Normally when I am ready to move on to explore somewhere different I am filled with excited. This wasn’t the case when I was leaving San Francisco. On the Friday morning we were leaving, I genuinely felt a tinge of sadness. We had managed to fit in so much but there was more I still wanted to see. Of course this is a great excuse to return in the future! I think we had timed our visit to San Francisco well as the weather had been lovely and the fog didn’t roll in until our last night there. We left a rather dull and dreary San Francisco first thing in the morning and started our long journey back to LA.


Initially we had planned to drive back to LA via Highway 5. However, we were so blown away by parts of the Pacific Coastal Highway that we decided to head back down it. If you are planning on driving this route, I would certainly say that North-South is the better way to drive it. Simply because you are on the right side of the road next to the cliffs. The scenery is stunning!

It took all day but we arrived in Malibu in time for dinner and decided to treat ourselves to tea at Geoffry’s. Afterwards, we drove to our next Airbnb apartment, which was high up in the Hollywood Hills. It was a lovely, quirky apartment that offered spectacular views across Hollywood and it was also possible to see the Hollywood sign from the back of the property.






It was so peaceful and relaxing and being there was the inspiration for this post. As it has been such a full on trip so far, we took the weekend to simply chill out and unwind. Our apartment had a balcony and I soaked up the sun and rested up for a couple of days. It was definitely needed by this point!

On Labour Day, we headed off for some thrills and excitement at Six Flags Magic Mountain. You might be thinking this was an absolute insane decision and… it kind of was! In all honesty, we had booked this California trip months beforehand when I was feeling quite well. Both Ross and I have always been fans of theme parks and so it was only natural to want to visit Magic Mountain. We had done all our planning and booked our tickets (including flash passes) in advance and we hadn’t anticipated how poor my health would be. Needless to say I was apprehensive about how I would manage a theme park when the time came! However, I was determined to give it my all and not ruin things for Ross.

It did unfortunately turn out to be a bit of a waste of money. The day started out okay and the first ride we went on was X:2. It was brilliant and I was relieved that it was in no way painful. It was very comfortable as far as coasters go and I loved it! Next up was Viper, which was the complete opposite. It should be renamed ‘Back Cruncher’. Horribly painful coaster!

Superman was next on the agenda. Thankfully, this one was pain-free and being launched to around 400ft in the air at 100mph was a lot of fun! So much so that I came off and went straight back on!


Sadly this is where things started to go downhill. With hindsight, adrenaline rushes were not what my body was needing! We went on The Riddler’s Revenge next and I have never felt so ill on a coaster in my life. It was painful to the point I thought I was going to throw up. Not good at all! I stupidly still wanted to go on Goliath though and forced myself to do it, which was not the wisest decision I have ever made.


By this point I was actually struggling to walk. I said to my husband that we should grab some lunch and that I would be fine after that. However, I was far from being okay. I guess the 40 degree heat was not helping matters! I was absolutely gutted that I didn’t manage to do any of the other big coasters but three hours of thrills was more than what I was able to physically handle. Getting back to the car felt as though it took a decade and it proved difficult to keep myself going when my body wanted to crash. “Lesson learned”, I told my husband, “In future I will stick to Disneyland!”

If you would like to catch up with the rest of the posts in this series, you can find them here.


Hello, I'm Donna. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2013 and started this blog shortly after. After my health declined significantly the following year, I decided to become my own advocate and searched for answers. It took two years but, in 2016, I finally discovered I had Lyme Disease. On February Stars, I share my personal journey back to better health; discussing what has helped me and the mistakes I've made along the way. I also cover topics on self-improvement, managing symptoms and living life to the fullest with chronic illness.


  1. Oh, you are brave going to Magic Mountain. I can’t even imagine. Yeowch. And yes, the I5 is the most boring road in the world and Hwy 1 is just beautiful. You’re making me very homesick with these photos.

    • I did swear a lot when we first got to Magic Mountain haha! I have been on big coasters before but this was something else. It sucks that my fibro means I can’t really enjoy those sorts of things anymore but I’m glad I at least gave it a go. As it was just my husband driving we thought taking the I5 would be the best option as it’s quicker but we had a change of heart after we had driven up the PCH. It is very beautiful. It must have been such a brilliant place to grow up. I have been struggling with wanderlust, which is why I decided to finally write about my trip but I don’t think it’s helping, it’s making it worse as I want to go back! 🙂

  2. Disneyland was always much more my speed. LA can be magic or miserable, glad you seem to have found it the former. I’d love to know *how* you manage travelling. I have fibro and Sjogrens and even a 4 hour drive to Cornwall wipes me out for a week.

    • I wasn’t sure what I would think about LA if I am totally honest but I’ve always wanted to experience it. I did enjoy it, though I think the accommodation we stayed in was a big part of that. I’ll be honest and say that I have no idea how I managed to do all that I did on that trip! I had booked it months prior to going and at that point I was working and was able to work miles everyday (albeit I felt pretty crap for it). I did not anticipate the huge decline in my health that I experienced just 5 weeks before going to California. I probably shouldn’t have gone, if I was truly putting my health first. However, it was a dream trip so I thought “f it, I’m going!”. I think I relied on sheer stubbornness and determination. I’ve written about travelling previously, here and here. On this trip, I was generally asleep very early in the evening! Or I would sleep all morning and then spend the afternoon out. The days I did more I found a way to rest in between. I shut my eyes and took a nap in a restaurant on one day lol!

      I think travel would look a bit different for me now. I find travel more exhausting than I did previously and I am not as fit. I think the important thing is planning. Planning time to recover from travelling to and from somewhere. Plan rest days into your holiday. Also plan time to rest within a day when you are doing stuff. Having realistic expectations of what you are able to do would be another one for me. If I was to go back to Cali now, I would not be doing all that I did on this trip. It would be at a much, much slower pace. Also think about accepting help- I wouldn’t hesitate at looking into hiring a wheelchair, for example, so that I could do more but without exerting so much energy. I hope to do some more travelling at some point this year, so if I do I will hopefully be in a better position to write about how I managed.

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