed up in character and Donald was blown away by her. People were asking her for her autographed as she headed around the park dressed as the duck.  She loved being a little bit famous for awhile.

Uncle Chris giving me a seat for a bit
Loving Disney

Two weeks in LA – Disney, Races, Basketball and Universal Studios

Boys (Chris and Charlie) decided they would fly to LA and watch some basketball games so Sarah without much encouragement decided to pack up Emi (4) and Olli (2) and surprise them with a trip to their favourite magical place. So thought I hitch my wagon and go with them all

We stayed in town the night before we flew out, stayed near the airport in the Holiday Inn Express located near the domestic airport. A good cheap option with lots of fast food outlets nearby and a shuttle (small charge) to the International airport.

Allow plenty of time for the shuttle they may run behind and don’t want arrive at airport short of time. We are always early anyway, who wants to be stressed and rushing on holidays right.

We flew American Airlines our we lucky to have spare seats on each of our rows. The flew seem to pass by fairly quickly and the kids slept for at least 6 hours which was great.  Such good little travellers, got this while long haul flight down pat.

Landed early in the morning and were pleasantly surprised how easily we navigated through customs. This was probably quickest we have ever cleared customs in LA.  It seemed like no time at all and were we on the car rental shuttle bus on the way to collect our wheels for the next 10 days.

Not a bookie in sight

Loaded up we headed for our hotel across from disney with the hope of early check in as we were hours early. No such luck so it was off to find food and somewhere to hang out until the rooms were ready.  After awhile we headed back to wait in lobby (boys had a sleep in the car) the kids slept in foyer and the hotel to their credit got us checked in as soon as they could at 12noon which was 3 hours early and we were so grateful, it had been long day and night.

After a welcome nap everyone freshen up and we headed to downtown Disney for dinner at the rainforest cafe after a wander around we headed back to hotel to get early night ready to start our holiday.

Massive stands and heaps private boxes

We stayed at the Desert Inn which was suitable for our needs, clean even decor a little dated but best of all was the location. The location was fantastic right outside the parks and an easy walk to downtown Disney, surround with good food options such as Tony Roma’s Ihop (good for midnight pancakes and coffee to go)

Day two saw Sarah and kids heading to park for the day while boys and I headed to San Anita for the races.  What luck three Group 1s programmed with some great fields on both grass and sand tracks?

It was about an hour drive with yours truly behind the wheel and the boys on navigation duties. We arrived in one piece and were immediately amazed by the sheer size of the carpark, if this was anything to go one we were in for a day and a half.

The boys soon got the placing a pet sorted, no bookie all machines and I mean rows and rows or them.

If we were prepared to stay late to collect we were surprise we would have be able to bet on the Wellington Boot.

It was such an amazing venue with great views of the track and it was amazing that you could get so close to the horses parading and the mounting yard was always teeming with people.
Not something you would see here in Australia these days. The beer was good the food was good and both commodities readily available around the venue.

Although not a huge crowd in attendance given there were three group ones on the card it would be amazing to see the stands overflowing as I am sure they do during the Breeders Cup or Derby day.

After a slow start on the punt the boys came home with a break
even day. We agreed it was a fantastic day out and could easily become a highlight of the trip

Boys decreed that all future trips to states must include a trip to San Anita or another race meeting.

We arrived back to hotel and headed to Tony Roma’s for a steak for dinner, Sarah and the little ones arrived home from the park after a long but successful day for them as well.

Tomorrow a family disney day.

MacWool Tour 2016 – Flying and Santiago

Getting there…

Surprisingly all travellers are still in good spirits despite so many hiccups in the first few days. All started when we started to arrive at Kingsford Smith to see that our LAN 800 flight had been cancelled between Sydney and Auckland. 
The saga begins… on check in we were advised that LAN airlines had chartered a
plane to get us to Auckland to meet LAN 800. After a delay, being bused to the plane and few other minor frustrations we were on our way. 
Arrival in Auckland saw us climb aboard another bus to the terminal before a 30 minute walk then through security again to find our gate. 

What could be next, a passenger (not one of our group) got lost in the airport so after waiting for what seemed like forever we had to wait a further 20 minutes while the ground crew located and unloaded the luggage of the ‘no show’.

We were off the ground late but on our way now it was to be all plain sailing/flying right. 
Well yes if we are only talking about the 11 hour flight but true to form that was the only break coming our way for Saturday 16th Jan. 
Getting through customs etc was some and super quick but that’s when things all fell apart again. Out of the 26 in the group more than half were left watching expectantly an empty carousel go around and around with not a sign of their luggage. It was still in the land of the long white cloud the along with that of a third of the passengers on the flight.

Let’s see what tomorrow brings…

Don’t worry we said it will come tomorrow so with a quick shopping trip for urgent essentials were started our adventure. Jumping ahead three day still no sign of luggage but have told it was sent ahead of us to Punta Arenas. We won’t believe it until we get to hug our bags.
Back to  our first night deciding to put our troubles behind us we headed out to have some dinner which fantastic a sign things were on the up right. 
Well not quite but anyway we were looking forward to day two which included a visit to a winery for a tour, tasting and lunch hosted by Rabobank. This was a very pleasant day and the food was excellent and the tour tasting equal to any. 
Following lunch we will head back to hotel for a rest well almost, why not take a detour and run to the coast for a look. Great idea we all agreed should have known this was not as simple as planned. 
The run over to the coast was about an hour okay let’s have quick look and head home …at about 5 mile an hour for several hours. Sunday was a Chilean holiday and every Chilean was at the beach and driving back to Santiago with us.

Eventually we arrived back to the airport (it was decided since we were passing that we should shake a tree and see if the missing bags would fall out.) So the men without bags stayed with Michael to chase this up and girls with a couple men headed back to hotel arriving at 10:30pm in time for a very late dinner. 

What day – the bag hunters arrived back at midnight to collapse in bed. Tomorrow will be an easy day quick 3 hour flight then rest and beautiful seafood dinner in Punta Arenas. 

Plain sailing now…

Hmmm well one couple completely overslept (on account of no sleep for two days) and were awaken with the news bus was just about to leave. They were the envy of those with little or no sleep due to jet lag. No big deal we were on the road within a few minutes of planned departure time. 
Now things are back on track smooth check in and security plane departs on time and we are away. 
Wait for it…. 30 minutes into the flight there is an announcement in spanish followed but a collective groan among the spanish speaking passengers. English announcement due to a problem with pressure or navigation we are turning back to Santiago as a precaution. 
Flying back for 30 minutes in a holding pattern for another 25 minutes and here we sit on the tarmac while techs work on the problem.  Hopefully when we pick up from where I am leaving you now all will be back on track (not that things ever been on track yet). 
In 17 years of extensive travel I have never travelled with anyone losing luggage, never had more than a 30 minutes delayed flight or a cancelled flight nor a flight with issues. With the exception of one landing ‘go around’ in a heavy storm once it has been exceptional. 
A lot of firsts for me on this trip the only thing that is running true to form is the true bush spirit and positive attitude of these people. Well done everyone the laughs keep coming although they are sounding a little more hysterical by the day. Michael Blake we would have been sunk without you and your local knowledge and fluent Spanish.  
Watch this space for some exceptional highlights from here on, we have all the lowlights out of the way. 


Visit to Vino Casa Del Bosque – thank you Rabobank
They way this group has already bonded together and kept their good spirits despite everything that has been thrown their way in first few days.


Too many to list (nothing but speed humps to this group)

 More photos…

LA again….

It seems we have been in LA many times as anywhere but here we are again. The weather is wonderful and it feels so nice to see decent sunshine and enjoying the 20c plus temperatures especially after the last few weeks. It will hopefully help us to acclimatise somewhat before we head home to the heat. Ian said he will never complain about the heat again…I give him two days, three at the outside before it’s too hot and he can wait for winter.

Our flight from New York was uneventful and we very smoothly made easier by staying close to JFK in a very nice La Quinta. Best part it only cost $20 because I had earned enough loyalty points from other stays and managed to get a free night (exception taxes). It had recently been renovated and water very comfortable.

We decide as we are in Los Angeles we should visit the Walk of Fame etc. We had picked up a car at the airport on the previous night so getting there was easy with trusty Tom. We had a pleasant day wandering around and check out the Kodak Theatre (Oscars) and other attractions. On the way home, we headed to the coast and drove from Venice beach down past Del Rae marina. I have never seen so many watercraft tied up in one place. It was incredible to think of how many people own boats here. I guess lots of money, water and sunshine are key factors.


The next day we headed to Disneyland which was fun and we put in a full day. It was good but maybe not quite as good as the Orlando Disneyland but still well worth the money. We didn’t go to other parks in the complex just Disneyland.








The weather was perfect and we walked all day before boarding the train for one last ride around the park before heading home to an Italian dinner. We found this place on our first night in from New York and it was outstanding so we thought it fitting to have our last dinner here.

Tomorrow we check out and return the car before flying out to Oz at 10.30pm and the trip will be done.

First, we have to pack and getting everything it will be fun. Each case must be under 23kgs and that is the challenge.

We land at 8.30am Sunday 17th and should be home at lunchtime.

The coast road from San Fransico to Los Angeles





We set off early with only a 2 hour drive through some really pretty countryside. Monterey was decided on as our first of two overnight stops along the way. Monterey was is just outside Carmel by the Sea which is a very exclusive place to visit and the quaint little shops were interesting but certainly on the high end price-wise and if you didn’t have a dog on a leash you felt positively underdressed. Each of the stores had a dog water bowl on the footpath for the pooches. We wandered for a couple of hours and then headed back to Monterey for an early dinner at Chilli’s before retiring to the hotel. The food was great as was the hotel.

Day two we headed off down highway 1. The weather was clear and the drive again was very scenic. Today we were headed for Ventura which is only two hours north of LA. This is certainly worth doing and I would recommend this drive to anyone. The driving was not too difficult and there are lots of places to pull over to take pictures and a break.

A highlight was a stop off to view the elephant seal colony, although they were not what you would call energetic.

Tomorrow we fly to Abilene where we will stay for Christmas. Bring on the West Texas BBQ.

San Francisco

As mentioned in previous post the rain as forecast was coming down, although it was easier throughout the middle of the day. We headed to Fisherman Wharf and parked the car in a nearby carpark. We decided given the weather to catch the Hop on Hop off bus around the downtown area and some of the main sites. We will take the other route across the Golden Gate bridge tomorrow. The bus ride was very informative and I didn’t realise this was where Levi jeans were first made and remains the world head quarters for this company.

After the tour we headed for Pier 39 to check out the shops and the seals snoozing on the docks. Not so many today but enough to make the walk worthwhile. After spending time taking photos of the seals and of Alcartraz which could be seen easily from the end of the pier. We decided on lunch at where else but Bubba Gumps and yes we all had shrimp but I also had the clam chowder, I can never resist a good chowder. After a very enjoyable lunch, our table overlooked the bay, we head back to the pier for a wander through the stores.

The rain was starting to get heavier so we decided to call it a day, collect the car and head back to the hotel.

Day 2 saw the weather improve a little but still showering heavily at times. The sun tried hard a couple of times to put in an appearance but not successful. The day started for us after parking the car again near Fisherman’s Wharf the catching the Hop on Hop off tour over the Golden Gate bridge and in to Sausolito. We donned the rain ponchos provided and proceeded to top of the bus, Sharpie declined and stayed downstairs and dry. Not sure why he wouldn’t want to ride around in top of open double decker bus in the rain ducking rain soaked tree branches.

It was so worth a bit of moisture and cold to experience driving across the Golden Gate in such a way. The views of the city and the bay were ourstanding and the guide commented on the views as often in good weather fog or smog blocks the view. The next part of the journey was to the quaint, very exculusive and expensive Sausolito. This was interesting and on a fine day it would have been fun to wander around and catch the ferry back to the city, not for us given the weather.

After a hot chocolate and drying off a bit we headed to Union Square and visited Macy’s, very crowded with shoppers so we didn’t hang around long before taking a drive around some of the steep streets for a look before heading back to the hotel, it was teaming with rain by this time and Ian was doing well with the driving especially through the main part of the city in such conditions. We had a very early dinner or late lunch at Denny’s which was located next to our hotel. A wet but enjoyable visit in San Francisco tomorrow we head back towards Los Angles via the coast road.