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Old 20 Jun 16, 09:37 PM  
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charly77
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The Grand Tour...

Pre-Trippy…

I find choosing a trip name the hardest part of the trip! Anyway I came up with this one for many reasons, firstly its an anagram of our surname plus we purchased a new car called a Gran Tourer add that to the fact that this trip is pretty grand and BOOM our trip now has a name!

So, DH and I are both 40 within 2 years of each other so we started to discuss a few years ago what we could do as a family to celebrate. It began as two separate holidays, DH’s choice first (as he’s the oldest) was whale watching in Boston. I wasn’t too sure what I would like to do, I had plenty of time to decide, so we started saving…
It escalated quite dramatically and has somehow managed to turn into a trip of a lifetime to celebrate both our birthdays plus our DD’s 18th!

Together we are a family of 4;
Me (39)
DH (40)
DD (18)
DS (14)

DD is hoping to go off to Uni this coming September, this could potentially be our last ‘big’ family holiday. She will get her A Level results whilst we’re away which will decide her future…

As a family we have been lucky to have experienced some fantastic trips together, I am also very fortunate to have a great group of GF’s who I also go away with. America is a firm favourite with all of us, especially Florida. As a family we visited NYC at Christmas in 2014 experiencing an awful delay so we promised the kids we’d take them back as we were so tired during our last visit we were unable to appreciate it as much as we’d hoped.

Anyway back to our plan. As I work in a school I get the summer holidays off, DH applied for special leave at work for the same duration and it was granted. This was great news as it meant we could be flexible with time and duration. Whale watching was where it started so Boston was on the list, where next? After lengthy discussions we all opted to do a west coast road trip starting in San Francisco and ending up in Vegas. From here we would fly to Boston then go onto New York. It seems a lot but we had saved hard for it so why not

Fast forward a few months and I had ‘booked’ the majority of the accommodation through Booking.com on a no deposit and free cancellation basis giving me the opportunity to look around. When flights came out we managed to bag a bargain with Westjet* for £1925, flying Gatwick-Vancouver-San Francisco then New York-Toronto-Gatwick. As we had paid a lot less than we had budgeted for DH suggested we plan Hawaii into our trip. I could see where he was coming from as we are over that side so we may as well look into it…
*Since Westjet have started their international flights we do have concerns but nothing we can do now other than cross our fingers that all goes to plan.

Flights to Hawaii were more expensive than our international ones plus a hotel was not the cheapest going, however including this it took us to our original flight budget so we booked it! The only thing we hadn’t booked to this point was a Vegas hotel. We decided on MGM Grand as the kids loved the look of the pool, we were advised to wait before booking. I kept an eye on the price which fluctuated significantly and once it was at a price we were happy to pay I booked it, if I see it at a lower price I can re-book so all good!

Okay so our plan is this;

San Francisco 4 nights – 1 night @ Dylan SFO/3 night’s @ HIE Fisherman’s Wharf
• Dylans Tour ‘A day in the Bay’
• Baseball game @ AT&T
• Usual touristy things

Collect hire car and drive to…

Yosemite-2 nights – Half Dome Village
• Bike hire
• Hikes
• See the stars

Monterey 1 night – Hampton Inn
• Sea kayaks
• Whale watching boat trip

Drive the Big Sur and PCH down to…

Santa Maria* 1 night – Travelodge
* We booked here as it was part way to LA, we have since tried to change as someone mentioned it wasn’t a nice area. Prices are just too high and as it’s literally an overnight stop we’re going to stick it out and hope its okay.

LA 2 nights – BWP Hollywood Hills
• Universal
• Warner Bros Tour
• Touristy stuff

Hawaii 4 nights – Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort
• Pearl Harbour
• Luau
• Wedding vow renewal
• Hanuama Bay

Red Eye flight to LAX – Day room booked, collect car and drive to Phoenix.

Phoenix 1 night - Best Western Metro Centre Inn

Grand Canyon 1 night – Thunderbird Lodge
• Sunset/sunrise
• Hermit road biking tour

Las Vegas 3 nights – MGM Grand
• Battlefield
• Water rafting/Hoover Dam
• MJ One
• Red Rock Canyon

Fly to…

Boston 2 nights – Battery Wharf Hotel
• Bike the Freedom trail
• Segway tour
• HOHO trolley
• Harbour cruise

Pick up car and drive to…

Cape Cod 3 nights – Bayside Resort, West Yarmouth
• ‘Around the Sound’ tour to Nantucket and Marthas Vineyard
• A level results…
• Chatham
• Cycle the old rail track
• Crazy golf

Driving part of the way to NYC stopping at…

New Haven 1 night – La Quinta Inn

Train to…

NYC 5 nights – Radio City Apt
• Central park picnic/bike hire
• Apple Greeter (hopefully) – Highline/Chelsea market
• One world observatory and 9/11 museum
• Coney Island
• Les Miserables
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Old 20 Jun 16, 09:54 PM  
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Melbatb
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Wow - sounds fabulous!
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Old 20 Jun 16, 10:00 PM  
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eleele
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Wow! What a grand trip indeed! Sounds amazing
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Old 25 Jun 16, 11:41 AM  
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Wow wow wow!
That just sounds fantastic and epic! I hope you will do a trippie!
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Old 30 Jun 16, 03:38 PM  
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anji
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Oh my what a fabulous adventure! Can't wait to read your report
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Old 6 Jul 16, 07:29 AM  
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charly77
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Thank you for the lovely replies. We are very excited!
Our Instagram for the Roadtrip is:
grandtourers16
If you want to follow us?
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Old 6 Jul 16, 07:38 AM  
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Jesslydevie1
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Wow I am exhausted just reading your trip report but would loveeeee to do it ,can't wIt for the actual trip !
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Old 6 Jul 16, 07:43 AM  
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margyloveswdw
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Wow, sounds amazing if hectic! I hope you have a fabulous trip!
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Old 6 Jul 16, 08:21 AM  
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Sounds like a dream trip... so jealous right now!
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Old 9 Jul 16, 02:25 PM  
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andreab
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Looks like we are overlapping in San Fran and Half Dome. (Just done my pre-trip). What day are you doing Dylan's Tour - we are on the 26th? Your trip looks epic.
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