The Lowdown on San Diego, California

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Last summer I was lucky enough to go and spend two weeks staying with a friend from university at his home in San Diego. I had never been to the USA before and I had absolutely the best time! This blog post is going to give you the lowdown on where to stay, what and where to eat and where to go/what to do! I was lucky enough to be spending the time with a San Diego native so hopefully there are a few things on this list that you might not have done without it!!

Where to Stay

So my advice on this is not first hand as I stayed in my friend's house which was in Poway, about half an hour north of San Diego city centre. But he said that there are three main areas which he would recommend to someone coming to stay in San Diego. There is the downtown area which is right in the centre of the city, near to the convention centre and Little Italy but it can be quite expensive. There is the Mission Bay area which is very pretty and close to the water or there is La Jolla which is slightly north of the main city centre but has some beautiful beaches nearby. As I say, I didn't stay in any of these areas but La Jolla is really beautiful and you can access Torrey Pines Nature Park from there which has some amazing hikes.

What to Eat

Okay so when in San Diego, you should eat more Mexican food than you have ever eaten unless you have been/are in Mexico. The Mexican food I had there is unlike any Mexican food I have had anywhere else and there is just so much! Probably 10/14 days we ate Mexican food at at least one meal, whether that was out or at home!! Their Mexican food is second only to Mexico! Some of the places I would recommend are any places in Old Town, Rubio's which has several stores (their fish tacos are so good) and Chipotle which I know is a chain but their guacamole is incredible!

If you can, you should definitely try to find a Baked Bear who do the most incredible ice cream and cookie sandwiches. I had never had a ice cream and cookie sandwich before and I was quite amazed. Especially as one of my cookies was a snickerdoodle which I had never had before either!

If you get the chance, you should also go and get a milkshake from Ghiradelli's store in the Gaslamp district. Their chocolate is amazing and lots of free samples in the store too!!

I also did a whole post about food in San Diego which you can check out here

What to Do/Where to Go

I'm going to list some of the best things that I did/think there are to do in San Diego and then I will probably do more detailed posts about each one as I don't have room for all the detail on here!

- San Diego Zoo
- Balboa Park
- Old Town / Seaport Village / USS Midway and Submarine (all in similar area)
- La Jolla Children's Pool and the Seals!
- Torrey Pines Hike
- Birch Aquarium

I hope you have found this post useful and let me know if you have any questions about San Diego!!

What have I won recently? | Competition Wins

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

I thought I would do a round up of the couple of things I have won recently! I haven't done one of these posts for a while so I thought it might be interesting for you to see! There are actually only two prizes but one of them was a gift voucher so I thought I could show you what I bought with that prize!

So the first prize was that my KitKat mug arrived! I won this in January and it arrived but unfortunately it was broken so they sent me a new one. However I received an email the other day that said that these mugs could have a defect that makes them crack when they get too hot so I think that are sending out another one! In the meantime for the inconvenience they also sent us a £3 coupon for Nestle products so I can go and get myself some chocolate to help with revision!

This prize was the gift voucher and I really loved this one. It was an effort competition to share a memento and the story behind it and I shared my Nan's jewellery box which she passed down to me. The prize was a £100 Not On The High Street voucher which was amazing. I managed to get all of the gifts for the family birthdays coming up (all of my family have birthdays in April/May time) and also a couple of things for me too!

I know this is a terrible picture but I didn't want to unwrap it to take a better one so this is an apron for my mum which says 'The more I see of man, the more I love my dog' which is very appropriate for her as she is absolutely crazy about our dog! The Spicentice set is a set of different chilli and barbecue spice mixes as he is really into cooking and loves spicy food so I thought he might like that!

I gave this mug to my mum for mothers day. On the other side it says 'All you need is love and a labradoodle', she absolutely loved it!

These are for my dad's birthday which is coming up in May! He absolutely loves marmalades and so I got him this set of 3 artisan marmalades!

And these are the two presents I got myself! The mirror at the top is really beautiful and says 'You are not what happened to you' at the bottom although you can't really tell that from the picture . The second thing is just a new keyring that I thought was pretty and would help me to find my keys rather than rooting round in my bag for them!

So these were the prizes I won recently! I hope you enjoyed this post and when I win more things I will be sure to share them with you!

Parc Guell | Barcelona, Spain

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Everywhere you walk around Barcelona, you see beautiful artwork and amazing buildings. But one of the most famous attractions in Barcelona is architect Antoni Gaudi's park, Parc Guell. It is a very large public park that consists of sculptures, mosaics and buildings designed by the architect himself.

The park was originally commissioned by Count Guell to be made as a 'bohemian village' where rich aristocrats who also loved art could live. Unfortunately only two houses were finished, (they are the two houses at the entrance to the park) as they couldn't find the money to build the rest of the village. Guell and Gaudi moved into those two houses and they still stand there to this day.

This is the large mosaic lizard fountain who guards the entrance and steps leading to the Doric Temple which was originally intended to be a marketplace in the park. The Gaudi Museum is also housed there in the houses that looks like they are made of gingerbread and that is where he lived during the latter stages of his life. 

We found that the best way to see Parc Guell was to wander through the small walkways and paths that lead around the buildings and sculptures, through the flower beds. It is usually very busy but we went early in the morning to avoid the huge tourist rush later in the day.

Our apartment was very close to the park so we walked there but you can also get there on the Link 3 Metro to Lessops or Vallcarca. I would recommend buying tickets in advance online as there are often big queues as they only let a certain number of people into the park per half hour.

We really loved walking around Parc Guell and I think it is an essential experience when you are in Barcelona!
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