As the page turns on this chapter of my life, I reflect upon its contents. Its taken me to 49 of the 50 states (Yes, even Arkansas) with tales of grizzly bears (more on this later) and sleeping on the airport floor. Stories of kindness and love, adventure and excitement. All with one common theme seen throughout; America. I know this sounds a bit corny, but my American adventures have been unforgettable. I know what your thinking; ‘You’re young, you’ll forget’ but I won’t.
How could anyone forget the soft buzz of a biplane cruising through the Neacolas mountain range or the kindness of a stranger in the heart of Seattle? I am incredibly thankful for the past 10 years and as I now head back to UK today I’m sharing a few of my favorite travel stories from here in the states.
Grizzly Bears in Alaska
Lake Clark National Park, accessible only by boat and biplane, is home to the great Alaskan Grizzly. This was one of the most exciting and yet scary experiences of my life. We boarded a small biplane in Homer, Alaska and headed out toward Lake Clark. An hour and half later we landed on the beach and saw our first bear. Brimming with a strange combination of fear and excitement we walked along the beach gazing at the bears. To my delight, this was just the start. The day was spent wading through the rough streams and rocky beaches gazing in wonderment at bears.
Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge (Thrice!)
While in San Francisco last December we rented bikes from Basically Free Bike Rentals. We set off amid the chilly fog and headed toward the Golden Gate Bridge. Karl, the fog, was beginning to set in but persistent as ever, we kept riding. We had nearly reached the end of the bridge and at this point the fog was so thick you could only see a few feet in front of you (this lead to many almost collisions with walking tourists). Anyway, we decided to head back and warm up with some hot cocoa and take a break. I thought we were done and were heading to return the bikes. Boy was I wrong! We biked across the bridge up to the Marin Headlands to view the bay. Twice! Once in the afternoon and once at sunset. I can’t say I wasn’t annoyed at this unexpected excerise, however looking back it was one of my favorite moments of the trip (once I master biking up all the hills). I learned the best things in life are (Basically) free.
New York at Christmas
Does this one even need an explanation? Seeing the Radio City Rockettes, the warm glow from big screens in Time Square, walking round Central Park with a warm drink in hand; New York does winter like no place else.
The Pink Door
When traveling and we tend to use TripAdvisor to find the best eats a locale had to offer. In Seattle we found a bespoke Italian restaurant and set off, armed with Google Maps, from our hotel. Maps took us to an alley way, something seemed off but we kept going anyway. Eventually discovered the restaurant was a speak-easy type situation, with the only sign being a pink door in an alley. I reached forward and pulled the door toward me. Inside was a boho-parisain paradise. The restaurant tastefully decorated taking you back to 1920s Italy. I learned that sometimes it pays to take a chance and open the Pink Door.
So today I say ‘Adiós a América’ and ‘Hello England’.
See you on the other side (of the Atlantic),
As always for more frequent shenanigans and updates from me: @adambriggsy