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Unread 28 Jul 19, 12:55 AM  
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#1
speedmum
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Join Date: Jan 18
Location: UK
Mobile Scratching the Surface- SoCal Summer 2019

As a long term lurker on the Dibb and having gained some lots of helpful advice both for our previous trips to Florida and more recently this current trip to California,I thought now might be time to write a trip report!

First, the introductions:
Myself, Chief researcher & planner - Ive read so many amazing trip reports whilst planning this holiday so hope Ive planned it right!
Hubbie - Driver & in charge of holiday logistics- turning my dreams/plans into reality!
Eldest daughter,18 and currently waiting for A level results...
Youngest daughter,15 and waiting for GCSE results...
Having survived a few stressful months of exams this is our big trip to celebrate!

The flights were booked a year ago using two BA companion reward vouchers and the planning has continued since then!
The final itinerary is as follows:
Thurs 25th July: fly to SFO
Fri 26th July: drive to Yosemite for 2 nights
Sun 28th July: drive to Vegas for 4 nights
Thurs 31 July drive to Palm Springs for 2 nights
Sat 2 Aug LA
Sun 3 Aug Anaheim for 2 nights
Tues 5 Aug Santa Monica
Weds 6 Aug drive up PCH to Monterey for 2 nights
Fri 8 nights in Napa
Sat 9 Aug final 3 nights in San Francisco
Tues 13 Aug Fly home from San Jose

I realise its a lot of driving and moving hotels but hopefully itll give us the chance to see lots of California! When I first started planning I hadnt realised that it was recommended to drive south down PCH so we are heading north but hopefully this wont spoil our enjoyment...

Having not written a trip report before Im not sure how itll go. Im hoping to do it as we go but may post by place rather than daily... also going keep it all on one thread as not sure how much Ill have to say...

Thanks for reading!
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Unread 28 Jul 19, 06:42 AM  
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boo2
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Im looking forward to reading your report. We will hopefully visit California in the next few years and would love to find out more about it😊
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Unread 28 Jul 19, 06:46 AM  
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Edie ray
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Join Date: Aug 13
Looking forward to your report, we have been twice to Southern California with our teens that are a similar age to yours, you are going to have the most amazing time!

Edie
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West Coast 2016
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Unread 28 Jul 19, 07:49 AM  
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Mrs Toolman
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Are you planning on all sharing one hotel room or 2. We are planning a trip for next July but will have DS 23 and DD 21 with us. Whilst they are happy to share a room, they obviously need separate beds, which is tricky as not all hotels give you a choice.
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Unread 28 Jul 19, 08:14 AM  
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Cutiepie
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I will be reading along, as I hope to do something similar in 2 years time
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Unread 28 Jul 19, 08:38 AM  
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disneypars
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Looking forward to following sounds an exciting trip.
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Unread 28 Jul 19, 12:40 PM  
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speedmum
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Thanks for all your lovely comments - in terms of hotel rooms - we have a mix of all in one room or 2 separate rooms depending on price. But when were all together the girls will have to share!
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Unread 28 Jul 19, 12:45 PM  
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speedmum
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Thursday 25 July - Travel Day

After months of planning our travel day finally arrived on what was forecast to be one of the hottest days of the year... With trains being cancelled due to the heat we joked about how the weather could affect our flight! (Tempting fate as it turns out)

As our BA flight to San Francisco wasnt leaving until 2.15pm we actually had a more relaxing start than usual, dropping our beloved spaniels at kennels and getting the house clean & tidy for our return!

Because we only live 20 minutes from Heathrow we didnt leave home until almost 11. An easy journey on the M25 and we were checked in by 11.30!

Because this was a big trip for us and a long flight and because wed managed to use two 2for1 voucher wed splashed out on the flights and were travelling in club class which meant we had use of the T5 BA lounge. Free wifi and charging points meant everyone was very content until our flight was called.

We trekked to C gates and waited to board the huge A380. Have never seen a plane so big! The flight was almost full but we boarded quite quickly and I settled down to enjoy my glass of champagne and choose my films for the flight.

Then we got the dreaded announcement by the pilot - one of the cargo bins was stuck so we werent going anywhere & the engineers had been called... an hour and a half (& a gin & tonic) later we were ready to take off! We taxied out towards the runway and then realised that we had stopped.. another cheery message from the pilot informed us a warning light had come on and we were heading back to the gate...
Fortunately despite Heathrow reaching a record high of 38 it was nice and cool on board, until they turned the aircon off... then the plane heated up like an oven. We were then given melting mini magnums to cool us down. 3.5 hours after our scheduled departure time our happy pilot told us we were being deplaned as it was too hot to keep us on board but in compensation wed be given refreshment vouchers to use in the terminal. Well at C gate there is only a Starbucks manned by 2 staff who looked horrified when a plane load of hot grumpy passengers turned up waving their vouchers and wanting coffee and fancy cold drinks! We managed to grab some seats and chilled with our smoothies til at 7.15 (5 hours late) when we were told we could reboard - cue spontaneous cheering from the whole terminal!

We all obediently reboarded - greeting the cabin crew like old friends and settled down to move... and we waited... apparently 3 people didnt make it back to the plane so they were going to have to see if they had bags on board, then we were told that the weather was bad and affecting flights and the cabin crew were now over their hours so we wouldnt be going anywhere - flight cancelled! and the oh so helpful pilot was rather vague about whether we would be rescheduled the next day or not - cue panic!
Fortunately our first night was only a short drive to a motel before driving to Yosemite on the Friday so whilst we would lose a day in Yosemite which was frustrating the rest of the holiday wouldnt be impacted

But... we couldnt get off! Apparently there werent ground staff to deal with us! So, instead they fed us...

Eventually 8 hours after we should have departed we got off the plane! We were told the flight should be rescheduled the next day and given hotel vouchers and headed through immigration to the baggage hall! Here was where the real chaos started as ours was not the only cancelled flight and people were milling around trying to speak to Customer Services and find their bags. Finally they decided to tell us that the bags wouldnt be arriving tonight and to leave the area!

So we headed out the airport minus our bags to the bus stop to join everyone else waiting for transfers to hotels.
Eventually at around 1am we made it to bed at the Sheraton Heathrow. A very long day going nowhere!
Thanks for reading my long rant!
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