Surf sighting in San Diego 

America

Our little trek family from front: Leanne, Shona, Clare, myself and Emma

Back to sea level in San Diego for the final full day of the trip! 

This was one of those places where I had no idea what to expect, but it turned out to be a favourite.  

Most of the crew I am travelling with wanted to go to the zoo, however I have seen many zoos and after Africa, I didn’t feel like I needed to spend the money going in to see caged animals so I ended up at the beach. I was so desperate for a swim after being out of the water for almost a month that I was willing to brave the chilly Spring water and go in alone. 

It was perfect. 

There were a few of us at the beach so we played a round of mini golf (which Kristy and I tied over but I’m claiming victory for because I got two hole in ones).

We ate lunch overlooking the Pacific Ocean in a pub with some of the best food on the trip. 

Later in the afternoon I wandered down to the harbour and sat reminiscing about the past three weeks over cheap beers.

I think the reason I loved San Diego is because it had a fun Uni vibe. Loads of young, educated people who share a love of the beach. For me, it was the kind of place I could live and the vibe I miss every day. You can’t go back, but sometimes I wish I could. 

We stayed in the Gaslamp district which was packed with bars and late night shopping stops and our last meal altogether was at the Cheesecake Factory. In addition to the most amazing cheesecake of my life, their meals were also delicious. 

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Corfu, Greece

Europe

It’s been a mixed bag in Greece, the halfway point of the trip. On the one hand, it is beautiful. A warm, Mediterranean oasis. Pretty beaches, balmy weather cute shops and beautiful views.

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Despite the rainy day, you can’t beat a good ocean view

On the other hand, it rained all day on our free day. What are the damn odds? I managed to get a good walk in down to a little monastery that seems to be the postcard picture for Corfu and a nice Greek coffee. Then it started pissing down and continued in that fashion for the rest of the day.

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Monastery

The problem was that in the hotel there isn’t a lot to do other than lie by the pool. Which I couldn’t do because it was raining. There isn’t much to do around the hotel as it is too far to walk to town in the rain, too rainy to lie on the beach, and too expensive to do any of the activities like the aqua park (which lets be honest, I wouldn’t want to do even if it was less than 25 euro because I spent 5 years working in one). So basically, I was stuck with crap wifi and on a lounge for the entire afternoon. Most people enjoyed the relaxation, but I felt like I wanted to throw my iPad off the balcony into the pool because I might as well have been using dial up.

On the plus side, I had a fantastic Greek lunch in a local restaurant down the road with a friend. I tried proper baklava and souvlaki. Very delicious. Also on the plus side, the people that did go to the aqua park said it was meh so I didn’t miss anything by not going. On the even better plus side again, the wine her is ridiculously cheap and served in a plastic cup that holds way more than a wine glass. They also serve it with a straw.

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The exact moment I decided I liked Greece after all.

Nice, French Riviera

Europe

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After a full day of driving we arrived on the French Riviera! Most beautiful place. It is sunny here 300 days a year (it was raining on our free day here). People are sent here to get well and relax and I can see why. I could probably even live here to be honest. Alas, I wouldn’t be able to fly my private jet in like Elton John did today, but I came in a topdeck bus and that’s kind of the same thing ish… Right?

We spent the first morning doing a spot of shopping, before wandering the beach before stopping for a baguette ( it’s just the done thing here). Unfortunately the rain put us off swimming and pointed us to a massage parlour. IN THE NAME OF MY WELLBEING OKAY!

Later on in the afternoon we visited a place called frangonard. It’s a perfumery en route to Monaco. We were shown how it is made, how the scents are created, learnt about noses (the people who create the perfumes) and got to sample and maybe buy a little (loads) of stuff.

Continuing along the coast we ended up in Monaco this evening, where I pretended to be rich and famous, hanging outside the Monte Carlo casino. I literally couldn’t even afford to go in let alone place any bets so instead our little group wandered down to tic toc, a reasonably priced italian restaurant, and ate some pizza, in our fineries. We walked down the Grand Prix track, stopped at a couple more bars, and ended up having a night rich in experience. I guess actually being rich would be nice here though. I’d buy a yacht and park her up with James Packer’s.

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Monaco!

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Feeling rich… In experiences.