California Dreamin'-A 14 Day Odyssey to San Fran,Yosemite & DL! 8/2013 COMPLETE!1/9!!

Discussion in 'DVC Trip Reports' started by podsnel, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. YodasMom

    YodasMom Dis Veteran

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    I read your entire trip report, so far, last weekend and loved it!

    I'm doing an ABD - BSM adventure in Hollywood / DLR. After that, I'm going up to SF for 4 days, planning to spend most of one day, or however long I need, at the Disney Family Museum on a Sunday, but the other 3 days still need a little planning. I have some tours scheduled for those days.

    Just wondering your opinion on Alcatraz? Would you have felt it was really worth seeing if you were traveling alone and didn't have the boys / men with you? I'm arriving around noon on a Saturday and still need to plan the rest of that day. I was considering spending it at Golden Gate Park rather than taking a trip to Alcatraz but just wondering about your opinion. This will be in mid-July which is normally quite cool in SF apparently.

    I appreciate your restaurant reviews, too! Certainly planning on trying the Dim Sum restaurant you enjoyed!

    Looking forward to more of your reports!
     
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  3. rndmr2

    rndmr2 DIS Veteran

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    Had a chance to get caught up on this TR today.

    Beautiful pics of Yosemite! That crazy road on the way to glacier point makes me reminisce! When I lived in Virginia 2002-2005 we lived on a mountain and the main road that lead up to it had a section of 5 or 6 crazy turns like that one where you saw the bus. The crazy thing about it was there were lots of logging trucks that would go up and down the mountain (going both ways..) wow was it scary to meet up with one of those! :scared1:

    Looking forward to reading more!
     
  4. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    Not for long......

    HAH! It will just be me and Tim- I will tell him to talk it up, lol!

    Aw, thanks, we kind of like it here too!

    It's a big trip for sure but as it is such a long way for us to go it seemed like a good idea to break up the journey a little both ways and maybe make the jet lag easier to cope with... plus, its a good excuse to go back to Yosemite and DL:goodvibes
    Will be going on Space and Indiana Jones for sure.....hopefully we will be going on everything:)

    Somehow, I managed to NOT go on everything- I need to go without my kids, I think- lol!

    It's funny but your trip followed our last one a little -we also stayed at The Charlotte (air-conditioning was unusual, but effective;)) and had a night at the Ahwanhee too. This time we have 3 nights at The Lodge at the Falls and one at Wawona as we didn't get to the trees last time.

    Very cool! The Charlotte was remodeled when we went- I think they were going to finish up with the remodel this winter- I wonder what they did in our room? I guess I will know soon enough- I have a client staying there in a couple of weeks-

    Have just seen you Glacier Point photos - absolutely fabulous, and you have a lovely family but what a shame about Timmy's illness- hope he gets better for DL

    Thanks- eventually he will....

    We have never been to Hawaii before and I doubt we'll ever get the chance to go again and trying to get as much out of it as possible so I'll need to go find your Hawaii TR for a few more pointers:goodvibes[/QUOTE]

    It is my favorite place of all- I hope to get back in a few years. Let me know if you have any questions!

    It truly was stunning- that is very accurate!

    We just laughed and laughed....such a scary/fun/beautiful ride-

    LOL- Tyler always says that- he says I put every one of his life events on FB- today I threatened to put Great job tying your shoes today Tyler! What a big boy you are!- if he didn't behave. HAH!:rotfl2: So good plan on ignoring YOURS when they start to speak up about it! We have to humiliate these kids SOMEHOW! :rotfl2:
     
  5. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    UGH- you are RIGHT! We need you to come on these vacays with us for your inspirational thoughts!

    Right now I am not sure there is an ABD to Yosemite- I think I looked because I thought that would be a good way to get ideas of what to do_Other parks, yes- Grand Canyon, Canadian Rockies, Grand Tetons maybe?

    DING DING DING DING DING!! You hit that on the head there, Mama-:faint:

    I am looking forward to your FB pics, Laura!!

    If you want to play, sometimes you gotta pay....
     
  6. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    Yea, well, we don't always get what we want....

    Oh PLEASE don't worry about it, Roni! I am behind too! I go in spurts- then somedays my phone is ringing so much I can't even think about being on here- just nice to see you when you can make it! I hope you forgive me for missing so much of YOUR TRs lately too! :hug:

    Well, then you are going to be happy soon!

    Thanks Rosie! Yes- we were very thirsty!

    That is wonderful to hear- I know I always learn so much from other travelers, it's nice to be able to help instead!
     
  7. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    I should be updating this one tomorrow- just did a bunch on the NYE Fantasy one- really need to finish both already!

    Hopefully will update tomorrow!:thumbsup2 Thanks for sticking with me....
     
  8. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    And....I'm back!

    So we squeezed? Squoze? Is that a word? Prob not- we squished on the shuttle from the General Store at Wawona, and made it over to the Mariposa Grove.

    Timmy, for those who have been guessing, was NOT doing well.

    We had hoped to take the tram up to the upper Mariposa Grove (this is where most of the trees of note are), then hike back down through the forest. Well, not today my friends. After we had purchased out tram tickets, and we all grabbed drinks and snacks from the store, Timmy started whining like a 2 year old- he just wanted to go to bed. Back to the room.

    Bud- the room is 4 hours away. Ride the tram for an hour, please, and then we can go. Please.

    Finally he conceded. He did not have a fever. He did not need to throw up. He did not have broken bones. He did not have a migraine (or any other kind of headache). He was just a little tired. He had a mild cold.

    Sorry if you think we are brutal. But it was not like we were coming back this way, probably ever, and the Timmy who normally resides inside my youngest's body would regret making his whole family (including himself) miss some truly spectacular sights. Unfortunately, today we were not traveling with our friendly giant. Today, we had the pleasure of visiting Mariposa with the GRIZZLY GIANT- look! He even had a sign!

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    UGH. So by the time we convinced Tim that there was no bed around the corner, and he was going to have to sit in SOME kind of vehicle, well, there were not a lot of seats left on the tram. We saw a ton up front- however those were all (except 3) being saved by some major nasty B for her family (which included 3 kids that spent the whole ride on someone else's lap- I really was not a fan of this person, and I want to know where HER sign was- my guess is in a rest stop bathroom, if you get my drift). So the boys sat up front, and I went 3 or 4 rows behind.

    OK- enough of the bad stuff. Let's have a look at the beautiful Mariposa Grove of Yosemite, via their tram which was $26.50 for Pods and I, and I think $19 each for the boys. You can not reserve this in advance, and the Big Trees tram departs every 1/2 an hour between 9:30 and 5. It includes a headset with a pre-recorded audio tour, which was really enjoyable. Here is a link to the site- http://www.yosemitepark.com/big-trees-tram-tour.aspx

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    Giant Sequoias are considered to be the largest living things on earth. There are 3 groves of them in Yosemite, with this one, Mariposa, down at the southern end of the park, being the largest with 500 trees.

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    These trees are between 1000 and 3000 years old.

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    Some youngsters-

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    I think this is the Grizzly Giant (the OTHER one on the tour)

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    Many of the trees are named. This one is the Faithful Couple-

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    Just like the Giant Redwoods in Muir Woods, they can take a lickin' and keep on tickin'-

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    The clothespin tree-

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    It is just so hard to understand just how incredible these trees are from the photos without a person standing in front to give a sense of perspective.

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    When you get to the Upper Grove, there is a museum which is a replica of Galen Clark's Cabin- he is the man who discovered the grove. Interesting story- he was diagnosed with consumption (TB) in 1853 and given 6 months to live. He discovered the Mariposa Grove and moved there- he died in 1910! That's a LONG 6 months!! He moved to the mountains to take his chances on dying or recovering- things worked out well for him!

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    This is where many people got off the tram to hike back down- or even just have a break, as we were to stop here for 15 minutes or so to walk around.

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    Back in a bit to finish up!

     
  9. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    We stopped at the base of one of the trees to take a pic -

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    Then went to look at the California Tunnel Tree- the only living tree with a tunnel cut through it remaining. The tunnel was made in 1895 as a gimmick to allow stagecoaches to pass through.

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    I remember a postcard of a car driving through a tunnel from when I was a little girl- THAT tree fell in 1969.

    The big one at the end of this path is the Grizzly Giant- it is not really that huge, only 209 feet (huge roll of eyes here).

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    Back in the tram, we saw the Bachelor and 3 Graces-

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    I was sitting next to the most beautiful family on the tour- a Mom, Dad and 2 very small children. They had come all the way from Italy to see the trees. WOW. If you listen, you can probably here them speaking in Italian- probably saying why doesn't the blonde lady go sit with her own family? Sheesh!

    Click to play-
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    Once off the tram, we had just a short while before the shuttle would arrive to take us back to our car, so we decided to get a couple of tshirts and of COURSE more water and snacks. Followed by more water and sandwiches when we got to the General store. Shuttle time!

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    Heading back to our car, we saw someone fishing in the brook-

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    So peaceful and serene. Click to play-
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    We drove past the Wawona Hotel-

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    And said good bye to Yosemite National Park- because now, we were on our way south- to DISNEYLAND!!!!:cheer2:



     
  10. MAGICFOR2

    MAGICFOR2 DIS Veteran

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    More great pics! Those trees are amazing - thanks for sharing! Sorry Tim was having a bad day :( Maybe he'll feel better at DISNEYLAND!!! :woohoo:
     
  11. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    Yay for on your way to Disneyland. That looks like a great tour! I want to do everything that you did on these days, it looks so beautiful!

    Sorry that Timmy wasn't feeling well and his cranky side came out, that can tend to happen. I know first hand. :rolleyes1
     
  12. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    So let me get this straight - you couldn't sit with your family because seats were reserved for kids who sat on the laps of others clearly making room for you to sit. What is wrong with people?

    I've told this story, but it reminds me of my last trip to Epcot. Cynthia & I met some other DISers to watch Illuminations from the vantage point of the deck outside of Tokyo Dining. I was trying to position myself in such a way that I did not obstruct another adults vision. I asked the lady behind and to the right of me if she could see. She says, "Yes, but she can't see" and points to her 3 year old in a STROLLER whose seat didn't even clear the railing. Not to mention the fact that the kids eyes were half shut. Are you kidding me? Of course she can't see - her eyes are closed and she can't see over the railing. :faint: Nuts!

    I digress!

    The forest looks amazing and that's a really cool story about its discovery. I'm glad Timmy was able to rally somewhat and hopefully enjoy himself a little bit. That's far too far to go and not get to take the tour.

    Woo Hoo for DL!!!!! :cool1:
     
  13. DWGal210

    DWGal210 DIS Veteran

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    More gorgeousness. What a cool thing to see. Isn't it incredible to think about those trees being there ALL those years? Throughout all that has done on historically. Pretty amazing.

    Poor Timmy; hope he felt better quickly.

    The savings seats thing is :headache:. I'm sure these are the same people who have their crap on an empty DCL deck chair for 6 hours and then get pissed when it gets moved. Some people are clueless.

    Yay for Disneyland!!
     
  14. YodasMom

    YodasMom Dis Veteran

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    I am doing an early morning Muir Woods tour that starts before the park opens, so it should be nice to be there before the crowds swarm in! Also, doing a SF city tour. And, finally, I am taking a one day - long day tour to Yosemite. I know it's going to be a long day and that I will miss a lot, but this is all I can do this trip considering all the other things I'm doing and will then need to get back to work. I've been to Yosemite before and plan to return for several days another time, but just didn't want to totally miss it this time! The tour company, for all of these, uses small vans with a maximum of around 9 or 10 people, I think, so it's not a big bus thing.

    Your newest photos are gorgeous. Just love the tree enormous trees! Hope Timmy feels better soon!
     
  15. ProudMommyof2

    ProudMommyof2 DIS Veteran

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    SOOO Beautiful! I need to do this trip ;)
     
  16. Captain_Oblivious

    Captain_Oblivious DIS Dad #257

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    I like it. Let's go with squoze.

    But surely you have magical skillz to make a bedroom appear.

    :sad2: Ever heard of the art of crop-dusting? It's usually meant for people who stop in the middle of the row in Disney auditoriums, but I can find an application here.:rolleyes1

    Wow! They've seen us regress all the way from Beethoven to Bieber. :sad2:

    :eek: Now I know where to go during the zombie apocalypse.

    Cool! Hard to believe it's actually alive.

    :cool1::woohoo::yay:
     
  17. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    Ah, yes- I know you do- :hug:

    YES!!!:yay: That's how I felt about it! I purposefully made DL at the end of the trip because I didn't want to have PDB (post Disney Blues) for the whole rest of the trip.

    YES!!!!! :hyper:

    Thanks- and he did as soon as we got in the car.

    YUP! ::yes::
     
  18. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    YES!! On our way to DL- otherwise known as the whole reason we went to CA in the first place, lol.
     
  19. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    We were in our car and headed south to Santa Clarita for the night. This worked well for us since we were right at the south entrance to Yosemite. When you finally get out of the park, the first town you go through is Oakhurst. I am mentioning this because if you are going to Yosemite and want to stay in Oakhurst at any of their Yosemite accomodations- well, you are going to be really far away from the park. So keep that in mind when you are looking-

    So the drive is 41 through Fresno to 99 to 5, and takes about 4 1/2 hours.
    Most of it looks like this-

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    Click to play-

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    Until it starts looking like this instead-

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    No matter how any of this looks, it is POWERFULLY HOT- make no mistake, it's dry heat for sure, but it's 115 degrees of dry heat. UNTIL...you get to something called the Grapevine, and then the temperature drops like 30 degrees! It is wild!! Somewhere in our travels, we stopped for some In-n-Out (I almost forgot!!!)

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    Which was awesome as ever. Then it was back to-

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    Click to play-
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    I texted Allison to let her know we were on our way through the Grapevine (it's her favorite::yes::) and also Jenny and Drea to say- we are on our way to Southern Cali baby!:thumbsup2

    We had decided to stay the night in Santa Clarita for a couple of reasons- we would only have an hour and a half the next morning to drive to DL, and we did not have to rush to get out of Yosemite on our last day there in case we wanted to SQUOZE in one last hike that day (which we OBVIOUSLY did not do because of you-know-who).:rolleyes1 I personally like to rack up Hilton Honors points whenever possible (or Marriott, or Hyatt) and really like Hampton Inns (the beds are so comfy!) so that's where we picked to stay. It was RIGHT off the highway and WOW- it was the nicest Hampton Inn I have EVER stayed in! http://hamptoninn3.hilton.com/en/ho...-los-angeles-santa-clarita-LAXVLHX/index.html

    Before we checked in, though, we stopped at a Walmart to pick up some snacks and beverages for our upcoming 5 night stay at GCV. Mostly, we were all tired and looking forward to relaxing in the hotel room for the night.

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    The couch pulled out into a bed, that is where the Ts were going.

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    There was a full moon on this night, it lit up the sky like the sun!

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    Happy at last-

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    We turned on the TV and actually had a really nice night laughing at Steve Colbert and John Oliver who was subbing for John Stewart- man, he was HILARIOUS!!!

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    Lights were out EARLY- we were going to DISNEYLAND in the morning!:woohoo:





     
  20. mefordis

    mefordis Imitation: the sincerest form of flattery

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    Thank you so much for the awesome updates!! Yay! I don't have to wonder any longer what route you took to get to DLR! So glad you stayed at the GC! We are going to stay there in November.

    Any reason you didn't take the PCH down? It does add a lot of time to the trip and you gave yourselves plenty of time in Yosemite.

    I'll be checking often for the next updates! Thank you!!!!
     
  21. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    After waking up and eating the BEST complimentary Hampton Inn breakfast we had ever had (I am tellin you, this Hampton was awesome!), we said goodbye-

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    And hopped on the highway south to Anaheim. The traffic was not so bad, we had made sure to depart at 9am after rush hour. It was not very long at all it seemed before we saw

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    and then on the city streets

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    and even better (this actually reminded me of Universal in Orlando, lol)

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    We passed Paradise Pier-

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    before arriving at our destination for the next 5 nights

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    As expected, I was crying.

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    For a Disneyfan who has never been, going to Disneyland is like going to the Mothership. I was HOME.

    We unloaded with the Bell Hop and valet parked the car, then stepped inside the Grand Californian to register and gape in AWE at the lobby.

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    Everything- everyTHING- every last detail here is beautiful. Grand indeed.

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    Our 1 BDRM villa was not ready yet, but that was fine, because we had our swimsuits on under our clothes and we were ready for a day of RnR by the glorious pool...

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    Click to play
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    To be cont'd....

     

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