Hopping On and Off San Francisco

This morning was not such an early start, although I still woke up before 7am. I took the opportunity to eat the cheesecake that I’d taken away from the Cheesecake Factory the night before, because if you can’t eat cheesecake for breakfast in bed on holiday, when can you?

Once ready for the day, Matthew and I started to walk to Sarah’s hotel, but along the way managed to pick up two scooters which made the trip to Union Square a lot faster! The plan for today was to make use of the hop on/hop off bus that we had tickets for, and see as much of the city as we could with the ease of not having to navigate to many places ourselves. We rode the bus from Union Square and around the route through the city til we reached the Golden Gate Bridge. Being on the top deck of an open top bus made the ride across the bridge crazy windy but wow do you get a feel for how impressive that thing is. We got off at the Vista Point viewing stop for some photos, and then got on the next bus to continue the tour.

Undecided on the exact plan for the rest of the day stopwise, we went all the way back round the city til we hit Pier 39, grabbed some lunch in one of the restaurants there and with some food in us it was a lot easier to settle on a plan. We managed to nab a scooter each from around the area, and rode ourselves to Lombard Street (although we had to push the scooters up the ridiculous hill that is Lombard) to see the famous zig-zag road, then scooted back to Fisherman’s Wharf where we bought a quick drink and hopped back on another bus, completing a full loop back to Union Square but then continuing back round a few more stops as we had another adventure planned.

Sarah and I had really wanted to find two things in San Francisco: the rainbow crossing and the rainbow house, and it took some walking but we managed to do both. The rainbow crossing was pretty easy to find, but the house involved many many super steep hills and I still can’t believe we made it up there alive – it was a long walk!

Absolutely knackered, we got an Uber back to the Embarcadero and got dinner at In And Out Burger, then had a true San Francisco experience of riding the cable cars from nearby all the way back to Union Square, where we finished up the day visiting the Disney Store before saying goodbye to Sarah for the rest of our trip and heading back to the hotel.

We fly to Aulani first thing tomorrow morning!

A Proper San Francisco Day

Today has been a pretty great day. Our jet lag actually helped us out quite a lot, as we had stupidly not remembered to book Alcatraz in advance, but as we were up at 5.30am, we could get to the ticket office for 7.30am (courtesy of a very chatty Uber driver) as they release some on-the-day tickets and we got onto the first tour of the day with no problem at all, grabbing breakfast between buying tickets and boarding the boat.

Alcatraz was really interesting – I admit I didn’t know all that much about it before today other than the basics, but there’s a lot to learn even if you do know a bit about it! We started off watching a mini documentary about the history of the island, then walked up to the cell building where audio guides are provided to guide your whole way round and through the building and sharing a tonne of interesting info along the way.

Once we’d seen everything we wanted to see, we got the boat back to the city and walked along to Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf, stopping for a bit of time to watch the sea-lions, then continued along the waterfront to the Boudin sourdough bakery to walk around the mini factory tour and then grab lunch in the cafe there. SO GOOD.

Next on the agenda was the Walt Disney Family Museum, which we got an Uber to. The museum is in a really pretty area just outside the main city, and we spent a good amount of time learning even more about the wonder that is Walt Disney. As the museum was quite close to the Golden Gate Bridge, we decided to walk from there along to a grassy park area near the bridge, which gave us stunning views of the landmark, although it was quite a walk there and back to a place where an Uber would pick us up from again, but along the way we did discover something pretty cool..

So the night before and during the day today, we’d seen a number of people riding this electric scooters, but also they could be found just lying around the streets, so while we were walking I decided to google them to find out what the deal was. Well they’re kinda like Boris bikes crossed with Uber – you find a scooter, activate it with your phone and pay for the time you use it. Well, we also happened to come across one, so there was some scooter riding involved, but I digress.

We Ubered back to Sarah’s hotel, where she and I disembarked for a trip to the Sephora round the corner, and Matthew left us to it and met us in Union Square to go for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory in Macy’s.

We were all so knackered from the early morning and busy day that we could hardly keep our eyes open at dinner, let alone tackle those enormous portions so we picked at what we could and I took my cheesecake to go and we got back to the hotel as quick as possible so I could finally get my feet up!

Hello San Francisco

Well gang, another adventure has begun, but as most of today was spent travelling, this is really just a check in to say that we’ve arrived in San Francisco, which is one of my favourite cities in the world and I’m so happy to be here.

We flew with Norwegian for the first time (full scoop on what it was like when I’m back!), it was a 10 hour flight but it flew by pretty quickly as it was essentially a 10 hour catch up with Sarah and my god can we talk for England..

We landed at Oakland airport and got a train into San Fran, checked into our respective hotels and then Matthew and I walked to Sarah’s and we grabbed Panda Express for dinner (another favourite of mine) and headed back for bed as our bodies were feeling the fact it was 4.30am in the UK!

Stay tuned for two more days of jam packed San Francisco fun before Matthew and I head off to Aulani!

What I’m Packing for Aulani

Its holiday weeeekk!

On Thursday we jet off on the start of our adventure and off course that means my suitcase is already pretty much full, and as I haven’t really shared all that much in the way of outfits, I thought I’d show you some of the things that are filling up my case.

This trip will be the debut of the amazing Donald Duck suitcase that Matthew bought me for Christmas. Its the first four-wheeled suitcase I’ve had, and while this might not seem like anything particularly strange, its meant a completely different packing experience for me!

Outfit planning has also been a different experience for me as I don’t know exactly what to expect, but I’ve been really enjoying picking swimsuit/cover-up combos, including this Sleeping Beauty inspired look featuring a pom-pom edged cover-up of my own making!

Outfit wise, I’ve mainly kept things subtle on the Disney front, but I’ve got accessories from a few of my favourite Disney small businesses, including my new favourite headbands from Closet Geek

I’ve got so many swimsuits packed, ranging from one-pieces to bikinis, and I have a feeling I’ll be spending most of my time in them!

And these are just a handful of the extra bits and pieces I’ve got on my packing list! I’m trying to pack fairly light to allow space to bring back lots of goodies, but I do still have to get a few things and pack shoes and such, and I haven’t even starting on my hand luggage yet!

Don’t forget that I’ll be daily blogging the whole trip, so you can keep up with my adventures on here, but Instagram will also be the main place I’ll post updates while I’m out there, so be sure to follow along!

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My Aulani Must Dos

Credit: disneyvacationclub.disney.go.com

So I can officially say that I go to Aulani THIS MONTH now, and its actually only like two weeks away which is crazy and I feel somewhat unprepared, but mainly just so stupidly excited that I spend a lot of time squealing. I’ve wanted to go to Aulani for so many years now and I honestly never thought it would happen, or that it would be a once in a lifetime trip, but now Matthew and I are DVC members, I’m so happy that I can actually visit this paradise on earth without selling a major organ.

Planning wise, we’ve kept it fairly low-key. Although it wasn’t originally intended to be, this trip is our pre-moving-house relax and refresh before everything goes completely mad, so I don’t want to have every second planned to a tee, but in the last few weeks we’ve been doing a bit more research on what the resort and surrounding areas have to offer, and I’ve compiled a list of a few things that I want to make sure we do while we’re living it up in Disney paradise.

Mickey shaped snow cones

The most iconic food in Aulani will get in my belly (you know, once I’ve got the perfect Instagram shot)

Go to the spa

So I have never actually been to a spa or had an actual massage, and I feel like I’m seriously missing out on this experience, so where better to do it for the first time than in Aulani’s full service spa? I feel more relaxed just thinking about it..

Sunrise and ocean yoga

I’m that super weird person that loves to check our gyms and fitness options wherever I go on holiday, and I cannot stay away from a Disney resort gym, but Aulani not only offer yoga classes held on the beach at sunrise (which I’ll definitely be doing), they also have a yoga class held on the lagoon floating on surfboards! I mean, I’ll probably fall off, but I’ll be giving it my best shot.

Exclusive merch

Y’all know I’m a sucker for some good Disney merch, and apparently about 90% of the merchandise sold in Aulani is exclusive to the resort, so I can’t wait to buy some unique beauties. PS. I’ll be doing a giveaway or two after my trip, so stay tuned!

All the water activities

Matthew and I have already scouted some amazing looking activities to fill our days with, including nearby Wet’n’Wild waterpark and Maunalua Bay for parasailing, banana boating, jet skiing and more, so while we’ll be chilling big time, there’s also gonna be a lot of fun going on!

Photos galore

I always take so many photos when I’m in a new place, and I can’t wait to explore the resort and document it in photos, not to mention the fact that Matthew is going to have to put up with being my personal photographer so that I can also appear in a bunch of these photos – I mean, Insta needs and all

I’m just so buzzing to get out there and get some sunshine and warmth and Disney magic!

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My Aulani Wardrobe Wishlist

Aulani

 

So as of Monday, its officially less than 8o days until our trip to Aulani!!!! (I normally hate more than one exclamation mark but one just isn’t enough to show my excitement)

Even when we first booked the trip, we only had about 100 days, which is pretty short notice by my standards, so of course I was immediately struck with the thought that I’d need to start planning outfits asap. Well, I’ve been a little sidetracked with other life stuff going on, and the fact is, I really haven’t put that much thought into it yet, not helped by the fact that I have put myself on a pretty strict spending ban for the whole of January and February while I continue to worry about paying off Christmas, various birthdays and booking everything else involved in this trip.

Problem is, whenever I put myself on a spending ban, I instantly start to window shop, and find more things that I want when I can’t spend than I do when I can, which is typical me, and of course I’ve started to think about my Aulani wardrobe. Cue wishlist..

So despite already having a bunch of cute swimwear, I’ve got my eye on more! I’m having a little dip in body confidence post-Christmas, so I’ve mainly been looking at one pieces, but just because its not a bikini sure as hell doesn’t mean swimsuits can’t be cute! I love the waterfall cut of the blue halterneck from Glamorous and I can definitely see myself lazy around on the beach in that, and I love how fun this cut-out striped piece from River Island is – its definitely got some island vibes to it! And finally, I’m a sucker for pastel and candy stripe, and while I don’t have a chest quite like the model in this swimsuit (I mean, wow!), this Missguided design has my face looking like a heart-eyes emoji.

There’s something about going somewhere warm and beachy that always make me think maxi-dress. I really love this one from Dancing Leopard, and also love the style of this red starry-print mini dress too, I think they’ll both be perfect for wearing to dinner at the resort.

And of course, I’ve gotta have my accessories! How stinkin’ cute is this coconut cocktail bag from Skinnydip?! I feel like that was made for this trip. I also figure that seeing as its technically a Disney resort, I’ve gotta bring some ears with me, right? I was searching Etsy for some more floral crown style ears, and came across this pair from MadMadamMimCo which I think are so perfect for a island look, without being too in-your-face Disney – not that that’s ever a problem for me!

I’m also hoping that I’ll be able to throw a few things together myself for this trip, but as I’m still in the early stages of planning (just without much time to go!), there’s still lots of thinking to do!

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Places I’d Like to Visit in 2018

After an incredible year of trips in 2017, this year seems to be lacking a little. Apart from going to San Francisco and Aulani in April, I have no other plans for the year; no Disney parks, no international races, nothing.

I can’t complain. Last year was truly incredible, but the purse strings need to be tightened as Matthew and I will have a lot coming up over the course of this year, and we will have an amazing time in April, but my wanderlusting little brain needs some sort of stimulation, so instead of broadening our horizons, for the rest of the year we’ll be staying within the borders of the UK and hopefully doing a few little weekends away and staycations instead.

I’m almost ashamed of how little of the UK I’ve really visited, and there are so many places that I’ve always said I’d like to go to, so here’s a few of the destinations I’d like to tick of the list this year.

Brighton

I don’t know if I ever went to Brighton as a kid, but I’ve really wanted to in the last few years. I guess the fact that I already live in a seaside town meant the beach wasn’t so much of a draw as it can be for many, but to me its always just looked so pretty and Instagrammable and I think it would be a really cute weekend break.

Bath

Ok, so I have been to Bath before, and I actually went just before Christmas with work, but as that was just a few hours in the city centre, it left me wanting more!

The Eden Project

This is another one I’ve done before, but Matthew has never been and I’ve always loved it, plus there are so many cute Cornish places we could also visit to make a few days out of it.

The Lake District

I am from pretty much as south as south gets, so the north isn’t somewhere I’ve really explored so much, well that is until I met a boy from Manchester! As we’ll be going up that way in the next few months to help Matthew’s mum move house, he suggested we take a little trip up to the Lake District which is somewhere I’ve always fancied.

Cambridge

To be honest, I don’t know what draws me to it exactly but I’ve just always liked the sound of Cambridge, so I’d quite like it if we can make a little trip this year.

This might not seem like much of a list, but this year is full of uncertainty for us and as crazy as it sounds, we don’t really know what will be happening six months down the line, so stay tuned!

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