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Old 07-19-2013, 08:20 AM   #331
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OK. I have to apologize. I don't know what geographical crack I was smoking there, but for some reason I was thinking that Yosemite was Pinnacles, which is located on the complete other side of California.

Geographical Crack! All I want to know is- do you follow arrows, or not? That really is the only deal breaker for me!

I just checked out the drive from Yosemite to Fresno, and if you leave Yosemite by 4 or 5PM, you'll get to Fresno between 6:15 to 8PM depending on traffic going down the mountain. Google estimates it at 2 hours 15 minutes for the 93.5 mile drive.

Here are some estimated driving times.

Fresno to Tulare - 1 hour on the 99
Tulare to Bakersfield - 1 hour on the 99
Bakersfield to just before the Grapevine - 40 minutes 99/I5

Driving to the 5 would be about the same time frame according to Google (20 minutes less).

41 to I5 (Kettleman City) - about 56 minutes
Kettleman City to Grapevine - about 1 hour 24 mins.

The only reason I mention these times is that every one of these little towns rolls up the sidewalks at about 9PM. Sure you can get into the hotels, but your plan to have dinner when you get down the mountain is a good one. Judging from the timing, you definitely want to stay on the North side of the Grapevine. It will be very late by the time you would be driving over it and you wouldn't want to get stuck. I know from experience that it is no fun to have a blow out at 11PM in the middle of nowhere.

The big difference between I5 and SR99 is that the speed limit on I5 is 70mph the whole way. SR99 reduces the speed limit to 55 whenever you go through each little town and I'm not sure it gets above 65 ever. In Bakersfield, there has been traffic to reduce speeds to 20-40mph, but that's not for more than about 10 exits.

There is a Best Western in Kettleman City off I5, which offers rooms with two Queen beds for a reasonable rate. That is about an hour out of Fresno and puts you an hour and a half from the bottom of the Grapevine.

You might also look into the Charter Inn and Suites in Tulare. We had a friend who lived there and used to stay often. The rooms are like a DVC studio (micro/fridge) and they serve you a hot breakfast in the morning complete with "make 'em yourself" waffles. One of my favorites! This usually runs about $100 per night and puts you about the same place that Kettleman City is from the bottom of the Grapevine.

Tulare or Kettleman City are pretty much 4 hours north of Anaheim (without LA traffic). If you left between 7-9AM, LA traffic would be over by the time that you hit LA. The advantage of Kettleman City is that you would not hit any Bakersfield rush hour traffic.

I didn't mean to open up this whole can of worms on your TR! Now you probably know more than you ever wanted to know about California Central Valley Geography. Bakersfield is fine to just crash in as well, but depending on how long it takes you to get down the mountain from Yosemite, you could be looking at a very late arrival time, also depending on what your plans for dinner end up being. We always end up eating our dinner from drive through on trips like this because we spend too much time dawdling and run behind, your family might be different.

Anyways, back to your packing on the ship!
WOW! Thank you so much Alison! How wonderful to have such a concerned friend! When I say stop for dinner, I mean a drive through, too- we were going to hit In n Out Burger, since we don't have them out here, and how can we be in CA and NOT have one?- and the times from Yosemite are a little better than what you are thinking because we will be parked at the Wawona, at the very south of the park, as opposed to starting from the Valley, which is an hour (at least) north. I think if we leave at 3, we should be ok getting through that Grapevine in the daylight (sunset is right before 8pm) as it's 5 hours to Santa Clarita from the Wawona. If we leave later, we'll figure something else out.

Oh- and I looked up Pinnacles- no WONDER you have been trying to send me down the coast for the past 2 months! You must have thought I was a total idiot to be going into 99 and freakin Bakersfield! LMAO!!!
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:31 AM   #332
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Had to go and watch the video on the grapevine, to see how bad it really was. The Smokey Mountain's in Tennessee or The Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire are just as bad if not worse. Good Luck!!
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:36 AM   #333
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Excellent!! I really hope we see you!!



When is your next one scheduled for?


Our next cruise is the New Year's Eve Cruise on the Fantasy this December. Can't wait! Then we will have been on all 4 of the Disney Ships.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:37 AM   #334
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Great pics Ellen! Love that clear blue water at CC! With no CC stop, our cruise will end with a day at sea, after Grand Cayman. I'll let you all know how that feels!

I have been on a couple of cruises that end in a sea day- and I really do like it the best, even when it's NOT after a day at CC! Very relaxing before you go back to the real world!

I would have yelled at Timmy too for heading back to the ship. WHo knows, he might have gotten jumped by the mean bike people! Or run over by the crazy stroller lady and lying somewhere in a ditch, left on the island with just him, the cat, and Captain Jack!

Pretty sure the bike people and the stroller lady didn't want him- he DOES have inferior arrow reading ability, after all.

Thanks for the baseball well wishes! We finished the tourney in 2nd place. Very respectable, as our boys weren't ever expected to be so good, but the team that finished first was "that team". You know the perfect one in every league that practices every night, is perfect, beats everyone, and is coached by the guy who runs the league. The one team everyone else hates!

Yes- I know "that team". We all know them because for some CRAZY reason, every league/town/program has one. Congrats again!

It was a good game until one inning. One of our kids messed up base running, then DS came up to bat, and the kid ump told him his bat was illegal for their league. ***???? He'd used it 3 other times, and its just now illegal? I almost became that mom! I stepped back off the cliff, and just asked him how he waited until the game was almost over to call that, and asked sweetly if he was also checking the other teams bats! AARRGH!

My advice to you is "Hello, lacrosse league???"

Oh well, now its over and i can enjoy the rest of the summer! Hope your schedule is done soon too!
Two teams down, two more to go- celebrating by having Tyler's wisdom teeth pulled the day after it ends- considering asking the surgeon to do it without anesthesia due to his recent snotty teenage attitude.

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Great pix of CC!!! I don't think they had a Magic show when we were on the Dream, if they did we missed itThe Shows we saw were excellent though !!!
I have never been disappointed in their entertainment on DCL- they rotate the misc entertainer- I have seen comedians, comedian teams, ventriloquists and magicians. All a great time-

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Originally Posted by Goofy442 View Post
Had to go and watch the video on the grapevine, to see how bad it really was. The Smokey Mountain's in Tennessee or The Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire are just as bad if not worse. Good Luck!!
Agree on the Smokey Mtns- our bar is set very high because we have spent a lot of time on St John, USVI- hair pin turns, insane inclines, limited guardrails, all accentuated with driving on the left side of the road. Now THAT'S some hairy driving!! Although this one looks like it would be good to avoid at any cost on our drive TO Yosemite- it's called Old Priest Grade, and I bet it's what sent Kara into panic insanity when she went to Yosemite last year-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8h2BQMn8qE

It reminds me alot of STJ driving- except in STJ, there's pretty turquoise water for you to fly off the cliff into instead of a gulch.


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Our next cruise is the New Year's Eve Cruise on the Fantasy this December. Can't wait! Then we will have been on all 4 of the Disney Ships.
Hmmm...YEA!! ME TOO!!!!!! well, for the next cruise part- still need to find someone to ride the Wonder with me...lol-
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:17 PM   #335
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I think they were just assuming he was the one screwing up because he was the kid, and clearly they knew everything as adults. Tim says after they screamed at him, their parting words of advice were "Ya need to watch where you're going, buddy." And he said he didn't say anything, but he thought, "And you need to watch where you're going when you are going the wrong way." But of course he didn't say that to them-

We are in San Fran for 4 nights, 3 nights in Yosemite, 1 night in transit (probably will stay in Bakersfield), 5 nights at GCV. UBER excited!!!!
It is sad when adults just assume that because someone is a kid or teen, he or she MUST be wrong. I don't know how we expect kids to grow up and respect us if we don't respect THEM! Tim sounds like such a wonderful young man - I'm glad he had such a good attitude about the whole thing.

Oh, SF! My old home. I miss that place. I lived there for years before moving here - I bought my first home down there! I hope you have an amazing time!

Thanks for the updates! I am wondering though - did I miss a sentence or something? Did you say how you liked Brave????? Either way, tell me, because if you did, I totally missed it!
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Old 07-21-2013, 12:10 PM   #336
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Just a friendly BUMP!!!!
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Old 07-21-2013, 12:23 PM   #337
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Just a friendly BUMP!!!!


Looks like Timmy is still growing
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:49 PM   #338
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It is sad when adults just assume that because someone is a kid or teen, he or she MUST be wrong. I don't know how we expect kids to grow up and respect us if we don't respect THEM! Tim sounds like such a wonderful young man - I'm glad he had such a good attitude about the whole thing.

Oh, SF! My old home. I miss that place. I lived there for years before moving here - I bought my first home down there! I hope you have an amazing time!

Thanks for the updates! I am wondering though - did I miss a sentence or something? Did you say how you liked Brave????? Either way, tell me, because if you did, I totally missed it!
Thanks, I agree with everything you said- including that Timmy is a wonderful young man!

Pods and I took a trip to SF before we had kids- I can't wait to go back! It's a beautiful city, and we have some exciting plans in it. The past two days I have been focusing on the Yosemite portion of our trip. I feel thoroughly overwhelmed! This trip is kicking my butt planning wise! But it's going to be awesome-

Umm- I don't think I did say how I liked Brave! I liked it- but it really bothered me how little respect Merida had for her Mom- she never listened, and that caused a LOT of problems, ya know? But I loved how strong she was.
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:51 PM   #339
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Just a friendly BUMP!!!!
Thank you Rosie!
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:54 PM   #340
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Looks like Timmy is still growing
LMAO! I am watching the Blind Side with Timmy right now (for the millioneth time- we love this movie) and I showed him your pic- totally cracked us up! And yea- it does look like he's still growing, LOL.....
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:33 PM   #341
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Looks like Timmy is still growing

Tooo Funny!!!
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:05 PM   #342
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On the dream, the Pirate party is done differently than on the Magic- there is a party earlier in the evening, followed by another party after dinner with fireworks. I had missed part 1 on the last Dream cruise, so that's where I went next-





Truthfully, it looked like the young kids up there were enjoying themselves, but me? I was FREEZING!!!! It was very windy up on deck, so after a bit, I made my exit. Soon it was time for dinner- I did get dressed up, and Timmy was a sport and wore a pirate tshirt I had picked up in Mexico this past January (but truthfully, I know that our pirate adventures are coming to a close as he gets more and more teenager-ish...sniff sniff0 and he EVEN put on the bandanna when we got to the table.

He's a good kid. Even if he DID leave me stranded on an island in the Bahamas....

We were all ready for dinner, except....Tim's pal Avery was skipping dinner with us tonight. Which resulted in....Timmy, who is the world's SLOWEST eater, shoving his food into his face at LIGHTENING speed! As a matter of fact, he ate so fast, I didn't even get a pic of his food! I did, however, get a photo of us together before he scurried off to Vibe- so if i have to choose, I'm pretty sure you can guess which pic I would rather have-



And by the way- the only reason he is shorter than me in this photo is because he was crouched down on the floor next to me- had he been sitting next to me, my not yet 14 year old baby would have dwarfed me by a mile!

i do have pics of my own plates, however.... I started with a salad- Mr. Smee's Bibb Lettuce Salad - with bibb lettuce, baby greens, chicory, tomatoes, toasted pine nuts and raspberry vinaigrette



And went with Treasures of the Seas Grilled Shrimp and Seared Scallops - served on strings of pasta and fresh creamy tomato sauce for my entree



I did enjoy both! We all decided that on the Dream, Animator's Pallette is the best restaurant to be in- the whole night, the walls were awash in Pirate Art- ARGHHHHHHH!!!!!!





I'll be back later- have to run to an appointment!

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Old 07-24-2013, 01:23 PM   #343
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Now that I'm all caught up, since I got extremely behind due to vacation, I can say without hesitation that I am thoroughly DISGRUNTLED on Tim's behalf. Those so called adults were completely WRONG. And secondly, perhaps its just me, but even IF Tim had been at fault (which he so totally wasn't), where was their concern for wacking into a kid? I realize he's a big kid, but he's still a kid. I would have felt terrible for knocking a kid over, no matter who was to blame.

We loved Pirates Night in Animator's for the same reason you mentioned....the decor there definitely lends itself to the overall ambiance. I'm going to try to get the same rotation we had our next cruise.
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:31 PM   #344
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Adorable pirate pic of you both.
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Old 07-24-2013, 02:13 PM   #345
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We did not do Pirate night and probably should have, because I don't think my 16 year old DS will do it now. I love that picture, it came out good. One to treasure, he tells me he is to old for pictures.
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