Day 8: Thursday 5th
On Thursday we headed further south. From Pismo Beach we headed down past LA to Huntington, where we spent the day hanging out on the pier and checking out the local shops. Not much to report from this day, it was beautiful and sunny, as always in the Golden state.
That night we slept in Doheny State park campground, just south of Newport. Another beautiful cliffside camp spot!
Friday morning we woke up and headed out for a special breakfast in Oceanside, it was Sean’s 25th birthday! Woo hoo!
After loads of coffee, a tasty eggs benedict for Sean and an acai bowl for Bec we hit up the local Walmart before making the quick decision to head to Joshua Tree National Park for the weekend.
We were originally planning to go to Joshua Tree a little later but with no surf and not much going on along the coast we decided now was as good a time as any.
We arrived at Joshua Tree around 1pm, and were told all the campgrounds were full except one, and the one with some (very limited) space available was over 50 miles into the park! We raced through the park (at the speed limit of course) arrived at Cottonwood campground to snag one of the last spots!
That afternoon we explored the area around the campground before cooking pad thai for dinner and attending a ranger program on the stars. It was FREEZING, and we were in bed well before 9pm, a somewhat normal routine for us now.
Saturday morning we woke up bright and early to the howling of a coyote in the campground. We made porridge and headed off for an explore of the park.
We begun the morning with a pit stop at the Cholla cactus garden. This is a cute super short “hike” (it’s about half a mile round trip and takes less than 10 minutes) that takes you through a path of super sharp (but pretty) cholla cacti.
That night again we retired to bed pretty early, satisfied with a days exploring the beautiful and unusual landscape of Joshua Tree NP.
Sunday morning we left Joshua Tree and headed back for the coast. We drove to the beachside town of Encintas and managed to snag a spot in the state beach campground.
We went for a quick dip in the ocean and then walked from the campground up to the town and shops to get some supplies for dinner before having a drink and watching the sunset.
A nice and relaxing day.
Monday we had a chilled morning at the campground. We went to the store, I bought some new shoes and we had a cheeky midday beer with lunch in celebration of San Diego’s “Beer Week” festivities.
Whilst puzzled over what to do for the arvo we made a super quick decision to head to the NFL Chargers vs. Bears game down in San Diego. We raced to the train station and jumped on. Whilst on board we met 2 couples headed to the game who helped us buy tickets for the train (that we’d already boarded, oops) and the game.
They invited us to tailgate with them before the game and it was a super fun evening.
Here’s a few pictures of the craziness that is American football. Folks over here really, really like it.
The next morning after the NFL game we woke up in Encinitas and decided to head down to San Diego for the day. First stop was the USS Midway museum, and it was amazing! We ended up accidentally spending around 5 hours on the ship leaving not much time for the rest of SD, however that was okay because the museum was so cool.
The Museum had loads of old fighter planes and helicopters which were incredible. However perhaps the most incredible thing for Sean and I was the abundance of Veterans on board. The vets were giving short tours and presentation about equipment and protocol on the ship, as well as telling first hand stories of their own experiences on the now retired carrier which had been their home away from home. We loved every minute of listening to what these amazing gents had to say and it really made our day. If you find yourself in San Diego or nearby and this is your kind of thing, we honestly can’t urge you enough to go check out the USS Midway museum. You won’t be disappointed!
We had originally planned to spend a few days around San Diego, but Bec's foot began to play up again, and after our 5 hours on the ship we really needed to find a place to stay the night. That afternoon we headed north again and ended up snagging a camp spot at south Carlsbad campground, another picturesque beach side location. Excellent!
Wednesday was pretty relaxed (boring). We just hung around Carlsbad in the morning and checked out a local produce market in the afternoon.
We did a bit of cooking that day, banana pancakes for breakfast and minestrone for dinner. Yum!
Since we didn't have any exciting or new for you from day 14 here is the recipe for our Banana Pancakes!
Banana Pancakes (Vegan for all you animal lovers out there)
- Mashed bananas
- Water (or almond milk for a lil more protein. Haven't tried soy milk but I'm sure it'd work too)
- Rolled Oats
- Vegetable Protein powder
Mix it all up to a sticky consistency and it's delicious! I like to top it with orange juice or lime and a lil brown or raw sugar.
We're picking up Sam (my twin brother) this weekend from the airport and I couldn't be more excited.
Check back for weeks 3 and 4 in the van!