I’m baaack! Just had an incredible two weeks in the USA. I started in San Francisco, road tripped down to Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, Malibu, LA and onto Palm Springs. Then I had an incredible few days at Coachella Festival followed by one night in Vegas. Then it was off to New York and Manhattan for three nights and finally Williamsburg for the final three. It was a crazy two weeks and I saw and experienced so much that I’ll be writing about here, but for now, here’s a photo a day from my brilliant two weeks in the USA…

1. Arrived in San Francisco

We arrived at 4pm with no plans and just walked around the city in awe looking at all the buildings and just getting a feel for San Francisco. We ended up in this American-style diner, Lori’s, and made the most of the malt milkshakes before walking down to Fisherman’s Wharf.

Two weeks in the USA

2. Golden Gate Park

We went to Golden Gate Park via bus, and up to the De Young Museum viewing platform. The view over San Francisco was incredible. Once down we decided to hire one of these four-seater bikes, just for laughs. Before long we found ourselves on the highway and after much debate as to whether we should actually be there, a car sped passed us and all we heard was “HIGHWAY” shouted out the car. I can only assume the first few words were “get off the f£$%^&ng” – so we did, as pictured here.

Two weeks in the USA

3. Boozing in the Mission District

Spent the day in the Mission District of San Francisco, which was awesome. It was here we realised how much we liked to drink, compared to the San Franciscans, we were desperate for an open bar with a beer garden but couldn’t find one anywhere. In the end we found Twin Peaks and ended up having one of the funniest days of my life playing darts, drinking Margaritas and causing all kinds of mayhem at Mixx that I wouldn’t want my mum to read.

Matt in San Francisco Twin Peaks.jpg

4. Escape to Alcatraz

We decided to go to Alcatraz to check out the prison, seeing as it’s cited as one of the top things to do in San Francisco. We were hungover and really not in the mood for the audio walking tour but the lady made us take it. It ended up being very interesting and is definitely recommended by me. Here are a few of the cells. No thanks.

Two weeks in the USA

5. Road trip begins

We picked up the car early to get going on our road trip. We went straight to Santa Cruz and got sucked into the arcades. Finally managed to get out and we followed the coast down to Monterey for lunch via the stunning Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. Below is the Elephant Seal Beach we passed along the way. We also went through the Big Sur and spent the night in a roadside motel in San Simeon. Loved it.

Two weeks in the USA

6. Santa Barbara

First stop today was Santa Barbara, a beautiful little town which was our first feel of the hot sun. We tried the health juices, hung out in Macy’s and spent a fortune on sunglasses. Then it was Malibu for dinner and a late night dash through LA and Walmart before we spent the night in Palm Springs.

Two weeks in the USA

7. Coachella!

Yay, we arrived at Coachella. Barely a queue to get in, a quick check of the car by security guards and we set up camp. Or I sat around checking the beer tasted ok while the lads did it.

Team Coachella.jpg

8. More Coachella fun

Highlights included the Ferris Wheel, Gareth Emery and Austra.

Two weeks in the USA

9. Sunday at Coachella

Today was a better music day – saw loads, including the awesome Solange, MGMT, Pharell Williams (ft Jay Z), Lorde and Chvrches.

Two week sin the USA

10. Final day of Coachella

James Vincent at Coachella.jpg

11. One night in Vegas

It was a long road trip from Coachella to Las Vegas – more than six hours in the end via the Mojave National Preserve and my first Taco Bell. We stayed in the Stratosphere and had a good look around, not much gambling done though. Too tired and stupid to get involved in that.

Two weeks in the USA

12. Breakfast in Vegas and luxury flight to NYC

After a delicious breakfast at the Wynn Hotel involving epic portion sizes and ridiculously over the top decoration we boarded our flight to New York. I got upgraded and ended up having one of the best flights ever with my fellow row passengers – all the food and drink we could handle. Good times.

Two weeks in USA

13. Bleecker Street, NYC

Today we walked from 100th Street to 1st Street, which took a few hours with all the things to see along the way. Ended up worn out and on a coffee shop crawl. Found ourselves at the Bleecker Street Vintage Market and finally enjoyed a delicious curry at Indian Taj, like, really delicious. Try it.

Two weeks in the USA

14. Comedy day and the Empire State Building

We walked a good 15 miles around Manhatttan, with an hour of it in Central Park. We also went to watch a live filming of David Letterman’s Late Show, hung out in Greenwich Village, went up the Empire State Building and saw a comedy show on 100th Street.

Two weeks in the USA

15. Lost Lectures

Moved to Williamsburg today and just hung out in the coffee shops – pretty nackered from a crazy two weeks. I’d managed to get us tickets to this awesome event in Brunswick called the Lost Lectures, more on that later. I’ve never seen so many hipsters in my life.

Two weeks in the USA

15. Bowery, High Line and Flea Markets

We went into Manhattan today – only ten minutes on the subway from Williamsburg – and walked up the Bowery and round the flea markets. We also went to see the High Line: an old railway line that runs over the city that’s now been made into a garden, a very popular garden.

High Line in Manhattan.jpg

17. Hanging out with a real Willyburger

Today was a real chill out day. We were pretty exhausted from the previous two weeks and so just took the day to meet up with W.’s friend Greg. He’s an art curator and lives in Williamsburg and has a studio there. Just look how cool it is. We went to the vintage markets, hung out at Rough Trade and went to the Wythe Hotel for lunch.

Two weeks in the USA

18. Goodbye Williamsburg

Sad day. The last of our trip. Goodbye USA, see you again soon!

Williamsburg View.jpg

 

Up the Empire State Building
Packing List for Coachella