Tag Archives: travel

All we do is win

Yosemite was the first national park stop of our entire journey. Some of us felt that this was the real start of our adventure … into the wild. Although after checking into our hotel in Mammoth Lakes it felt more like the start of a jet set lifestyle. Our room could easily be called a suite and the pool/hot tub facilities were more than welcome after every single one of us thought that the national parks ment a slow wifi connection and almost no comfort. Boy were we wrong.

The past couple of weeks our main visits were to the big cities which made our first encounter with Yosemite National Park even more amazing. Being surrounded by only nature made us feel little but oh-so fantastic. With a swim in Tenaya Lake and a hike with wildlife views we ended our first afternoon in Yosemite. Our second day was an early start, knowing that we almost had to drive three hours – special thanks to Klaas and his early morning driving skills – to get into the Valley. An effort for some us but defenitaly worth it if we’d knew what was going to happen that day. Deciding that we’d walk part of the Valley was not exactly the easiest way out – it was around 34°C – but probably one of the best decisions we made. Cause this time around … best things were saved for last. We hiked out to the Yosemite Falls with low hopes for the waterfalls since rangers told us that due to a dry winter there wasn’t a lot of water in the Valley. Let that now be exactly what made these waterfalls so amazing. The fact that there wasn’t a lot of water made it possible for us to climb the rocks – sketchy at times, especially the climbing down part – and swim towards the waterfall so that we could stand right under it. These are moments and experiences that are hard to explain cause no matter how hard we’d try there is no way that anyone who wasn’t there would understand it. But pictures might seal the deal.

As stoked as we were by Yosemite we were totally ready to hit the road for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. At least that was until we google mapped one last time the exact route from Mammoth Lakes to the entrance of the parks. What we thought would be a two hour drive suddenly seemed a five to six hour drive, because there were only two entrances to the park. Two entrances that were on the entire other side than we were. Which ment we had to drive about six hours to the park and another five to our next hotel. But once arrived in the park and a few hikes with breathtaking views and the most enthousiastic and in some ways weird ranger that we ever encountered we can easily say that the long road was worth it.

Leaving the woods and green valleys behind us we made our way into Death Valley; abonded landscapes as far as you could see with amazing color palettes. Being from Belgium these are landscapes that we only know from the movies, television or magazines. Now to see these with your own eyes was simply flawless. To end our day in Death Valley we stopped by a ghost town close to the town we were going to stay that night, not knowing that the town we were staying at, Beatty was going to look more like a ghost town than the one in Death Valley. The town existed for 80% out of trailers and RV parks and the more we entired the town the more nervous we got to find out what place we were going to stay at. Almost every hotel/camping/rv park had the same name so we mixed up our place with another one. One that looked like a scene straight out of a horror movie and while we were already making plans on what to do if we’d had to get out of this place as soon as possible we found out that we were at the wrong place – thanks to the super friendly owner of the ‘not so good looking rv park’. While he explained that we had to be at the big hotel with palmtrees and that we couldn’t miss it we suddenly got super excited about how our place was going to look like. And yes, we definitely had ourself the best place in Beatty; one again pool and hot tub included. Beatty might be a weird looking town but we did found ourself the second best pizza place ever there: KC’s outpost saloon and eatery.

The rainfall from the night before made it impossible for us to enter most parts of Death Valley due to flooded areas the day after so we had to cancel some of our plans and head straight to Las Vegas. We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel which wasn’t exactly the best hotel we’ve ever been at -mainly cause you had to pay extra for everything you wanted to do, think about entering the paradise pool – but maybe that had something to do with the fact that Timbaland was the host for the weekend at the hotel.
They always say what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas…so same story with us. Although we can tell you this; luck was definitely on our side during our gambling night in Vegas!

 

  • Antony confuses bus shelters with parking exits.
  • Stefanie realised that climbing down rocks with wet shoes is NOT a good idea
  • It DOES rain in California during summer
  • Liesbeth had to show her ID almost every other minute in Vegas
  • Klaas is the most hardcore driver of us all
  • Due to the heat some restrooms in national parks spread the worst smell ever
  • Silke was very close to meeting Timbaland
  • The Belaggio was as amazing as we all expected it to be
  • Nos Klatos took over the Apple Store in Las Vegas // we managed to install our blog as the homepage on every computer, which gave us our visitor record of 226 in one day. So to all our Apple newcomers : WELCOME!
  • Klaas his iPhone is being a non factor in the States

      

     

     

     

     

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The Road to Neverland

When a waiter shouts out “You again?” when entering a restaurant you know that you are  cultivating a serious addiction. After our obsession with Yogurtland’s Frozen Yogurt aka Froyo and Starbucks’ Frappoccino (Iced Cappuccino which Antony accidently picked up at the airport simply by ordering coffee with the funniest name), we hitted some other fixations in San Fransisco… and we hitted some of them pretty hard.

The Cheesecake Factory

Silke and Antony wanted to share their sweet thoot cravings for cheesecake with the Nos Klatos party. Little did they know that the Cheesecake Factory was there to turn their perception of the culinar world as we know it around. For a grand total of three times we faithfully waited in line for 45 minutes in what must be the most crowded restaurant we’ve ever been to.

While we grew fatter and fatter, we had to come up with alternatives and solutions, wich lead us to the next set of hooks.

The Go Pro

The Go Pro is a little camera that you can mount on about almost everything and must be the greatest gadget in the modern world. Right now we’re making our decisions about where we are headed based on where the Go Pro leads us to shoot some stunning footage.

American Trampoline Dodgeball

This is our most recent and by far biggest fetish. After a match of bowling in an uptown San Fransisco neigborhood, we hitted a place called the house of air. The house of air simply is a former storehouse that has been renovated to cover the floor with trampolines back to back. Once you enter the Trampoline Dodgeball court, no sport will ever be the same.

After our stay in San Fransisco we headed for Lake Tahoe. Happily trading our occupied Big City Life for the road, we felt as if our adventure finally had begun. Relieved that we shut the gates of mordor behind us, we found that corporate america was chasing us as our first stop at Lake Tahoe required a 5 dollar fee simply to gain access to the beach.

Apart from that uncool setup, Lake Tahoe offered us breath-taking scenic views, blue skys and the sun burning hot on our skins. Our hotel was located on top of a mountain, which functions as a ski-resort during wintertime. We saw several signs that told us ‘don’t suprise bears’…. To tell the truth, peekaboo’ing wildlife isn’t really our thing.

Since we left our penthouse apartement in San Fransisco, the Jetset Lifestyle is what we signed up for. Today we started our day at the pool, relaxing in the sun. In the afternoon we traded that pool for the beach (cheap bastards as we are, we found one that didn’t require an access fee by driving twenty minutes further down the lake). At night we hitted the hottub with a bottle of Malibu.

A journey is like a marriage. Travelling in group means being married to one another for a short time. So it safe to say that the learning curve on all things marriage was pretty steep. They say that marriage is give and take; you’d better give it to her or she’ll take it anyway.
These are the little things that frustrated us in eachother from living close together:

– Silke her failed attempts to catch just about anything we threw in her directions.

– Silke and Klaas had to trade in there ‘European names’ for the real thing since no American can prononce the names they got from their mamma’s and pappa’s. After a mix-up on their coffee cups at a Starbucks drive-by we now call them by their new American ‘trucker-friendly’ names: Silcoo and Calls.

– ‘Social media kills social reality’. Since Liesbeth is the only one in our party with no iphone she doesn’t have anything on her hands in the quiet moments. She found that traveling with wifi-addicts sure is alot of fun:

– When we first enter a new appartement the first important question is whether there is a WIFI-connection setup or not.

– Checking in at a hotel doesn’t happen anymore trought the lobby, but first takes place on the foursquare app (as does every check in; from restaurants to monuments and everything in between that can stoke your facebook-friends’ jealousy.

– ‘Bedtime’ doesn’t mean that we all go to sleep, but usually envolves taking our     iphones for another 60 minutes of sweet talk under the sheets.

In a reaction to these phenonemons, Liesbeth unfollowed us on all social media platforms.

Tomorrow our party continues at Yosemite National Park, which name stays unpronounceable to many of us (Liesbeth cultivated the worst accent on this one). We will keep you updated…

     

    

     

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Don’t Stop Believing

Let’s start where we finished last time…our last day in Los Angeles.

Sunday, July 1st. Euro cup finals. With two of our Nos Klatos members being huge soccer fans we had no other plans that day than finding a place where we could watch the game live. In our case, with the time zone difference, that ment at 12pm. An odd Mexican bar in Venice Beach seemed the perfect spot to do that. We had our predictions ready and after changing seats for at least four times we were more than ready to get our Euro vibe alive. Luckely, for some of us, we also had the X Games Street Skateboarding Finals on one of the television screens. With Spain winning the finals 4 to 0 against Italy, Klaas and Silke their day was already more than perfect and while Sheckler took silver in X Games we could leave LA with a good feeling.

Driving along the Pacific Coast away from Los Angeles we all got excited for the adventures that would come our way. And the change from a big city to a small town came just in time. Santa Barbara is like this really cosy, cool surftown just outside LA. The vibe that goes around in this city is one that goes straight to the heart, a feeling that we’re going to cherish. After 24 hours at the city of Santa Barbara we moved a little bit up to El Capitan Canyon (still located in Santa Barbara), a nature lodging campground. And as we drove past the entrance we accidentaly arrived at the El Capitan State Beach, which is up untill now the best thing that has happened to us. An amazing beach with zero tourism. Epic lightning and breathtaking views that filled our hearts with joy. While walking along the beach we saw wild dolphins swimming only a few feet away from us and with that some of us ended our stay at the beach with a sunset swim session. Although there were moments that we felt like Jack Dawson hanging on that door in the water, it was more than worth it.
While arriving at the campground none of us has ay idea what to really expect of it, but with a campfire, swimming pool and premade BBQ-meals we felt like we arrived in heaven.
And with late night evening talks around our fire we all agreed that the past hours were just perfect.

With a bit of pain in our hearts we left our little magic place the next morning to cruise along Big Sur to end up in Santa Cruz, where we would encounter our first couchsurfing experience. At the beginning we weren’t exactly sure if Klaas had really booked through couchsurfing or if he had mistyped and ended up at cocksurfing but all together they were pretty relaxed people that made sure we had a great place to stay at. July 4, 6 am, we were all planning on going to embrave to waves at Santa Cruz but with one of us feeling sick, the fact that it was raining and that the waves weren’t really good afterall, Antony ended up being the only brave soul going for a surfsession.

The weather over at Santa Cruz made it clear to us that there was no reason to stay any longer so around noon we said goodbye to our couchsurfing hosts and moved up to San Francisco – with a legendary stop at In-n-out Burger and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts – Our second place we booked through airbnb.com, a 2 bedroom penthouse with skyline views. And I have to say … gosh this place just looks picture perfect. So right now we’re kinda feeling like multi millionaires – or at least some of us. Knowing that the first day that we arrived here was the fourth of July we had one plan for that day in San Francisco : see the fireworks t the Golden Gate Bridge. The fireworks weren’t all that spectacular and the songs that went along with it were kinda nerve-racking but it still was a great way to start our San Francisco adventures…

Adventures that included the long hike over the Golden Gate Bridge, Alamo Square, The Palace of Fine Arts, Alcatraz… and back-to-back movie nights.

  • We can’t deal with uneven numbers …
  • TATSU !!!!
  • GoPro is now among us!

    

     

     

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