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Old 09-30-2011, 11:09 AM   #1
melk
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CA itinerary fairly set..would welcome feedback!

Well I think I have finally fairly well set our itinerary for our trip next August. I still have a few questions and would love to have you CA experts chime in.

Day 1(Sat.)-fly into LAX, drive to Anaheim, check into GCV, do downtown disney

Day 2(Sun.)-kids would like to see Hollywood walk of fame, Graumann's Chinese theatre, etc. Since it will be a Sunday would driving be advisable for this or should we take some type of tour? Or what about Santa Monica pier? I thought that looked good, could we do all that in one day? Also, I was planning on us staying at GCV these first two nights simply because we have the points to do it, saving us the cost of a hotel room. But are we too far away staying there to do these things?

Days 3-5-drive up to Yosemite. Staying at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls.

Day 6-8-drive over to San Francisco, staying with relatives.

Day 9- drive from SF to Monterey for night. I have read the aquarium is good there, do you think it will appeal to my two teenagers and 11 year old? Also, any recommendations on a hotel for 5 here would be appreciated.

Day 10- continue drive down coast. Would like to drive maximum of 3-4 hours...where would that put us for night? Or any recommended towns to stop at for night, again, spots that might appeal to teenagers? Hotel recommendations?

Days 11-14- back to Anaheim, stay at GCV, visit Disneyland and California Adventure

Day 15-return home

So what do you think? Is it reasonable? I don't want to cram too much in, but it is such a big state with so much to see! This will be a huge trip for us, saving up for it now so any budget friendly tips appreciated as well .

Thanks!
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Old 09-30-2011, 03:01 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melk View Post
Well I think I have finally fairly well set our itinerary for our trip next August. I still have a few questions and would love to have you CA experts chime in.

Day 1(Sat.)-fly into LAX, drive to Anaheim, check into GCV, do downtown disney

Day 2(Sun.)-kids would like to see Hollywood walk of fame, Graumann's Chinese theatre, etc. Since it will be a Sunday would driving be advisable for this or should we take some type of tour? Or what about Santa Monica pier? I thought that looked good, could we do all that in one day? Also, I was planning on us staying at GCV these first two nights simply because we have the points to do it, saving us the cost of a hotel room. But are we too far away staying there to do these things?
Cool! We're doing the Hollywood thing with our granddaughter in Nov. But we're staying at this hotel, which we found on TripAdvisor and is walking distance to Grauman's, the Walk of Fame, etc.

It makes a lot more sense to stay in Hollywood, which is closer to LAX than Disneyland is. But if you have points to use up, that sounds good too. I believe that DLR to Hollywood should only be an hour each way on a Sunday. But I know little to nothing about LA traffic, so perhaps one of the locals can pipe in here.

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Days 3-5-drive up to Yosemite. Staying at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls.
Again, cool! You'll love Yosemite. And staying right there in the Valley is the best. Make sure to also hit Glacier Point -- amazing views. And hike the Mist Trail, at least as far as Vernal Falls, but better yet until you get good views of Nevada Falls.

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Day 6-8-drive over to San Francisco, staying with relatives.
Oh. Sorry about the relatives thing. But you'll love SF too.

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Originally Posted by melk View Post
Day 9- drive from SF to Monterey for night. I have read the aquarium is good there, do you think it will appeal to my two teenagers and 11 year old? Also, any recommendations on a hotel for 5 here would be appreciated.
OK, I may be biased, being employed by a sister organization. But yes, I think they'll love the aquarium. It's one of the best in the world. Kids and adults of all ages seem to love it.

But, only one day for Monterey???? What about Cannery Row? Fisherman's Wharf? Custom House Plaza? Carmel? Tidepooling along Asilomar Beach? Point Lobos? 17 Mile Drive? And on and on...

Hotel for 5? My best guess would be Embassy Suites. Or, since you're a timeshare person, you can trade points for the Worldmark at Marina Beach. But (a) I wouldn't trade DVC points for a Worldmark, and (b) Marina Beach is 10 miles away from Monterey.

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Day 10- continue drive down coast. Would like to drive maximum of 3-4 hours...where would that put us for night? Or any recommended towns to stop at for night, again, spots that might appeal to teenagers? Hotel recommendations?
Highway 1 down the Big Sur coast is one of the most beautiful drives in the world! You'll love it! (Oh oh, am I repeating myself?) But there's nothing between the "town" of Big Sur, about 45 minutes from Monterey, and San Simeon. I'd suggest San Simeon (limited accomodations), Cambria (a little more), Morro Bay (more), or San Luis Obispo (big town). While it could take you just 2 1/2 hours from Monterey to San Simeon, in fact you'll want to stop, sightsee, ooh and ahh along the way. So figure on more like 4-5 hours, depending where you stop and how much you sightsee.

Also, make sure to stop for lunch at Nepenthe's, one of my favorite spots on the coast. It's pricey, to be sure. But the views are amazing, awe-inspiring.

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Days 11-14- back to Anaheim, stay at GCV, visit Disneyland and California Adventure

Day 15-return home

So what do you think? Is it reasonable? I don't want to cram too much in, but it is such a big state with so much to see! This will be a huge trip for us, saving up for it now so any budget friendly tips appreciated as well .

Thanks!
Sounds wonderful! You'll have a great time!

-Bob
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:42 PM   #3
melk
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Wow Bob, thanks for all the great information! I will consider that Holiday Inn in Hollywood if others here think that the commute from GCV would be too time consuming. And Nepenthe's looks amazing, that is definitely on our 'must do' list now!

We are excited to be staying in Yosemite for sure. The kids aren't too excited about going there but I know when we get there they will be awestruck. And haha on staying with the relatives in SF...they are my husband's cousins who visit out here to New England quite often and always say 'when are you coming for a visit?' So we figured if we are going all that way, we must visit them!

How cool that you work for the research institute...are you a researcher? I know my 11 year old will love it, she has always loved anything to do with the ocean. In fact this past winter we had the opportunity to swim with the dolphins in Cozumel....it was so great . Just nervous the two teenagers will think they're 'too old' for the aquarium. But will have to check out what else Monterey has to offer, the things you mentioned.

Thanks again for your help
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Old 09-30-2011, 11:34 PM   #4
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How cool that you work for the research institute...are you a researcher? I know my 11 year old will love it, she has always loved anything to do with the ocean. In fact this past winter we had the opportunity to swim with the dolphins in Cozumel....it was so great . Just nervous the two teenagers will think they're 'too old' for the aquarium. But will have to check out what else Monterey has to offer, the things you mentioned.

Thanks again for your help
You're very welcome. I'd offer to give you all a tour of MBARI, but DW and I will be gone for much of August 2012. Her chorus is singing at the London Olympics, and then we're gonna tour Scotland.

Researcher? No, that would mostly apply to our scientists, and I'm not one. I'm a software engineer. I wrote some of the software to control our ROV (think robot submarine), and write software to control various science experiments under the sea. It's a really cool job. And they pay me to play with all those cool toys.

Have fun! I know you will; you've planned a wonderful trip.

-Bob
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Old 10-01-2011, 08:35 AM   #5
melk
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You're very welcome. I'd offer to give you all a tour of MBARI, but DW and I will be gone for much of August 2012. Her chorus is singing at the London Olympics, and then we're gonna tour Scotland.

Researcher? No, that would mostly apply to our scientists, and I'm not one. I'm a software engineer. I wrote some of the software to control our ROV (think robot submarine), and write software to control various science experiments under the sea. It's a really cool job. And they pay me to play with all those cool toys.

Have fun! I know you will; you've planned a wonderful trip.

-Bob
Wow, singing at the Summer Olympics, how cool is that?!?! Sounds like you will have a great August. Scotland is beautiful (my grandparents were from Scotland, have seen all their photos ), enjoy!

Your job sounds so interesting, it sounds like you really like it which is such a rare thing today.

Thank you for the feedback, it's my job in the family to plan the trips, which I do enjoy. But these boards have been such a wealth of information over the years, it's great .
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:42 AM   #6
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I agree with Bob on what he has said as I live here in CA. Accept I have drove to and from Universal Studios & Hollywood from DLR on several occasions and the traffic to Hollywood is more like 45 minutes and on the way home is less more like 30 minutes. Totally doable. I say use your points and save your money for your trip on seeing all the cool stuff. I have 3 kids 10, 12 & 15 and our entire family LOVES the aquarium so, I'm pretty sure they will too. Big Sur is really cool, San Simeon is cool and Cambria has a little town with shops in it. Also there is the Hearst Castle right there. They have tours they are kind of expensive, but very interesting.
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