Mention cities or towns in California and you probably think of Los Angeles, San Francisco or San Diego. There are of course probably hundreds of other smaller cities and towns. It might surprise you however that there are also many ghost towns – approximately 250 of varying sizes. But where once there may have been a thriving community, all that now remains are derelict buildings and some rusting vehicles and machinery.
With names like Grub Gulch, Coyote Lake and Lost Horse Mine, the majority are in such remote areas – often near mountains where people once sought gold – that they are rarely visited. There are some however which have been preserved to a certain degree to allow visitors a unique insight into life in the American West from the late 19th century to the mid 20th century and perhaps the best example of this is Bodie. View Post
We must confess to having a bit of a secret passion for viewing show homes. Sunday afternoon in Northern Ireland tends to be prime show home viewing time and we find it hard to drive past a show home sign without going to check it out. If they happen to be furnished, then so much the better. Martha is an expert at making herself look at home in them to the point where people think she lives there when they see a photograph. She may have even made Nigel believe she lived in a very fancy apartment in Gothenburg when in fact she was actually ‘living’ in a branch of IKEA! Our viewings have extended to many parts of Northern Ireland and even Portugal, where we actually fell in love with the property! This passion was naturally bound to raise its head again in the US. Sure enough, back in 2014 we were driving along the Pacific Coast Highway through Malibu when we saw the sign ‘Open House’. If you’re going to view a property then it might as well be in the Malibu Hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean after all!View Post
We all know about the national parks in the US. Parks such as Yosemite, Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon etc cover huge areas and would require a couple of days to even see a fraction of them. Somewhat smaller are the state parks of which there are almost 8000 within the US. It might surprise you however to find out that state parks actually attract more than two and a half times the number of visitors that national parks do and it is they that form the backbone of the park system. Whilst state parks may lack the size and some of the mountain grandeur of national parks they are none the less beautiful which brings us to what is reckoned to be one of the top 10 state parks, Slide Rock State Park in Northern Arizona.
This is our personal wedding video from our special day on Coronado Island, San Diego. It was a very private event with no guests. Which must be why the US Navy decided to send a helicopter around, just as we were pronounced husband and wife … Thank you to Dream Beach Wedding and Joseph McCalment for this unforgettable day and beautiful video. It includes the beautiful music we actually used in our ceremony and can be played on desktop only for copyright reasons.