Personal style and fashion blog

Friday, 29 June 2012

LA: Day Four






Shirt: Deep Vintage (same as previous post)
Skirt: American Apparel
Flip Flops: Havaianas


We were pretty disappointed with Hollywood itself - it was grotty, and full of people trying to ram tours of 'celebrity' houses down our throats. But I guess you can't really go to LA and not go to one of the most famous places on earth!
We got our standard Hollywood sign photos by heading up tp Griffith Park, and got a great little view of LA thrown in.

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Thursday, 28 June 2012

LA: Day Three






Shirt: Deep Vintage
Bag: Moroccan Market
Flip Flops: Havaianas

Day three was spent idling along Venice Boardwalk - mainly avoiding all of the medical marijuana sellers. I loved Venice; it feels so different to the rest of LA. It's pretty tacky but fun, and Abbot Kinney Boulevard is lined with great independent boutiques and restaurants.
These pictures were taken by the last remaining canals - a little oasis a few blocks from the mass of tourists.
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Wednesday, 27 June 2012

LA: Day Two




Dress: Foreign Exchange
Bag: Moroccan market


Our second day was the day of LA Pride's big parade. With the guy in our hotel sending us in the completely wrong direction, we got there after three hours of searching, only to find the street cleaners sweeping up the confetti from the pavements. So, we did what we do best and headed to Melrose Avenue for a bit of retail therapy.
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Tuesday, 26 June 2012

LA: Day One






Top: Brandy Melville
 Bandeau (worn underneath): Urban Outfitters
Shorts: old Levis
Necklace: Gift
Rings: Markets in Morocco and Peru

On our first day in LA we went to American Apparel's Factory Flea Market - basically a massive sale in their factory Downtown. Expecting to find dresses for $5, I was slightly disappointed that there weren't any huge bargains, but we had fun rooting through the racks, picking up some good pieces, and taking these pictures in the car park!
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Monday, 25 June 2012

Central Coast, California

Leaving San Fran, we started on our road trip along the Central Coast, LA being our goal. We spent a week going through Santa Cruz (Blackpool in the sun), Monterey (where our motel was crawling with ladies of the night) and Santa Barbara (actually really nice), with a stop off at Pismo Beach along the way, where the place we were staying had warnings of cancerous subtances lurking in the building. Nice.

The scenery and rugged coastline were beautiful, but other than that there isn't really anything to write home about - although I'm sure Adam would have more than a few words to say about the day we visited Pebble Beach golf course.



Pebble Beach, Carmel. Shorts: Forever 21, top: Topshop
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Friday, 22 June 2012

San Francisco: In Pictures





Dress: River Island


















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San Francisco

We spent five days in San Francisco, but it took me approximately one day to fall in love with the city - this is definitely my favourite place in California.
The hostel we stayed in wasn't the best (they messed up our reservation so we ended up sleeping in separate dorms the first night, and it could have done with a lot of sprucing up), but that didn't really matter - San Fran served us well.

It definitely is a city of hills - I don't think I even got this good a workout in Yosemite! But it was worth it. Simply walking the streets and exploring the various neighbourhoods is a treat - every corner you turn there's something different, with endless cafes and restaurants (hardly a chain in sight - a nice change) and beautiful architecture.

The weekend we arrived was Memorial Day weekend, and we celebrated by attending Carnaval in the Mission (similar to Notting Hill Carnival but with a Latin American, rather than Caribbean, vibe) and watching a fireworks display over the Golden Gate Bridge, commemorating its 75th anniversary.

Apart from that we did the usual touristy fare - China Town, Union Square, North Beach (loved), Golden Gate Park and Haight Ashbury. I'm also slightly ashamed to say that we went to the very touristy Fisherman's Wharf. After meeting up with a Norwegian couple we met on the Inca Trail for a drink, we decided to go with them the next day. We had a good day - walked around the pier, looked over to Alcatraz (unfortunately our funds were too low to afford a trip over there!) and had a nice lunch, but it is just a huge tourist trap. It feels completely removed from the rest of San Francisco as it is so different from that quirky city brimming with personality - but maybe that's a good thing, because when I think of SF I won't be thinking of Fisherman's Wharf.

Mostly, as I said, we just enjoyed walking around and seeing the great variety that San Francisco has - ducking in and out of shops, and stopping for hot drinks to warm up from the cold (I held the common misconception that everywhere in California is hot!)

My only disappointment is that we were on a backpacker's budget - the number of amazing shops and restaurants made me yearn for a much bigger bank balance! Looks like I'll just have to return once I've made my million.
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Thursday, 21 June 2012

Yosemite: In Pictures













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Yosemite, California

Following our stint in Las Vegas, we drove to Yosemite, a national park in California. We arrived after the longest drive (9 hours with a few stops) on what seemed like the world's most boring roads, with a few hicks-ville type towns along the way.

The park itself is huge; it took an hour and a half just to get from the entrance to the campsite - but this time the scenery was worth it. We stayed in Curry Village, a campsite made up of 'tent cabins' (basically tents on stilts) that you pay through the nose for. After a quick wander around the village and settling in, we bedded down for the night, only to hear what sounded very much like a bear circling our tent. Knowing that this is highly likely in Yosemite, and having bat flashbacks from Costa Rica, this wasn't a comforting thought. The paw prints we found behind our tent the next day confirmed our suspicions, but luckily the bear didn't fancy a meal of human flesh that night.

We spent the whole of the next day walking the various trails and hikes that Yosemite has to offer. The park is breathtakingly beautiful - full of giant trees, cliffs, waterfalls, and deer grazing in the meadow. If it weren't for the hoardes of tourists (I realise this includes us), it wouls be a truly peaceful place, but it still doesn't take away from the magic and beauty of it all.

Pictures to come!
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Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Las Vegas: In Pictures



A slice of Venice in Vegas. Dress: Zara



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Sunday, 17 June 2012

Las Vegas

On our last day in San Diego, we picked up our rental car to use for the rest of our time in the US. Thankful to finally be rid of public transport (no more chicken buses for us thank you very much), we set out on our journey to Sin City - Las Vegas. After a few hairy starts as Adam got used to driving an automatic, and driving on the wrong  other side of the road, we were well on our way.

Five hours of driving on the same long stretch of road later, we saw our oasis in the desert - the bright lights and high-rise hotels that make up one of the world's most notorious cities.
We stayed at the Tropicana, the main reason being that it was one of the cheapest on the strip (ahh the life of a traveller), but it was perfect - great rooms, an even better pool area, and close to everything else - just what we wanted.

As soon as we got out of the car the heat hit, and continued to be relentless for the few days that we were there. We spent our time at buffets (one buffet sesh was enough to feed me for the whole day - the one at Bellagio is particularly good), waddling back to our hotel pool, and exploring the hotels at night (with a bit of gambling thrown in of course).

Vegas is delightfully tacky - everything is completely excessive and over the top, but there is nothing else like it. Even the newer hotels with their designer shops and sleek modern interiors, are brought down to (Vegas) earth with their clunky slot machines complete with neon lights off of the 80s.

Besides being offered services from 'hot babes' every five minutes as we walked down the strip, I loved Las Vegas, in all its tacky glory.
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Wednesday, 13 June 2012

San Diego: In Pictures

Ocean Beach. Bandeau: Urban Outfitters, shorts: old Levis, kimono: River Island





Balboa Park. Top: Topshop, belt: H&M, trousers: Deep (vintage)
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Tuesday, 12 June 2012

San Diego, California

From Mexico City we flew to Tijuana in order to cross over the border into the States (much cheaper than flying direct to San Diego). The line for the border was huge, leaving us to think it would be at least three hours before we reached the front, but it actually moved pretty quickly and we were through it in just under an hour.

We shortly arrived at our hostel in Ocean Beach, and spent the rest of the day exploring the local area and beach. Ocean Beach definitely has a laid-back bohemian feel to it, and the people there were a ridiculously friendly - making a nice change to some of the places we've recently visited (what, you're being genuinely nice to us and you don't want money in return?!)

When we weren't sunning ourselves, wandering around the shops or enjoying a drink in one of the many bars at OB (local speak for Ocean Beach. I'm down), we spent our time doing the usual tourist route of San Diego. On Thursday we visited the historic Gaslamp Quarter - an area downtown full of bars, restaurants, old cinemas and small boutiques (another time when I was wishing I wasn't on a backpacker's budget!)

Friday was the day we set aside for Balboa Park and the Zoo. The park was beautiful - full of old buildings, museums, and well-kept grounds. The zoo itself was something else. It was huge, and you can see why it's one of the most famous in the world, housing nearly every animal you can imagine, including some you can't.

After a few days I almost felt a bit sad to leave, and can't help thinking that we haven't seen nearly as much as the city has to offer but I suppose that will have to wait until next time! Stay classy San Diego.
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Monday, 4 June 2012

Mexico

Leaving Utila, we crashed in San Pedro Sula, a large city in Honduras that leaves much to be desired. The following day we took a boat to Belize City, before heading up to Chetumal, the first stop at the Mexico/Belize border. Luckily, we had no more border mishaps, and after an overnight stop, made our way to tourist hotspot, Cancun.

I wasn't expecting much from Cancun, and was well aware before we got thee that it was purely a man-made resort, catered towards the package-deal tourists. Having said that, I thought it would be quite nice to be in touristy comfort, and that we could just chil out for a few days without any problems.

I hated it. Not being able to afford to stay in one of the many hotels, we stayed in a hostel downtown which was only really good for its proximity to the bus station, so we had to get buses to and from the densely-populated 'hotel zone'. The hotel zone is just one huge road packed full of...hotels, with the odd American chain restaurant and overpriced bar thrown in. It completely lacked any kind of character, culture or interest, and just reinforced to me what I already know: that I hate places like this. There are places excatly like Cancun (i.e. identity-lacking resorts) all over the world, so why so many people from the UK bother flying all the way to Mexico, I don't know. Each to their own I suppose.
We had a nice few days on the beach, and to be fair, the turqoise sea is amazing, but by day 3 we were bored and itching to leave my idea of tourist hell.

We flew to Mexico City - the capital that is in stark contrast to Cancun. It is 2400m above sea level, so relatively colder, but having endured Cusco and the Inca Trail, we mastered the altitude. The city is huge and brimming with history and culture, so we really only saw a snapshot of it in the couple of days that we were there.

Mexico City is made up of intricate old buildings, cobbled streets and squares that wouldn't have looked out of place in Europe - although most of the buildings seemed to have a lean to them (including our hostel which was slightly disconcerting). What I found though, as with Granada, was that there was a lot of poverty, and I couldn't help thinking that the city could be amazing if it was just cleaned up a bit.

We spent our days wandering around the 'centro historico' and 'plaza colonial', dipping in and out of churches and museums. However, the one exhibition that I was most looking forward to see - 'Andy Warhol: the Bazaar years' was closed the two days we were there. Figures. Not exactly Mexican, I'll admit, but I needed my fashion fix.


Mexico City. Top and skirt: both Topshop
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