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Old 24 Jan 17, 10:15 PM  
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Fireworks
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30 Years Later and I Haven't Murdered Him Yet California Tour - May 2017

DH and I will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary in May this year so wanted to do something special to celebrate the fact that I am not in prison for murder

We had a trip to California 11 years ago with our two boys spending 5 nights in Anaheim and 5 nights in San Diego and absolutely loved it. Since then we have been desperate to go back to San Diego and I have always wanted to go to San Francisco so a California Road Trip plan was formed.

We have had several flights now with Thomas Cook, twice to Florida and once to New York and have been very pleased with the experience, so when they announced that they would be starting a route direct to San Francisco from Manchester, and then did a flash sale for 299 return flights on the exact dates we wanted to go we couldn't refuse

This is the plan so far, with some details still to be sorted. Most of the hotels have been booked through hotels.com or booking.com and all are pay on arrival at the hotel with free cancellation so we can change our mind right up until the last minute about where we want to go and what we want to do.

Sunday 14 May - fly Manchester to San Francisco
3 nights in San Francisco staying at either the Argonaut in Fisherman's Wharf or the White Swan Inn in Union Square (both hotels through booking.com and with 4% cash back on Quidco)

17 May - fly San Francisco to San Diego - (still need to research and book flights)
3 nights in San Diego staying in a Corner Bay View Suite at Springhill Suites San Diego Bayfront (booked through hotels.com with 10% cash back on Quidco). We have decided to manage without a car in San Diego as we have been before and are not planning on visiting Sea World or the Zoo again, and are staying right in the centre so will take public transport if we need to.

20 May - pick up hire car in San Diego (not booked yet)
Drive to Santa Monica and stay at the Pico Travelodge for 2 nights (booked through booking.com with 4% cash back on Quidco) - explore Santa Monica/Venice Beach and maybe LA or Griffith Observatory

22 May
Drive to Santa Barbara and stay at the Harbour House Inn for 2 nights (booked direct with hotel)

24 May
Drive to Cambria and stay 1 night at the Rigdon House Hotel (booked through booking.com with 4% cash back on Quidco) - visit to Hearst Castle while here

25 May
Drive to Monterey and stay for 3 nights at the Colton Inn (booked through booking.com with 4% cash back on Quidco) - visit Monterey, 17 mile drive, Carmel, Santa Cruz

28 May
Drive to San Francisco airport for flight home


So, that's the plan up to now with various tweaks to make and activities to decide on in the coming weeks


If anyone has any comments, I would be really grateful

Edited at 10:19 PM.
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Old 25 Jan 17, 01:46 PM  
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stapz11
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hi just seen your thread about your California holiday, we and my wife did this 3 years ago and absolutely loved it. we did it slightly different to what you your plans are, we started in san Francisco and ended up in vegas 18 nights in total.

day 1-3 san Francisco
day 4 picked up convertible in san fran and drove to Pismo beach stopping off at santa cruz and monterrey on the way. The drive was unbelievable going through the big surr.
day 5 Pismo beach
day 6 left Pismo beach and drove to L.A
day 7-8 L.A visiting venice beach and santa monica
day 9 drove to san diego
day 10-13 san diego
day 14 flew from san diego to L.A the from L.A to vegas
day 15-18 vegas

After asking similar questions to yourself we decided to drive from North to South as you will be driving on the side of the road closest to the sea. There are some brilliant little sea side places to stop off on the way like Pismo and santa cruz. I know I have already said but the driving part of the holiday for me was the best and having a convertible is a must to get to see the sites properly.

I hope this helps.
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Old 25 Jan 17, 02:15 PM  
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Fireworks
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Thanks Stapz11

We did think about driving down to San Diego and then flying back to San Francisco because if I am honest we would have slightly preferred to drive down the coast but when doing a quick look at flights San Diego to San Francisco there were several reasons why we ended up doing it the other way round:

- the flights were considerably more expensive because we would be flying at the weekend between SD and SF rather than mid week
- we didn't want to fly straight back to San Francisco on the day we were flying home just in case anything happened with the flights and because of the long flight home anyway.
- we didn't want to mess around just for one night at the end of the holiday if we flew back to SF the day before our flights home
- we didn't want to set off driving straight after landing in SF so it seemed to make sense to spend time there at the beginning of the holiday
- we won't need to hire a car (or pay parking costs) for the first 6 days of the holiday so more spends
- I'm a bit of a wuss with winding roads and sheer drops so thought we might be better on the other side of the road than the sea

As far as the car goes, hubby wants a Mustang again (we hired one last time we went to Florida and he loved it). All depends on the cost

Edited at 02:17 PM.
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Old 8 Feb 17, 12:32 AM  
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Fireworks
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Booked the Mustang on Sunday, pick up from San Diego and then drive back up the coast to San Francisco Airport. Hubby is a happy man

Also tonight managed to book our San Francisco - San Diego flights with Virgin America for the bargain price of $49 each + $25 for each checked bag We first researched these flights a couple of weeks ago when trying to decide which way round to do the trip, and they were showing as 49 each from San Fran-San Diego but 125 each from San Diego-San Fran so that was one of the deciding factors in planning the trip. Why we didn't book them there and then I don't know, but when we decided to book them on Sunday I could have kicked myself as the price had doubled to 100 each Decided to hang fire and track the price with SkyScanner, and I'm so glad we did.

Edited at 12:35 AM.
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Old 10 Feb 17, 12:20 AM  
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jocat
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Sounds like you got a bargain with those internal flights.
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Old 24 Feb 17, 12:05 PM  
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abiknox
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OMG that was a good flight deal!

The holiday sounds amazing, we loved our West Coast trip so much
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Old 21 Mar 17, 10:42 PM  
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Fireworks
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Stuck in the Tower of Terror
 
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Just booked San Diego Padres tickets for our last night in San Diego, another item ticked off the wish list

Also booked Alcatraz night tour tickets and 2 day Hop on Hop Off bus tickets for our time in San Francisco
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