Thursday 5 October 2017

USA vacation 2017

My Dear Husband (DH), Robin and I were recently on vacation for 17 days in the USA. We left Manchester airport, flying into Nashville via Boston. On arrival at dusk in Nashville we picked up a car and headed off to Paducah in the rain. The roads were quieter at that time of night but vision on the country roads wasn't good, especially considering we were driving a different car and on the other side of the road, it might have been better to stay over night in Nashville, saying that we arrived at Gayle's at our scheduled time.
Same beautiful house I had been to before but a new bedroom layout.

4 videos included....

Chevvy Malibu

Very good room service
On waking on the first morning the weather was still a little damp, it was the tail end of the hurricane that had just ploughed through Florida, so a little rain was nothing. Instead of walking into town we took the car and decided to see the quilt show first. This is the first time Paducah has had a quilt show in the fall, it was very quiet, so quiet in fact that I thought we must have totally the wrong day. On a good note, it was very easy to walk the aisles and see the quilts
We attending the Award Ceremony on the Friday evening, sitting with Bethanne Nemesh, Pam Holland and their friends, Ben Sherman gave a wonderful introduction to the fabulous quilt awards. It was a chance to meet up with some of my quilting peeps!

Best of Show

Best of Show

We spent two days touring the area, another visit to Hancock's of Paducah was a must, The Quilt Museum had a totally different display of quilts this time and we visited one or two old haunts.
A must for me this time was to visit to The Land Between the Lakes and Patti's Settlement, and it was definitely worthwhile the food was fantastic even if the decor was a little kitch.

The Mural Flood walls on the Ohio river in Paducah, Kentucky

Another mural

At Patti's Settlement, The Land Between the Lakes

We took a trip over the Ohio river to Metropolis, a quiet little town with Super Hero status.

On Saturday we left Paducah along with Gayle and Andy's wonderful hospitality and headed off to the races at Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby.
The atmosphere was fantastic, we backed three winners, we stayed in Louisville for the night before heading south again towards Nashville, stopping at The Jim Beam and Makers Mark distilleries.

In Nashville we walked to a very well regarded cafe to stand in line while we waited for a table, The Sky Blue Cafe was very well worth the wait, we carried on our walk into Nashville and spent the day touring in an open top bus, then The Ryman, followed by one or two drinks in Tootsie's and a few other honky tonks along Broadway. Another day found us in the Grand Old Opry, and the shopping mall, we went home and changed before attending the live radio broadcast at The Grand Old Opry on our last evening.

We left our car at Nashville airport on our way to LA, four and a half hours on the plane, I slept....
We picked up another car at Los Angeles Airport, a Ford Exporer 4x4 this time, driving to our next accommodation was surprisingly easy, the roads weren't as busy as we had expected.

We had booked a fantastic apartment in The Highland Park area, near to Griffith Park. Our own garden had pomegranates, lemons, limes, peaches and another fruit that I've yet to identify.
A drive down to San Diego enabled us to visit The Maritime Museum, six ships in the harbour and The Medway, an aircraft carrier. On dusk we took a drive over the bridge to Coronado Island, the views were stunning!

We took a long hike up to the Hollywood sign way above the city, it was 3.5 miles each way so a total of 7 miles in the California sun, the views were well worth the effort.

That evening we returned to Griffith Park to attend a concert by Thomas Rhett in an open air amphitheatre at The Greek Theatre, it was a fun night.....
We toured the homes of the stars in an open top minibus while we were entertained by a very enthusiastic driver and walked the Hollywood Walk of Fame, this area is a little seedy....

We followed The Pacific Coast Highway up to The San Francisco Bay area, this was the soul reason for choosing a 4x4, they are higher the view is better, the views were spectacular.... 
Our next accommodation was in a countryside setting at Woodside in the San Jose area around 30 miles south of San Francisco, we had the whole of this lovely cottage, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, living room, parking, breakfast veranda and everything else you could need including a full fridge, fresh free range eggs from our own hens and a complimentary bottle of wine from The Woodside Winery.

We had lunch on the beach at Carmel before taking The 17 Mile Drive, ticking off all of the 21 view points as we followed the route. The following day we drove right into San Francisco to join a wine tour into Napa Valley. That morning drive at around 7am was very interesting to say the least!

We were sad to leave our little cottage, it was a little piece of heaven, I asked if we could stay another two nights but it was already booked so we moved on to spend our last two nights at The Beresford Arms but only after dropping off our hire car at the airport on the way.
We had an entertaining ride from the airport into San Francisco with an Iranian taxi driver who was highly informed on world politics but whose driving skills left a lot to be desired, he dropped us at the wrong hotel, (The Beresford instead of The Beresford Arms),we rushed back out to grab him, he made us laugh as turfed his next customers out on the pavement promising to come back in two minutes, we did apologise to them but they just laughed!

Our room in The Beresford Arms, San Francisco

Cocktails and another meal in Scalas, San Francisco (A Kentucky Peach and The Sweeny Tom) 

Squash risotto

One pudding with two spoons, basil flavoured ice cream, delicious!

An Aviation

More food and cocktails in San Francisco along with a wonderful helicopter ride around San Francisco Bay under and over The Golden Gate Bridge before a ferry ride over to Alcatraz island in the afternoon.

Alcatraz from the helicopter above, we did visit the island by ferry in the afternoon

The famous Lombard Street, San Francisco wish it had been a faster drive


We visited Kentucky, and Tennessee, with a quick visit over the river into Illinois, then flew to California and visited San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco and the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, the invoices for our hire cars showed 2035 miles and Google has totalled 11,535 flying miles, not that far really is it?
Sadly our 17 days away were over in no time at all and we were on our flight home to Manchester, Robin didn't sleep at all. I slept for only half an hour, strange that as I usually sleep nearly the whole way home, must have had too much on my mind.....