Sunday, 3 November 2013

Holiday reading...

This time next week I'll be in California!  My excitement has been steadily building the past few weeks as it gets closer to holiday time, god knows what I'll be like on Saturday.  (I have a feeling the eleven hour flight - not to mention the four hour stopover in London - will bring me crashing back to earth tho...)  Once again, if anyone has any San Francisco/LA/New York tips then please share them in the comments.  We have a ton of stuff to do in LA but the other two have some unplanned time still.

I seem to have slightly overestimated the amount of books I need for the trip.  I intended to buy maybe four and borrow Game of Thrones from my co-worker but the charity shops had some good deals on and I just couldn't choose so... I have eight now.  This little pile only cost £2.30 though so no guilt!  Mother's only bringing two books and she's a bigger reader than me so we can share them.

Has anyone read any of them?  I've wanted to read Jurassic Park and Pride and Prejudice for ages, and we talked about seeing Wicked in New York so I may as well know the story first.  Dragon Rider was a happy find since I loved Inkheart (the two sequels not so much - the ending annoyed me so much!), and Lucy recommended some American themed Bill Bryson books for me, which I knew I wouldn't have any trouble finding - his books all seem to be very popular in my favourite charity shops, not sure if that's a good or bad thing?  I've read all Maggie O'Farrell's past books and had mixed opinions on them, but I've been looking forward to Instructions For A Heatwave so that was a lucky find.  And Brooklyn cause I've heard good things and...I'm going to NYC...lots of themed reading here!  I'm not sure which way Game of Thrones will go but I have a plan to start it soon in case I'm not fussed on it and get stuck with nothing to read on the flight.  I absolutely hate having nothing to keep me busy, meaning my bag usually has an array of reading and knitting stuff on a trip of any length (or for work, or the doctors, or car ride...).   Hence the overpreparedness...



  1. Looks like you've picked some good 'uns there, especially Bill Bryson's book...will make you love/want to explore different parts of America even more. Enjoy your trip! xx

  2. You should probably definitely try to visit Alcatraz in SF, how many places can you go where you can tour an ex-prison?

  3. I read Bill Bryson's books while travelling there in 2011, they're a good companion. I SF do visit The Castro (there's a woman who does good walking tours called Cruisin The Castro, which are well worth it). Also in the Castro, Squat & Gobble is a lovely cafe for lunch. Just down the hill, The Mission district still has a gritty feeling, lots of amazing bookstores and a huge Goodwill thrift store. In NY do try and visit the Brooklyn Flea if you're there over a weekend. Have a fab time!!!

  4. I haven't been to San Francisco since the 70s! But Alcatraz is a must. Everyone has their picture taken behind bars. The boat ride out to the island was great (but then I was there in the summer).

    Ghiradelli chocolate makes a nice souvenir. Fisherman's Wharf for food.

    If you are there for a couple of days, look into a daytrip into wine country.

    Ride the cable cars.


  5. Pride & Prejudice is wonderful, as are Persuasion etc. I've been re-reading Sense & Sensibility and finding myself really wanting to be able to read all of them for the first time again. Georgette Heyer can be a decent substitute but they're a little too easy and predictable, and Brontes are too dense and worthy! Joan Aiken wrote some sequels and prequels to Austen books which are pretty good.
    Right, America!
    Probably not so helpful but The Getty Centre in LA is worth a visit, I went in July but I'm sure the garden is still interesting in October and the views just as good. I have it in my head that you're a rollercoaster fan? Knott's Berry Farm was good.
    Definitely go for a wander in Chinatown, SF, and marvel at how cheap things are (buy your souvenir t-shirts there, $1!) and eat some awesome Chinese food. Get a good look at the bridge, ride a tram, eat soem Ghirardeli chocolate, see Lombard Street & the view from the tower on the hill opposite (can't remember what it's called).

  6. You should definitely go and see Wicked! I saw it in London and it's hands down the best show I've seen. I gave up with the book so its not a must for the show :)
    In NY you should definitely go to the 9/11 memorial, it was incredible. The public library is worth a look as well but I'm a library nerd.
    Coney Island was pretty cool, we went to Nathans to have a corndog and cheese fries (totally sickly but we felt American for a bit) but the theme park wasn't open so we just walked on the beach.
    If you want to see the statue of liberty I'd recommend taking the free ferry as you can still see everything, I don't really see the point in the tour.
    Oh and central park is amazing to walk around but massive!

    Hope you have an amazing time!

  7. I love Bill Bryson's books! I've lost count how many times I've read Notes From a Big Country.
    I am very jealous of your trip - have a fab time!

  8. LA: Don't choose between the Universal and Warner Bros studio tours. Do both. Universal has an awesome amusement park; Warner lets you stand in Ross and Monica Gellars' parents' house. Awesome.

    And have at least one breakfast in an IHOP.

  9. Wow what a trip, can't wait to read how it goes! I also love reading bill bryson's books, they're a good travel companion. x

  10. Hi, that sounds like a fab trip! In NY I'd recommend the Top of the Rock instead of the Empire State - it's a better view. Enjoy :)


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