Special Travel Agent Jo here! My brief? No, not to Infinity & Beyond – but to join “Team Charlie Brown” in a mission to go in search of Snoopy who it was rumoured had been kidnapped in California!
I always wanted to see the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and I was not disappointed. The vibrant orange/red coloured construction leads you over the bay and from here you get great views of the city skyline and Alcatraz.
A city tour is a brilliant way to familiarise yourself with the logistics of this “city by the Bay”. Union Square, good for shopping, Fisherman’s Wharf, the main tourist area with easy access to Pier 39 ferries to Alcatraz, and famous city trams.
We went to the North Beach district one night, with a guide who took us on an informative pub crawl (yes it was work- and no sign of Snoopy anywhere!), sampling local brews while the guide told us about San Francisco’s history.
San Francisco has so much to see and do so I would recommend a minimum of three nights to get into the rhythm of it all.
A Snoopy clue then took us to Yosemite, where we stayed in the quirky, friendly town of Mariposa, named after the Spanish word for butterfly. Mariposa keeps its original bygone era of charm, yet it has a feel for the Old West - one of the gold rush towns with mining tunnels, and an old stone jail. The modern gold rush scene nowadays includes a visit to some of the microbreweries where you can taste locally produced gold coloured beers in an arts and crafts atmospheric setting. There are plenty of outdoor activities, hiking, fishing, cycling, and why not try the number 1 rated attraction – zip lining over the forests! An adrenaline rush sweeps over you as you take to the wires and travel at speed, whizzing over the trees – on one line you even have a bean bag to aim yourself to drop on as a landing point - easier said than done!
Yosemite National Park, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the USA was in full Autumnal bloom, and we were camping out there in the midst of all that colour!
The next morning we were hiking, walking on the walking trails and cycling through dense forests, passing waterfalls and winding rivers – “Snoopy! Snoopy! Where are you?” With no luck there, we took the Tioga Pass out of Yosemite to Mono Lake, an ancient saline lake that covers over 70miles and has a unique productive ecosystem, no fish but home to trillions of brine shrimp and alkali flies. We didn’t think Snoopy would be here – it’s not his favourite food at all!
So we continued south to the year round resort of Mammoth Lake, set in the Sierra Nevada - Mammoth Mountain attracts crowds in the winter, for its top class skiing and snow boarding – very popular as most accommodation has ski in/out facilities. It was September, and rumours were that bears had been spotted in town, so I decided to search for some myself and took a walk around Horse Shoe Lake when it began to snow – yes it was bizarre to be out in the snow!! If you were to have a twin centre holiday with Mammoth Mountain and Las Vegas or Los Angeles you would have to pack for two weather extremes!!
Anyway back to my walk – no bears and no Snoopy dog either!
So Team Charlie Brown continued to Visalia, a town situated close to the Sequoia National Park, to enjoy the sights of the giant sequoia trees - the forests are vast, and the highlight here is the world’s largest (in volume) tree -“The General Sherman”. Sequoia National Park is a beautiful location for walking, hiking, horse riding, skiing and sledding in the winter. Wow I was so lucky to see a bear!
Heading back to the city of Los Angeles our final destination was Anaheim, and Disneyland of course! – the original Walt Disney inspired park. Nearby is Knotts Berry Farm – another famous theme park featuring wooden roller coasters, and more thrilling rides. At Knotts Berry Farm you can meet the Peanuts characters – Charlie Brown, Lucy, Pig Pen, Woodstock and at last !! Snoopy himself!
It was here at our grand finale that we showcased our time in California, Team Charlie Brown had found Snoopy – Mission Accomplished!
Would you like to know more about any of my adventures in search of Snoopy?
Give me a call, and I will tell you all!
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No, I'm not a Travel Guru, but I have loved travelling since I was five years old, and more than love travel... I love to share my experiences... and show you our Wonderful World through my eyes!