San Francisco to Los Angeles - Travel Review

Updated: Mar 23, 2021

Sitting on a big bus staring out of the front window, contemplating if it is wise to use the coach toilet or if it is better to wait until our next stop, listening to a variety of songs from Elvis (Latest Flame) to David Bowie (Space Oddity) and everything that exists in between, I decided it was time for an update on my blog.

The coach in question is actually a Greyhound bus and the route is San Francisco to Los Angeles. We’re currently on some highway or freeway, although I couldn’t tell you which. I’m thoroughly enjoying it actually. We’re sitting right at the front so the view is fabulous!

It was hard to open up the teeny laptop that we’ve brought with us for fear of missing our surroundings which consist of grassy hills for miles, and giant shopping departments. The road ahead is like something different altogether. Constantly changing, we’ve seen three to six lanes. The drivers don’t hesitate when it comes to overtaking, and quite literally zig-zag in and out of the cars surrounding them, much to the annoyance of our delightful driver, Felicia.

I like her a lot. On boarding she seemed to be filled with joy, very happy to be meeting us. Now however, she lets out the occasional angry outburst at the drivers cutting in front of us, muttering to herself and gesturing with her hands and seems to be annoyed that “Justin Bieber” is town, which is apparently causing us some delays among the other unknown delays such as construction. Thankfully she drives safer then some of those around us.

So far the journey is comfortable. We have quite a bit of leg room and the temperature is spot on. So far we have stopped in San Jose although only with enough time to drop off and pick up some passengers.

We’ve just spent four days in San Francisco, a place I’ve wanted to visit since I was about fourteen. I’ve researched it in-depth for a script I wrote in college when I was eighteen. I’ve watched it on many a TV show and Film, longing in my eyes.

San Francisco, you did not disappoint. Such a vibrant city that merges together so many cultures and lifestyles, primarily – from what I could see – Chinese, Spanish and of course American.

I thought we lived in a hilly city back home, but wow – I’ll never think that again. Flat stretches of land are few and far between here, which isn’t too bad, unless like us you decide to walk EVERYWHERE. I don’t just mean a few blocks, I mean one end of the coast to the other. Or from the train station to your hotel, with your bags, which is all uphill. Just think of the exercise we tell each other… can you say guilt free ice-cream?!

We did make use of the cable car once – it’s quite pricey – and that was a fun experience! I really enjoyed that. Just a short trip from Union Square – a wonderful place where you can see them turn the cars by hand – to California Street, but it was still loads of fun!

I’m not sure what my favorite part of the trip was, and I’m not wanting to go into too much detail as I  plan on doing a bigger blog once we arrive home, but I think it was probably Alcatraz or the Golden Gate Bridge. The whole place is just wonderful, with absolutely stunning architecture everywhere you look. I highly recommend going if you get the opportunity, even just to see how stunning the city is.

So far in America…

We’ve discovered that the rules of the road are VERY different to that of the roads at home. Not just the way they navigate their bigger roads, but just generally crossing the street. Some junctions it’s clear when you can go, others not so much. Not all of them come with the equivalent of the little green man who tells us Brits when to go, nor the central islands that we can stop in, nor a zebra crossing. Thankfully in San Francisco they aren’t that wild, or even that big, and most of them do have a light system.

We’re still a little confused by tipping. Who do we tip? How much do we give? We have no idea if we’ve been doing it right, but at least we’ve been trying!

How do we order drinks? My husband uses a combination of words and hand gestures to show the size of the drink he would like. A lot of bartenders have been confused by the request for a pint. And they have no idea what a half is. This doesn’t seem to be the case everywhere though.

Navigating public transport… well some of the time we can. Let’s just leave that one there shall we.

I was a bit intimidated by ordering a coffee, but that was one of the easiest things I’ve done so far! And it was delicious!

Speaking of delicious, we’ve already had a number of tasty meals and drinks! I think my favorite was in a Thai place where I had a spicy chicken cashew dish with sticky rice and a jasmine tea. Second best would be the pancakes I had for breakfast on our first morning!

Right now we’re driving down an actual country road. There are long lanes that lead to big individual, wild colored houses with post boxes at the end of them and signs that say “Avocados 6 for $1”. There are farmers fields and what could be ranches although I’m not sure. It’s beautiful.

I’ll leave that there for now. I can’t wait for L.A although for the time being I’m really enjoying this bus trip! So much to see.

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