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Old 16 Mar 19, 08:46 PM  
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Originally Posted by Stardust5 View Post
It sounds like an amazing trip, we have not done the West Coast yet so I look forward to reading along and seeing how you get on!
Thank you for reading. I hope you get some ideas from us for your trip whenever you take it. Reading trip reports is the only way I get any info on where we go
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Old 17 Mar 19, 06:31 PM  
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Hello
I have finally gotten around to updating this Pre Trippy now that I've finished my Las Vegas Trip Report!

To start off we have had a change of accommodation in Monterey. After thinking we may be too far of a drive out of the main attractions I found another cottage on Air BnB, a 2 bed one this time so the kids won’t need to sleep in the living room. This was slightly more expensive but is only a 3 minute walk to the ocean and is perfectly located in Pacific Grove











Itinerary
This itinerary has changed so many times I can’t even remember what it looked like to begin with. But isn’t half the fun of the holiday in the planning . I think we’ve pretty much nailed it down so I shouldn’t think they’ll be any more changes.
It may look like a military style plan but as usual on holiday I’m fairly relaxed about any adjustments or plain throwing the whole thing out the window due to tiredness or any other unforeseen reason but it’s always good to have some kind of plan to at least try and stick with!
I just want to thank the following who's trip reports I've read that have hugely helped me in getting this plan together. Pumba75, miked1e, bambikate, Wiley Coyote, TractorBoy, jocat, Lisa Lollipop, charly77, Crispy A, abiknox, TrueBlue, Lolly90, Ruthy1604 and the late Geoffa. I have probably got at least one aspect of each of your holidays in our itinerary
So here goes

San Francisco - 3 nights
Day 1
We are flying from Heathrow so as it’s only 10 minutes up the road we’ll just grab a taxi there. The Leans live in Hampshire so I’m thinking they’ll come up to us the night before as we have an early start the next day.
Our first flight to Dublin departs at 08.50 so we’ll need to be at the airport for around 6am. All being well we land at 10.15 then we have 2 hours 20 to get through Immigration and probably get something to eat. It’s handy we don’t have to change terminals as we fly in and out of Terminal 2 so there’s no faffing about.
Our flight to SFO departs at 12.35 then it’s a long 11 hours until we land which should be 15.35 West Coast time. As we will land as domestic passengers which is a huge plus of Pre Clearance I’m hoping we’re at the car garage shortly after landing, depending of course on how long the suitcases take!
From the airport it says it’s a 25 minute drive but we’ll be hitting the roads at rush hour so I expect it will take double that time!
Check into Columbus Motor Inn and if we have any energy we’ll walk up to Fisherman’s Wharf to get some dinner. Maybe somewhere quick like In & Out Burger. Again if energy levels are ok we’ll go into Musée Mechanique to play some of the old school arcade games. Some of which look very creepy
I’m fairly sure we’ll be getting an early night!









Day 2
Breakfast this morning will be at Hollywood Cafe. I’m thinking that we’ll be up early so we’ll use that to our advantage as I know the queues get super long in here.





From here we’ll walk over to Blazing Saddles to hire ourselves some bikes for the day. This could be fairly amusing as I don’t think I’ve ridden a bike since I was a teenager!
We want to ride over the Golden Gate Bridge but stop off at the Presidio on the way to see the Yoda statue and Palace of Fine Arts.
Over the bridge and down into Sausalito which looks like a charming village with amazing views of San Francisco.







Lunch if we’re hungry is at Bridgeway Cafe. We’ll then get the Ferry back to San Fran and I believe payment is included in the bike hire price.



We’ll probably be completely wiped out now so after taking back the bikes we’ll head back to the hotel for a rest.
Tonight we are going on the Evening Alcatraz Tour which we are all really looking forward to. Looks very spooky!



We may go for dinner at Bubba Gumps once we get back. I’ve got a Landry Card so hoping we get to skip what I’m sure will be a huge queue



Day 3
Today is Sean’s birthday!
Breakfast this morning at the Buena Vista Café. From here we’ll walk to the first Cable Car stop and get on the Powell/Hyde Line towards Union Square for a look around, maybe a spot of shopping!



This afternoon we’ll get in the car and drive to Mrs Doubtfire House, the Painted Ladies and go down the famous Lombard Street.







Tonight we’re hoping to get tickets for the San Francisco Giants Baseball game as they’re playing at home which we thought Sean would love. I did have us down as grabbing something to eat at the game but after reading a recent trip report of the prices they charge we may get something quick on the way.



Monterey - 3 nights
Day 4
Breakfast will be at the Boudin Bakery, we will also get some pastries to take out as this morning we start our road trip off by heading South to Monterey.



On the way I want to stop off at the St Paul’s Catholic Church aka the church in Sister Act, one of my favourite films!



Our next stop on the way down is the Santa Cruz Boardwalk famous from the film Lost Boys



Lunch @ Pizza my Heart in Santa Cruz.



Now for the final drive of the day to Monterey. We split up from the Leans for a while as our Air BnBs are in two separate areas. They are near the marina whilst we’re in Pacific Grove.
I cannot wait for our stay here as after all it was seeing Monterey on TV that started this whole holiday idea so I’ll definitely be going on a little walk to explore our immediate area!



We’ll meet up again with The Leans for dinner @ Hula’s Island Grill



Day 5
This morning we are doing one of Sam’s activities he’s most looking forward to and going Whale watching with Princess Monterey. I’m hoping we’re lucky enough to see them in the wild!



Lunch will be take out at Compagnos Deli then drive over to Lovers Point Park & Beach for a picnic and a nice chilled afternoon.





Dinner will be @ Schooners for us adults whilst we’ll get the kids a pizza and they can stay in. The Leans cottage is literally 2 minutes walk away so we’re happy they’ll be fine and probably want to just chill out with the WiFi!



Day 6
Jim is playing golf so we’ll just have a relaxing morning. I’ll probably go out for an explore around Pacific Grove maybe get some breakfast from Red House Cafe.





Once Jim is home we’ll get going to Carmel Beach for an afternoon of swimming and sunbathing



Lunch @ Little Swiss Cafe or Carmel Bakery.
On our way back we’ll do the 17 Mile Drive hopefully timing it right for the sun going down





Dinner @ Johnny Rockets tonight, nice and cheap!



Solvang - 1 night
Day 7
Today will consist of a lot of driving but some fabulous views so we want to get an early start.
Breakfast @ Paris Bakery to get some pastries to take with us.



The first stop will be the very famous Bixby Bridge then onto Pfeiffer Beach for a quick paddle.





Lunch stop at the Cafe Kevah Nepenthe, absolutely beautiful views from up there!



Next stop is to see the McWay Falls before driving further down to see the Elephant Seals at San Simeon





If we have time then we’ll take a stop at Morro Bay for a snack and a leg stretch. If we find we’ve spent too long at the other places we’ll just drive straight onto Solvang where we’re spending the night.



Check in to Svensgaard Inn then head out for dinner @ the Solvang Brewing Company



Los Angeles - 3 nights
Day 8
Breakfast @ Mortensen’s Bakery before driving to Santa Barbara where we’ll spend a few hours.





Lunch @ Shoreline Beach Cafe which looks idyllic



Once done we’ll drive to LA and straight to Griffiths Observatory.





Now this will all depend on the famous LA traffic. If time is getting on then we’ll just head straight for the apartment.
We are within walking distance of the Walk of Fame and the Chinese Theatre so will take a stroll up there and get some dinner at the Hollywood and Highland mall. Will probably get an Uber back as I’ve heard this area is dodgy to say the least after dark!





Day 9
Today we’re off to Santa Monica Beach & Pier. If we have any energy we may hire bikes to ride along the boardwalk to Marina Del Rey. If not we’ll chill for the morning at one of the beaches and see the original Muscle Beach.





This afternoon we’ll take a drive around Rodeo Drive and Beverley Hills seeing the sights.





Helen and I want to stop for a Pretty Woman martini in the Beverley Wilshire Hotel!



We then may take a drive up Mulholland Drive to see the front gates of some celebrities. This is for Hope and Jenny
Dinner @ California Pizza Kitchen



Anaheim - 3 nights
Day 10
We have the Warner Bros Studio Tour booked for this morning so will grab some breakfast at the Starbucks on site there. Really looking forward to this, especially seeing the Gilmore Girls sets and sitting on the Friends sofa!



Lunch possibly at Tam O’Shanter’s. This is where Walt himself used to eat.



We’ll now drive down towards Anaheim and check into the Radisson Suites Buena Park.
I think the kids will want some pool time by now so hopefully we’ll get there in time for a few hours swimming.
Dinner will be across the road at Rock & Brews



Day 11
Breakfast will be a quick one at the hotel because today we are off to Knott’s Berry Farm Theme Park. The kids will most probably want to go on all of the big coasters while I’m chief bag holder but I see there are a couple of smaller rides within my capability



Dinner will be at my favourite Panda Express which is inside the park. We’ll aim to stay in the park for the day before heading back to the hotel

Day 12
Breakfast will again be at the hotel as today we are off to Disney’s California Adventure.



Now we only have one day for Disney which is obviously not my choice but I’m grabbing it with both hands and running with it! I did debate attempting to skim both parks in one day but with the opening of Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland I’m fairly sure that park is going to be rammed so thought it would make better sense to stick with just the one park. There’s also more rides that we all want to do in California Adventure so it’s a no brainer! Sean is particularly excited about the Guardians of the Galaxy ride which is basically a re theming of Tower of Terror which is one of his favourites! Part of his autism is he likes to be prepared for every ride so he has been watching You Tube videos back to back and knows every single element of this ride already!
We may leave the park for a while for dinner @ The Cheesecake Factory before heading back in to watch World of Colour which I’m really looking forward to!





Oceanside - 5 nights
Day 13
Breakfast at the hotel again before driving to Desert Hills Premium Outlets for a spot of shopping then driving on to Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Hoping for some fab views!



We’ll now drive on to Oceanside where our few days of relaxation will begin which I’m sure we’ll be ready for!
Check into our apartments in North Coast Village then walk up the beach to the pier where we’ll have dinner @ Ruby’s Diner at the end



Day 14
Jim at golf this morning but we’ll be having a very chilled day doing absolutely nothing! The furthest we’ll wander is to the beach and the pool!



Dinner at the Breakwater Brewing Co.



Day 15
Today Helen and I are going to take the coaster train from Oceanside to San Diego. This has some wonderful views of the ocean on the way and should take about an hour.



We’ll walk to the nearest Trolley Bus Tour stop and do a complete loop stopping on Coronado Island to have a drink at Hotel Del Coronado.





The plan is for Jim, Nick and the kids to drive to meet us in the afternoon to have a late lunch @ Kansas City BBQ. As massive fans of Top Gun this is an absolute must!



From there we’ll spend an evening shopping at Las America’s Premium Outlets which are right on the border of Mexico. This centre looks HUGE!



Day 16
Today is another chilled day of doing not a lot! Jim may play golf again at Torrey Pines.
Dinner at Mary’s Family Restaurant in Oceanside.



Day 17
Another day of beach and pool.
Breakfast at the Breakfast Club Diner



We may look into hiring some kayaks but we’ll see how we feel and how much money we’ve spent so far!



Bakersfield - 1 night
Day 18
We need to check out by 11 but we may store our bags in the car and spend the day on the beach again. We’re driving to Bakersfield to spend the night and as there’s not much there we’re not in any rush to leave! Another option is checking out early and going to Six Flags Magic Mountain Theme Park which we pass on the way



Yosemite - 3 nights
Day 19
Saving the best for last!
This morning we drive to Yosemite. We’ll drive into the park via Tunnel view and Bridalveil Falls before checking into Half Dome Village.





The kids may want to spend the afternoon in the pool but we may go on the Valley Floor Tour to get our bearings then do our first walk on the Lower Falls Trail which looks fairly easy to start us off with
Dinner will be something quick and easy at the Pizza Patio



Day 20
Today will start very early as I’m determined to watch the sunrise up at Glacier Point.



We’ll then attempt to do one or both of the Taft Point and Sentinel Dome trailheads.





I also want to go over to House Keeping Camp as after reading about it in a trippy recently it looks a stunning spot!



Dinner tonight at the Curry Village Pavilion

Day 21
Today will be some more hiking on the Mist Trail. We’ll definitely go up to Vernal Falls, not sure we’ll make it to Nevada Falls.



We’ll then take the bus round to the Mirror Lake trail and then to the Swinging Bridge on the Merced River.







I think we’ll need some pool time this afternoon to chill out our aching joints!
Dinner @ Base Camp Eatery or maybe at the Pizza Patio again.
I really want to try out the Starry Night Tour so may book that up for this evening. I think it’ll be a lovely activity to end our holiday with!



Day 22
Our flight isn’t until 19.35 tonight so we’ll need to leave Yosemite by lunchtime to make it back to San Francisco in time.
We’ll stop on the way to get any last minutes bits we want to take home from Walmart in Manteca before heading straight to SFO to drop the car off.
Dinner will be somewhere at the airport I’m sure.
And that wraps up what will hopefully be a most memorable 3 weeks

I'll be back soon with how I'm planning of pulling off touring California Adventure and Knotts Berry Farm in just one day

TTFN

Edited at 03:35 PM.
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Old 17 Mar 19, 07:20 PM  
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Oh my goodness I’m exhausted just reading that! What a fabulously detailed action packed trip. I can’t wait to follow you. I’ve always fancied a west coast trip and I love all your trip reports so this one is going to be a belter!
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Old 17 Mar 19, 08:25 PM  
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Wow, those plans are fabulous. You're packing a lot in to your road trip. It's going to be a wonderful holiday. You seem to have a great plan for each of the areas you are visiting, I wonder how many miles you will clock up on the car hire! I can't wait to read all about it. Roll on summer!
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Old 18 Mar 19, 10:43 PM  
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Originally Posted by scottishnellie View Post
Oh my goodness I’m exhausted just reading that! What a fabulously detailed action packed trip. I can’t wait to follow you. I’ve always fancied a west coast trip and I love all your trip reports so this one is going to be a belter!
Hi Helen. Haha I know right? We'll be in need of another holiday once we come home!
Thank you, I hope I give you some pointers for a future trip of yours.
I'm so excited to see you're spending a week on AMI, my god you're going to love it so much more than just a couple of days. Officially my favourite place on the planet! Not sure if you read my last years report but we hired a boat out for half a day and had such a fun time, then just as we were taking the boat back we were surrounded by pods of dolphins, I'll never forget that day. I have read that the Red Tide has completely gone from the island now so I hope it will stay that way for your trip
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Old 18 Mar 19, 10:47 PM  
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Originally Posted by Goldia View Post
Wow, those plans are fabulous. You're packing a lot in to your road trip. It's going to be a wonderful holiday. You seem to have a great plan for each of the areas you are visiting, I wonder how many miles you will clock up on the car hire! I can't wait to read all about it. Roll on summer!
Thanks so much Abby! We are packing so much in to most days its so hard not to when there's so much to see and do, and who doesn't love a plan
I'm actually looking forward to seeing how many miles we actually clock up. I've done a rough calculation on Google Maps which says about 1700 miles but that's obviously without any other driving whilst we are there
Yes roll on summer, I'm fed up of the winter now
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Old 18 Mar 19, 10:57 PM  
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Originally Posted by smithlane View Post
Hi Helen. Haha I know right? We'll be in need of another holiday once we come home!
Thank you, I hope I give you some pointers for a future trip of yours.
I'm so excited to see you're spending a week on AMI, my god you're going to love it so much more than just a couple of days. Officially my favourite place on the planet! Not sure if you read my last years report but we hired a boat out for half a day and had such a fun time, then just as we were taking the boat back we were surrounded by pods of dolphins, I'll never forget that day. I have read that the Red Tide has completely gone from the island now so I hope it will stay that way for your trip
Oh of course I’ve read yours!(numerous times if I’m honest!). Am either going to book the boat or a kayak tour. Trying to decide which would suit us better. Been watching the red tide updates constantly and praying it stays away for us. Can. Not. Wait!
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Old 18 Mar 19, 11:10 PM  
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Originally Posted by scottishnellie View Post
Oh of course I’ve read yours!(numerous times if I’m honest!). Am either going to book the boat or a kayak tour. Trying to decide which would suit us better. Been watching the red tide updates constantly and praying it stays away for us. Can. Not. Wait!
Ah thank you! I was gutted we had the kayak tour cancel on us. It’s a tough one maybe see how you all feel when you get there. I wouldn’t have thought you would need to pre book especially as you’re there for a week. Can’t wait to read all about it!
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Old 21 Mar 19, 09:16 PM  
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Hi, really enjoyed your trip report was just wondering which hotel would you stay at with kids next time in Vegas out of all the ones you saw? I know the MGM Signature is lovely but I don't want the kids to share a sofa bed we want to spread out a bit as there for 3 nights in August. I think you said you liked New York New York? Our kids are 13 and 17? Thanks in advance
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Old 24 Mar 19, 09:32 PM  
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Originally Posted by Lmjenk View Post
Hi, really enjoyed your trip report was just wondering which hotel would you stay at with kids next time in Vegas out of all the ones you saw? I know the MGM Signature is lovely but I don't want the kids to share a sofa bed we want to spread out a bit as there for 3 nights in August. I think you said you liked New York New York? Our kids are 13 and 17? Thanks in advance
Hi there thank you for reading
I really liked NYNY, it had a good vibe to it. Also liked the Venetian, The Wynn and Mirage. Do they not do 2 bed suites at the Signature? I can understand you not wanting them to share a sofabed, my two teens would point blank refuse
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