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Old 04-15-2011, 11:07 AM   #1
Renee70
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Our Trip of a Lifetime 2011!

My first ever trip report!!

I'm not new to this Board but am fairly new to posting on it so am not sure how to make those beautiful signatures etc. Hopefully over time I can spruce this page up a bit!

We...

DH - 46 yrs young
Me - 40 yrs young
Our DD - 6 yrs young
Our BFF - 47yrs young

took a road trip from Northern Saskachewan to Southern California, taking in all the touristy sites from Disneyland to the USS Midway and everything in between. We drove approximately 7200kms (4450 miles) in 13 days and truly had the trip of a lifetime!

This was our schedule:
Sunday Mar 27 - leave 2am drive until 6pm where we stop at a hotel with a pool to swim and stretch.
Monday Mar 28 - drive as long as we can to get as close as we can to Disneyland
Tues Mar 29 - finish our drive and arrive in DL - check into Grand Californian Hotel and Tour the parks! Supper is booked at Goofys Kitchen 7pm
Wed Mar 30 - Enjoy the parks, reservations at Surfs' Up at 10:45am
Thursday Mar 31 - 7am reservations at Storytellers Cafe, 7pm Blue Bayou and 9pm Preferred seating, Desert buffet for Fantasmic! Enjoy parks sometime inbetween!
Friday April 1 - 10:50 Reservation at BBB for our DD. 2:10pm Lunch reservations at Ariels Grotto, 8:30pm Wine Country Trattoria WOC Dining Pkg
Saturday Apr 2 - 10:30am Breakfast with Minnie, leave for San Diego for some downtime at The Pacific Terrace.
Sunday Apr 3 - Dh to tour USS Midway, girls to go shopping at the SeaPort Village and enjoy the ocean. Sleep at the Pacific Terrace.
Monday Apr 4 - Pack up and leave for SeaWorld for the day, then head to Hollywood to sleep at the Hollywood Renaissance.
Tuesday Apr 5 - Dh to go on the deluxe VIP tour of Warner Bros. Girls to go shopping at the Grove, Farmers Market and the American Girl Place, tour Hollywood Blvd in the evening. Sleep at Hollywood Renaissance.
Wednesday - pack up and head for Universal Studios for the day and head to Las Vegas after, sleep at Mandalay Bay.
Thursday - enjoy Mandalay Bay's pools, tour strip a little. Sleep at Mandalay Bay.
Friday - leave early on our way home....
Saturday - drive home...
Sunday - arrive home sometime...

We've obviously been there and back as it's mid April so am slowly going to add our trip details - it was truly a trip of a lifetime and we enjoyed every minute of it!

Renee
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:51 PM   #2
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WOW 2 1/2 - 3 days of driving?!?! I can hardly stand my one day I guess with the prospect of DL, it's alot easier to get through, but going home must be a little painful!!! I give you major kudos for doing that

I'm excited for some details!!
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Old 04-15-2011, 04:59 PM   #3
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Look forward to readng more and seeing some pictures. We're used to taking long roadtrips, my husband and I have taken at least 12 road trips in the last 10 years. Whenever we travel to florida it takes us 3-4 days to get there. It's a nice way to see the country, I love it. Sometimes it can be a little boring, but for the most part I enjoy it.
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Old 04-15-2011, 10:33 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info, can't wait to see some photos!! I am so excited to be planning our trip and know that we are not crazy thinking we can drive down from here at home!
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Old 04-15-2011, 10:58 PM   #5
princessaw
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Sounds like you had an awesome trip! Wow, I don't think I could've standed that drive. I much prefer flying, but we are going to try driving in November lol! Can't wait to hear more!
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reyasmommy View Post
Look forward to readng more and seeing some pictures. We're used to taking long roadtrips, my husband and I have taken at least 12 road trips in the last 10 years. Whenever we travel to florida it takes us 3-4 days to get there. It's a nice way to see the country, I love it. Sometimes it can be a little boring, but for the most part I enjoy it.
Wow! You drive to Fl.? We're in Colo. too and have thought about it, but it just seems like such a loooong drive!!

Sorry to hijack!!
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:02 AM   #7
reyasmommy
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Originally Posted by BellaBaby View Post
Wow! You drive to Fl.? We're in Colo. too and have thought about it, but it just seems like such a loooong drive!!

Sorry to hijack!!
Yep, we've driven there around 4 or 5 times. LOL.... Won't lie, some parts are boring... ((Kansas)) Zzzzzzzz, but most of he drive is really beautiful and fun. We're going to DLR in october and it's going to be our first roadtrip with our 16month old. I'm a little terrified because he can't stand being in the car for more then a 1/2 hour without having a melt down. My DD has always been a good traveler however. Wish us luck.
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:23 AM   #8
Renee70
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Saturday March 26th - we spent the day packing the van. We were leaving in the middle of the night so wanted it to be completely ready.
Sunday March 27 – The alarm went at 1:45am and have never gotten out of bed so happily! LOL Finally the day had arrived!! We had did so much planning, reading, researching etc etc it almost felt like a dream to be actually going.
The weather wasn't good, we took a quick look at the highway hotline and found most of the highways we needed to take to the USA border were closed due to low visibility, drifting snow and ice... gulp! We made the decision to go, realizing we needed to take it easy and we maybe wouldn't make it as far as we'd hoped.
We picked our DF up at her house in Saskatoon, at 4:30am, and headed out of the city – we were officially on our way!
The highways were terrible and we saw many vehicles in the ditch – thank goodness we didn't become one. We changed our route to try and find better roads and eventually made it to the USA border (Coutts) around noon. They checked our passports, asked us a few questions and welomed us – YAY!! We stopped in Great Falls for lunch and by the time we left we were in another blizzard. The hwys were icy and that's not good when you're in the mtns! I thought we should stay in Helena but dh felt we needed to try to make a bit further. We finally stopped in Idaho Falls (7:30pm ish) and stayed at the Shilo Inns http://www.shiloinns.com/hotel_details.asp?PI=IIFID We quickly took what we needed out of the van and got checked into a beautiful room – lots of extra space and clean, changed into our suits and went swimming for 1.5 hrs, until we couldn't keep our eyes open any longer. Here are a couple random pics...





Oh my, I didnt realize how blurry that is.
and one of my dd, travelling....



Monday March 28th - We woke up to yet ANOTHER blizzard (ugh!) had the hotels free, hot breakfast that was delicious, and left around 7am. Driving was terrible and I did my best to not back seat drive (dh would probably tell you different haha!) and finally, about Salt Lake City we drove out of snow and ice – yahoo!
We had a very uneventful drive that day. We ate lunch in the van, just stopping for gas and restrooms. We chose to drive as far as Barstow – using our CAA book to call hotels looking for a pool that would be open a bit later. We ended up staying at the holiday inn express that had a 24 hr pool and free hot breakfast. http://www.hiexpress.com/hotels/us/e...ca/hoteldetail It was a nice, clean place offering everything we were looking for.
Tuesday March 29th – We were up, ate a great b'fast and were headed out by 7:30am – all so excited to be arriving in Disneyland today!

Last edited by Renee70; 04-17-2011 at 09:52 AM. Reason: To get pictures right!
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:50 AM   #9
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OP: Wow you guys are brave driving in that weather!!
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TO GOD GOES THE GLORY FOR ALL MY BLESSINGS!!


Me and DH DD (13) DD (11) DS (9)


4/03 ASMO/CBR 4/05 HOJO'S DL 4/07 NICK HOTEL/WH 4-5/09 NICK HOTEL/WH 6/10 WH 5-6/11 HOJO'S DL 6/12 WH/AKV/POLY 5-6/13WH 5-6/14 HOJO'S DL 8/14 CSR
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reyasmommy View Post
Yep, we've driven there around 4 or 5 times. LOL.... Won't lie, some parts are boring... ((Kansas)) Zzzzzzzz, but most of he drive is really beautiful and fun. We're going to DLR in october and it's going to be our first roadtrip with our 16month old. I'm a little terrified because he can't stand being in the car for more then a 1/2 hour without having a melt down. My DD has always been a good traveler however. Wish us luck.
Good luck!!

We are driving to DLR at the end of May w/ 3 kids but I think it's easier now that they play DSIs and can read!!
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TO GOD GOES THE GLORY FOR ALL MY BLESSINGS!!


Me and DH DD (13) DD (11) DS (9)


4/03 ASMO/CBR 4/05 HOJO'S DL 4/07 NICK HOTEL/WH 4-5/09 NICK HOTEL/WH 6/10 WH 5-6/11 HOJO'S DL 6/12 WH/AKV/POLY 5-6/13WH 5-6/14 HOJO'S DL 8/14 CSR
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:54 AM   #11
Renee70
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We drove up to the Grand Californian Hotel around 10am. For some reason I can't find my hotel sign! This will have to do!


It's so beautiful! They stopped and asked if we had reservations, which we did, (concierge!) so we had royal treatment. Two bellman helped unpack our van LOAD of stuff and put it in storage as our room wasn't ready (obviously as it was only 10am!) and the valet took and parked it. Our host took us up to the Craftsman Lounge to get us checked in, give us our pkg of goodies and gave us a quick orientation. She left and honestly, all 4 of us kind of sat their dumbfounded! Here we were in Disneyland!! Craftsmen lounge...


We took off for DCA and (remember this is first time for all of us!) as we walked past the California Soarin' I knew to get fastpasses so I took everyones tickets and when I tried they said they were invalid! Yikes! Ran them back to the GCH gate and they quickly fixed the problem. (phew!)
We started walking, quickly becoming overwhelmed and ended up at Bugs Life where we started out tour. Enjoyed a couple rides, even tho they were quite “childish” and went to the Bugs Life 3D Show. The best show EvEr! Just loved it – and when the termites left the bldg , under our seats, I screamed and jumped up! LOL Next dh and dd went on the bumper cars and then decided to walk to Paradise Pier and do some rides there (you see the pattern?? walking aimlessly, completely overwhelmed)! Rode Golden Zephyr and Jumpin' Jellyfish but decided against the swing – looked to fast for us! (I'm not posting pictures of all these ride but if someone wants one let me know!) We went over to California Screaming and realized we couldn't do it and TSMM had a crazy line up so played some games and got dd's face painted.


Love this picture as Cars is one of my favorite!



It was hot (remember we came from 2 ft of snow). Walked back thru Bugs Life and started on our way to Monsters - just as we got thru the Hollywood Backdrop a Pixar Parade came through – so fun! Walked onto Monsters (loved it) and then watched the 3D Muppet Show (cute). It was probably 3pm now and we were hot and ready for a break so we headed back to the lounge at the hotel. I had ordered “Mickeys Grand Welcome” so I knew our room wasn't going to be ready for at least another hour but we needed a break and snack/drink. As we entered the lounge we got the call saying it was ready! Great timing! 6407 (or was it 6704... hmmm, anyway) was our room – with a garden (or monorail) view.
We relaxed and grabbed some drinks and food in the lounge and then went to check out room out – it was perfect! Size was great for us, it was an adjoining room. Loved the big closet! Here are a few pics:

Sinks and mirror


Bathroom


Closet closed


Closet opened


Here are a few pics of Mickeys Grand Welcome (and you'll see the rest of the hotel room too):
Surprise Banner:


Balloons and Gift Box


Table display


Hutch display


Celebrate Banner


Random pics
















Loved the Grand Welcome!!


Up next - we're off to the pool and pictures of the lounge!
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:37 AM   #12
reyasmommy
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I'm really enjoying your TR thus far. Your pictures are beautiful and I'm looking forward to reading more.

So happy you arrived in California safe and sound. I'm a little worried when we drive out in October because that's when our mountains start receiving snow and the highways get closed ALLLL the time. Hopefully we'll get in and out before our first snowfall, but I doubt it.

Thanks for sharing your photos of GCH... I'd really like to stay there sometime, but don't think I can justify the price. I was doing a price comparison yesterday between that hotel and the one we're most likely going to stay at and it was a difference of over $1,400.00 ... The place we stay at is beautiful and only a 5 minute walk from the entrance of GCH. ((we take a walk through the lobby for a short cut when going to the parks)) So unless we get a special offer there is no way we'll be staying there. I can dream though. We stayed at the DL hotel once back in 2004, but I worked for the airlines at that time and got 50% OFF. I would love to stay there again sometime, but once again can't justify the price.

I love the surprise gift that you had sent to the room. Very nice! I normally put one together myself for the kiddos. It's not nearly that fancy though.

I'll keep an eye out for updates.
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:19 PM   #13
BellaBaby
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Great update!!

Love the pix of the room and the welcome surprise!!
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TO GOD GOES THE GLORY FOR ALL MY BLESSINGS!!


Me and DH DD (13) DD (11) DS (9)


4/03 ASMO/CBR 4/05 HOJO'S DL 4/07 NICK HOTEL/WH 4-5/09 NICK HOTEL/WH 6/10 WH 5-6/11 HOJO'S DL 6/12 WH/AKV/POLY 5-6/13WH 5-6/14 HOJO'S DL 8/14 CSR
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:50 PM   #14
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The welcome package looks so cool! Is that something you request through the hotel directly? No doubt it was super expensive, though. One of my best friends will be having their birthday the day we arrive for our first Disneyland trip, and it would be neat to do something like this for our room (if we luck out getting a deal on-site).
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:31 PM   #15
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WOW a Grand Welcome indeed!! Makes me wish I had little ones to have an excuse to get the same.


Looking forward to the rest of your trip report. You are off to a wonderful start
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