I am on a whistle stop tour of California with my son. He is writing a blog which will be published soon which is hilarious in that it is honest, from the heart and to the point, something travel writers rarely are. So taking a leaf from Tom's excellent diary, I'll keep this brief as well. Spent a week in San Francisco. San Francisco does not need a week, it needs a few days and then it needs sunshine. It's like London was with more wind and more homeless. It has the potential to make a tolerant person intolerant it talks about tolerance so much. Alcatraz was sad and diabolical and fascinating and worth going to but you need to book up to a month in advance for a trip there. Don't just go round the island, get a trip that goes on it. Cycling over the Golden Gate bridge is only a cool thing to do if the weather is warm so don't go in summer. The bridge is not golden, it is international orange. I have a dress the same colour but I call it rust. The hotels reminded me of those in The Shining. 1950s style, huge, slightly altered state staff and I turned each corner expecting rivers of blood running down the endless corridors and room service to bash through the door with axes screaming 'Here's Johnny'. Book a charming bed and breakfast in town or outside of which there are many, but do it in advance. The Italian Quarter is wonderful. Pier 39 your teenagers will love. Fab foodie place and great for teenage cool clothes. Nuff said. Oh yes, and excessively foggy. The Fog was filmed here as were loads of other films.
Then onto Yosemite, Wonderful in every way, except the van driver lost the keys so we missed a hike went on another one and nearly got lost as well. Hugged a Sequoia because it's rude not to and crawled through a dead one. Saw a bear with two cubs in first five minutes of being there although told bears are rare. And then we were onto Death Valley, which was 123 degrees, fascinating, met a ranger with a braid, imagined if we got stuck it could potentially be across between The Hills Have Eyes One and Two. If you have been there yourself you would agree. And now in Vegas which is a place where the characters from the Hills Have Eyes party when they're not eating people in them there hills. I vowed I would never go once and now I've gone twice in one year. Seen the fountains and the strip and stood by the sign and seen the light show and going to spend time at the M and M store as Im with a 13 year old and this place is for 20 somethings and 30 somethings who lack imagination and 40 somethings and 50 somethings who need a life. Can't wait for Canyon.