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Old 21 Mar 18, 10:14 PM  
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Jakes Mom
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Title to be Decided Pre Trip

CALIFORNIA PRE TRIP

March 24th to 11th April 2018

Road Trippers:
ME: Kerry just turned 40 ☹, planned everything for this trip and will do all the driving
LEE: Daddy due to turn 40 😊, spreadsheet man, finance director and ticket finder
JACOB: 9-year-old football nut who plans to go on his 1st upside down coaster
LUCAS: 6-year-old games console nut, completely crazy. Will hate all the walking we will do

It only seems 5 minutes since I completed last year’s trippie (Chasing Sunsets – Florida). I have been planning this trip since the day we arrived back from last years trip to Florida. I have always wanted to drive the PCH and I fell in love with California when we visited in Easter 2015. I have spent hours looking at hotels, looking at the DIBB and asking questions on various forums. I have finally settled on a plan which I will share with you all. Its probably not the most conventional plan you will ever see but it certainly suits our family, and there is something for everyone in it.

Last time we went to California we did Disney and stayed in Anaheim followed by a week in San Diego. In between that we did visit LA and did the tourist things. This time we are a lot more mobile and will see a lot more places.

We start off by flying into LAX on Saturday 24th March. We wanted to fly with Air New Zealand again as last time they were superb. We were delighted that Air New Zealand were the cheapest flights we could find. We paid £1270 for the 4 of us. We are flying from Heathrow.

We would normally find a park and fly package but Lee’s Dad will take us and pick us up. Those of you who have read any of my previous trip reports will know that Lee’s, Mum and Dad normally come away with us but unfortunately its just the 4 of us on this trip. Lee’s Dad has recently retired which enables him to take us and pick us up, I must admit, I am glad I don’t have to drive back from Heathrow when we return.

When we arrived at LAX last time we were all shattered and I didn’t fancy picking up the car then driving in LA to a hotel. So, we decided to book a hotel at the airport and pick up the car first thing the following morning. To be honest I struggled to find a hotel that I liked or fit our budget but, in the end, I settled for the Travel Lodge. It has a free shuttle from LAX and there is a 24-hour Denny’s onsite for when we want breakfast, its also only 2 miles away from where we pick up the car. We will only be using to get our heads down after the flight.

The car proved to be another headache, Lee normally takes charge of booking the car and he found a great price on US Rentacar but he didn’t book it as he was sure the price would go down. Guess what? It went up and up. So, after a bit research I managed to find a perfect car through Skyscanner.
We have got a RAV 4 (or equivalent) with extra driver and a tank of fuel for £417 for the 18 days.

We were not fans of LA during our last trip, although we were glad we went and did the tourist bits we agreed we didn’t want to spend any time there on this trip. So as soon as we wake up and pick up the car we are off to spend the day at Six Flags – Magic Mountain. Now, Lee has not had a lot of input into this trip but one thing he did say was that he wanted to go to a Six Flags. After looking at the route the best day to visit was our first day.

We go from Six Flags to Bakersfield, where we will stay at the Marriott Convention Centre for 1 night. I work for Marriott hotels so get quite a good staff discount which is why we are staying here. I have chosen Bakersfield as it was too long a drive to go all the way to Yosemite but needed somewhere more or less an hour away to get our head down for the night.

In Yosemite, we are staying at the Pines Resort on Bass Lake. We are here for 3 nights and have paid a little bit extra for a Lake view.
Pines Resort Link

Although I am really looking forward to seeing some of the beautiful sights in Yosemite, I am a little worried about the snow fall. There is no way I am packing hats and scarfs in our suit cases, but this is one place i have dreamed about seeing for years. We are staying just outside of the valley in Bass Lakes but dont mind the drive in. We plan on seeing; El Capitan, Tunnel View, Bridal Veil Falls and Mirror Lake to name a few places.

After Yosemite we make our way to San Francisco. I have always wanted to see the Golden Gate bridge so this is the main purpose for visiting here. We are also going to Alcatraz, i have booked tickets already as you need to do this 90 days in advance, we plan to also visit the Walt Disney Museum. We are staying in San Francisco for 3 nights and have booked the Columbus Motor Inn. I found it quite hard to find accommodation in San Fran that fitted in our budget. I couldnt get a good deal within Marriott, i believe its because this is Easter weekend. From the reviews I have read the Columbus is a little bit dated but clean and fine for us to get a good night’s sleep, it is also close to Fishermans Wharf which i where i wanted to be.
Columbus Motor Inn Link

From San Fran the plan is to head to Monterey for a night, again my Marriott connections have helped as we are staying at the Marriott Monterey for a bargain £57 en route to Monterey we will spend some time in Santa Cruz, i am a big fan of The Lost Boys so want to see the connections here.

From Monterey this is where the whole reason for the trip comes in, as today i will drive as much of the PCH as i can, before going inland to avoid the closures and then back out towards Highway 1, I want to see it in all its beauty, i am never going to get to do this again so am cramming it in, this will be our longest day in the car, but will pull over and have many stops to get out and take photos and breath that beauty in. We then stay at another Marriott hotel. This time it is the Marriott Santa Ynez, an even better bargain of £52. The reason for staying here is because we had to stop at some point and this was the nearest Marriott to other parts we want to visit the next day.

Our next destination is down to the boys. I want to see Solvang which won't take long, and the boys want to visit "Do Jo Boom" something they watch on You Tube which we found is on LA. They wanted to go back to Knotts Berry Farm. So, we have booked a night in their on-site hotel which includes tickets for the park for the next day. So we will visit the trampoline park and then move on to Knotts Berry for the night. Lucas loved it here last time and he is desperate to have his picture taken with Snoopy.

We end the holiday with a 6-night stay in San Diego. During our last trip we fell in love with San Diego. We have booked a beach type house in La Jolla. During our time in San Diego we plan to visit the Zoo, Safari Park, Seaworld and the Balboa Park museums. I am also determined to find the Top Gun houses as I never found them last time.

Link to the Bonair Beach House
After 17 nights we fly home from LAX and arrive at Heathrow on 11th April. I am sure we will do lots of things that are not in the plan and I am sure that some where along the line we will have to change our plan. However, I guarantee what ever happens we will have a great time on our adventure.
Check back in April to see how we got on. If you are planning a trip and have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.
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Old 22 Mar 18, 12:40 PM  
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Have a wonderful trip. Fingers crossed the snow eases in Yosemite for you.
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Old 22 Mar 18, 09:47 PM  
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I can tell you're really excited to finish work tomorrow, I saw your FB status! Have a great time xx
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Old 22 Mar 18, 09:49 PM  
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Originally Posted by Pussycat Doll View Post
I can tell you're really excited to finish work tomorrow, I saw your FB status! Have a great time xx
Ha Ha Thanks Selina xx
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Old 22 Mar 18, 09:50 PM  
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Originally Posted by Disney Wishing View Post
Have a wonderful trip. Fingers crossed the snow eases in Yosemite for you.
Thank you - i do too
if not i am sure the views will be better than outside my window at home
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Old 26 Mar 18, 09:22 PM  
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Ooh it sounds a wonderful plan, I hope you're having a fab time!
Our rough itinerary looks very similar to yours, cant wait to read all about it
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Old 3 Apr 18, 11:01 AM  
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Hope you're having a fab trip! Can't wait to read all about it when you get back
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