Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Pacific Coast Highway, San Francisco and Hawaii Honeymoon

I often find myself talking about my honeymoon in blog chats etc but as I got married before I started blogging, it's not something I've ever written a post on. I decided that I'd write a post about it, mainly so I could remember it all over again! What more fitting post to publish on Valentine's Day than my favourite photos from our honeymoon.


Los Angeles

We started our honeymoon in Los Angeles, flying in two days after our wedding! It was pretty hectic but worth the rush. 

We had a helicopter flight over LA booked as one of our wedding gifts. Although I was nervous about the flight, it turned out to be a fantastic experience and one I'd definitely recommend if you can at all afford it! 



You just do NOT get a view of the Hollywood sign like this when you're on the ground in LA. The flight was just the two of us and the pilot and he was fantastic - explained what we were flying over, showing us the sights of LA such as the Playboy Mansion, theme parks and country clubs. It was spectacular.

We also visited Venice Beach and dipped our feet in the Pacific Ocean. I'd waited a LONG time to do that! 




We didn't stay in LA for long though, it was time to start our trip up to San Francisco.


Pacific Coast Highway

We planned on spending a few days driving up the Pacific Coast Highway, stopping in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Monterey. We hired a car and just took our time, stopping when we fancied it, lunching on the route. 



Hearst Castle


We visited Hearst Castle on our trip which was a special request of mine! Hearst Castle is a mansion which was owned by William Randolph Hearst. He had a private zoo in the grounds and you can still see zebras and other wild animals roaming the land. 




After that, it was a night in Santa Barbara in a beautiful hotel called The Inn by the Harbor. Our room had a door onto a balcony which stepped straight down to the pool. We spent some time exploring Santa Barbara which was a gorgeous town. 

The Madonna Inn

This was also another special request of mine. Don't worry, Mr T got his special requests later on in the honeymoon - Yosemite! 

Madonna Inn is, quite simply, the most unique, and possibly pinkest, hotel I have ever stayed in. The Madonna Inn has been around since the 1950s and consists of over 100 rooms, each decorated to a unique theme. Each room has a name relating to its theme. You could just spend days here exploring different rooms! We only stayed for one night but wow...what a night! 

Some of the rooms have rock waterfall showers and we had to choose one of these! We stayed in the Bridal Falls room, fitting while we were on our honeymoon. The room was almost entirely clad in rock and a beautiful handcrafted stained glass window. 




We ate the The Madonna Inn restaurant....almost entirely pink with the most delicious food. There was a pianist playing and couples ballroom dancing around us. 




Monterey

While in Monterey, we visited Carmel and spent some time in the permanent Christmas shop they have there - Kris Kringle!

We also visited LouLou's Griddle in the Middle which had featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. 

Yosemite

This was Mr T's personal request...as an outdoors lover, he really wanted to visit Yosemite. When we got there, it was SO hot!! We spent a lot of time exploring the valley floor, eating at Ahwahnee (now called The Majestic Yosemite Hotel) and generally being just a bit outdoorsy! 

I especially loved the rock tunnel at one of the entrances to the park and this enormous sequoia tree trunk that had significant dates pinned onto going back to Robin Hood! 



 Hawaii

From Yosemite, we drove to San Francisco airport and flew to Hawaii. We stayed in Waikiki at one of the Outrigger hotels and I'll be honest, I could have stayed there forever. I adored Hawaii. 

Again, we completed a helicopter ride over the island - our wedding guests had been so generous and we were able to afford to splash out on different experiences. 

We also visited a luau where our rep warned us to steer clear of the Long Island Iced Tea unless we wanted to "dance the hula upside down." 

Of course, no trip to Honolulu would be complete for a history geek without visiting Pearl Harbor. This was such a poignant place to visit - we'd already seen it from the air and every detail of the trip is ingrained on my mind. 


Diamond Head Crater 





USS Arizona and memorial 

San Francisco

After a magical 10 days in Hawaii, we flew back to San Francisco...to cloud and mist! We didn't have very long there so crammed in a visit to Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge and a few open-topped bus tours which were well worth the money for a pass. 






And finally, after three weeks, we flew home. Exhausted, tanned and thrilled with our first long distance holiday!

What's your dream honeymoon destination?

Tori xx
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