Travelling the world
At this time of year I feel inundated by holiday advertisements. I have two travel goals for this year, I have no idea how I am going to achieve them but that’s not the point. Goal one is to visit my Father and Stepmother in California. Goal two is to return to Australia for an extended (several months) visit. Both are quite long journeys, so I would prefer to travel Business (I’m not fussy, it doesn’t have to be First all the time!) and I would like to travel with my family. So that is five Business Class returns to LA and five Business Class returns to Melbourne. Just a small ask.
Until such time as the Universe decides it is the appropriate moment for our trips I make do with armchair travel. First I book the flights, it’s coming up to winter in Oz so we’ll start with the LA trip.
9.00am depart Newcastle, change at Heathrow and arrive LA at 17.15 local time cost £17,440
We will need a car big enough for seven people (so we can all travel together when we go out with my parents) plus luggage. When in Rome and all that we opted for a Cadillac Escalade which comes to a whopping £3,838.
We will start off in LA and bearing in mind we want to be relatively close to my parents who live on the edge of Beverly Hills, but in an apartment too small to accommodate all of us we have decided to eschew the assorted newcomers to the block and various boutique hotels and are sticking with our old favourite the Beverly Wilshire. As there will be five of us I am opting for a Corner Suite with the option of additional bedrooms. This will be approximately £58,374 for 23 nights. So far so pricey…
Most of the time we will probably just hang out with my parents. But there are a few must do items.
- Breakfast at Factors, a lovely deli on West Pico. In fact, I suspect that if the girls have their way we would have breakfast there every day.
- Santa Monica. Lunch at Shutters followed by the pier and a walk on the beach.
- Universal and Disneyland. I know they are smaller than Florida, but that’s why I like them.
- The Getty Villa and Museum
- La Brea Tar pits – I just think they are fascinating
- Malibu, sadly Alice’s restaurant is no more, but I am sure we can find a suitable alternative
- Lake Arrowhead
- Surfing at Huntingdon Beach
Come the 15 July the girls will head home and the Boss and I will take our leave of LA and head up the One very, slowly through Napa and finally ending up in San Francisco. We no longer need the big car and swap it for a rather gorgeous Bentley Continental Convertible at a cost of £24,910
First stop Santa Barbara with two nights at the Simpson House Inn, and then on through San Luis Obispo to Big Sur where we rather fancied four nights at the Post Ranch Inn. This is serious luxury with a price tag to match, but what the heck, we might as well push the boat out every now and then, so we chose the Post House, a private one bedroom “house” with its own hot tub and stunning views. In fact I am wondering if four nights is enough. Prices are not available for the private houses so I have had to guestimate based on the price of their more expensive suites and reckon we are looking at about £6,700 for the four nights……
Finally we will drag ourselves away and pull in at Carmel and Monterey. The former famous for having Clint Eastwood as Mayor in the late eighties and the latter for its canneries (remember Cannery Row by John Steinbeck), now a vast aquarium. Many of the hotels are based around golf clubs, and as neither of us are remotely interested in golf we thought we might try L’Auberge right in the middle of Carmel itself for a couple of nights.
Our final stop off before we head north into the Wine Country will be Santa Cruz. Lovely though the beachside may be and I am sure we will spend at least some time down on the Broadwalk, we loved the look of The Babbling Brook Inn up in the redwoods. Three nights in this gorgeous retreat will add approximately £605 to our bill.
Time to leave the coast and head up into Wine Country. We start in Napa with a night at The Milliken Creek Inn . From here we have plenty of time to explore wineries, perhaps take a dawn balloon ride. Then we move on to Foodie Heaven in Yountville. The Lavender Inn will be perfect, and we will have to book dinner at The French Laundry, pick up some pastries from Bouchon Bakery and if I don’t get a picnic from the Oakville Grocery I will have a hissy fit.
Finally we will bed down for the two nights at the Luxe Inn B&B (B&B is quite different in the States!) in Calistoga before heading south to San Francisco.
Accommodation costs for our Pacific Coast Highway and Wine Country trip come to a staggering £9,914
Once back in the city we opt for a bit of fun and book in to The Argonaut on Fisherman’s Wharf. We have a week in San Francisco before we head back home and this is the first time in our trip where we have no plans at all. This is the city where we just want to hang out and see where the mood takes us.
So my armchair travel has cost me absolutely nothing but I have had the most wonderful time planning. Were I to hit the buy button this trip would come to an earth shattering £117,722 Bet the Boss is pleased I kept the credit card in my purse!
More seriously, there are a lot of things that we would love to do but circumstances prevent us. It could be finances, time, physical ability even fear. But there is absolutely nothing whatsoever stopping you doing whatever you want in your mind. Plan that trip, watch videos taken by people whilst they skydived you don’t have to get out of your chair to get out of your comfort zone and have a wild adventure.