Five days in and no sign of a burrito, time to change that at El Metate in Belmont. Then, what better way to wash it down than with a trip to the seaside. We saw another side to Half Moon Bay, without the posh golf course, and the Brits will be pleased to know we had to wear jumpers!

Our first real experience of Americana came in the form of a college football game. We drove across to Stanford University where we watched their football team play San Jose State. The atmosphere was so different to football games in the UK, it’s chilled out and friendly, everyone’s there to enjoy the game together. In the American Football world though a quarter isn’t really a quarter, it was strange watching a live game stop in front of your for commercial breaks. The Stanford band were really fun, they’re renowned for breaking the rules. This game they showcased their own band olympics including trombone jousting and a strange rendition of the Hunger Games.

What is the best follow up experience after American Football? American bars… Cousin Chris showed us the sights of the Belmont nightlife, starting at the Devil’s Canyon Brewery. Once a month the brewery opens up its warehouse doors for Beer Friday. Like a mini Ale Festival, you pay for your pint glass and refill until you run out of money or dignity, whichever comes first. Fairy lights, live music and even a brewery cat, I was sold. We stumbled out of there and fell into a few of the locals, one Washington Apple later (you can really taste the peel… apparently) and it was time to go home vaguely upright.

At the weekend, a big family party over in Walnut Creek. Lots of sunshine, booze, food and washers – alas another sport I was not born to play. The Union Jack was flying for our arrival and it was great to meet more of the Schoenstein clan, there’s hundreds of them. My favourite quote of the night from a slightly tipsy Joe “It’s just not fair, the best times you have are the ones you never remember. They should do something about that.”

Current Location: Belmont, Stanford, Walnut Creek
American Hangovers: 1
Brewery stickers collected: 10

Edit: Since time of writing, cousin Clay received a text from a concerned friend asking why Katie & co had been spotted with a homeless man at the local bar – might need to rethink the facial hair Chris!