Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 6 Jul 16, 03:08 AM  
Link to this Post
#1
pinkstargirl
Very Serious Dibber
 
pinkstargirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 11
Location: West London
Slightly Earlier Than Planned - Nov 2016 - West Coast solo trip

I'm aiming to see if I can get a trip report finished at some point!

I'm off on a solo jaunt again. I had 2 solo trips to Florida last year (Apr/May and November) and a trip in April with my Mum as my annual pass was still valid. Now, as much as I absolutely love my Mum, I definitely prefer holiday-ing solo.

So, the cast list is just me! Heidi, 31 years old, although I often think and act like I'm about a decade younger. Unless I'm around people who are a decade younger, then I thank everything that I'm not. I'm pretty shy and self conscious, although trying to become less so as I've moved into my 30s. Pretty impulsive, which is how many of my trips come about. I have a knack of talking too much once I know someone or there's nothing to stop me, and I generally think I'm funnier than I am.

The plans...

My trip is less than 4 months away. Nothing is booked. I don't even really know exactly how long I'm going to go for. Nothing like being organised, hey?!? But let's go back to earlier this year, and how this all came about.

I've wanted to visit the West Coast for years. I had tentative plans to visit in September of this year, but I already had quite a bit of my holiday booked at work for the year to go to Florida, and as I like taking the odd day or two here and there, I didn't want to have to go for a shorter trip as I had no holiday. Then in February, I applied for a new job. Mine was very stressful, I spend 2 weeks running the garage I was working at, and ended up in tears nearly every day.

After a few tests and interviews, I was told at the beginning of April that I had the job, and would be starting in May. I work at Heathrow Airport now, and I am loving it.

Mum and I had 10 lovely days in Florida at the end of April, and I remember saying to her that it would be my only 'big' trip of 2016, as I had nothing planned or booked for my West Coast trip, and that I would look into going in February 2017.

Slightly off topic (but not really), some of you may remember that I went to New York as part of my Florida trip to see a musical - Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I knew nothing about the storyline, but my favourite actor (Darren Criss) was playing the lead role. I fell in love with the musical, it was exactly the kind of thing I enjoy - rock, a bit raunchy, and an enormous amount of fun. I made the trip part of my Florida holiday so I wouldn't end up paying out for more flights from London to New York just for the musical. But I didn't factor in how much I would enjoy the show, and just over 4 weeks after landing back at Gatwick, I was at Heathrow flying to New York for a long weekend in which I saw the show a further 4 times.



There was a national tour of the musical announced late last year, starting in San Francisco, and I then thought about changing my plan of Sept 16 to October 2016 so I could see this show again, knowing it would be a different cast to the Broadway production, but time went on and nothing got booked, and I decided to skip the musical and plan for 2017 instead. Which brings us back to May 2016, I was innocently browsing Facebook after work (it might have been at work, I can't remember ) when I saw that one of my friends had posted something about cast for the Hedwig tour. They were bringing back the original band from the Broadway production, the original female lead, and... San Francisco and LA would have Hedwig played by Darren Criss. Damnit. I was 2 weeks away from starting my new job, with no way to book holiday, but the fangirl in me was bouncing up and down shouting "I want to go! "

Anyway, to cut this long story short, it took a few weeks but eventually I was able to get onto the system at work and I have booked from 31st October to 20th November off. I'm working right up until 30th October, I did try to book that off but the system put me onto the waiting list as thats the last day of half term.

I'm looking to go for around 18 days, and I want to do LA, San Francisco, and Las Vegas in that order, returning to LA to fly home. I will probably take 5/6 days for LA (2 for Disney, 1 for Universal), then 4/5 days for San Fran, and the rest of the time in Las Vegas, where I have never been but I just have this feeling that I'm going to fall absolutely in love with it.

My first order of business is to book my flights. I've been saving my Virgin miles in preparation, and I can definitely pay for one leg with them. I want to fly PE, as the idea of economy for 12 hours does not appeal. I need to phone Virgin and see what they can do for me with the miles I have. I will park at Heathrow because I get free parking now that I work there.

My rough plan for the first few days is to use jet lag to my advantage and do Disney on the first 2 full days there, then have a day for the sights, then Universal. I'll hopefully get to see the show at least once or twice. I plan to rent a car for LA, and was going to keep it for the whole trip but then I realised how long it will take me to drive to SF, then SF to LV, then LV to LA, and realised I can probably do everything in SF and LV by relying on public transport/cabs/my own two feet.

Other than that, nothing is planned. But I'll try to keep up with this, as it will help to have it written down!
pinkstargirl is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 7 Jul 16, 09:44 PM  
Link to this Post
#2
debsym62
Imagineer
 
Join Date: Sep 12

debsym62's Reviews
Hotel Reviews: 1
Restaurant Reviews: 2
I take my hat off to you doing a big solo trip like that. I wish I would be brave enough to do that but I can't imagine I would be.
debsym62 is online now Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 9 Jul 16, 01:05 AM  
Link to this Post
#3
pinkstargirl
Thread Starter
Very Serious Dibber
 
pinkstargirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 11
Location: West London
First little update - flights are booked!

I fly LHR-LAX on Monday 31st October at 10:35, Premium Economy with Virgin.
Return flight is from LAX-LHR Wed 16th November at 21:00, again Premium Economy with Virgin.

Currently I am looking at the following internal flights:

5/11 LAX-SFO with Virgin America, 16:50 for $68 + $25 for up to 22kg hold bag
9/11 SFO-LAS with United, 19:00 for $56 + $25 for up to 23kg hold bag
15/11 LAS-LAX with Virgin America, 19:20 for $39 + $25 for hold bag.

Total is $238 = 184 roughly.

Car hire for LA for the first few days is around 130.

Next I need to start looking into accommodation.
pinkstargirl is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 9 Jul 16, 01:06 AM  
Link to this Post
#4
pinkstargirl
Thread Starter
Very Serious Dibber
 
pinkstargirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 11
Location: West London
Originally Posted by debsym62 View Post
I take my hat off to you doing a big solo trip like that. I wish I would be brave enough to do that but I can't imagine I would be.
Thank you - everyone always says I'm brave! I love being able to answer to only myself, and do exactly what I want to do!
pinkstargirl is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 12 Jul 16, 02:43 AM  
Link to this Post
#5
pinkstargirl
Thread Starter
Very Serious Dibber
 
pinkstargirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 11
Location: West London
Mobile

Internal flights are booked - the only one that has changed from my previous post is the SFO-LAS one - the United price had jumped to 120 so I had a look at the next day and am now on a 7:30am United flight, which cost 36. I will pay the baggage charge for this when I check in online.

Car hire has also jumped - cheapest I have found is now 170 for 5 days 😡 So if anyone knows of any discounts or inexpensive websites to check out, please let me know!
pinkstargirl is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 5 Aug 16, 01:57 AM  
Link to this Post
#6
pinkstargirl
Thread Starter
Very Serious Dibber
 
pinkstargirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 11
Location: West London
Small update: all flights and accommodations have been booked! The plans so far are as follows:

31/10 - Fly LHR to LAX on VA, land at 14:50. Collect rental car. Check into Good Night Inn, Buena Park (near Anaheim) for 3 nights. Drive to Upland to visit Rad Coffee - a coffee shop my sister linked to me on Facebook - it looks amazing! I may visit Downtown Disney in the evening depending on how jet lagged I feel.

1/11 and 2/11 - Disneyland! 2 day hopper has been purchased.

3/11 - Check out and make my way to the Banana Bungalow Hostel in West Hollywood for 2 nights. Sightseeing, Hedwig at 8pm.

4/11 - Universal - just a 1 day ticket, hopefully I can utilise single rider lines where possible! Hedwig at 8pm.

5/11 - Check out. WB studio tour booked for 9am. Drop off rental car at around 14:30 and fly to San Francisco on Virgin America, landing at 18:05. Check into the HI hostel near Union Square.

6-9/11 - no firm plans as such but I have ideas of what I want to do. Early night on the 9th as I have to get up stupidly early in the morning.

10/11 - check out around 4:30am, I will use either a shuttle service or a cab to take me to the airport at this hour, my flight to Las Vegas is at 7:30am. This is on United and lands at 9:02. I have booked a room in an apartment through AirBnB which looks amazing, so I will make my way here. It's right on the Strip near Circus Circus. Apartment owner has said early check in is fine. Early night again as up stupidly early in the morning.

11/11 - Pick up from Circus Circus at around 6am for a very long day trip to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

12-14/11 - no firm plans, but ideas.

15/11 - Check out, either leaving my luggage at the apartment or finding somewhere else where I can leave it, spend the day in Vegas before heading to the airport at around 5pm, my flight back to LAX is at 19:20 and lands at 20:30, on Virgin America. Check into the Hyde Park Motel near Inglewood.

16/11 - Check out, again I will need to find somewhere to leave my luggage. Or I will have a car hired from the previous night from LAX. Day in LA before heading to LAX at around 5/6pm for my 21:00 flight back to LHR.

17/11 - Land at LHR at 15:10 and make my way home.


So now that the essentials are booked, I can get to organising the fun stuff! I'll update once some more plans are in place.

Edited at 01:43 AM.
pinkstargirl is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 22 Sep 16, 01:36 AM  
Link to this Post
#7
pinkstargirl
Thread Starter
Very Serious Dibber
 
pinkstargirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 11
Location: West London
I've finally started to book things that need booking! The next 39 days are going to be a bit mad as along with work and holiday planning, I am also going to be packing up the room that I rent in preparation to move to a studio flat the day after I get back from LA. I don't make life easy for myself sometimes!

Anyway... I booked my tickets for Hedwig when the presale became available towards the end of August. This took a couple of evenings, coupled with lots of swearing as the website (Ticketmaster US) just wouldn't let me pick any seats. Upon discussing with a couple of friends who are going in late November, it turned out that they had to use an IP blocker so that Ticketmaster thought they were in the US and would allow them to book tickets. So I had to do this too. Even then it took a good couple of hours. But finally, I have 2 tickets booked for 3rd and 4th November.

I'd spoken in an earlier post about not wanting to waste a morning before I fly to San Francisco, so I've booked the WB studio tour for 9am, this should be a few hours and still leave me enough time to get to the airport.

I've just booked my Disney and Universal tickets, a 2 day hopper for Disney which will be for 1st and 2nd November. I've seen a list of what rides will be closed and there are a few at DisneyLand that I'm sad about missing, but I'm sure everything else will make up for it! Universal will be visited on 4th November, with a slightly early exit to ensure I get back to the hostel and drop the car off before heading to the theatre.

I've also been looking into Grand Canyon tours, and I found one at a very reasonable price to the South Rim, it was $75 with Grand Canyon Destinations - they had very good reviews everywhere I looked. Yes it will be a long time on a bus, but that's nothing new!

I think I only have a couple of things to definitely book for San Francisco, I've been told by a lot of people I have to do Alcatraz, and I also have my eye on a SF tour in a VW bus.

Other things on my "want to do" list include -

See Hollywood sign
Walk of fame

Golden Gate bridge
Disney Museum

Bit of gambling
'Magic Mike' style show
Outlets in Vegas
Hotels in Vegas
Fountains at the Bellagio

I rebooked the car hire as I found something cheaper for LA. I'm also considering hiring a car for my last day, as I know I have somewhere to keep my luggage that way and I have more freedom, I'm staying near Inglewood for that last night.

That's the update so far, I'll update again as more plans are made!

I've also updated the itinerary on my last post!
pinkstargirl is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 10 Oct 16, 07:12 AM  
Link to this Post
#8
Frankie & gang
Apprentice Imagineer
 
Frankie & gang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 11
Mobile

Your trip sounds great. I love travelling on my own - but have only managed Corfu so far! I shall be following your trip closely as are visiting some of those places next year.
Particularly interested in your internal flights we're flying from the Cali coast, probably Santa Barbara to Phoenix. Not checked Virgin America, so will do that!
__________________
Laura
Frankie & gang is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 11 Oct 16, 09:09 PM  
Link to this Post
#9
tartan tink
Apprentice Imagineer
 
tartan tink's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 06

tartan tink's Reviews
Hotel Reviews: 1
Can't wait to hear all about it
__________________
Elainex

courtyard by marriott, marriott suites clearwater,rpr july 07 westridge villa,rpr, july08 cypress point,rpr, aug 09 tuscana resort july 10:spin hard rock hotel July 10 watersong villa, rpr Jan 2012, sandy ridge villa June 2016
tartan tink is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 26 May 17, 01:29 PM  
Link to this Post
#10
Jake71
Imagineer
 
Jake71's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 11
Location: Ayrshire
All sounding good so far.
__________________
Jake71 is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 04:23 PM.


Powered by vBulletin - Copyright © 2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Latest News
Posted in Walt Disney World
On 27th October 3:18pm
Walt Disney World has announced that their entrance gateways to Walt Disney World are about... Read More »
Posted in Disneyland News
On 21st October 8:51am
Disneyland California is the only major Disney theme park to not reopen after all the... Read More »
Posted in Disney Shopping
On 18th October 9:02am
Disney has reduced the price of its large soft toys by up to 50%. Bargains... Read More »

theDIBB Menu


Exchange Rates
US Dollar Rates
ASDA  $1.2775
CaxtonFX  $1.2656
Covent Garden FX  $1.2778
FAIRFX  $1.2790
John Lewis  $1.2827
M&S  $1.2605
Post Office  $1.2505
Sainsburys  $1.2747
TESCO  $1.2778
Travelex  $1.2650
Updated: 15:00 28/10/2020
Euro Rates
ASDA  €1.0855
CaxtonFX  €1.0786
Covent Garden FX  €1.0917
FAIRFX  €1.0815
John Lewis  €1.0891
M&S  €1.0704
Post Office  €1.0679
Sainsburys  €1.0833
TESCO  €1.0850
Travelex  €1.0802
Updated: 15:00 28/10/2020

DIBB Premium Membership
Did you know you can help support theDIBB with Premium Membership?

Check out this link for more information and benefits, such as...

"No adverts on theDIBB Forums"

Upgrade Now