We spent two weeks as a family; living in one room American inns and once, a pretty little suburb house; walking and travelling around places in California everyday; and me, taking photos. I didn't think I took as much as I used to before because I tried to frame the scenes before I hit the shutter button so rather than just a memory card full of canted wonky photos, I would actually get better quality ones. That did work, although I think I still took as much as ever -there were one or two days where I barely took more than ten photos though.
I have now walked on Californian beaches, sunk my boots in snow at the Grand Canyon (which was wonderful wonderful wonderful!), gone down corridors of inns (which reminded me of scenes from movies), strolled down the Hollywood Walk of Fame and trodden on the carpet in the, then Kodak, now Dolby, theatre where the Academy Awards have been held, as well as walked down casino aisles in Las Vegas, just to name a few. It was and still is winter there, but the sun still shone on merrily and walking in its puddles were always warmer.
I missed the UK at first, and got myself a little muddles up over the exchange rate in the beginning, but then I fell in love with the mist-rimmed mountains that both surrounded us and lined the horizon while we drove through the freeways from city to city and the marmalade sun especially during golden hours. And I think it's because I'd never expected to miss it that it surprises me how much I actually do miss the place after returning to this little gloomy creature of Belfast.
Now I have those photos from my camera to edit, but while waiting, here are the ones I'd taken on my little phone camera -which is far from fantastic, but I found that it is actually able to produce pretty decent photos with good lighting- and edited on instagram (yes, guilty as charged. But I like adding colour to my photos and that was the most convenient -and slightly addictive- way to do it when I hadn't had time to properly edit the ones I'd taken with my camera. I have promised myself not to use it so much now that I'm not travelling everyday because it does make one rather lazy).
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these and feel free to follow me there on instagram if you wish so. And if you're a friend of mine who's having your exams, all the best of luck!! I will post the other photos as soon as I have them edited, as well as blog about my London trip from a few months back.
classic California: wide roads called boulevards and palm trees.
spot the clapperboard in the window of one of the shops in Disneyland's California Adventure theme park
the theme park decorated for christmas
the first golden sunset I saw from the inn where we stayed
lights at the theme park at night
I fell in love with a little black bear in one of the Disney shops and while this is highly unlikely, it happened and I just had to bring him back. My dad bought him for me as a Christmas present and he is now my little cuddle buddy. I'm so mature.
Old theatres in downtown LA
A little Mexican town we visited.
the most interesting skulls for sale inside one of the Mexican shops.
my favourite: golden hour.
the temporary gold between palm trees.
morning at the inn, before going to breakfast.
snowcapped mountains seen through the bus window.
feet on desert sand.
the Colorado river running through the Grand Canyon. It was magnificent.
we walked for two miles through a winter wonderland with the Grand Canyon on our right all while playing with the snow that we were surrounded with. I literally froze my butt when I sat on the snow and it went in my jeans.
saying goodbye to Las Vegas. I didn't belong there one bit.
the mall in Hollywood.
look closely and you can see the Walk of Fame.
a scene from the War of the Worlds' set.
LA as seen from the top at Universal Studios.
Santa Monica pier.
the walk down the pier.
plankton-size surfers in the distance. I wish I could surf.
a pelican on the pier who posed for me.
tyre-track clouds across the sky.
driving to small towns.
mission centre at Santa Barbara.
at a small town called Arroyo Grande where I had ice-cream from a place called the Ice-cream Factory, and lunch.
finding the original 'instagram' inside an antique shop
leftovers of autumn.
carpet at the front door of where we had lunch.