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Old 13 Feb 21, 08:29 PM  
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vegboatride
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San Francisco to Disneyland February 2020 Part 2

THURSDAY 13th FEBRUARY Moonstone to Santa Barbara
We left the lovely Fogcatcher Inn after an enormous breakfast, so many good hot and cold buffet food options. I would highly recommend this hotel. It ticked all our boxes and it was cheaper to book directly with the hotel.
We made the decision to jump onto interstate 101 at San Luis Obispo a faster more direct route to Santa Barbara we believed weíd seen the best of the scenery and were keen to get the driving over with for the day. We did however take a small detour to Solvang the Danish town for a restroom stop and some pastries but ended up buying nothing! I think we were still too full from breakfast.
About two and a half hours (from Moonstone) we arrived at Santa Barbara
West Beach Inn £175 inc breakfast, free parking, laundry, evening wine and cheese, heated pool and hot tub.
When we checked in we were informed the pool and hot tub would be closed for the day due to repainting, this was disappointing as it was one of the reasons Iíd chosen this hotel, they did upgraded us to a marina view room as an apology. So instead of swimming we set off to check out the skatepark which was a 10 minute walk away along the beach front.

There were boys ds1ís age on scooters at the skatepark so he quickly made friends and was more than happy to spend the next few hours there. Dh and l took it in turns watching ds1 and playing on the beach with ds2.



We eventually managed to prise ds1 away, we were in need of food. We headed down State street and surprisingly struggled to find somewhere, ending up in Habit Burger a chain, it was nice enough but I was hoping for something less counter service. Ds1 was desperate to go back to the skatepark so we had an ice cream from McConnells a famous shop on the way back. Personally I think Vivolis is better. We spent the rest of the afternoon between the beach and the park, it certainly beats the cold skateparks of Yorkshire. But we didnít do justice to Santa Barbara, still thereís always next time.
Back at the room I made good use of the laundry facilities coin operated machines and popped into reception area and made good use of the cheese and wine offerings
We were all to tired to go back out so just snacked on what we had and called it a night
View from the room.


FRIDAY 14th FEBRUARY Santa Barbara to Universal Studios
The breakfast offerings were meagre but no matter we were keen to get going to Universal about an hour and a halfís drive away.
I think there are probably better places to stay in Santa Barbara but the location suited us and it had the facilities we needed, the laundry for example. Iíd probably choose a different area next time just to see more of the city it was bigger than I was expecting.
The Garland £188, parking $25 a day, shuttle to Universal.
We arrived in good time, parked up left our luggage in the car, checked in and hopped on the first shuttle to Universal we made it before the parkís opening at 10am. Iíd bought tickets from Travel Republic £300 for 4 with a second day free. The tickets were home print outs with a bar code which they just scanned and let us in.
The park was fairly quiet and we managed to ride everything and watch WaterWorld the show.





The highlight for me was the Walking Dead walk through Iím a fan and the boys agreed to go despite the warning signs. I donít think Iíve screamed :blush and laughed so much.
We left before closing time and went to City Walk for tea we decided on Blaze pizza followed by Voodoo Donuts a first for us.


The shuttle back to the Garland was easy to find and they provide you with a timetable (about one an hour) it was quite busy but we all fit on.
The Garland bedroom


SATURDAY 15th FEBRUARY Universal to Marina del Ray
We finished the donuts for breakfast, checked out and caught the shuttle back to Universal to re-ride our favourites apart from the Walking Dead once was enough
We did watch WaterWorld again the boys request. We left about lunchtime with a bag of fried chicken which we decided to eat back in the hotel grounds luckily we were the only ones on the shuttle at that time of day as it did smell strong but delicious.

The Garland was a lovely hotel with a nice feel to it but we were hardly there, there were cheaper options further away but I was put off when I looked at them on google earth the area looked dodgy to me. I would definitely stay at the Garland again the shuttle was very handy and we were only charged for one dayís parking despite leaving the car for a few hours the following day.
The plan now was a whistle stop tour of a few L.A. sights.



Time was ticking and we wanted to get to Venice beach before dark so cutting our tour short we headed to Marina del Ray
Foghorn Harbour Inn £249 for a harbour view £50 more expensive than a road view but included a $50 voucher for the restaurant next door The Cheesecake Factory no brainer, free parking and breakfast included.
We checked in itís a family run hotel and the welcome was warm the rooms are a little dated but the view made up for it.

We set out for one last skatepark probably the most famous, Venice Beach.
Itís a pleasant 20min walk away.


Venice Beach was hopping, Saturday night of Presidentsí Day weekend and it was busy although the atmosphere was friendly enough lots of music and the whiff of weed everywhere.
The skatepark was heaving and they donít actually allow scooters but we already knew this.


But there are areas where kids can scooter so ds1 was content enough with this and he did get a round of applause for landing a bri flip.


It was starting to get dark so we headed back via the Venice canals, what a contrast! The canals were calm, pretty and tranquil.



Dh dropped the scooter and helmet off while we joined the inevitable Cheesecake Factory queue not too much longer I was enjoying a well earned glass of wine cheers!



SUNDAY 16th FEBRUARY
We were practically next door to the breakfast room so I went to check it out while the others were waking up it was basically help yourself to prepackaged everything including slices of bread so I grabbed a few cereals bowl portions for the boys and me and dh stuck to coffee in the room.
It was a lovely morning so we went to the park on the beach which ds2 had spied the day before.

Looking back the blue building on the right is the hotel with the Cheesecake Factory on the left.

We would happily stay at the Foghorn Inn again itís not fancy but the location is good and free parking is almost unheard of in L.A.
Next stop Disneyland itís about an hourís drive away we knew we werenít going to make park opening so we set off at leisure .
Wyndham Gardens Anaheim £589 for 4 nights free parking, pool. It was very tricky to choose a hotel, there is so much choice. We decided on this one because it was reasonably priced, recently refurbished clean and modern, it had a pool and free parking. The location looked good on a map we donít mind a bit of walking but it was a touch to far. I would encourage anyone to look for something closer preferably across from the entrance gates. The walk got tedious and it put us off going back in the evening. Otherwise I couldnít fault the hotel, the staff were particularly friendly.

I had no intention of writing a trip report hence the lack of room and food photos, so I havenít any notes of our Disney days Iím therefore going to lump them all together. The first couple of days were busy we didnít bother with max passes content just to meander and pick up FastPasses where we could. The last two days were much quieter and we saw and did a lot more.
Tickets £1008 5 day hopper Travel Republic

The Snacks
Nom Nom cookie ds2 had one everyday

Mickey beignets delicious

Macaroni in a cone from the Cozy Cone tasty

Hand dipped corn dog weíre not big fans

Clam chowder in a boudin sourdough bowl I loved it

Apple funnel cake fries amazing

Cinnamon roll nice enough

Blue milk meh



The Rides
The Incredibles coaster. Adding the Incredibles certainly adds to this ride it took to the last day for ds2 to pluck up the courage.


Rise of the resistance blew us all away

The Guardians of the galaxy Tower of terror overlay was a winner for us

The Cars ride was fun

And the worse ride was the Mickey wheel with moving cars, it was terrifying! Dh recorded us on it but Iím not brave enough to put it on here

The Parks
Star Wars land is incredible

Cars land at night is magical

The Pixar area is an improvement and hopefully one day we can return to see the new Marvel land
4 days was a good amount of time for us we never felt rushed but we still didnít see everything, we never saw World of Colour or any Fireworks as we did struggle to stay up late.

I wonít bore you with our return journey as it was uneventful and utterly boring, the 8 hour drive back to Yorkshire didnít help either, the traffic was awful. Luckily the boys slept as far as Leeds and missed most of it.

Thank you for reading along it was a fantastic last minute trip which I treasure all the more in these trying times.
All rooms were booked with free cancellation using Travel Republic, Hotels.com, Expedia and Booking.com on credit card.
Hats off to all you trip reporters its hard work!
Hopefully weíll all been enjoying happier times soon x
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Old 13 Feb 21, 09:08 PM  
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enjibenji
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I really enjoyed reading that and you all looked like you enjoyed your trip.
Its nice to read trip reports in these horrible times and gives us all something to look forward to doing when we get back to some normality. 😊
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Old 13 Feb 21, 09:14 PM  
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vegboatride
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Thanks for reading I really hope your trip goes ahead x
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Old 14 Feb 21, 01:38 AM  
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anji
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Great report. Really cheered me up as first day in isolation today 😭
We stayed at the Garland too, lovely hotel.
Thanks for writing!
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Old 14 Feb 21, 09:10 AM  
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vegboatride
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Sorry youíre stuck in isolation hopefully it will pass quickly.
Iím looking forward to reading all your trip reports for future ideas.
Thanks for reading.
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Old 14 Feb 21, 12:23 PM  
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Magicsky
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Thank you so much for sharing this. Really enjoyed it all.
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Old 14 Feb 21, 04:41 PM  
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Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed reading it. We were supposed to go to California for the first time this year but Iím now just hoping for a bigger better 2022 trip
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Old 14 Feb 21, 05:08 PM  
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vegboatride
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Originally Posted by Cutiepie View Post
Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed reading it. We were supposed to go to California for the first time this year but Iím now just hoping for a bigger better 2022 trip
Iím sure in 2022 youíll have an amazing trip. Thanks for reading x
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Old 21 Feb 21, 06:39 PM  
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Really enjoyed reading thank you for writing it
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Old 21 Feb 21, 07:02 PM  
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Really enjoyed reading this - thanks for writing it up. We are hoping for a California trip in the next couple of years.
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