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podsnel 09-12-2013 11:11 AM

California Dreamin'-A 14 Day Odyssey to San Fran,Yosemite & DL! 8/2013 COMPLETE!1/9!!
Well, hello again travel peeps! :goodvibes It's time for another TR, this time chronicling our BIG trip to California from NJ! We started in San Francisco for 4 nights, then headed east for 3 nights in Yosemite, and after a brief overnight stop, finished off with 5 nights at GCV. This was our first trip to DL and Yosemite, but for DH and I a revisit to San Francisco- just, this time, with our two teenage sons, Tyler (16) and Timmy (14) along for added enjoyment (most of the time- but they ARE teenagers, so..yea...there's THAT). Our time in Disneyland was EXTRA magical, because it included a reunion with my Cali DISmom, anewmac, and DISmeets with some AWESOME DISwomen I have been wanting to meet forEVER- not to mention that these DISmeets took place in some very special venues- 1901 and Club 33! :dance3: Plus, we got to see an old dear friend from NJ who had become a Californian years ago- really, it was a fantastic trip! I'll be back soon to start reliving our adventure with you all! :yay:


DAY 1 August 13th
Flying in-

9/16 updates
Surprises, Commercials, Pier 39 & Scomas, thank you Tricia!!!

DAY 2- August 14th

9/20- Regency Club Brekkie, Muir Woods
9/22- Muir Woods

10/1- Yank Sing

10/28- 4 hour Tour with Silver Lion Service

10/31 Sotto Mare, Ferry Building

DAY 3- August 15th

11/1 Alcatraz

11/9 In n Out Burger

11/11 GGB Family Biking Debacle of Epic Proportions

11/22 make mine a Double in Sausalito

11/25 Regency Club Happy Hour and Pier 23

DAY 4 August 16

11/27 Giants Stadium Tour

12/2 Golden Gate Segways Tour

12/10 Boulevard Restaurant

DAY 5- August 17th

12/11 Farmer's Market at the Ferry Building
1/14 Lands End Hike, Sutro Baths
Heading to Yosemite
Groveland- Hotel Charlotte, Bistro, Iron Door Saloon

DAY 6 August 18th

2/9 Yosemite!

2/22 Yosemite!

2/28 Ahwahnee Dining Room dinner


4/22 Mist Trail

4/30 Ahwahnee, Yosemite Village


5/13 Room Service, Glacier Point

5/15 Glacier Point

6/18 Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias

6/19 Leaving Yosemite


6/19 Checking in at VGC

VGC 1 Bedroom Villa with a WOC view!

6/23 1901

6/24 Powershopping with Fran and DL!

DAY 10 August 22

6/26 Whitewater Snacks and CA

6/27 Plaza Inn, DL

7/8 Pool, Napa Rose Chef's Counter


7/9 & 7/10 Walk in Walt's Footsteps Tour

7/23 I touched IT

8/4 DL Classics


DAY 12 AUGUST 24th

8/5 Radiator Springs

9/25 DCA & DL & Trader Sam's and Ralph Brennan's

DAY 13 AUGUST 25th

9/25 DCA, DL

9/26 Club 33

1/9 Partners in Crime

WOC from the back-side

DAY 14 AUGUST 26th

Storytellers Breakfast, EoS lunch, and heading home...

Alison's AMAZING Walt Apartment Pics!

kid-at-heart 09-12-2013 11:41 AM

WOW! I am here and on first page. I do not believe it. :cool1:

podsnel 09-12-2013 01:21 PM

So, how did we end up in california this summer? Well....I was dying to see Disneyland. It made me crazy that I had never been. But a trip JUST to DL is probably not enough for a full on vacay with the boys, so something had to be added. Pods (my DH) said, "Where's Yosemite? Could we go there?". After a bit of research, I saw that yes we absolutely could, people go to DL & Yosemite all the time! I ALSO saw, that people go to Yosemite and San Francisco all the time! So....why not do all three? It seemed to make sense. This planning, by the way, began much more than a year in advance (yes, it's true, I am one of THOSE people, the UBER planners :rolleyes:)- at one point, I was figuring out last year's Hawaii trip at the same time as this Cali trip- and at times it felt like my head was going to pop off! :eek: But, in the end, what we ended up with what an AWESOME trip, so all worth it. Although at one point we switched dates entirely because I realized D23 would be going on when we were in DL (and although I would have LOVED to attend that event, I was 100% certain I wouldn't have a prayer of getting 5 nights at GCV at the 7 month mark then), we ended up flying out to San Francisco out of Newark on United (because when you fly out of Newark, that is who you usually fly) August 13th, arriving at 12:30 pm. We were able to use miles! Awesome! Then we would stay at the Hyatt Regency for 4 nights- it is located on the Embarcadero, and I really wanted this location, because it looks at the water and you can walk along the water to get to alot of the places we wanted to see. After that, we would move on to our Yosemite adventure- one night outside the park in a little town called Groveland you may have seen on the news recently- it was where alot of the pics of the fire in Yosemite came in from. We stayed at the Hotel Charlotte, right on the 120, so we could start Sunday morning early to arrive inside Yosemite for 2 more nights, this time inside the park in the valley, at the renowned and historic Ahwahnee Hotel. Following that slice of heaven, we headed south towards Disneyland, stopping overnight in Santa Clarita at the nicest Hampton Inn. A little further from there was our 5 nights at GCV in a 1BDRM (which I had no problem getting at the 7 month mark). We ended up flying out of LAX (couldn't get Orange County on miles when we booked) on August 26th and arrived home in the wee hours on August 27th. SO......

Our oldest son, Sean, was not coming on this trip with us- hiking in Yosemite on the edge of a cliff with a 19 year old severly autistic (and beautiful) young man just is NOT possible- so he was staying home with cousin Sheree and attending summer camp while we traveled. (We DID all go to Ft Walton Beach, Fla, the first week in September together- and Sean was SOOOOO happy there-

It was really a great time......

But back to Cali! We had clear skies on our flight, and it was really beautiful to look out the window to see the diversity in our country from one coast to the other-

Although that was not the east coast- that was actually Wisconsin.

The flight was easy- and it was so nice to have our OWN SCREENS UNITED!!! (Because we did not have them on 5 other planes we were on this summer...just sayin...).

We would not have a car in San Francisco- public transportation is great in the city, and parking a car at the Hyatt is $60 a NIGHT! So we had Abiano limousine service pick us up- they were prompt, courteous, and reasonable. In about half an hour, we were checking in at our hotel! While the boys wrestled with our MASSIVE amounts of luggage, I was at the front desk, getting the cards to our Balcony Bayview room that included Regency Club (at $25/night- it was offered in an email a couple of days prior to our trip. Normally, this is $75/night- and at that price, I wouldn't do it- at 25 or 50, I was in!). And -oh yeah- we had something to pick up from Bell services, too. Oh look, I thought, Marilyn (our Travel Agent who is mourning my decision to become a TA myself) sent us a thank you gift. But wait! there was another box with that wine! :confused3 So we said thanks, and brought it all upstairs.

Or up elevator, actually.

Here we are!

The room was larger than most other rooms I had considered in San Francisco. Which was important to us, because as you can see in that first photo, we are all adult sized now.

I know. I HATE it.

The room gets a lot of knocks on Trip Advisor for being somewhat dated- but say what you want about the decor, it was fine by us, the beds were comfy, there was decent water pressure in my morning shower, we had the regency Club access (Hyatt's Concierge level), and best of all, we had a HUGE balcony to enjoy the view from! Here is the rest of the room-

But enough about the room- what about the box? What about the wine? What generous soul had sent them to us, and what was inside that big box anyway?????:idea:

These answers, and my dazzling new career as shoe TV spokesmodel, NEXT!

wiigirl 09-12-2013 01:26 PM

Following along. :)

podsnel 09-12-2013 01:29 PM


Originally Posted by kid-at-heart (Post 49544976)
WOW! I am here and on first page. I do not believe it. :cool1:

Wow- you're quick! I haven't advertised or anything yet! Thanks for finding me so fast Kate!

podsnel 09-12-2013 01:30 PM


Originally Posted by wiigirl (Post 49545992)
Following along. :)

You too! :goodvibes Thanks for coming along again!

luvslikepi 09-12-2013 01:49 PM

Subbed!! Of course!

Captain_Oblivious 09-12-2013 01:52 PM

Oooh, this sounds like fun! I've never toured San Fran or Yosemite, so I'll be taking lots of notes!:thumbsup2

KristiMc 09-12-2013 02:03 PM

Loved seeing your trip pictures on FB. Looking forward to reading the report.

On a side note - only 107 days till NYE on the Fantasy! We are almost to double digits :cool1:.

15isto2 09-12-2013 02:12 PM

Was not expecting another report so soon but I am glad to be reading

Luv2trav 09-12-2013 02:21 PM

I love your reviews....I can't wait to hear about this trip...

franandaj 09-12-2013 03:59 PM

Subbing in! I can't wait to hear about the beginning of the trip, because I know about the end of the trip! :thumbsup2

jedijill 09-12-2013 04:53 PM

I'm here! Dying to know what was in the box!

Jill in WET CO

lisaviolet 09-12-2013 06:11 PM

WT H? :rotfl2:

I just asked for a TR on the other thread.

YEAH! :dance3:

Now I have to go actually read it. :thumbsup2

lisaviolet 09-12-2013 06:22 PM


Originally Posted by podsnel (Post 49544690)

Lovely of you. :thumbsup2 That colour is gorgeous on you.

And so happy to hear about all the time with friends, Ellen. :goodvibes

So great of Sean, Ellen. Makes me happy to see him thrilled! :thumbsup2 Why do think he was so content and happy? I'm curious. The laid back environment?

And the one of the boys - SIGHING - just lovely. :goodvibes Ellen, I'm emotional sitting here taking it in. It's just nice to see. :thumbsup2

Can't wait to hear about all of it. Especially San Francisco. My niece goes to university there. I've been to California and DL but never San Francisco - CAN'T WAIT. popcorn::

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