As Katy Perry once said, “you could travel the world, but nothing comes close to the Golden Coast.”
I think she may have been onto something.
I have to admit, California hadn’t even made it onto my Travel Bucketlist (and this is one long list, lemme tell you!).
I’d kind of imagined being disappointed; so many movies and songs depict this glorious, sun drenched state, where all of your wildest dreams can come true, yet I’d heard sooooooo many LA horror stories. It sounds ignorant to say now, but I had kind of thought that if you weren’t visiting LA, what was really the point of going to Cali?
I stand corrected.
When San Jose appeared on my roster, I started googling, pinteresting, stalking Insta geo-tags…. to build up a list of things I’d like to see/eat/do whilst there. I do this before most of my trips in order to make the most of my time there, as opposed to laying in bed & stuffing my face with room service…
However, it turned out that two of my besties were joining me on the trip, and since I was the only SJ virgin, they’d already ticked off much of my to-do list.
So, we needed a new plan!
Propping our jet-lagged-selves up onto 3 bar stools, and ordering a gin n juice each (ha JK), we set about planning the following day.
We were up at the crack of dawn, thanks to our v confused body clocks, and grabbed an Uber back to the airport (we can’t stay away!), with the intention of “shopping around” the car rental desks to get the best deal. This didn’t exactly go to plan, since, being the excitable, naïve, Katy Perry-singing Brits that we were, the very first desk that we spoke to merely said the words ‘cool’ and ‘convertible’ and we were zooming down the highway quicker than you could say ‘gullible.’ No matter, just look at this bad boy:
When in California!
We headed straight to Monterey, with the intention of checking out some of the sets from Big Little Lies (anyone else been watching?), but got distracted en route by a sign for whale watching tours.
We screeched into the parking lot, and began a lengthy photo-shoot of ourselves posing atop our new ride (I’ll spare you the cringeworthy results). Unbeknownst to us, whilst we were doing our best Gigi impressions, most of the boats had already set sail.
Luckily, we managed to catch the final group just as they were setting off up the jetty.
As Brits, we hadn’t anticipated needing any ‘warm’ clothing for this trip, and therefore showed up to the boat wearing bikinis, vest tops, dresses, and flip flops. The rest of the group were much more prepared, with fleeces, waterproof jackets, and even hats and scarves (slightly dramatic). Whilst bearable, I would definitely recommend a hoodie if you decide to go whale watching, as it does get slightly chilly…
Our tour was led by the guys at Blue Ocean Whale Watch, and we set off from Moss Landing, close to Monterey. We saw over 20 humpback whales, 5 killer whales, black-footed albatross and fork-tailed storm petrels; I would highly recommend this tour to anybody interested, the naturalists are so friendly and knowledgeable, and will answer even the silliest of questions (most of those were mine!).
I’ve stolen this image from the Blue Ocean Facebook page. It was taken the day we were there, and is much better than any photos me and my iPhone managed to take!
I’m aware I’m rambling slightly, and I am due to meet some friends for a glass of prosecco shortly (the no drinking is going well), so I’m going to bid farewell for now & continue this post tomorrow!
Enjoy the sunshine, everyone!