Tag archive for "nevada"

Jucy Wheels out West: the good, the bad and the budget

Destinations, Road Trip, USA, USA

Jucy Wheels out West: the good, the bad and the budget

No Comments 01 March 2013

We’ve been driving higher and higher on Highway 180 en route to the Big Stump Entrance of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, elevation markers letting us know we’ve reached 2000, 3000, 4000 feet. The last few miles have not been easy. The fog is so thick I can’t see more than 15 feet ahead. Then it disappears and reveals one of the most beautiful sites I’ve ever seen.

I’d tackle any hard drive for this view. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Rocky mountains and trees fill the scenery to my left and ahead, two my right, the tips of a few mountains peaking above the clouds. I realise I wasn’t driving through fog before, but those clouds below me right now. If that’s the case, then this must be heaven.

It looks like it anyway.

It’s next to impossible to justifiably sum up my three-week road trip with Jucy Rentals in Western USA. I met so many characters, fell in love with so many destinations and the number of moments that almost brought me to tears driving in this beautiful country, well most of those moments will remain within me.

For me, this wasn’t just a road trip through California, Nevada and Arizona, but a chance to reignite the flame with my homeland. I’ve been away from it for three years now. In that time, I started to forget just how incredible it is. This trip was a serious reminder of that.

So while I can’t possibly share with you all my best moments and stories from the road, I can explain this trip in terms of numbers and figures and a few of my favorite things along the way.

Route and destinations

I kicked off this three-week road trip in Los Angeles, headed straight for the Pacific Coast Highway and never looked back. After a night in Santa Barbara, I continued onwards to Morro Bay then to Big Sur with a quick stop at Hearst Castle. After a three-day love affair in Big Sur, I headed up to San Francisco, to visit Alcatraz and take advantage of all the free things to do in the Bay Area.

Sunset at Morro Bay made me wish I had more time to visit the waterfront town. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

The furthest north I hit on this trip was Napa Valley. From there I headed east to Yosemite National Park, then along the west side of the Sierra Nevada to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, after which I spent a night in the Mojave Desert. I spent one day cruising through the state of Nevada and one night in Lake Mead National Park.

I drove for about an hour on Route 66 on the way to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. A night in the national park there and I made my way back to the Pacific Coast with a few stops in between.

Three nights in Las Vegas, a day in Joshua Tree National Park then I was spreading my toes in the sand at Huntington Beach, CA. I beached it up during my last weekend with my Jucy Champ, visiting Venice Beach, Santa Monica and Malibu.

Distances and travel times

Altogether I covered just under 3000 miles around three states in Western USA: California, Nevada and Arizona. This took about 44 hours driving time in total, but fitting it all in three weeks was really tight. My longest drive in terms of distance was from the Grand Canyon South Rim, AZ to KOA at Circus Circus in Las Vegas, NV, 277 miles over about four and a half hours. The longest drive in terms of time, excluding inside national parks, was from Hearst Castle in San Simeon, CA to Fernwood Resort in Big Sur, CA, only 66 miles, but took about five hours, because of the routes winding roads and I kept stopping to take photos.

We made it to the Grand Canyon just before dark. Photo by Richard John Hackey

Budget (fuel, accommodation, food, activities, rental and insurance)

I spent a total of $559.94 on fuel. It cost me $505.71 to camp out 15 nights during the trip. I stayed with a friend for three nights in San Francisco, got a hotel room for one night at $70 in Napa Valley and used American Express points to spend two nights in a hotel in Las Vegas, which would have costs $60 total.

I went to the grocery store three times on this trip, which cost a total of about $150 in total. I spent about $400 between snacks, eating out and alcohol.

Between five National Parks ($90), various tours and tastings ($111) and one show in Las Vegas ($89), the total of activities adds up to $290.

Three weeks with my Jucy rental with unlimited mileage ($1,410), plus 21 nights of partial insurance ($189), since I was already covered for Supplementary Liability Insurance because with my own car in the USA cost a total of $1,599, plus taxes etc. All trip prices vary depending on how long you’ll be renting for, how many miles you’ll be traveling and what kind of insurance you require, so it’s best to get a quote for yourself.

This brings my trip to a grand total of $3,574.65. This is a basic budget you could use if you are interested in doing a similar road trip of the USA, but consider how many people will split the cost of fuel, camp fees, entrance to national parks, etc. Plus you know yourself best, how often will you be eating out or going out for the night. I did very little on both.

Favorite drive

There’s a reason why my drive from Hearst Castle to Big Sur was the longest in terms of time. The drive alone is stunning, sun setting on the Pacific Ocean to my left, rocky mountains to my right and to add to the thrill of it, this drive is along a cliff with a massive drop to the sea. But I also got to see some really cool things at stops along the way, elephant seals, whales, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and Henry Miller Memorial Library.

I must have stopped ten or twenty times in Big Sur to look at the sights. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Least favorite drive

After a long day of driving through Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, I went through the worst driving conditions I’ve ever experience on Route 58 in the Mojave Desert. Fog so thick, you could only see about two lines on the middle of the road ahead. This happened at night as well, when all I wanted to do was park up and sleep.

Favorite stop

This is a very hard one, but overall Joshua Tree National Park was best for me. I’ve wanted to see the National Park for a very long time and it was even more interesting than I anticipated. The town of Joshua Tree is small, but quality. The people in this area are really unique and fun. Plus we came across some random things in on our drive through here, like a drummer in the desert and an old western Hollywood set.

Make like a Joshua Tree. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Favorite RV park

During my trip I stayed in 13 different campgrounds and RV resorts. I can honestly say that they were all friendly and special for different reasons, but my favorite is going to have to be Fernwood Resort in Big Sur. The woods there are beautiful and I was parked up right next to the Big Sur River. The bathrooms are heated. Plus the Redwood Grill attached to this resort is cosy and filled with really friendly and interesting locals to talk to.

Colorful lights line the bridge across the Big Sur River at Fernwood Resort. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Best lesson

Buy a national park pass if you plan to road trip Western USA. The $80 “America the Beautiful” pass will allow you to enter and leave all National Parks in the country for an entire year. It be dumb not to visit National Parks in the USA and they each cost $10-25 to enter. We visited five in three weeks, which cost a total of $90, which means we could have saved $10 if we had known about this pass.

Want to read more? All posts about my trip out west can be found here. Enjoy and safe travels!

Thanks to Jucy Rentals USA for sponsoring my trip out West. Visit their website to start planning your own US road trip. Use the code “BobbiUSA” to receive 10% off your booking. Follow my trip right here on Heels and Wheels, as well as on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

As always, all opinions are my own.

Like what you see? Follow me on Bloglovin’, Twitter and Facebook to keep up with what I’m writing about. ;)

The road tripper’s guide to cooking like a champ

Destinations, Road Trip, USA, USA

The road tripper’s guide to cooking like a champ

4 Comments 27 February 2013

Being a budget traveler and just enjoying cooking in general, it means a lot when I can cook while traveling. That’s why the best thing, for me, about traveling with my Jucy Champ in California had to be the full kitchen in the back. I loved waking up and making breakfast in the middle of a Cachuma Lake Recreation Area or cooking as the sun sets next to me in Big Sur.

The nice thing about cooking on the road is not only that you eat more affordably, but also that you can pick the best seat in the house.

I mainly ate what was cooked from the back of my Champ on my tour out West. No matter how equipped the kitchen, cooking from the back of a vehicle is a lot different than cooking at home. This guide will name the essentials that should be on your first shopping list, things to keep in mind and my personal road trip recipes.

Cooking essentials

Do you often catch yourself saying, “Oh no, I forgot….”? Road trippers should purchase these three things on their first trip to the grocery store to be used throughout the trip.

  1. Salt and pepper
  2. Dish soap and sponge
  3. Olive oil or butter

Boiling some water from the back of my Jucy Champ for coffee in the morning at Cachuma Lake. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Make sure you have

You think soup would be something inexpensive and easy to make on your road trip, until you get back to the car to find you don’t have a can opener! Luckily, my Jucy rental came fully equipped, so I didn’t have to buy any extra appliances, but it’s always good to be sure. Before planning out your meals, make sure you have these key items.

  1. Can-opener (soups, tuna, sauces)
  2. Sharp knife (meats, vegetables)
  3. Cutting board
  4. Colander (pasta, rice, vegetables)

Tips and reminders

Some things that are obvious to seasoned road trippers are unknown to newbies. Keeps these things in mind when cooking in your RV or camper van.

  1. No illegal dumping. This applies to anything and everything coming out of your vehicle, not just bathrooms. If you are emptying your waste tank ask people on the campground where to dispose of it.
  2. Consider how long things take to cook. The butane gas cartridges used for portable gas stoves pack quite a bit of cooking time, but be realistic with how long your meal idea with take.
  3. Wash up immediately. This is the golden rule in all kitchens, but especially those in cars. It’s not a good idea to drive with things floating around. Wash up and put everything away after eating, so you can go as soon as you want to.
  4. Cool off. Make sure your stove top and any pots or pans have cooled down before putting them away.
  5. Plan ahead. Purchase all your groceries etc. in advance of visiting national parks or secluded areas. These places have few choices and most are more expensive than say in the suburbs or big towns.

Three meal ideas

There are so many things you can cook from the back of your camper van. My advice is to keep it simple, but still have fun. These three videos were all shot from the back of my Jucy camper van and will give you some ideas of things to cook on your road trip.

Breakfast: Eggs California

Lunch: Nachos Grande

Dinner: Creamy fettuccine with three-cheese sausage

Thanks to Jucy Rentals USA for sponsoring my trip out West. Visit their website to start planning your own US road trip. Use the code “BobbiUSA” to receive 10% off your booking. Follow my trip right here on Heels and Wheels, as well as on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

As always all opinions are my own.

Like what you see? Follow me on Bloglovin’, Twitter and Facebook to keep up with what I’m writing about. ;)

The road tripper’s guide to Las Vegas

Destinations, Guides, Road Trip, USA, USA

The road tripper’s guide to Las Vegas

No Comments 22 February 2013

The whole idea of Las Vegas, a mirage in the middle of the desert, makes it the perfect road trip city.

Its centrally located campgrounds allow road trippers to park up and leave the car for a few days. But for those who want to keep exploring there are plenty more interesting road side attractions, like the Hoover Dam, located less than an hour from Las Vegas Boulevard, otherwise known as “the Strip”.

Since the city packs so much, the only real problem is choosing what to do with your time here. This guide will help you decide that.

KOA at Circus Circus is the only RV Resort in Las Vegas located on the Strip. Perfect for road trippers. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Sleep

Las Vegas has quite a few campgrounds and RV resorts, but only a couple are located either on the Strip or right next to it. If you want to camp and be close to all the action, check out KOA at Circus Circus or Oasis Las Vegas RV Resort.

Further options can be found in the city, but Lake Mead National Recreation Area and Red Rock Canyon are two conservation areas located just outside the city that offer camping, making them ideal places to escape the 24/7 party, but still be within reach of it.

However, if there is one city you might consider ditching the RV or camper for a few days and staying in a hotel, it’s this one. Las Vegas has a very wide range of hotel rooms, some as low as $19 and centrally located. Staying in a hotel can be more affordable than camping in Las Vegas, but make sure to weigh out the two options.

Best part about road tripping into Las Vegas from the West? Passing the “Welcome to the Fabulous Las Vegas sign” on arrival. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Go

Vegas is a lot bigger than most people expect. The city limits stretch out much further than just one road full of casinos, so look into locations when booking or planning things here. It’s very easy to get around the city by car. Fuel is fairly affordable all over, though the further from the city center you are, the more affordable it becomes. Don’t forget to check out traffic reports during long weekends and holidays as this holiday destination will be a lot busier at those times. Always expect to drive slow down the Strip.

RVs or campers with height restrictions might have trouble finding parking in certain areas, especially Las Vegas Boulevard, because the parking is often in garages. Be mindful of this and plan ahead. Those who want to travel the Strip without their car, should purchase a one day pass for $7 with The Deuce, a double decker bus that runs up and down the Strip all day and night. Also look into what free shuttle services your hotel or campground offer.

Try Gordon Ramsay’s Burgr, which allows people to visit a famous chef’s joint, but at a decent price. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Eat

Fine dining in Sin City is endless and delectable. Some of the world’s best chefs work here and the city is known for its unique restaurants. For those on a budget, there are a lot of grocery stores, like Wal-Mart and Trader Joe’s, just off the strip to stock up food before parking up or heading out.

How about a drink of Absinthe? Or you could just see the show! Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Drink

Those who intend to take part in this city’s renowned nightlife scene should stay on the Strip to be closest to all the action. This will help you avoid expensive taxi fares or the hassle of worrying about public transportation on nights or days out, which you’re likely to have several of during your stay. Plus it’s easy to find nice, affordable rooms in this area, so there’s no reason not to book here.

Drinks are free to gamblers, whether they’re spending pennies on slot machines or Bejamins at poker tables. Tips are expected and you might have to wait longer for the following drink if you don’t. Another idea for affordable drinking is to check Spy On Vegas, which organizes open bars around the city during the week.

Walk across the Memorial Bridge for the best and scariest view of the Hoover Dam. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Play

Though visitors don’t really need to leave Las Vegas Boulevard during their stay, it would be good to also check out Downtown Las Vegas. This is the original Casino strip in Vegas. It’s great to check out the funky signage on Fremont Street here, though you probably won’t feel much like Sinatra walking through the somewhat cheesy enclosed area.

Remember that there is a lot more to do in Vegas than drink. If you’re getting a bit tired of the constant boozing, check out the city’s spas and shows, which are among the best in the world.

It’s amazing how many great things are within reach of Las Vegas and several tour operators use Vegas as a starting off point to see the Southwest. Less than thirty minutes from the Strip is Lake Mead, which is the largest reservoir in the USA, and Red Rock Canyon, which is known for its rock formations and Native American history. Beyond Lake Mead on Route 93, about 45 minutes from the Las Vegas city center is the Hoover Dam.

One final trip people often take from Las Vegas, but is very far out is to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. It takes about four hours to reach the South Entrance of this National Park and under three hours to reach the entrance to the skywalk, which goes out over Grand Canyon West, though this is not open all year.

Road tripping to San Francisco or Los Angeles? There’s a guide for that!

Thanks to Jucy Rentals USA for sponsoring my trip out West. Visit their website to start planning your own US road trip. Use the code “BobbiUSA” to receive 10% off your booking. Follow my trip right here on Heels and Wheels, as well as on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

As always, all opinions are my own.

Like what you see? Follow me on Bloglovin’, Twitter and Facebook to keep up with what I’m writing about. ;)

Forget green fairies, Absinthe is the best thing I’ve seen in Vegas

Destinations, Favorite Things, The Arts and Cabaret, USA

Forget green fairies, Absinthe is the best thing I’ve seen in Vegas

2 Comments 08 February 2013

If Absinthe were a woman, she’d be perfect.

Fun, sexy, silly, beautiful, flexible and a tad raunchy!

The good news is, Absinthe is not a girl, but one of the very best shows in Las Vegas at the moment, which means we can all have a go.

When Abby Tegnelia recommended me to this show, I said yes immediately. Not only because it sounded amazing, but also I’ve had my experience with Australian companies trying their hand at circus cabaret before. I fell in love with the concept with Cantina at the Brisbane Festival in 2010. I thought nothing could top that performance.

I was wrong.

Not only does Spiegelworld’s Absinthe, a no-hold-back parody of Cirque du Soleil, include half-naked acts accomplishing the impossible with flexibility and strength, but it’s also hysterical.

The Gazillionaire sets the night up to be hysterical for the start. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

In between each acrobatic act, show host, The Gazillionaire, and his assistant, Penny Pibbetts, relieve the crowd with some very on-point and limitless comedy.

Race, sex, religion, politics; there is absolutely nothing they won’t have a go at.

The Gazillionaire’s raspy-voiced rants are perfectly balanced by Pibbetts’ squeaky-voiced, school-girl tangents. It’s these characters and their massive disregard for political correctness that allow the pair to not just get away with absolutely anything, but do it with roaring applause and laughter from the entire crowd.

Full of characters, the cast taking a bow at the end of the show and Penny, not too sure what she’s doing. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

As for the circus performances, well that is in no laughing matter. I tried really hard to pick my favorite or most difficult-looking act of the show, but I just couldn’t. They were all incredible, but I’ll only highlight a few to leave some element of surprise for those who see this show.

A very intimate trapeze act at the start of the show. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

There’s Vladimir Malachkin who, after a drink of Absinthe, goes into a wild balancing act on six or so chairs stacked to make an unstable mountain. Then comes Duo Vector, two male body builders as well as the Gazillionaire’s body guards, who manage to make their strength-dependent act look soft and beautiful.

Vladimir balancing on a mountain of wooden chairs. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Vector Duo effortlessly balancing two bodies on one leg. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Sven and Roma perform a high-paced roller-skate act that includes Roma only attaching herself to Sven’s neck by a leather strap around her head and being spun around so fast by him you can’t even make out her body. The Esteemed Gentlemen of the Highwire finish the show with two of them balancing on a high wire while sharing the weight of a keg hoisted on two bars across their shoulders, the third does a free standing keg stand between them.

Balancing another person, while balancing yourself on a tightrope, that’s talent from The Esteemed Gentlemen of the Highwire. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

And sexy…

Well if the muscles and definition on the bodies of the acts above doesn’t do it for you, then Melody Sweets and Angel Porrino will. The Ava Gardner-looking Sweets, who plays the “Green Fairy” sings and dances her way around the stage and audience in sequined and feathered costumes a few times throughout the show. The blonde Porrino, doused in coconut oil, wears a bikini as she performs an adorable act which includes her getting inside a bubble.

As the Green Fairy, Melody Sweets will have members of the Absinthe audience seeing visions. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Angel Porrino from inside her bubble. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Everything about the show is perfect. The scenery, cast and crew and costumes will have you entertained at all times and transported from a white spiegeltent outside Caesars Palace in 2013 to a traveling circus tent somewhere out in the Midwest in 1943. We even stayed a short time after the show ended to see that not only were the performers still practicing and perfecting their act, but also chatting with fans. We had a chance to speak with the Gazillionaire, who stayed in character and on his toes, but was really kind and appreciative.

Everything about the Absinthe experience is different, even the look of the theater. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

There are very few shows as special as this, as different as this, as enjoyed by both men and women alike as much as this one. Spiegelworld fits perfectly in with the wild and wacky Vegas strip, but still manages to stand out. If there is one show you see in Sin City, make it this one.

Thanks to Spiegelworld for welcoming me out to see Absinthe in Las Vegas. Visit their site for more information on the show or to purchase tickets. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks to Jucy Rentals USA for sponsoring my trip out West. Visit their website to start planning your own US road trip. Use the code “BobbiUSA” to receive 10% off your booking. Follow my trip right here on Heels and Wheels, as well as on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

As always, all opinions are my own.

Like what you see? Follow me on Bloglovin’, Twitter and Facebook to keep up with what I’m writing about. ;)

Jucy Wheels Out West: Las Vegas to LA

Destinations, Road Trip, USA, USA

Jucy Wheels Out West: Las Vegas to LA

5 Comments 06 February 2013

Laying in bed inside my Jucy camper van, Santa Monica Mountains in front of me, the sun setting on the Pacific Ocean behind me as well as my favorite chef cooking away back there, I can’t help but get sentimental about the last three weeks. I’m spending the last night of my Jucy Wheels Out West tour in Malibu, California. Probably the only night I’ll ever be able to afford in Malibu, but definitely not the last night I’ll ever spend in a Jucy.

It was here that I really started my trip. I saw this RV Park one day short of three weeks ago when I hit the Pacific Coast Highway from LA en route to Santa Barbara. It’s hard to believe tomorrow I’ll be giving my Jucy wheels back. There’s still so much left to say about this trip and my experience out West. That will all come in the next few weeks. For now, here is how I spent my third and final week out West.

I ended the last post in the Grand Canyon. I had just seen one of America’s most epic sights at the last hours of the day. It’s a good thing I saw it then too, because the next day it disappeared.

Behind that layer of fog is the Grand Canyon. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

We woke up at about 6 a.m. last Monday hoping to see the sun rise behind the Grand Canyon, but the National Park had been hit with so much snow, we could barely see anything. Between snow and fog, you could only make out bits of the 1,218,375.54-acre canyon. It was like David Copperfield had thrown us a treat before we even arrived in Vegas.

After playing in the snow, we hit the roads as soon as possible, because the weather report was not getting any better.

You know what one of my favorite things about the Southwest is? You can go from freezing in the snowy mountains in the morning to wearing nothing but shorts and a t-shirt in the desert by early afternoon. This area of the world really does have it all.

We arrived at Las Vegas KOA at Circus Circus, an RV park located right on the Strip, just in time for a quick dinner and bottle of wine before hitting the town. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, so I’ll just go over some quick points.

You don’t often see photos of Las Vegas during the day. Here’s the Las Vegas Strip from the top of the Stratosphere. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Ric and I did just about everything a person is expected to do in Sin City: drink, gamble, eat, see a show, visit a strip club and get hitched…

Just kidding!

Our first night was an interesting one and both nights that followed just got better.

Night two I met up with Abby Tegnelia, The Neon Jungle Princess, for dinner at D.O.C.G. at The Cosmopolitan. She’s one of those Twitter friends I’ve been talking to for almost three years and knew I would like right away. So glad we could finally meet, drink wine and share my first truffle experience together. Try “The D.O.C.G. Pizza”, which comes with fonduta, egg and truffles, but make sure they don’t lose the egg on your pizza.

It was Abby’s suggestions that made night three in Las Vegas so incredible. First stop was Yellowtail at the Bellagio for a “Big Eye Tuna Pizza”. Everyone raves about this menu item. It’s really different (tuna, truffle oil and micro shiso on a crispy base), but it works.

Next, we went to see Absinthe, located in the white circus tent outside Caesars Palace. I’ll go more into this circus/cabaret spoof on Thursday, but for now I’m just going to say that it was one of the best and most unique shows I’ve ever been to. We ended the night at BURGR, Gordon Ramsay’s gourmet burger joint at Planet Hollywood. I had truffles yet again. Truffle fries with truffle aioli, how do you say no to that? Amazing, yet very affordable restaurant on Las Vegas Boulevard.

This is only a preview of Absinthe. Come back Thursday to read about the show and see more photos from it. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

We left Vegas Thursday with only a tiny hangover, but empty pockets. A quick stop at Downtown Vegas then to the “Welcome to the Fabulous Las Vegas sign” for a photo with Elvis and we were off to Joshua Tree National Park.

The towns surrounding this park, seem very strange, since they literally pop up right out of the desert and are all home to some interesting characters. We stayed in the town of Joshua Tree and I kind of fell in love with it. It doesn’t have many shops, bars or cafes, but what it does have are independently-owned and quality. Visit bulletin boards located near Grateful Desert to find out about drum circles and parties at random locations in the desert.

Me, acting like a Joshua Tree. Photo by Richard John Hackey

I’ve wanted to visit Joshua Tree since college, when a professor showed us photos from a family vacation there in a media class. Then there was the Entourage episode in Joshua Tree, and well…

There is something about deserts that intrigues me, but this one especially. The National Park is one of the most interesting places you’ll ever see. Desert with random rock formations and yucca trees (Joshua Trees) that look like people waving their arms like they’re at a concert. To top off what is already an incredible place, all of a sudden a guy with a decked out bike and funky hat would drive by us waving, or-boom-a drummer on the side of the road.

They definitely do in Joshua Tree. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

This is my favorite of all the National Parks we visited on this trip. It’s one of those places you hear about, but think, “No that couldn’t exist.”. We visited Wonderland of Rocks (rock formations area), Keys View (where you can see the San Andreas Fault) and Barker Dam (where you can see Native American Petroglyphs) in the Park, then made our way to Huntington Beach, but not without first stopping at Pioneertown for a chilli burger at Pappy and Harrietsand impromptu Western photo shoot in the old Hollywood film set.

Ric doing his best John Wayne at Pioneertown, California. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

It was nice to see the beach again in Huntington, which is the ideal California beach town to spend a few days. We saw bonfires as we entered and took photos with surfers the following day while doing Jucy promotions.

After two nights in Huntington, we made our way back to Los Angeles, visiting Venice Beach along the way. Sorry to say, but this was the first place on this entire trip that disappointed me. There is a lot going on in Venice Beach. In fact, there’s too much going on there. Yet all we really wanted to do was find a nice affordable restaurant and we couldn’t do that. And muscle beach-I saw no muscles there :(

But if that was the only thing that disappointed me in three weeks of touring Western America, well that’s pretty good I think.

The sun came out strong on our last day of this trip and we got to see Malibu at it’s best, though I’m not sure this place really has a bad side. Tomorrow I go from Jucy Wheels to Homeless Heels. Though after touring California for almost two weeks, I can think of worse places to make the transition.

Thanks to Jucy Rentals USA for sponsoring my trip out West. Visit their website to start planning your own US road trip. Use the code “BobbiUSA” to receive 10% off your booking. Follow my trip right here on Heels and Wheels, as well as on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

A special thanks to Spiegelworld for welcoming me out to see Absinthe.

As always, all opinions are my own.

Like what you see? Follow me on Bloglovin’, Twitter and Facebook to keep up with what I’m writing about. ;)

Tour the Jucy Champ (Video)

Destinations, Road Trip, USA, USA

Tour the Jucy Champ (Video)

14 Comments 15 January 2013

The sun is shining, ocean calm calm and the Pacific Coast Highway empty. Sounds like a good day to start my Jucy road trip in Western USA.

The down-under rental company premiered in the States this past summer and after driving it for only one day, I can honestly say it’s a unique addition to the country’s roadways. Everywhere I stop people stare, ask questions and get excited about my adorable green Jucy Champ, a pimped out Chrysler minivan.

It’s easy to under stand why.

To start with, the van drives like a dream and isn’t too much to handle for people who aren’t used to driving big cars. It’ll get you more miles to the gallon than those massive RVs, but still has plenty of space to spread out and get comfortable.

And what does all that space include?

On top of all the basics of modern vehicles, power-steering; air conditioning and what not, this ride also includes:

  • penthouse bed on top with ladder to reach it
  • a fold out, standard-size bed inside, suitable for two people
  • sheets, pillow, towels and blankets
  • DVD player, CD player and radio
  • 41-liter fridge
  • sink with a fresh water tank
  • gas cooker
  • interior table as well as another fold out table for outside
  • dishes, cutlery, kettle, pots and pans
  • interior lighting, blinds and electrical outlets

The Jucy team in Los Angeles were extremely helpful in showing me how to use the all the Champ’s goodies. I’ve already assembled my bed for the night and am now laying down in it, parked up on the beach in Santa Barbara. Already loving my life on the road with Jucy.

Thanks to Jucy Rentals USA for sponsoring my trip out West. Visit their website to start planning your own US road trip. Use the code “BobbiUSA” to receive 10% off your booking. Follow my trip right here on Heels and Wheels, as well as on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. As always all opinions are my own.

Like what you see? Follow me on Bloglovin’, Twitter and Facebook to keep up with what I’m writing about. ;)

Jucy Wheels Out West

Blog, Destinations, Other, Road Trip, USA, USA

Jucy Wheels Out West

10 Comments 09 January 2013

There’s something about Western USA that just pulls people in. It’s in the shining lights of cities like Los Angeles and Las Vegas, the wide open roads on the Pacific Coast Highway and especially the jaw-dropping landscapes of national parks like Yosemite and Grand Canyon. The West has long attracted travellers looking to stretch out or even make it big.

And in 2013 that’s going to be me.

I’m happy to announce that for my first trip of 2013 I’ll be heading out with with Jucy Rentals in the USA. During the three week tour of California and Nevada, I’ll be stopping at three major cities, at least five national parks and as many beaches as humanly possible.

I was first introduced to Jucy almost three years ago in Australia. Their cute green and purple vans with an even cuter pin-up girl on the side were extremely popular down under, which made me envious that we never had anything like that in the States.

Not anymore.

A look at my Wheels out West, the Jucy Champ campervan. Photo courtesy of Jucy Rentals

The vehicle rental company premiered in the USA this past summer. Why is this so exciting? Because they offer affordable rentals allowing people at all ages and budgets to go on the road trip they’ve always dreamed of, including me.

It may sound weird, but I’ve traveled the world more than my own country. This will be my first serious road trip of the USA since childhood. Sure I went on the regular family road trips and I’ve been on a few weekend trips here and there, but I’ve never been on a large-scale road trip anywhere in the USA and have traveled minimally out West.

So after three years of living abroad, it’s finally time to travel the homeland. The trip will start and finish in Los Angeles, looping out to Las Vegas than on to the Grand Canyon and back.

Photo courtesy of Google Maps

Here are a few of the things I’m most excited about:

Big cities:

  • Los Angeles
  • San Francisco
  • Las Vegas

Big parks:

  • Big Sur
  • Yosemite
  • Grand Canyon
  • Joshua Tree

Big attractions:

  • Eames House
  • Hearst Castle
  • Alcatraz
  • Napa Valley

It’s going to be a full three weeks. Luckily, I won’t be doing it alone. I’ll be catching up with friends along the way, traveling with Emily, one of my best friends from college, from Big Sur to San Francisco and meeting up with Ric in Napa Valley to finish off the trip together.

I’ve done my research and picked out a lot of places I’m eager to visit, but I want to hear from you! Where would you visit on a road trip of Western USA? What sights are you eager to see and what would you like to know more about?

Thanks to Jucy Rentals USA for sponsoring my trip out West. Visit their website to start planning your own US road trip. Use the code “BobbiUSA” to receive 10% off your booking. Follow my trip right here on Heels and Wheels, as well as on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. As always all opinions are my own.

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