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Old 09-12-2013, 10:11 AM   #1
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California Dreamin'-A 14 Day Odyssey to San Fran,Yosemite & DL! 8/2013 Update 8/5

Well, hello again travel peeps! 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! 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!


DAY 1 August 13th
Flying in- http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...34&postcount=3

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

DAY 2- August 14th

9/20- Regency Club Brekkie, Muir Woods http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...8&postcount=96
9/22- Muir Woods

10/1- Yank Sing http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=140

10/28- 4 hour Tour with Silver Lion Service http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=163

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 http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=299

11/25 Regency Club Happy Hour and Pier 23

DAY 4 August 16

11/27 Giants Stadium Tour http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=332

12/2 Golden Gate Segways Tour http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=346

12/10 Boulevard Restaurant

DAY 5- August 17th

12/11 Farmer's Market at the Ferry Building
1/14 Lands End Hike, Sutro Baths http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=399
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

Alison's AMAZING Walt Apartment Pics! http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=840

Last edited by podsnel; 09-06-2014 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:41 AM   #2
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WOW! I am here and on first page. I do not believe it.
I was a hippie, now I am a middle-aged professor - oh my, how age does change a person!

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Old 09-12-2013, 12:29 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by kid-at-heart View Post
WOW! I am here and on first page. I do not believe it.
Wow- you're quick! I haven't advertised or anything yet! Thanks for finding me so fast Kate!
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:21 PM   #4
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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 )- 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! 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! 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?????

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

Last edited by podsnel; 09-12-2013 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:26 PM   #5
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Following along.
For the love of Disney...
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:30 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by wiigirl View Post
Following along.
You too! Thanks for coming along again!
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:49 PM   #7
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Subbed!! Of course!
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:52 PM   #8
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Oooh, this sounds like fun! I've never toured San Fran or Yosemite, so I'll be taking lots of notes!
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Old 09-12-2013, 01:03 PM   #9
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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 .
me DH DS13 DS10
2000:Dixie Landings/Disney Wonder 2006:WL 2008:POFQ 2010:BLT 2011:Disney Magic 2012:Disney Magic 2013:AKV 2013:Disney Fantasy 2014:HHI/Disney Dream
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Old 09-15-2013, 08:48 PM   #10
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Subbing and am all caught up
April/May 07 Pop Feb 08 Pop May09 POP Sept 09 POP Feb 10 Pop Oct 10 Pop Aug 11 Pop Oct 11Pop Oct 12 Pop Oct 13 &Dec 13
http://www.disboards.com/showthread....8#post49995478 Where's my Suitcase ???
A PTR: [
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3051652Where will Rosie Roam in 2013
[http://www.disboards.com/showthread....2#post50321302 Rosie Roamings in 2014
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3212398 Belly Dancing and Bus Mojo The Grannie Trip

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3278536 Let's Meet in the Dump Shop
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Old 09-12-2013, 05:22 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by podsnel View Post


Lovely of you. That colour is gorgeous on you.

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

Originally Posted by podsnel View Post

So great of Sean, Ellen. Makes me happy to see him thrilled! 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. Ellen, I'm emotional sitting here taking it in. It's just nice to see.

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.
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Old 09-12-2013, 05:44 PM   #12
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Old 09-13-2013, 05:59 AM   #13
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Love the first pic and the pic of your 3 boys!

Subscribing, can't wait to read more!
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:26 AM   #14
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I'm just curious do you own at GCV? or did you get it at 7 months? If so how easy was it? I would love to do something similar next summer but we don't own at GCV.

I just love your trip reports. I see a lot of similaries in our family except your boys are just a bit older. It's because of your Aulani trip report I want to take my boys at that exact same age. They are 12 and 9 so I have a few years..
2014-July RPH/BLT
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:59 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by toniosmom View Post
Love the first pic and the pic of your 3 boys!

Subscribing, can't wait to read more!
Hey girlfriend! So happy to see you here!

Originally Posted by Luv2trav View Post
I'm just curious do you own at GCV? or did you get it at 7 months? If so how easy was it? I would love to do something similar next summer but we don't own at GCV.

No- we own AKV, BCV & BWV. I was able to book at 7 months. It was not a problem- I think part of that was due to us going at the end of the summer- but I stalked it online prior to that to see how availability was, and I could nearly always find something- definitely not during D23, tho- it is a GORGEOUS resort, BTW.....

I just love your trip reports. I see a lot of similaries in our family except your boys are just a bit older. It's because of your Aulani trip report I want to take my boys at that exact same age. They are 12 and 9 so I have a few years..
Awww thanks! I love that I could help you go out there and have some fun! Hawaii was hands down my kids' favorite destination- to them, nothing will top it.

I can honestly say, for once I agree with them!
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