Dream Destination: Sequoia National Park

Today I thought I would share some pictures of one of the places we visited on our trip through California earlier in the year. I had always wanted to see the tall trees. What I now know is that big trees can mean several different types – all in California. What we actually saw was The General Sherman tree (a Sequoia), the biggest tree (by volume) in the western hemisphere, in Sequoia National Park.

We started our journey to Sequoia from Yosemite and it took us around 4 hours, climbing to 6 thousand feet above sea level more than once on route. When we eventually reached the edge of the park we still had quite a drive to reach the main area where there is a cluster of ‘big trees’. We made a brief stop at Lodgepole for a bad sandwich with little else on offer before heading onwards to wards the big trees.

Big trees was a relative term, in fact although on the park maps only a few of the biggest were made note of, we drove through some absolute whoppers and the grove of trees that the General Sherman itself was in, was positively teaming with them.

Top image: The General Sherman tree.

It was a pretty incredible sight, walking though them, (sometimes quite literally as some fallen ones have features like a carved out tunnel,) craning your neck and squinting to view the top most branches.

Bottom image: Beetle Rock, with a view out over towards the California coast

I love the pictures we have here – the perspective and sense of the enormity of the trees and I’m really glad we went end though it required a massive detour on route to Vegas. In actual fact, Sequoia is much more of a wilderness experience if you really want to get back to nature – 100 times more ’empty’ than Yosemite was. We only spent about an hour there, spotting in at the visitor centre, mindful of the fact we had another 3 or more hours to drive south to our stop that evening in Kernville.

Have you ever seen the big trees?


PS Want to read more about my trip to California?

Dream Destination… Palm Springs

So is anyone else with me when I say I am really not loving the whole back to work thing this week? Four day weekends are not good for me!

This weekend Pete and I spent a lot of time planning. Planning our next holiday that is. Some of you may know about my love of American holidays, so much so that we spent our honeymoon travelling California from San Francisco to Napa then back down the breathtaking Pacific Coast highway to Santa Monica, Los Angeles. We always regretted that we didn’t make it to Yosemite National Park with its awe inspiring scenery so that’s our intention this time. This weekend was spent trying to narrow down the route and there was a significant destination casualty due to sheer distance, one where I had already found 2 fabulous hotels that I am desperate to stay in, so I decided to share them with you all here in the hope that one of you will get to enjoy them before I finally get there!

First up, one that has been doing the rounds in blog land recently and quite rightly described as the Rainbow hotel, actually called The Saguaro Palm Springs.

I guess it’s no surprise that I’d go for a place this colourful, but for me it just looks stunning against the many colours of the desert landscape. I love the desert scenery, the shades of red in the rocks, the dazzling blue sky and the glittering blue pools and those colours just make it pop right out of the photos.

Doesn’t this place just look like the most fun too? I was looking for a destination where we would get guaranteed sunshine and after trekking through National Parks, could look for some glamour and poolside cocktails. I reckon the pool scene at a place like this would be rockin’.

Second up, a hotel I fell in love with when still immersed in the wedding world, The Ace Hotel Palm Springs. Part of a larger group of hotels with locations including New York, Seattle and Portland, each one has a distinctly unique and individual feel. I’m loving the mid-century modern vibe it’s got going on, built on a midcentury modern motel site.

Images credit: Douglas Lyle Thompson

The other side of the dessert-cool coin is that washed out vintage retro look and The Ace appeals to me on so many levels. I love travelling to get inspiration and try out being a different person almost in a different place, drinking in the surroundings. It would literally kill me to choose between these two!

So tell me, have you been lucky enough to visit either of these beauties? Or if this is an exercise in walking your imagination, like it is for me today, then tell me which one gets your vote.


PS Best part about both of these is that when I was pricing them up (for a few weeks time) they were coming in at around $150 a night or less – The Saguaro is doing introductory rates as it’s new.

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