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Unread 9 Apr 14, 11:25 PM  
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buryboy
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16 years on - here we go at last

Warning - I ramble on - I might tell you where we are going in about 3 posts time

So, my ( our ?) first ever pre-trippie.
To be fair , the real reason I'm doing it is to make me agree with that little voice in my head that says " stop reading about what others have done or are doing , and get on with what you are going to do - you are going in 4 months time"
Oh ,and hence to act as a " to do list"

The story so far

Back in 1997 , I got married in what was then cypress gardens ( now legoland ) in Florida . It was fantastic . Great day , great memories , great holiday.
I was hooked on USA and Disney.
The missus ( more on her later - she does have a name ) ) used to work at airtours , so we got cheap holidays
Lets take advantage and do the magic triangle , Vegas , San Fran and LA we thought.
Had it all in our head to do it in 1999 when we'd saved up a bit.
But fate played its hand , and well in September 1998 , out popped our beautiful daughter Emma. And that was the great adventure put on ice.

For 16 years. Things move slowly in Bury.

Now , after son Sam came along in 2003 , we've managed 2 family trips to wdw and 3 to disneyland paris ( one of which part of a much longer longer to France - chronicled in a trip report across these 4 posts - http://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=654439
- http://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=654717
- http://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=656852
- http://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=657081. ) , but never made it to the west coast.

Until now ( well 10th August to be precise )

So who's going ?

There's me - Graham , 46 , organiser of everything , only dibber , works hard, plays hard , tight northerner accountant




The missus , Rachel , coming up to 42 , part time school office worker , general kid taxi. Works hard, so loves nothing more than lying on a beach falling asleep. ( well, there won't be much chance of that on this holiday )




Dear daughter Emma.now 15, Caring, quiet hard working. Enjoys shopping ( help) , Disney and " making"

Dear Son Sam , soon to be 11 , typical lad, into football, rolling around in the mud, making a noise and a mess . Takes after his dad.




Right, sorry , you'll have to come back tomorrow to see where we are going. My bed is calling me .

Edited at 09:31 PM.
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Unread 10 Apr 14, 06:49 AM  
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buryboy
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Ok , so what's our itinerary like ?

We fly from manchester direct to Vegas on 10th August with flythomascook. Returning 19 days later on the same flight. Total cost for 4 was 2733 less a whole 8 quidco . So about 681 pp .
Booked sometime last August. Thomas cook prices on this flight in my experience tend to start low and just keep rising.
Think its up to about 4k now

Next booked was the car hire. Gone for a full size so luggage isn't on show . Booked on alamo Brits for 386. Did go through quidco . Need to chase them up as not showing.


I then set off trying to sort an itinerary out. Initially really wanted to do a loop that included yosemite but in the end , had to consider the kids in particular , and the fact that I would be doing all the driving so that had to be saved for another trip .
I know a lot do manage to include it, but I really wanted an overnight stop at the Grand Canyon, so that added a lot if time on the road.

So finally settled on the following.- have gone predominantly for budget hotels. Don't intend to stay long in them , so no point spending more than necessary. Told you I was tight. This will be , by more than double the previous "best" , our most expensive holiday ever , but no point in making it more than it needs be.

Sunday 10th August. Arrive around noon, pick up car, do " the sign" and have a general mooch around Vegas. Head out to Henderson , do a Walmart shop ( its a tradition you know but won't be quite so extensive as Florida ) and bed down for the night at the Fiesta Henderson for a massive 27 inc brekkie for 2 of us ( not sure which two of us yet have to starve - strange room option booked through expedia with quidco

Monday 11th August. Set off early - guess with the time difference we'll be awake at daft o'clock so may as well take advantage - on the 4 or 5 hour trip to Grand Canyon south rim. Going to have a slight stop to get out and walk on the new hoover dam bridge to get any scared of heights issues out of the way early on the trip. Then on via the infamous Route 66. I believe the road is pretty bland but you just have to do it. May stretch our legs at hackberry general store, have a snack at delgadillos sno cap and been told to check out the barbers shop in seligman. ( I'm intrigued if nothing else )
Hopefully get to Grand Canyon early afternoon ( memo to self - put the clocks on an hour , Arizona in a different time zone to Vegas ) then tour the eastern side of the canyon out to desert view watchtower before returning to the hotel area for sunset . Then rest our weary heads at south maswik lodge . ( approx 68 booked direct)


Tuesday 12th August . Up early. Very early. I'm hoping that by this only bing our second morning , we will still be adjusting to the time difference. As we need to be up for sunrise. Which is at about 5.30 am. I didn't even realise that there was a 5.30 in the morning. After seeing sunrise, we will tour the western side of the canyon for a few hours. Hoping to set off about noon on the longest drive of the holiday , about 7 hours through the heat of the desert to Palm Springs. Night at the vagabond hotel , about 35 including breakfast I think via Expedia.

Weds 13th August. Hopefully a bit of a lie in . Then off to the Palm Spriings Aerial Tramway. This sounds like a breathtaking ride in a giant see through baked bean can up the mountain. Then spend a couple of hours round the trails at the top. After returning to terra firma, I think it will be a bit of time for some retail therapy for the girls , before setting off on the 2 hour journey to San Diego. Hoping to get there in time to take in the sunset and the seals at La Jolla.
Overnight we have a stop at a place near the Qualcomm stadium whose name just escapes me at the moment

Thursday 14th August . Seaworld . First theme park of the trip. We are going to get the Southern California City Pass, which allows us to do 1 day seaworld , 3 days at disney and a day at universal studios. I'm aware of the negative press on seaworld recently but we haven't been to seaworld in Florida even since 2007 , so felt it was about time we set that straight. Overnight at Days Inn Hotel Circle , think it was about 55 a night including brekkie..

Friday 15th August . Exploring San Diego . We're going to book the San Diego Trolley Tour, which is a hop on/ hop off affair around the city. Not decided yet where we are going to get off to explore. Should be fun. San Diego is supposed to be a great city. Overnight at Days Inn Hotel Circle

Saturday 16th August. We haven't fully decided yet , but we may split up this morning. The girls may have some time to themselves enjoy flexing the plastic. While the boys may go on a whale watching tour. The reviews of the tours are great , and the price excellent , but its supposed to be almost compulsory to get seasick on it, and the girls just don't fancy it. Otherwise , we'll just spend some more time exploring San Diego before travelling the hour and a half up to Anaheim. First of 4 overnight stops at the HoJo. ( pushing the boat out a bit for me, but got a great rate at 70 a night through zleepinghotels.com )



( to be continued)

Edited at 10:16 PM.
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Unread 10 Apr 14, 08:53 AM  
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lovedisney89
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Great start! Look forward to hearing more of your plans.
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Unread 13 Apr 14, 10:54 AM  
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Cheers love disney

Sunday 17th August - Disneeeeey ! Ok, expecting a busy day here . Not sure yet on best tactics for today. With our 3 day tickets we have one magic morning at disneyland park. But they can only be used on a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday , and we have only one day planned on one to those days - the Tuesday. But every other day has early entry to DCA for on site guests . Well probably just send the missus on the RSR fastpass run while me and the kids enjoy a ride on our own. Going to try to do WOC tonight

Monday 18th August - And... Rest ! Well , we'll have had a week of full on action, culminating in an 8am to 11pm day at Disney , so today we plan on having a relax. I guess we will start the day with a lie - in , followed by a swim and play around at the hotel water fun area , followed by an afternoon at one of the iconic beaches ( all suggestions welcome for recommendations ) and maybe end with a trip to DTD

Tuesday 19th August - time for our magic morning day at disneyland park. So another early start and another full day planned. Now we've never actually done WDW in the height of summer , so have always just gone right through from opening to closing time. Not sure if we will have to have a change in policy here but hopefully the rest day will have set us up nicely. If not, then hopefully having booked a nearby hotel with a nice pool area should enable us to have a nice break if required

Weds 20th August - having a mooch round Hollywood /LA . Not really planned much here yet , Definitely going to do the wolf of fame , not really sure what the Chinese theatre is all about but guess we'll stop off there. Will "do " the Hollywood sign - may even try to get close up to the sign - the seemingly " normal " viewpoints ( Hollywood and highlands centre and Griffith observatory ) just seem a long way away so not quite sure how impressive the " shot " will be. May try to have a run out to santa Monica via be Beverley hills. Overnight at the travelodge Hollywood , 62 a night inc brekkie.

Thurs 21st August - time to use the third element of our socal pass. Universal studios. I've read mixed reviews of this , but really looking forward to it. Some say it hasn't got so many attractions , but I've no problem doing great rides twice if I really need to. Guess it will be busy though so we'll just have to see how it goes. Back to anaheim afterwards for the first of 2 nights ( maybe 3 - see later) at the super8 disneyland drive - 50 a night with quidco via expedia.

Friday 22nd August - back to Disney. Now this is supposed to be the last day of our socal pass. So we will be running round trying to get what we haven't managed on days 1 and 2. This is probably where the hopper element of the ticket will really earn its money. The hotel is apparently pretty near the Disney parking lot so hoping to get the Disney tram to/from the hotel.

Saturday 23rd August. Now this is where we have some flexibility in our plan . It appears that We could upgrade the Disney element of our socal pass to 4 days . So if we haven't been able to do all we need in Disney in 3 days , then today will be a fourth day . We booked a cancellable extra day at the super 8 , but will have to decide on cancellation a couple of days before . If Disney has been "done" in 3 , then what I will write for the 24th , will be become the 23rd , and the 24th will be an extra Vegas day . The 23rd night I have a cancellable booking at Siena suites in Vegas.

Sunday 24th August. The day we move from anaheim to Vegas baby. It's about 4 hours I believe , so we will have some time for some other stuff. Have thought about stopping at calico ghost town , but not sure if really that's the best idea in the middle of the day in the middle of the desert on the middle of summer. But we'll see. Almost certainly going to stop at primm on the way for a bit of retail therapy for the girls. The first of 5 nights at the desert rose ( 42 per night ) gone for a place off strip as think the strip might be a bit too much for the missus. Also the extra space should suit us well. 14 days in hotel rooms with the kids will have tested us to the limits .

Monday 25th - Thursday 28th August . Vegas . Not planned anything specific yet , got lots of ideas but need to formulate it into some kind of loose plan. Don't want to over-plan, more just a list of places to go / things to see that we hope to get through in the 4 or 5 days we have. I realise we could ideally do with more time , but we will get through as much as we can. Want to have a trip out to the valley of fire.

Friday 29th August. Last morning , before getting an early afternoon flight back to manchester

Here endeth the trip of a lifetime. Lots still to plan, but less than 4 months now to get my bum in gear

Edited at 11:12 AM.
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Unread 13 Apr 14, 11:26 AM  
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parisdisneyfan
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Looking good. We missed a lot last year so hoping to go back this year but not as organised as you, we are always last minuters! Dh wants to do the Atomic museum and area 51 exhibit and we have heard that Red Rock Canyon is supposed to be good. Also enjoyed driving down to the race track and watching some stuff fly in to Nellis, maybe you boys while the girls are shopping. Anyway have fun and look forward to the report when you get back.
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Unread 13 Apr 14, 11:48 PM  
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Twentyyears
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Ahh Buryboy, we now have a very detailed plan and itinerary, wonderful!
Sounds a really good mix of places, stops and driving and I can thoroughly recommend the Desert Rose, lots of room and great with kids in tow.
Next time San Fran, PCH and Yosemite then?
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Unread 17 Apr 14, 06:44 AM  
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buryboy
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Thanks for reading Julia / Sandie
I know nothing of those places you mention Julia - just shows how much there is to see over there
Sandie - you've got it right re the next trip . Just not sure when we will be able to get round to it
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Unread 17 Apr 14, 04:14 PM  
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Twentyyears
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Originally Posted by buryboy View Post
Thanks for reading Julia / Sandie
I know nothing of those places you mention Julia - just shows how much there is to see over there
Sandie - you've got it right re the next trip . Just not sure when we will be able to get round to it
I know, so many places so little time, and funding!
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