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Old 16 Sep 20, 09:28 AM  
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cornishfrogboy
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Third attempt.. California, Arizona, Nevada.

We are used to these things.. Cancelled by the Volcano, Cancelled on an Egypt vacation due to the bomb over the Sinai desert and now this, cancellations of a West Coast vacation in both March and August of 2020. Well... I will not accept defeat, so August 2021 it is... 18 Aug to 02 Sept it is... Flights purchased through BA at 」2112 to include hold baggage etc LHR-SFO and LAS-LHR. .. since upgraded to an exit row pair with two behind on the out leg 」90+ 」90 +」50 +」50 (exit row already informed of the consequences of reclining) .. and Premium economy coming home 」380 between the four, so a grand total of 」2772 all in.

With no more ado... the plan!

__________________________________________

We are a family of Husband, Wife and boys of 18 and 15 at travel. We love vacations, particularly multi centre, intensive vacations, either in the US or Europe. We are also theme parked out after 10 USA visits.

We visited California in 2018. It was a disaster as the main attraction, the Pacific Coast highway was blocked by a mudslide. We resolved to return... and in Easter of 2020, then August of 2020 and now.. August of 2021!


The infamous PCH Mudslide that took so long to sort out. In the end they built a new road over the top of it!

Our previous trip is subject of trippie 舛alifornia N to South at Easter and may explain the planning for our itinerary and what would seem some very strange omissions. No Alcatraz, Dylan痴 ultimate Cycle tour etc.

With all that has happened, we thought we would not for the first time 組o unusual. There is a very famous desert boneyard of stored United States Military aircraft at a location called Davis Monthan AFB in the Arizona Desert. I have never been in a desert and never been to Davis Monthan a location that is currently no1 on my World bucket list. It was a no brainer!

We sat down and worked out the 僧ust sees. We did not like LA in the slightest last time and had no intention of seeing more than we had to this time. We also figured we had covered marvellous San Diego reasonably well.

We settled on 2 nights in SFO, 2 in Monterey, 1 at the fabulous Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, 1 in Pismo Beach, 1 in Solvang, 2 in Hollywood, 3 in Tucson, 1 Close to the Grand Canyon and finally, 2 in Las Vegas. Everything is to be cash up front (fears re exchange rate) and cancellable without charge (experience of March and August).

And now the cunning, finalised plan...

Tuesday 17 August is a drive up from Penryn and then spend the night at Premier Inn Bath rd, LHR (very much a family tradition). This is now booked as is Purple Parking, which cost little as we were still holding a refund voucher from 2020.

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Wednesday 18 August fly 1120 to 1425 LHR to SFO. Arrive and catch the BART to Powell and the Cable Car from the Turnaround down to the Fisherman痴 Area where we will stay at the Rui Plaza (booked). We have opted for this one as they unusually offer a rollaway bed and as our SFO stay is short, it is very well located.


The Rui Plaza on Mason, just a block or so from the Wharf.

As soon as we are checked in, we will be up to Union Sq as we never fully did it justice last time. Then it is the SFO Ghost Hunt around the Nob Hill area with 舛hristian. We had booked this for March and when it was cancelled, not only did he cancel and refund, but he gave us a code to do it for free when we returned!
The evening meal will likely be in the Hardrock on Fisherman痴.


Christian痴 ghost hunt.

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Thursday 19 August. Well, it痴 a short walk to Fishermen痴. Here we will get picked up by 禅he Love Tour.. a 6 person VW air cooled, hand painted camper Van and with 60s music and a shag pile carpet. It takes you on a 2 hour tour of SFO that includes Haight Ashbury, The Golden Gate, driving down the Lombard St Zigzags etc. Can稚 wait!


Love tour bus... on the Lombard Zigzags.. it will certainly beat just looking at them!

Then it痴 lunch and probably a pick up of cycles for an adventure, Lombard Street, Golden Gate Park, Sutra Baths, Golden Gate, back over the bridge and then along the bottom to Fishermen痴.. phew!.. Time for an evening meal at the Tipsy Pig.


Golden gate park.

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Friday 20 August will be checkout then a stroll around Embarcadero (or taxi) to the BART, then up to SFO International to collect a car. This is an Alamo RAV4 (or similar and we will eventually drop it at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank.. 7 days later (」184 with extra driver and free cancellation).We then drive to Monterey through San Jose. We are staying at the Springhill Suites, The Dunes, Monterey as the prices for our dates in Monterey are crazy at the moment (Booked). That came in at a very reasonable 」365 for 2 nights and including breakfast and has 2 Queens as well as a Sofa Bed and an Ocean view. It looks a drive to the car park next to the Monterey wharfs where we are aware of the carpark at the far end of Cannery Row .. The evening will be spent on Cannery Row.


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Saturday 21 August
1. If there are Blue or Orcas in the bay, then it is a Whale Watch.



2. If sightings are few, then it is the aquarium.


It may even be both and then a meal on Cannery Row.


What a dull day!

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Sunday 22 August is a rather long day. It will be an early start and then a rather long, 150 mile drive taking in Big Sur, Partington Ridge, Pfeiffer Burns, Bixby Bridge and ending with the Madonna Inn at San Luis Obispo where we will stay the night. We obviously hope to see some Whales from Partington Ridge.. you never know your luck!


A wonderful PCH view.


Partington ridge.


Bixby Bridge.


Pfeiffer Burns State Park.


..and we may even have another look at the underwhelming Elephant seals as we pass.

The Madonna Inn!What can I say? I love this place and it is the most stunningly kitsch vision in pink that you will ever see. Last time it was the Chinese Paper room, but this time it will be the Sky Room.. a decent upgrade into the main, 4 storey block and on the top floor as well.



The Sky room is top floor, but unfortunately to the side.. and with balcony.


The Sky room with its mezzanine.


The somewhat height challenged Mezzanine.
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Monday 23 August is a 10 minute drive down to Pismo Beach. This is for a 舛hill Out. We have booked the Lighthouse. We wanted a different sort of 宋ibe by the beach. We want to finally swim in the Pacific Ocean.


Pismo Pier.


Pismo Pier.


The Lighthouse Suites.

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Tuesday 24 August is a leisurely drive to Solvang and then a good look around this 船anish town. We will stay at the Royal Copenhagen at Solvang, right in the middle and seemingly excellent value. (Booked).


Solvang.


The rather Danish looking Royal Copenhagen at Solvang
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Wednesday 25 August is an early start and then a 120 mile drive South to Warner Brothers Studios. I have never been, but am assured by Mandie that I will see some wonderful things.. below are 2 that will top the list (answers on a postcard please). We then move the short distance to Universal Studios and check in to the Hilton at Universal (booked) before heading straight to Margaritaville.. for a Margarita.. or three.






Hilton at Universal.


The wonderfully restrained frontage of Margaritaville.

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Thursday 26 August is our Universal day... We will concentrate on the things that are not duplicated in Orlando (been around 25 times), and then hopefully do some favourites. This day will be subject of planning in the coming months, but will most certainly involve Margaritaville! That planning has been greatly helped by 禅weety1 who very kindly has forwarded me park maps of both Universal and Warner bros.





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Friday 27 August, we check out of the Hollywood Hilton and drive the short distance to Bob Hope airport (Burbank), Where we will dump our car and then fly to Tucson via a 2 and a bit hour layover in Phoenix. This has been a revision to our plan as we did not relish the 8 hour drive as an alternative. We then pick up a new hire car at Tucson Airport and move to our Hotel. We then check in to the Hyatt Place at a Tucson Airport (booked), before adjourning to the Golden Corral for a bit of Culture. (The boys insisted).


Golden Corral, near Tucson Airport.

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Saturday 28 August is my big day, a short drive to Pima Aircraft Museum and see it before booking their open sided bus tour of the AMARC boneyard at Davis Monthan AFB.


Pima Museum.


B52s in the Boneyard AMARC


General view of part of the boneyard.

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Sunday 29 August will be a day trip to Tombstone (an hour away) to see the scene of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corrall, Boot Hill etc and also a Horseride with 禅ombstone adventures on Horseback, visiting a derelict Silver Mine before a drive back to TUcson.


Main Street Tombstone .


Boot Hill and the Clanton, Mclaury graves from the famous O.K. Corral gunfight. Where Wyatt, Morgan, Virgil and Doc settled some scores. It were called 阻ustice in them days.

Then it will be back to.. Tucson and a meal at 禅he Yardhouse, Darden痴 and one of my very favourite chains.

Yardhouse, Tucson.
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Monday 30 August is another long drive day as we head up to the Grand Canyon via Winslow Arizona where I am assured by the Eagles that if I stand on a corner, then I may see a girl my lord in a flatbed Ford. We then carry on up to the South Rim and stay in the Yavapai Lodge within the Canyon Park and seemingly a bargain at 」123 before an 8% company discount (Booked). We will be watching the sunset. Evening meal will probably be at 糎endy, Flagstaff on the way in.. (My boys always insist on at least one Wendy.. and who am I to deny them?).


Statue of Glen Frey R.I.P (Eagles) standing on the corner.. although it was actually co writer Jackson Browne who the story relates to.. and he later believed that it might have been at Flagstaff!.. and that 層indow with the reflection is actually a painting.


Grand Canyon South Rim.


And again at Sunset.


The Yavapai lodge, to where we retire soon after sunset (1840) in order to be up for sunrise (0600)
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Tuesday 31 August is Sunrise at the Grand Canyon (0600) and a look around before heading via the Eldorado Canyon mine and then the Hoover Dam to McCarran Int at Las Vegas where we will drop our hire car before getting a taxi to the Luxor, our Hotel For the next few days (Booked). The evening will be spent at another Darden痴.. 禅he Bahama Breeze.



Eldorado canyon, a former gold mining area and sometime film set, just 40 minutes south of Vegas. Looks fascinating.. and you go down a another mine!


Unmistakably, the awesome Hoover dam.


The rather impressive Luxor Hotel with...

Rooms in our case that have sloping windows as they are inside the Pyramid!


Bahama Breeze, LV.. bearing an uncanny resemblance to both the one in LBV and the one on IDrive... and all of the others that I have previously visited.


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Wednesday 01 September is a day for a short stroll. We will be walking the length of the strip, all the way to Pawn Stars shop and also the infamous Heart Attack Grill. I guess that it will then be a taxi back!


The infamous Heartattack Grill.


A sample of their fare.. The octuple bypass burger!


The consequences of failing to clear your plate.. A Nurse spanks you with a paddle. (Well it may actually be a waitress disguised as a Nurse). Punters wear Hospital Gowns throughout their visit.

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Next day is a full one in Vegas before a 2130 flight home. I am not sure what to do with it yet.. but it will be cultural!.. and include the nearby 践ooters.


Hooters, Las Vegas.


This vacation would not suit everybody .. or even many, but as I said, we saw most of the 僧ust sees last time and this is about covering things we missed. It is a fair bit to cram in, but hopefully rather relaxing!
I will of course be preparing a foodie trip report, given my clear preference for high end restaurants.. I am quite the little gastronome on the quiet! 🤓

Edited at 04:50 PM.
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Old 17 Sep 20, 05:00 PM  
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anji
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Glad you're not admitting defeat, neither are we and plan the same trip from 23 August!

Your trip sounds amazing, as ever, and just right to do the things on your bucket list. The bone yard looks massive!

I'm actually glad we're not in Oregon at the moment, like we were meant to be, because of the smoke and fires. My heart goes out to everyone there. The smoke is as far up as Vancouver, so would have affected us for 3 weeks!

Here's to 2021
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Old 17 Sep 20, 07:10 PM  
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cornishfrogboy
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Originally Posted by anji View Post
Glad you're not admitting defeat, neither are we and plan the same trip from 23 August!

Your trip sounds amazing, as ever, and just right to do the things on your bucket list. The bone yard looks massive!

I'm actually glad we're not in Oregon at the moment, like we were meant to be, because of the smoke and fires. My heart goes out to everyone there. The smoke is as far up as Vancouver, so would have affected us for 3 weeks!

Here's to 2021
Thankyou for your kind words.. 😍

Glad to see that you are being equally positive.

Are you going to do a pre trip report? I would be very keen to see it. This evening I will be updating this one with the hotels that I have booked since posting.
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Old 17 Sep 20, 07:22 PM  
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Mary A
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Sounds amazing! We love west coast road trips too.
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Old 17 Sep 20, 07:26 PM  
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YorkshireT
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CFB, you certainly like the planning. Perhaps more than the holiday itself!
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Old 17 Sep 20, 07:49 PM  
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cornishfrogboy
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Originally Posted by YorkshireT View Post
CFB, you certainly like the planning. Perhaps more than the holiday itself!
You cannot admit defeat in adversity.

When knocked back, I simply try again.. again... and again if necessary.

I am renowned for my pigheaded stubbornness.. it is a quality of which I am very proud. It has seen me through some very hard times over the years. 😇
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Old 17 Sep 20, 10:42 PM  
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Sandraoh40
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That looks like an amazing trip.
We were lucky enough to see Orca痴 from Monterey in 2016 when we went. It was the highlight of the trip. And I have to add that sitting on Pismo Beach Pier watching the kids surf as the sun went down was just so special. These type of memories never leave you.
It痴 certainly going to be trip with tons of great memories
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Old 18 Sep 20, 05:10 PM  
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cornishfrogboy
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Originally Posted by Sandraoh40 View Post
That looks like an amazing trip.
We were lucky enough to see Orca痴 from Monterey in 2016 when we went. It was the highlight of the trip. And I have to add that sitting on Pismo Beach Pier watching the kids surf as the sun went down was just so special. These type of memories never leave you.
It痴 certainly going to be trip with tons of great memories
Thankyou. I will be glad simply to get there, this time.

It has been painful to build what I thought were two great vacations and then see them torn away. At least I was very fortunate and got the bulk of my money back within a week from BA and then, AA as they respect consumer law. The rest followed in drips and drabs over the following weeks.

This dealing with reputable companies (this was by chance) and getting a prompt refund enabled me on both occasions to invest again straight away on fresh flights, rather than have it used by said company as a high risk, unauthorised, interest free loan for 4 months or more in order to help keep it afloat whilst blatantly telling lies as to reasons for the delays!

Onwards and upwards!.. as some say.
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2019 Boston, NY, Dayton OH, Orlando, Naples.
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Edited at 05:12 PM.
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Old 20 Sep 20, 07:00 PM  
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tocpe321
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Looks good, cfb, Happy planning and hope it goes ahead.



We cancelled Sicily this year after Easyjet cancelled the flights and we decided to get a refund rather than rescheduling.

Quite excited, as I've just booked flights to Washington DC for next August. It's with lastmin.com and flying via Dublin with Aer Lingus. Quite pleased as we get to do Immigration checks in Dublin!

Our plan is Washington, Colonial Williamsburg etc, somewhere on the beach in the Carolinas and then Gatlinburg/ Pigeon Forge in Tennessee.


Time to start planning. There's some good hotel deals on B'g.com for no deposit and cancellable. My son's on the Genius Loyalty Program, so gets discounts.


Hopefully ours will go ahead too, but time will tell.
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Old 20 Sep 20, 07:15 PM  
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cornishfrogboy
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Originally Posted by tocpe321 View Post
Looks good, cfb, Happy planning and hope it goes ahead.



We cancelled Sicily this year after Easyjet cancelled the flights and we decided to get a refund rather than rescheduling.

Quite excited, as I've just booked flights to Washington DC for next August. It's with lastmin.com and flying via Dublin with Aer Lingus. Quite pleased as we get to do Immigration checks in Dublin!

Our plan is Washington, Colonial Williamsburg etc, somewhere on the beach in the Carolinas and then Gatlinburg/ Pigeon Forge in Tennessee.


Time to start planning. There's some good hotel deals on B'g.com for no deposit and cancellable. My son's on the Genius Loyalty Program, so gets discounts.


Hopefully ours will go ahead too, but time will tell.
Great news!
I get 7% through my otherwise lousy employers portal in cash backs with B段ng.com and 8% with E,bo...rs.
As you know, I religiously research all vacation expenditure and am finding the second one better at the moment.
I am paying upfront as I am rather concerned that the pound will take a nosedive in the months following any 創o deal Brexit. My Dollars for spending are still 訴n hand also

Cars? I did the same with this and found Money S.per... et very good when it takes you to Argu. Who then put you with Alamo. This comes in at less than half the price of Alamo Brits and straightforward Alamo is even more.. free cancellation and 2nd driver is present with all of them!

Good luck with your plans. We all loved DC, but have not visited the rest!
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2017 Panhandle purgatoryhttps://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/sho... php?t=1193744
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2019 Boston, NY, Dayton OH, Orlando, Naples.
https://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/sho... php?t=1137302
future...Arizona/Cali/Nevada 2021
https://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/sho...4#post14647964
Toronto & Florida 2022. https://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/sho... php?t=1197381

Edited at 07:34 PM.
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