God bless America

God bless America!

The land of big stuff. Big mountains. Big trees. Big personalities and big choice. Yes indeed, it is epic.

After taking slow travel to the extreme by spending 10 months in Mexico, we arrived here in America with plans galore and excited faces. Two weeks of exploring in sunny California!

We are loving this country already. It’s people, it’s diverse landscape and it’s abundance of healthy food.

Yeah I said healthy food and USA in the same sentence. It’s true; if you want to eat fast food you can until your heart gives out. But this is the land of opportunity after all and the amount of organic, non GMO is astounding.

My love affair started when I landed in LA airport and found a healthy food bar, with seemingly thousands of options. I let my taste buds settle for a quinoa salad. See healthy food!

America freak out

Poor Rob had a mini freak out, all this choice was a bit much for him. Whilst I was busy munching on my salad, he was wandering confused between different food stalls. He came back empty handed, looking panicked and sweaty.

“What do I do?!” was all he said.

I reminded him that we our now in America. They speak English, “Just ask”.

A revelation! He ran off and returned a few moments later smiling, with a mountain of food. Content.

America-plane-food

We spent a whirlwind couple of weeks exploring California. First up we did normal stuff in San Francisco.

How wonderful to do normal stuff. Are you like me, when you go on holiday? Do you miss certain, often bizarre, things? Maltesers, lemons, BBC Radio 4, the ability to drink straight from a tap.

We continued embracing the food choices, interspersing eating with shopping for new clothes. My radical Mexican salmonella diet meant I now have trousers straight from the weight watchers adverts, where they hold them out proudly to show how much weight they have lost. Time for a new wardrobe.

Yosemite escape

Then it was onwards to adventure. We picked up our beast of a campervan, from Lost Campers, and set off to Yosemite National Park.

We did what we love. Escaped from the computer and hiked our little legs off to see some staggering views. I hadn’t realised how much I’d been missing exploring the great outdoors, and also how much I needed it!

It reset the batteries.

There is in an incredible fresh clean feel here. Camping in between huge pine trees, watching the squirrels bounce amongst us whilst cooking dinner on a mini stove. It feels so refreshing to be right in the heart of nature.

america-yosemite

america-hungry-escapadesThen just as we were beginning to tire of living without showers and having to walk a million miles to have a pee, we were back on the road.

Solar Living Institute

Next destination was the Solar Living Institute, to catch up with an old friend.

laura-america

When on the road for 10 months as a couple, with barely any other company and conversation other than our own, it is amazing, actually no, ESSENTIAL to catch up with good friends.

Our mate Laura has been here for the 6 months, educating the masses on sustainable living, making cob straw houses, harvesting grapes, making a huge veg patch and generally living a good healthy life. Hard work indeed, but inspirational stuff.

It’s weird to feel a pang of jealousy when on your own big adventure, but we did.

Me and Rob have a dream that sometime in the future we will build our own house, live off the land and bring up a happy home of children.

It may never happen, but it’s good to have dreams.

We also got our first glimpse of the astonishing giant redwoods. They tower above you like something out of Lord of The Rings, and these wise old trees can live for over 2000 years! Living history.

america-solar-living-institute

San Francisco

Our rural adventure ended and we continued the whirlwind journey back to the city.

Our social skills continued to be tested and (hopefully) came out on top as we met up with Sam, a fellow blogger from livetoexplorelife.com

Not only did Sam provide us with accommodation, but also took time off work to show us around her adopted home town. We got the insiders knowledge!

america-sam

San Francisco didn’t disappoint. It’s nice to spend time in a chilled out place, where you can sample city life, and in twenty minutes escape to be by the coast, looking at pretty things.

Sam’s idea of fun happily matched our own. We explored the Ferry Building Marketplace, where Rob bought a pie and went on record as saying it was the best pie he had ever tasted (Golden Gate Meat Company). Strong words from a Yorkshireman.

We obviously headed to the Golden Gate Bridge, worthy of the hype, after a peaceful stroll along the coast at Land’s End. A beautiful spot away from the tourist crowds, which we ‘d never have thought to explore without our local guide.

San-Fran-americaUnicorns, vampires, rainbows (in the Castro district, big LGBT community) AND the Golden Gate bridge. America has everything!

america-san-franciscoSunset at the Cliff House bistro – a cup of tea and a sunset. Perfick!

Knackered but happy, our two week adventure came to an end. We retreated to the peace of our new Colorado House sit.

America has so much to offer we were left wondering why we hadn’t come sooner. Then we checked our bank balance and realised the expensive reason!

Colorado Mountains – New house sit

Welcome to our latest house sit in Boulder, Colorado…

colorado-house

When I first mentioned to people we were thinking of travelling around the world by living in other people’s houses, more often than not the initial reaction was a raise of the eyebrows and a look of confusion. Roughly translated as, ‘You’re a bit of a mental’.

Then when I explained we weren’t taking squatting to extremes and it is basically a free holiday, people’s eyebrows raised even more and the the question turned to, “You can do that?”.

Some still thought we were a bit mental, but that’s cool. It means less competition for us when applying for house sits.

I probably shouldn’t try and sell you on house sitting for this very reason. It’s ultra competitive, but once you land your first gig it seems to snowball.

It has taken us off the grid, with our own private beach and the Mexican jungle as our backyard, to a gringo Mecca in San Miguel, and the less well travelled Patzcuaro. In the future we will be heading to Canada to enjoy a winter after 10 months of summer in Mexico.

3 weeks in Colorado

For the next 3 weeks, whilst the home owners trek Nepal, we are here in the mountains of Colorado. You step outside and the smell of pine instantly hits your senses. A bit like a massive car air freshener, but without the artificial (headache inducing) scent.

The weather is crazy. When we arrived from hot hot California (more to come on this adventure in our next post) and made our way to our house sit, the rain was pouring so heavily we couldn’t even see the road, let alone the car in front.

Marisa, the homeowner, assured us that they get 300 days of sunshine here in Colorado and somewhere in the distance were rolling mountains covered in pine trees and yellow aspens, but the big black clouds refused to let us see them.

colorado-seasons

Since then we have had to pull out the thermals, as the snow covered the trees and made our daily dog walking sessions a bit brrrrr…. Today it’s speedos weather and the autumn trees glow in the warm afternoon sunlight. Thanks for the variety Colorado!

Living in America!

We are embracing everything America has to offer, including it’s pumpkin patches. For those who don’t know, this is basically a big field with unimaginable quantities of pumpkins, tractor rides, mazes and goats. I’ve never struggled so much to chose my desired squash! No flat pumpkins please, I need nice curvature…

colorado-pumpkin-patch
Sweet baby Jesus America! I love your variety of food. All we hear about in the UK is fast food USA. Why did you keep your delicious organic food a secret? Whole supermarkets dedicated to good food.

whole-foods-coloradoKel loves Whole Foods – It would be quite easy to blow our travel fund here in about two weeks!

However, I am slightly disturbed by the need for you to write this on many of your products…

hormones-colorado

Mmmm growth hormones, nutritious and delicious!

The bottom line is Kellie can now eat more than her Mexico diet of rice and potatoes, without fear of getting ill again! A fed Kel = a happy Kel

In fact we are both walking around with huge beaming grins. Is this really our life?

Sure we have ups and downs on the road, but that’s life. What kind of freaks would we be if we were always happy (and also very irritating to other humans).

Discontent leads to change. We were a bit flat emotionally at the end of our Mexico adventure, which propelled us to the land of opportunity.

Now here we are in Colorado, feeling much lighter, enjoying the fresh mountain air and researching hiking trails to explore. I can’t wait to take these dudes on our adventures for the next few weeks….

colorado-dogs

Laid back Sequoia and excitable scamp Coda – Best mates for 6 years, they stop for each other on walks to make sure each other are ok. LOVE THEM ALREADY!

Now it’s time to look through my keyhole…

If you still think we are crazy for living in other people’s home, check out our house in the woods. It even has a mini gym to dispel the travel belly I have started to accumulate…

view-form-balconyView from our living room balcony

colorado-open-living-spaceHuge bright and open living area – cosy sofas, a luxury after much of Mexico! Plus you can see the view outside

hungry-kitchen-coloradoMaybe we will expand on the Hungry recipes

gym-coloradoTime to work on the guns?

walkies-colorado

 We use Housecarers.com and Trustedhousesitters.com to find our house sits.