It’s less than one month until my west coast Canada/USA trip.
Not that I’m counting or anything.
I threw a lot of possibilities out there in my previous post when I announced the trip, but things are coming together now and I wanted to let you in on what I’ll be getting up to…
Days 1-3: Vancouver
I’m flying into Vancouver where I’ll be meeting my boyfriend, Alan. Jetlag will be particularly interesting as I leave London at 10:30am and arrive in Vancouver on the same day at 11:35am.
And when you’ve got jetlag, what better than that same afternoon to go ziplining on Grouse Mountain? “Yolo”, and all that…
It’s my dream to kayak with Orcas, but these trips last a while if you want to be in with a good chance to see them. As we’re short on time, we’ll be going on an Orca zodiac boat trip on our last day in Vancouver. I’m very excited, and if I see them I might get so emotional and cry. If I don’t see them, I’ll also probably cry. Either way, leaving Vancouver will be emotional.
Otherwise, we’ll be exploring Vancouver leisurely, hopefully with my Canadian friend and blogger Monika as our guide! I completely trust her taste in places, so I know she’s the number one person to show us around.
Day 4: Seattle
We’re hopping on the Amtrak train early on Day 4 and spending the day in Seattle. We were orginally going to spend a night here, but I’ve learnt on past travels that if your gut is telling you to stay longer somewhere else, then just do it. So, we sacrificed a night in Seattle for another night in Portland. I’m sorry, Seattle.
It’ll be a whirlwind visit in Seattle, so if you have any must-sees, let me know!
Days 4-7: Portland
This is really only days 5 and 6, as we arrive late on Day 4 and leave bright and early on Day 6. But I’m thrilled to finally be going to Portland, after all the praise I’ve heard about it (and quiz results telling me I should live here).
We want to drink all of the beer. We’re considering doing a brewery tour with BrewCycle – if you’re from London, you may have seen this sort of thing before: a sort of trolley table, each pedalling from their seat. It looks like heaps of fun, and they seem like a really switched-on company to do it with!
Colombia Gorge River is one of the Seven Wonders of Oregon, and it basically looks like magic. I’m convinced it turns into Narnia (pre-White Witch) with little nymphs and animals dancing around. We’ll be aiming to take a hike or two here – and number one on my list is seeing Oneonta Gorge. A narrow stream, closed in by vibrant moss covered walls, leading to a waterfall? Um, hell yeah.
Day 7: Oregon Coast
I know. We’re taking on a lot for one day. The Oregon coast is meant to be incredible – but the thing is, I’ve barely heard of it until starting to research this trip. I’m really intrigued, as the beaches look beautiful, but in a wild, rugged way, and there are sand dunes where you can sandboard. This is on the list, but definitely depends on time.
We’re planning on starting from the town of Seaside and Cannon Beach down to Cape Arago. Camping is the name of the game on this stretch, and we’re trying out staying in a Yurt one night.
Day 8: Crater Lake
Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!! Excuse my outburst, but I can’t quite express how much I’m looking forward to seeing the deepest and (one of the) clearest lake of the USA. If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know I love big, expansive landscapes where I feel tiny, and this is one that I expect will overwhelm me.
You can even jump off a little cliff into the water at one part, something I very much want to do. After doing something similar on the Great Ocean Road and realising how liberating it is, I want the adrenaline rush again.
Day 8-9: Redwoods & Pacific Coast Highway
We get into our campsite amongst the Redwood trees – Jedediah Smith Redwood Campground – meaning even more spectacular views on the evening of Day 8. Day 9, we’ll explore a little then set off on the famous Pacific Coast Highway. It’ll be interesting to see the difference between the Oregon Coast and the Pacific Coast Highway. I have a feeling the latter will be more glamorous – it’s generally is more talked about and thrust into the limelight of magazines like Conde Nast Traveller, etc.
We’ll then stop in San Francisco for our first night.
Day 10: Big Sur
Is it just me and because I know I’m going, or have I seen a lot more pictures of Big Sur recently? Big Sur is south of San Francisco and seems like it’s a must-see. My little obsession is McWay Falls, a lovely little waterfall in a big setting.
Days 11-14: San Francisco
We’re heading back up the coast to spend the rest of our time in San Francisco. How we’ll spend our time isn’t entirely decided, but we’re going to Alcatraz and I’m pretty keen to do some surfing. I’m looking into a couple of other exciting things, but I don’t want to give anything away yet!
San Francisco is a place I already feel drawn to, without having ever been there. I’d never say I’d fall in love with a place without having experienced it (sorry, but despite that romantic quote floating around, I think it’s a bit of a silly notion) – but now that I know more of what I like in a destination, I’m quite looking forward to San Francisco.
Put it in your diaries people (don’t really, I’m not that self-important), from 19th August you’re going to see a lot more of my face/words/pictures on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. You could take that as a bad thing, but hopefully not – seeing as you’re reading this far. ;)
If anyone has any tips on what to see or where to go (restaurants/bars included), let me know in the comments below or email me. I’d love to know.