Mammoth Lakes (a.k.a. In Search of the elusive Crystal Lake)

Mammoth Lakes (a.k.a. In Search of the elusive Crystal Lake)

Scenic Highway 395

Having attended a taping of the sitcom ‘Young & Hungry’ in Los Angeles, it was time to hit the road, determined to make the most of our two full days at Mammoth Lakes. This meant one thing only … lots of hiking up mountains and around lakes! Mammoth Lakes is located in Eastern California about a five-hour drive from LA (along Highway 395) and about five hours east of San Francisco. In 2013 we had visited the Telluride in Colorado, which we loved. So we hoped that Mammoth Lakes would provide us with similar mountain wilderness experiences without having to drive to Colorado. View Post

An Afternoon at Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe

An Afternoon at Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe

Not on an Empty Stomach!

After years of hearing from other people how beautiful Lake Tahoe was, we finally managed to spend two night there in May 2015 during our honeymoon road trip. We stayed at a motel in South Lake Tahoe, close to the beach and the only problem we had was deciding how best to use our one full day. Our receptionist had recommended a great place for breakfast called Bert’s Cafe that Nigel noticed was close to Emerald Bay which was one of the ‘must see’ places to visit. And so, once refuelled by what was now brunch at Bert’s Cafe, we were soon driving along the western shore of Lake Tahoe along a very scenic road, which climbed higher and higher. View Post

Mammoth Lakes, California: Rainbow Falls & Devils Postpile

Mammoth Lakes, California: Rainbow Falls & Devils Postpile

Honeymoon Road Trip

Our honeymoon in May 2015 was a road trip through California. One of our favourite days as newlyweds was spent at the Devils Postpile National Monument and Rainbow Falls. As we were spending three nights in Mammoth Lakes, it was only about a 20 to 30-minute drive from our hotel in the village to the parking area for the Devils Postpile. Somewhat surprisingly for the US, there is no entrance fee! In peak season however, there is a paid shuttle bus service from the village etc to alleviate traffic congestion.

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Bodie, California- Ghosts of the Wild West

Bodie, California- Ghosts of the Wild West

Ghosts of California

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

Open House – Malibu Style

Open House – Malibu Style

Our not so Guilty Pleasure

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