The big 3-0: Update

I’ve had an influx of new followers lately so first and foremost – welcome to you all! It has been a little while since my last post as other things have taken priority but I hope you’re all doing well.

If you’ve been following along for a while you’ll recall that I posted about the early planning process for my summer plans. To recap; I’m attending a wedding on the 5th of August in Washington State and then turn 30 on the 7th of August. Two reasons to celebrate gave me two reasons to make this a summer to remember – I wanted to make this a big trip and therefore I’ll be spending 30 days in the USA! Thirty bloody days! Crazy!

My previous post was speaking about what my early thoughts of planning such a big trip would be, so if you’re planning something similar you can give that a read here: The big 3-0!
However I’m now closer to having a finalised itinerary and I wanted to provide you with an update on what the plan is looking like.

My dates have been relatively set for some time. The date of the wedding has changed a couple of times but all have overlapped with my original plan to fly to the US on July 28th and get home on August 27th (flying home overnight on the 26th).
These dates meant I could attend the wedding, celebrate my birthday and also make the most of August 27th being a public holiday in the UK – i.e one less day of annual leave used. It meant I could get 30 days in the US with only 20 days taken off work which was pretty ideal!

So with the dates confirmed all I had to do was decide where I’d be spending them and who, if anyone, would accompany me. Easy right?

This plan has changed several times over for several reasons. I’ve considered visiting pretty much everywhere across the States and looked in to visiting parts of Canada too but nothing has been particularly set in stone. My only definitive plans were to visit Washington for the wedding and make my first visits to Portland and San Francisco. I’ve been pretty flexible beyond that. So here goes!

USA bound!

Chicago: July 28th – July 30th
I’m starting the trip off solo in Chicago. This was somewhere I’d thought about visiting but then as the plan developed disappeared from my itinerary.
However flight prices were decent and Chicago O’Hare’s airport was a decent base to get around the country for some of the other places I was considering.

I was debating whether to spend two or three days here dependent on where I’d be going next. It now looks like it’ll be two days.

Minneapolis: July 30th – August 1st
For a 30 day trip, perhaps surprisingly stop number 2 was one of the last pieces of my “”jigsaw”. I’ll be honest and say this wasn’t somewhere I’d given too much consideration in visiting. I knew I wanted to go to destination number 3 on August 1st but was having trouble deciding where to go between Chicago and stop number 3.

I’d considered Minneapolis but it wasn’t towards the top of my list and wasn’t a “bucketlist” city for me to visit. However this week my beloved Tottenham Hotspur announced they’d be returning to the US and playing in Minneapolis on July 31st.

I’d booked my flights to Chicago well before the announcement because I had no intention of planning my trip around Spurs. With that said I had kept this particular date open and it’s just happened to work out that I’m already in a neighbouring state. It’s not a long journey from Chicago so was a pretty logical second stop.

Potentially country number 8 watching Tottenham!

New Orleans: August 1st – August 4th
Having friends in the US always gives me something extra to think about when planning a US trip. For this particular trip I was keen to try and visit two of my penpals, Crystal (Florida) and Sam (Alabama). I was fortunate to meet the latter in Nashville last year but we’d yet to successfully meet up with all three of us!

Given their locations the easiest meeting point would be somewhere Southern and somehow we got on to the possibility of New Orleans. I still want to visit both in Alabama and Florida but I was sold on the idea of NOLA pretty instantly. I’m hoping I’ll get a nicer welcome in the South than I did in Georgia or Texas (you’ll have to wait for those stories).

This has been on my list pretty early on and the only thing left to decide was how long I wanted to stay here. I’ve opted for 3-ish days.

Me, Haleigh, Cassie & Maddie!

Seattle: August 4th – August 6th
As mentioned abovve, the wedding is on the 5th so this was a no brainer. It’ll be my third time in Washington though so I’m happy flying in to Seattle on the 4th and leaving just after. I’ll definitely be back to Washington in the future anyway.

I’ll be watching Cassie and Maddie get married and meeting up with Haleigh too! From this point onwards I’ll have Haleigh joining me for the adventure!

Portland: August 6th – August 9th
As soon as I knew I was traveling to the West coast for a wedding I knew I had to find some time to visit Portland. It looks like a great city and I have a few friends locally that I’m hoping I’ll catch up with. I’m a little gutted because my time here doesn’t overlap with a Timbers game but it’s still somewhere I’m so excited to visit. It’ll be a cool place to celebrate my birthday too!

Moses Lake: August 9th – August 10th
Me and Haleigh are driving down to Portland after the wedding and then we’ll be driving back to Washington together before the weekend hits. I don’t know if we’re specifically going to Moses Lake but I figure we’ll probably have a day at “home” to relax before the adventure continues!

Moses Lake, you’re so pretty!

Walla Walla: August 10th – August 13th
A return to beautiful Walla Walla. I visited here in February and it was somewhere I grew quite fond of – the mountain views certainly helped! Haleigh’s family are hosting their big annual BBQ on the 11th which means we’ll end up spending the weekend here before getting back to the adventuring.

Oregon Coast: August 13th – August 15th
Back to Oregon! San Francisco bound, we (Haleigh) will be driving down the coast and visiting places such as Lincoln City, Newport and wherever else along the way. It looks pretty and gives us a chance to see more of the state and a chance for Haleigh to revisit some places she hasn’t been to for a while.

Redwood National Park: August 15th – August 16th
It’s still a long drive to San Francisco from Oregon so I was conscious of stopping somewhere and this seemed like a suitable choice on route. Whilst I’d love to see some of the bigger parks in the US I still think this will be pretty cool.

San Francisco: August 16th – August 20th
This has been high up on my list of places to visit for a long time. I’m so excited to finally be making my first visit to San Fran this year. We have four nights here which should give us plenty of time to see a lot of what the city has to offer. After the wedding this was probably the part of the trip I was most excited about. Seeing that Golden Gate bridge in particular will definitely be a “pinch me” moment.

Bend: August 20th to August 22nd
A visit to Bend (Oregon) breaks up the return drive from California to Washington and gives us an opportunity to visit a friend too which we were both keen to try and squeeze in to the trip. I don’t know if we’ll spend one or two days in Bend but it’ll be nice to make a stop here.

Moses Lake: August 22nd to August 25th
I’m anticipating Haleigh might be back to work on the 23rd so we’re aiming to get back “home” the day before. After three and a half weeks of traveling it’ll be nice to relax for a day or two. If Haleigh doesn’t have to work we might end up going elsewhere but we’ll see.

Spokane, Washington

Spokane: August 25th to August 26th
A necessary stop to start making my way home. I went to Spokane last September and it was a nice overnight stop, I’d be fine with a brief second visit. Spokane’s airport is small but meant I could directly reach my next and final stop.

Chicago: August 26th
Departure day. I looked at various flight options but in the end decided I’d fly to and from the same place, so back to Chicago I go! At the minute I’m suggesting I’ll arrive and fly home on the same day but this might change, we’ll see.

Anyway, there you have it! Six states, several cities, one wedding and one 30th birthday spread across 30 days!

This isn’t the absolute final itinerary and there are probably still going to be some slight amendments but for the most-part this is a good glimpse at where I’ll be heading this summer, which is now exactly 100 days away!

If you have any recommendations for any of the above please give me a heads up. With the exception of Washington State, these are all new states that I’m visiting so any tips are much appreciated!

All the best!


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I'm Jason and from a little place in England. Here to just talk about my various adventures. Hopefully you find some inspiration or just enjoy hearing my stories :)

29 thoughts on “The big 3-0: Update”

  1. Jason, I wanted to ask you. In the United States most companies only give 2 weeks of vacation. How does it work in England? Your trip to the United Stated sounds so much fun. I love Seattle and New Orleans. I also really want to go to Portland and Chicago. So please write a blog after your trip!!! If you want to include Texas. I would visit San Antonio and Austin!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Generally you’re going to get at least 4 weeks holiday, that’s standard regardless of your (full-time) job.
      A ‘normal’ Mon-Fri 9-5 type job would usually mean you get public holidays off in addition to that (8 days a year).

      My company offer 26 days plus the 8 days for public holidays so I get near enough 7 weeks off work. I managed to get an extra week this year though with this trip in mind. I couldn’t survive over there on 2 weeks!

      Thanks for the tips though. I’ll definitely get some blog posts up afterwards 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha,. I’ve said before I’d struggle living / working there with just two weeks. I’d end up using that coming back to England for 2 weeks so I’d barely get a holiday!

        Thanks, I’ve been to Seattle before and won’t be there particularly long this time but I’ll definitely check out your NOLA post! 🙂


      2. Hahaha yes! Sometimes you can do 3 weeks but its usually people who have worked at company for awhile. That’s still not enough.

        Yes check it out! NOLA is one of my favorite cities to visit.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The trip sounds amaaazing! That’s awesome of you to add Minneapolis into the mix 🙂

    Closer to the date, maybe I can tell you what other events will be happening in the city!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I’m so excited! I staggered my annual leave so well last year so it ended up being my most traveled year.
      It has been a lot harder having to go six months between trips this year! Haha.

      It’ll be worth it in the end though!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am really excited! Haha that’s awesome, I was only born a couple of hours short of the 8th or we’d share a birthday. 8/8/88 would have been pretty cool but I was too early!


  3. Ahh yay, you are visiting Minneapolis! I’m curious to hear what you think of it after you visit, compared to Chicago and the other places you are going! I definitely recommend seeing the Stone Arch Bridge as well as downtown St. Paul. I’ll have to try to think of other places to recommend. There are lots of nice parks and gardens here.
    I visited the Oregon coast last year, and I enjoyed it a lot. So beautiful! I stayed at Cannon Beach–the town was cute, a little touristy, but the beach views were amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am! I’m excited and I’ll definitely let you know what I think. I’ll ask for some recommendations nearer the time otherwise I’ll forget haha.
      I’ll stick Cannon Beach on my list too. Thanks! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a great trip to celebrate your 30th birthday! I turn 30 this year too! My sister and I will be taking a cruise out of NOLA, but enough about me.

    I think all of your destinations are places I aspire to see one day, but Redwood National Forest is on my list of must sees! I can’t wait to read about your trip afterwards.

    100 days isn’t so far off now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds awesome! Where are you going on your cruise?

      I’ll make sure to write all about it. I’m excited to get to see so many different places.

      I’ve been counting down for a while so it’s nice to finally be in to a two-digit countdown 🙂


  5. As you know, Seattle is one of the funnest cities to visit. Since you have been there, I won’t tell you the city stuff unless you have curiosities. There is a Chihuly museum in Tacoma if you like art. He is known worldwide. Enjoy your time in WA, and if you haven’t done it…a ferry ride out to Blake Island or to British Columbia would be fun, as a change from the Seattle ferry. (I lived here for 15 years). What about Mt. St helens…

    The Pacific Coast Highway will mesmerize you. Great choice and allow time for stops at the overlooks. The seal exhibit is smelly, but worth it.

    When you are in Portland, Multnomah Falls is a MUST do. Portland is also a short drive to Silver Falls State park where you can hike under NUMEROUS waterfalls. I have traveled all over the world, and this is still a favorite hike of mine. It can be anywhere from a quarter mile to 8 miles.

    Eugene, Oregon has a fantastic winery called King Estates. Beautiful countryside and great food and wine. Even though I live in Arizona, we are still members.

    Bend, Oregon has lava tubes you can hike a mile into. It is unique and something different to do if you like exploring.

    Just thoughts….

    Excited for you and will look forward to your journey, as well as your turning the page to 30.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Donna! This is so helpful! I’ll definitely be adding these recommendations to my list!

      I’m excited too and it’ll be a fun start to my 30’s! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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