Place 79 – Day 4: Austin,TX – Axe Throwing & Monster Jam!

Axe Throwing

We slept in and had about 10 hours sleep, which was excellent!We left the house and went to Urban Axes, which is an indoor axe throwing place.We booked in for 15:15 and went for a coffee at a coffee shop nearby.We got back to Urban Axes, filled in our waivers and threw some axes! It was an hour of axe throwing but this was shared with 6 of us in total, as we joined in with a family.

We did a small tournament at the end and we both did alright!

We left the axe place and drove back home to relax briefly before heading back out again.

Monster Jam

We went out for some food before we went into the Monster Jam. We got to the event centre but as we needed food we stopped to see what food there was around.We found a German pub to go to, so we took the short walk down to that. It was very busy in here, but we got a table.Curtis ordered a Bratwurst and Kim got a pulled pork sandwich.

The food here was just OK, but it filled us up a bit.We ate up and then headed back to the event centre and into Monster Jam.We had pretty good seats and the show started shortly after we entered.There was first a monster truck parade, which was loud!

We then saw the first event which was racing. This was alright, but ended a bit too quick.

There was then some ATV racing involved and then monster truck two wheel challenges, donut challenges, more ATV racing and monster truck freestyle.

We left the event having had a pretty good time, but it wasn’t as good as we thought it would have been.


Monster Jam

Rating:- 7/10


Downtown At Night

We walked for 20 minutes to get to the main party area to check it out. There were a lot of bars but they went all that great, so we left. It did look cool at night, though.

We got a Lyft home, watched something when we got back and then headed to bed.Another busy day but good fun!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

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Place 79 – Day 2: Austin,TX – Jacob’s Well

Jacob’s Well

The weather wasn’t as warm today, but still plenty warm enough.

We planned to head out pretty early today, but we slept in a bit and then the bathroom was being used this morning so we couldn’t get showered, so we left around 12:00.

We headed out of Austin for 1 hour to a town called Wimberley. This town is home to Jacob’s Well, which is a large underwater cave which, during summer, people jump into.

The dark part of the water here is the well

This was named a well because it resembled one, back in the 1800s.

We were not here during the swimming season, but wanted to take a look.

We walked down some stairs which went through a nice tree covered walkway, which looked awesome.

We got down to the well and instantly noticed how tiny it was. On the photos the area looks large, but in actuality it was very small.

There were another couple there who were taking photos, so we had to work around them, but we got some pretty cool shots.


Jacob’s Well | Wimberley,TX

Rating:- 6/10


We left here after only 30 minutes, but did have a go on the swings they had there before we went.

Coffee, A Muffin & Big Tacos

We went for a coffee and a muffin in a really nice coffee shop called Blanco Brew in Wimberley.

We were really happy with the coffee shop. Incredible coffee, nice staff and a tasty muffin, which we got warmed up.


Blanco Brew | Winberley,TX

Rating:- 10/10


We left here and went for a taco each in a gas station, which apparently had really good tacos.

We thought they were alright, a little big and not enough meat, but the meat was good. Probably around a 7/10.

Playoff Hockey

We drove back home and then Curtis watched the first game of the Leafs playoff first round.

Whilst Curtis did this, Kim booked something really exciting for tomorrow, which will be fun! She then had to go out and get some lunch items for tomorrow.

Throwback Dinner

We had chicken pesto pasta for dinner, which is a travelling throwback dinner, but we went fancy and had red pesto instead, with a side of salad.

We watched the latest episode of Jane The Virgin and then went to sleep. Up at a decent time tomorrow!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 78 – Day 2: Hurricane,UT – Zion National Park Emerald Pool Trail

Alarm Fail

We had set an alarm, but incorrectly, so we didn’t wake up at the time we wanted.

We had breakfast and had a conversation with our host and then had showers getting ready to go out.

Finding Parking

We made our way to Zion National Park to go for a hike, but on the way the was a sign stating that the main carpark was full so we had to park in the town just before.

We were unsure where to park, so we stopped at the visitor centre and they said we can park there for $15.

We parked up and took the free shuttle to the park.

Emerald Pool Trail

We didn’t want to do a crazy hike today, and the weather wasn’t great either, so we found a short one called three Emerald Pool Trail.

We had to take the bus from the National Park entrance (where we had to pay $35 for entry in total, lasting us 7 days) up to stop 5 which was where our required trail was.

We began walking the trail and we noticed that the path wasn’t really wode enough for the amount of people, but we made it work.

We got up to the emerald pool section, which was a small waterfall and that was it. The higher section was closed, unfortunately.

We turned around and walked back to the area we got dropped off.

Horses

We saw a paddock full of horses, so we went to see them and say hello.

Walking Part Way Back

We didn’t want to take the bus back from this point as we wanted to explore more, so we asked the lodge nearby how we can walk to the next bus stop down the road and they told us.

We walked on a sand track which is used for the horse riding and this took us quite a bit of time but it was nice as there weren’t many people there, other than the horses we came across.

That being said, we did see some deer too!

We walked on and on and saw some tremendous mountains and rocks.

Arriving at the bridge we needed to cross, we has to get some photos as the were no people around.

We wanted to take the bus from this stop, but it was full on 2 attempts but on there 3rd the driver said she could fit 2 people on, so we squeezed in and rode the bus to the end of the park.

We decided against taking the bus from here to the car as it was set to be absolutely full again, so we walked for 30 minutes to get there instead.

Drive Back

We got the car and drove back home. On the way, the mountains looked crazy, with the contrast of the clouds, snow topped mountains and desert.

We got some more beautiful scenery and then arrived home.

We got home and relaxed for a while. Curtis watched hockey and Kim had a nap.

We went to the supermarket to get something for dinner and decided upon hot dogs with a side of caesar salad.

We are up early tomorrow to get parking at the park itself and to hike some more!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 77 – Day 2: Las Vegas,NV – 8 Year Anniversary, The Strip & Best Meal Ever

Breakfast

We got up at a decent(ish) time, but as we are in a hotel, we don’t have a kitchen, so we had to go out for breakfast.

We went to Denny’s for breakfast and each got some sausages, egg, bacon and Curtis got muffins whilst Kim got pancakes with hers.

Curtis had a few cups of coffee and then we left to head down to the strip.

The Strip

We got to the Mendeley Bay hotel where we got out and walked around.

Whilst we were in our Lyft, we were told that the mango margarita from a specific bar was good, so we went there to share one.

Once we had that, we walked around and looked at shops before we went outside and explored the rest of the strip.

We didn’t do anything really, just walked around looking at each restaurant and attraction.

We saw the big fountain by Bellagio and walked around a few hotels.

Manicure & Pedicure

We came back to the hotel and Curtis watched hockey. Whilst he did that, Kim got a manicure and pedicure as she has wanted one for a while.

Best Dinner Ever

As it was our 8 year anniversary, we found a nice restaurant to head to for dinner.

We got a couple of drinks before we went in and then were called in when our table was ready.

We had a booth which was lovely!

Firstly, our waiter, Miguel, was excellent. We got some free bread with a delicious tomato concoction.

We got steak tenderloin with mushrooms for a starter, which was actually a lot of food!

This starter was amazing, and then we moved to the main.

We had a 10oz Filet Mignon each, cooked medium rare, with the signature sauce, accompanied with white truffle oil whipped potato and asparagus with onion and balsamic.

This is the best meal, and steak, we have ever had. The steak was 30 day dry aged, butchered on site and is in the top 9% of all of the US beef.

This meal was great and we left incredibly full and very happy.


Andiamo Steakhouse | Las Vegas,NV

Rating:- 10/10


We went to bed right when we got back as it was 23:30!

We had a great time today as well as some great food. Who knows what happens tomorrow?


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 76 – Day 4: Los Angeles,CA – Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills & New Shirts

Lazy Morning

We had a pretty lazy morning today. We have been quite non stop for the last few days, so wanted a bit of time to recover this morning.

We watched some TV whilst we ate breakfast and then peeled ourselves out of bed.

Uber Fun

We booked a ‘shared’ uber, which we had sone on Lyft before but never on Uber. It had said that the driver was collecting someone before us, so it would take 10 minutes to get to us. We waited and waited and then noticed he was getting further and further away! He never came towards us, so we cancelled, which was luckily free, and reported it.

Rodeo Drive

Rodeo Drive is one of those places you’re just meant to go to in LA, so we did just that.

We wandered around looking at the shops which we cannot afford to shop in and we looked at the crazy cars driving up and down the streets.

Beverly Hills

We walked down into the Beverly Hills area as we needed to head that way to get to a shopping centre. There were some beautiful houses and it was a very quiet area. It was nice and peaceful to walk through.

Pretzels & New Shirts

We got to the shopping centre after about 40 minutes of walking and then headed right for the food as we were hungry!

We found a place called Wetzel’s Pretzels, which is a terrific name for a pretzel store!

We got a big soft pretzel and some cinnamon pretzel bits, along with a tasty lemonade.


Wetzel’s Pretzels | Los Angeles,CA

Rating:- 10/10


We saw a shop near where we were which sold shirts. Curtis needed to buy a couple of shirts, so we went in here to have a look.

We found two shirts and one was on deal, so that was a result! Curtis is now the owner of 2 more shirts.

Uber Home

We got an uber home with a sassy Uber driver, it was definitely not one of the best drives we’ve had!

We got back home and Curtis watched the remainder of the Leafs game and then we went down to the supermarket to get things for dinner.

Dinner

We got pasta and a sauce to go with the remainder of the chicken from the other day. This was a tasty and quick meal!

Relaxed Evening

We relaxed and watched some TV, followed by a film called When We First Met. This film was better than we both expected and was actually quite funny.


When We First Met

Rating:- 7/10


Tomorrow

Tomorrow should be super fun, but hard work, if we do what we are planning to do.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 76 – Day 3: Los Angeles,CA – Venice Beach, Santa Monica Pier & A Comedy Show

Family Chat

We has a 1 – 1.5 hour facetime with Curtis’ family, in which we discussed a whole host of things and just ‘caught up’ in general.

Marina Del Ray

We got ready and then dropped off at Marina Del Ray. We are huge fans of NCIS:LA and had read that the ‘boatshed’ from the show is around this area, so we went looking.

After looking for a bit of time, and coming across a really nice area, we decided to take an e-scooter and head to the opposite side of the marina as we believed the boatshed was on that end.

A Nice Lighthouse In The Area

The Marina Was Pretty

Low and behold, we couldn’t find it, so we gave up and walked to Venice Beach.

Venice Beach

We got to Venice Beach, in terrific weather, and the first port of call was a bite to eat.

As to be expected, there were a lot of expensive places and we stopped in one of them and got pulled pork sliders, which looked good but really weren’t. We didn’t even catch the name of the place we ate, but the food wasn’t that great.

After food, we went for a walk along Venice Beach. We walked for a long while, until we came across Muscle Beach & a skate park.

We spent some time at these places and watched people do their thing. Kim even gave the rope climb a go, which she conquered!

Santa Monica Pier

We walked on from Venice Beach towards Santa Monica pier, where Kim saw a hoop and had to do some tricks on it!

We saw the pier from the beach and then headed up onto it.

The pier really wasn’t that interesting and we had evening plans, so we walked up the road to find a ride back home.

We had to wait a while, but got a ride home and once we got back, we realised that Panda Express was so close, so we got some food from there to save time.

We got the orange chicken again, as well as spicy chicken and Curtis got some wok fired fired shrimp, too!

On the way home, Kim managed to break her flip flops so we had to throw those away and she had to walk home barefooted.

Comedy Show

We ate our food and then had to get ready to go back out again.

In West Hollywood, there is a comedy place called Comedy Store which Kim had seen a few well known names were performing tonight, so we got some tickets! Kim got to dress up and even had shoes at this point in the day.

We stood in line for a while, but eventually got in, got our seats and ordered some drinks.

We Were Very Close To The Stage!

There were a few big names, such as Iliza Shlesinger, Sarah Silverman and Jimmy O. Yang.

We couldn’t film or take photos at all, but believe us when we say it was a pretty hilarious 3 hours! Whilst watching, we got a bottle of wine to share and Curtis got a whiskey. There was a minimum 2 drink limit anyway, so why not!

We got a Lyft home and it was safe to say it was bed time.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 74 – Day 4: San Francisco,CA – Alcatraz & Cable Car

Alcatraz

We took the tram to the city this morning and then had to take another tram to get down to where we needed to be.

We got there at exactly the time we needed to be and then had to stand in line for a while.

We eventually started to board the boat to Alcatraz Island (which means Pelican, by the way!).

The Arrival

We arrived at the island fairly quickly and there were a lot of people!

We first had to stop at the entrance and get a brief talk from a park ranger as Alcatraz is a national park.

The first building itself is quite daunting as thst isn’t even the prison! There is a cool sign at the entrance, too;

Theatre

We made our way up to the theatre and got a seat whilst waiting for the introductory film to play.

The film was about 15 minutes long and just explained the history of Alcatraz.

Workshop

We moved on from here to one of the workshops which was only open for a brief time today.

Along the way, we saw the power station, remains of the officer recreation hall and the former firing range.

The Power Station

Recreation Hall For Officers

We entered the workshop and it was pretty damaged. Most glass was smashed and there were sinks and toilets leftover, as well a sign, for some reason!

There was an art exhibition in another room in here, but it was pretty unrelated to the workshop.

This is the place in which prisoners would work, making things, sometimes for the military but also worked in the laundry area.

There were some incredible views from this island, especially with the weather we had for the start of the day!

The Prison

We walked up to the prison, getting some awesome photos on the way.

The Cell Block

The First Lighthouse In Western America

We got to the start of the audio tour, which was in the shower block of the prison, where there was also clothes from the prison times.

We went from here up some stairs and into the main prison block.

The audio guide told us multiple stories and information about different cells and locations around the prison, including solitary confinement, attempted escapes, living conditions and more.

A Prison Cell Which Someone Escaped From

Solitary Confinement

A Solitary Confinement Cell – Nicer, But The Prisoner Spends 24/7 Here

The Main Hallway

We moved through the library and we were then told about a part of the prison that has marks on the floor from grenade blasts which were thrown in during an attempted escape, via a hole in the roof.

We saw the visitation station, followed by the officer area and then the officer’s control room.

The final area was the most dangerous – The dining hall. This was where everyone ate and therefore had cutlery. A lot of the kitchen equipment is still there, along with a board of the menu for breakfast.

The food was the best here out of all the prisons, so much so that the guards ate the same as the prisoners.

Former Inmate

There was a former inmate, now in his 80’s, who was signing books. He has written a book about being in Alcatraz. His name is William Baker.


Here Is A Link To William Baker’s Book

– Amazon


The Trip Back To San Francisco

We took the boat back and, by this time, having spent a while on the island, the weather had got more overcast, more windy, and much colder!

We got back to the city safe and sound and went for a coffee to warm up.

In And Out Burger

We had seen that In And Out burgers were meant to be great, so we lined up to get ours!

The menu hasn’t changed since 1948, so there weren’t many options, but we had to get the ‘double-double’ which was double beef and double cheese.


In And Out Burger History


The ingredients are fresh and made to order, so it’s fast food, but fresh!

The burgers and the fries were terrific. The fries don’t look great, but they were fresh and delicious!

Cable Car

We were well filled, so we left here and planned to head home, but then saw the old cable car and had to jump on! Our transport passes got us on, too, so that’s a win!

These cable cars were 146 years old and the only city to have them was San Francisco.

We eventually got a chance to ride it hanging off the edge, which was awesome!

New Shoes

We got off the cable car in the shopping district and got Curtis a cheap pair of shoes for summer.

Curtis’ current shoes have lasted well, but they’ve hit the end of their life, so new shoes it is for Curtis. He got some nice Levi’s shoes, weirdly. Just $20 though!

Rammed Tram

We took the tram home, but this was at around 19:00 so it was absolutely rammed for a while.

We got home and were incredibly tired…we have been on our feet for over 9 hours, so laying down and watching TV was great.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale