Saturday, October 01, 2005

Day 114 - Lake Tahoe - Redding, California, USA

Day 114 – 30th September 2005 -8:00 GMT Total Miles 17868

Checked out of the Horizon Hotel and Casino and got $22 off my bill from Casino Comps which was nice. We then drove around the West side of the lake up towards Truckee stopping at a scenic view point.

Me by Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

We drove up to the I-20 which has a sign East bound saying Ocean City 3657 Miles. Any we headed west through Yuba City and on to the I-5 and Headed North we stopped a small place called Redding in the Northern part of California We checked into the Stardust Motel and after a short rest we went to a Chinese restaurant where we got huge plates of food for little money, I had Broccoli Chicken with Rice and a great Tasting Chicken Noodle Soup. Went back to the motel and spent the night booking rooms for New Zealand.

Day 113 - Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA

Day 113 – 29th September 2005 -8:00 GMT

I spent the morning in the Casino playing Blackjack where I won a little money. Jill and I then went out for the day. I was on a quest to visit as many Casino’s as possible and get some chips for my collection. So we drove around the East side of the lake and up to Carson City which is the capital of Nevada. I visited Fandango Casino and Carson Station Casino.

Fandango Casino

Carson City

We then passed the State Capital and drove on to Reno.


We parked at Harrahs then visited The Eldorado where we got some Lunch, a nice meal of fish and chips and a beer in there restaurant/micro-brewery.

The Eldorado

Next we went to Circus Circus and then into the Silver Legacy. A quick trip to the Golden Phoenix and Fiztgeralds and we decided to head back home.

The Silver Legacy Casino

Fitzgeralds Casino

Harrahs Casino

The traffic was horrific on the way back to the hotel and we were stuck in a jam for over an hour. When we got back to our hotel I decided to have a game of Craps so spent the next few hours at the gaming tables. Then a quick go on the slots where I won 3540 coins on a 5c machine nice win of $177 for a 5c investment. I watched a couple of episodes of Lost then called it a night.

Day 112 - Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA

Day 112 – 28th September 2005 -8:00 GMT

When we had all woken up got dressed and showered we went for breakfast in the hotel restaurant. After Bacon, Eggs, Sausage, Pancakes and Coffee we were set to go out for the day. We decided we would drive around the lake and stop here and there. We headed anti-clockwise around the lake and first stopped at Cave Rock which has a few houses and lovely view across the lake, after a few photos we carried on.

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

We passed several beaches but most of them are private. We then stopped at Glenbrook and walked down and along the large rocks in the water.

Me on the Rocks at Lake Tahoe

Me on the Rocks at Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

We then made our way to Incline Village and had a look around and then carried on along the North of the Lake where we stopped at Crystal Bay, I visited the two Casino’s here, Crystal Bay and Bill’s Nugget before carrying on around the lake and back into California. We drive through Tahoe City and make our way to a ski resort called Squaw Valley which is where the 1960 winter Olympics were held.

Squaw Valley Site of 1960 Winter Olympics

My mate Joe Stevens love this place and raves about it, so we visit the area and admire KT-22 the huge Ski Lift.

KT-22 (For Joe)

The area is superb and I would love to come back in the winter and ski here. The village area here is really nice a bit smaller than whistler but has all the shops and bars you need.

Squaw Valley

Squaw Valley

Anyway after an hour here we carry on driving and are soon back in Nevada. We go to Safeway and buy some junk food, and essentials, then back to the Hotel. I have a gamble and play Blackjack and Craps for a bit. I make a small profit and then grab Reece and Jill and we head across the road to Bill’s Casino for a few games of pool and a few $1 beers. I have a go on a slot machine and win $100 with my first credit. We then cross the street to Harveys and visit Sammy Hagar from Van Halen’s Restaurant Cabo Wabo. It is a Mexican restaurant and has huge TV screens showing Van Halen the walls are covered in signed photo’s and posters. The music is all rock and good tunes are played throughout the night. The meal was good and not too expensive. After we have eaten and sampled a cocktail or two we head back to our hotel for the night.

Day 111 - San Francisco - Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA

Day 111 – 27th September 2005 -8:00 GMT Total Miles 17474

Early Morning for me as I have to check out of the hostel before 10am. Jill sits outside the hostel with all our bags whilst Reece and I walk the 5 blocks to pick the car up. After a little negotiating of San Francisco’s one way streets we find Jill and load up the bags. Then off we go again this time we travel East firstly crossing over the 8 miles long Bay Bridge that takes us out of San Francisco. We head North for a while then East. We get to Sacramento which is the capital of California and have a drive around then we decide to stop for some lunch, So a quick wander around a local mall then some food and we are on our way again. We decide to take the South route to Tahoe along Route 50, we climb up to 8,350ft along the winding roads as we pass through the mountains.

View on route to Lake Tahoe

View on route to Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is the highest lake of its kind in America sitting at around 7,300 ft. Our Hotel is the Horizon Hotel and Casino Complex situated in South Lake. It is located around 100 meteres across the state line in Nevada. We check in and get a reasonable sized room for the low hotel cost price and a splendid view over the lake.

View From Hotel Room

View of Lake Tahoe from Hotel Room

The area is gorgeous a clear blue lake and high mountains. We relax in our room for a couple of hours.

Sunset Over Lake Tahoe

Sunset Over Lake Tahoe

Then Reece and I go and visit the local casino’s for a look around. First we visit Caesars, then Bills, then Harrahs, then Harveys. We play the slots in a few of them and both Reece and I win at all the casino’s.

Casears at Lake Tahoe

We head back to the room as Jill was taking a nap and order some room Service. It turns up after an hour and a half, we eat and watch TV before getting some sleep.

Day 110 - San Francisco, California, USA

Day 110 – 26th September 2005 -8:00 GMT

Got up fairly early and picked the car up, then we drove over the Golden Gate Bridge and into Marin County. We visited a small village called Sausalito just on the other side of the bay from San Francisco.

Jill in Sausalito

A Fountain in Sausalito

Sausalito is a very picturesque village with water on one side of the road. It has some lovely quirky shops and a big Marina.

Jill at Sausalito Marina

A Palm Tree in Sausalito

We walked up and down the High Street and I stopped for some food. I found the best Hamburger I have ever tasted, the place was just called Hamburgers, the food was fresh cooked the downside being you have to wait in the queue for 15 minutes but it is well worth it. We then drove on to Muir Woods which has some of the tallest trees in the world, The Californian Redwoods.

Sergeant Pilkington at Muir Woods

We choose the hour and a half trail which was a nice trail along a boardwalk for the first 40 minutes then over a little stream and back along an uneven dirt track.

Muir Woods

Some of the trees here are over a 1000 years old and well over 300ft tall.

Me in a tree at Muir Woods

Me at Muir Woods

We then drove up to the Golden Gate view point and took some pictures of the bridge.

The Golden Gate Bridge

View of San Francisco

We then drove back into San Francisco and visited Fort Point to get another viewing spot for the bridge.

The Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge

Then we went to Alamo Square which has lovely little houses that always appear in films as the perfect house in the perfect street. This row of houses is supposed to be the most photographed place in San Francisco.

Alamo Square

We then drove to Haight Ashbury which is where the Hippie movement was in 1964. The place does not look like it has changed much with some cool shops, bars and restaurants. We found a small bar that served some food and had a beer and some grub.

Haight Ashbury

Haight Ashbury

Then it was back to the hotel for the night. I watched a couple of episodes of the TV series Lost then read some of my book before falling asleep.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Day 109 - San Francisco, California, USA

Day 109 – 25th September 2005 -8:00 GMT

We walked along Stockton Street amd through Chinatown until we reached Washington Square and saw the large church there.

Building in Chinatown Posted by Picasa

Church in Washington Square Posted by Picasa

We then walked up Lombard Street to Coit Tower where you get an amazing view of the bay.

View of Coit Tower Posted by Picasa

View of San Francisco Posted by Picasa

Then we went back down Lombard Street to the Crookedest part.

Lombard Street Posted by Picasa

We then went to Ghirardelli Square where we stopped for some lunch. Then we walked down to the waterfront and back along through Fisherman’s Wharf until we reached the Ferry Terminal for Alcatraz.

Alcatraz Posted by Picasa

We bought tickets a couple of days before and were booked on the 2:15pm Ferry. The Crossing to Alcatraz took just over 10 minutes and we then watched a short film on the history of Alcatraz. It was originally built as a fort to protect the bay area. It was made into a penitentiary in 1934 until 1963.

Alcatraz a.k.a The Rock Posted by Picasa

We then had the audio tour of the Jailhouse and saw the cells where Al Capone and the Birdman of Alcatraz were in.

Me in an Alcatraz Cell Posted by Picasa

Alcatraz Cells Posted by Picasa

Solitary Confinment Cell Posted by Picasa

The Audio Tour is brilliant and makes the place seem alive. We then looked at an exhibition about prisoners of age which was interviews of older people who have been jailed. We then had a walk around the recreation yard and around the rest of the island before catching the boat back to the mainland.

San Francisco Skyline Posted by Picasa

We then stopped for a pint in an Irish bar before catching the famous Powell and Mason Cable Car back to our hotel.

Powell and Mason Cable Car Posted by Picasa

San Francisco Posted by Picasa

Then we had to do the regular chore of washing. Then we headed to a diner for some food before calling it a night.
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