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Old 11 Oct 23, 05:16 PM  
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#1
Libby
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Join Date: Nov 03
The West Coast Road Trip that grew - Intro & Day 0

Intro

I'm going to write this report in separate daily threads and link each one to the next as well as back to an index page as this is the way I prefer to work rather than one long thread. It may take some time to complete.

Back in 2019 DH and myself did a road trip in Southern California. We went to Universal Studios, Warner Brothers, Palm Springs, San Diego and Disneyland.

It was a fairly compact trip with the driving split up into manageable chunks.

We loved it so much we vowed to go back in 2020 with our daughter and see more of California.

Well, we all know what happened next, don't we?

So finally, in 2023 we felt brave enough to plan another trip. But being very rusty with our planning and suddenly being presented with dates that our daughter could have off work we probably rushed our planning and research.

Now we are back from an amazing trip and as I share some photos and brief notes from each day I know I'll have the West coast experts screaming at the screen - "You didn't do this" or "You didn't do that!" But I do feel we managed a lot of experiences as well as a lot of hours in the car.

We ended up with a bit of a muddled itinerary, but I think it came together in the end. Here's a brief outline

Fly Gatwick to Las Vegas
Explore the Strip
Drive to Grand Canyon South Rim via Hoover Dam
A Day exploring the Grand Canyon
2 Day drive to Anaheim taking in Bearizona, London Bridge, General Patton memorial Musem
2 Days at Disneyland
Paramount Studio Tour
Solvang
Hearst Castle Visitor Center
17 Mile Drive at Monterey
Drop car at SFO BART to San Francisco
2 Days San Francisco
BART back to SFO
Flight back to LHR

My biggest regret was flying from LGW when we live so near to LHR. But I think I learnt and remembered a lot of things on this trip. Who would have thought 4 years would have left us this rusty?

DAY 0

Thursday 21st September

I'm 61 and retired and for the first time we are visiting the USA not in a school holiday. My husband (also 61) was working from home that day and finished at 4.30pm.

Our 29 year old daughter had to work until 6.15. Luckily she works locally so had time to rush home and change before our taxi picked us up at 7pm.

DH normally works in Crawley and knows the traffic can be bad, usually he gets to work in just under an hour, but recently he has had a couple of 3 hour journeys. We decided to treat ourselves to a night at the Gatwick Hilton. When we first went to WDW in 1998 the family room was huge and the hotel felt very posh. Now the family room is big enough but only feels marginally better than a premier inn.


We decided to eat at the hotel that evening and then went for a walk to find out where we'd be checking in the next morning.

It was nearly 10pm when we returned to our room and with an 8am bag drop tomorrow we went to bed (but didn't sleep much.)


More photos tomorrow.

Day 1 Travel to Las Vegas

Edited at 02:14 PM.
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Old 11 Oct 23, 05:20 PM  
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#2
cornishfrogboy
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Join Date: Nov 10
Location: Falmouth
Really looking forward to this, particularly Patton Memorial and London Bridge!

Sounds a logical itinerary in every way.
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Index of all my Trip and Pretrip reports..https://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/sho...6#post15662196
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Old 11 Oct 23, 07:01 PM  
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#3
DisneyCupcake
Imagineer
 
Join Date: Aug 17
Originally Posted by Libby View Post
Intro

I'm going to write this report in separate daily threads and link each one to the next as well as back to an index page as this is the way I prefer to work rather than one long thread. It may take some time to complete.

Back in 2019 DH and myself did a road trip in Southern California. We went to Universal Studios, Warner Brothers, Palm Springs, San Diego and Disneyland.

It was a fairly compact trip with the driving split up into manageable chunks.

We loved it so much we vowed to go back in 2020 with our daughter and see more of California.

Well, we all know what happened next, don't we?

So finally, in 2023 we felt brave enough to plan another trip. But being very rusty with our planning and suddenly being presented with dates that our daughter could have off work we probably rushed our planning and research.

Now we are back from an amazing trip and as I share some photos and brief notes from each day I know I'll have the West coast experts screaming at the screen - "You didn't do this" or "You didn't do that!" But I do feel we managed a lot of experiences as well as a lot of hours in the car.

We ended up with a bit of a muddled itinerary, but I think it came together in the end. Here's a brief outline

Fly Gatwick to Las Vegas
Explore the Strip
Drive to Grand Canyon South Rim via Hoover Dam
A Day exploring the Grand Canyon
2 Day drive to Anaheim taking in Bearizona, London Bridge, General Patton memorial Musem
2 Days at Disneyland
Paramount Studio Tour
Solvang
Hearst Castle Visitor Center
17 Mile Drive at Monterey
Drop car at SFO BART to San Francisco
2 Days San Francisco
BART back to SFO
Flight back to LHR

My biggest regret was flying from LGW when we live so near to LHR. But I think I learnt and remembered a lot of things on this trip. Who would have thought 4 years would have left us this rusty?

DAY 0

Thursday 21st September

I'm 61 and retired and for the first time we are visiting the USA not in a school holiday. My husband (also 61) was working from home that day and finished at 4.30pm.

Our 29 year old daughter had to work until 6.15. Luckily she works locally so had time to rush home and change before our taxi picked us up at 7pm.

DH normally works in Crawley and knows the traffic can be bad, usually he gets to work in just under an hour, but recently he has had a couple of 3 hour journeys. We decided to treat ourselves to a night at the Gatwick Hilton. When we first went to WDW in 1998 the family room was huge and the hotel felt very posh. Now the family room is big enough but only feels marginally better than a premier inn.


We decided to eat at the hotel that evening and then went for a walk to find out where we'd be checking in the next morning.

It was nearly 10pm when we returned to our room and with an 8am bag drop tomorrow we went to bed (but didn't sleep much.)


More photos tomorrow.
Don't forget to check the latest status of the PCH with its closure between Limekiln SP and Monterey to save any long diversions.
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Old 12 Oct 23, 01:11 PM  
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#4
Libby
Thread Starter
Imagineer
 
Join Date: Nov 03
Originally Posted by DisneyCupcake View Post
Don't forget to check the latest status of the PCH with its closure between Limekiln SP and Monterey to save any long diversions.
Our trip is over now and I'm writing this now I'm back home but that really is something to take into account for anyone still planning their trip.
Libby is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
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