PTR: First family holiday to the U.S.A-loving the tiny queues!!!!

Discussion in 'Australia' started by nzer, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. nzer

    nzer Earning My Ears

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    Hi all,
    I first found these boards earlier this year when we decided we were going to travel to California for 3 weeks this coming Christmas. Since then, I've checked in most days and even commented and asked questions on some posts.
    However, I've now decided that since I am on school holidays at the moment, and now that our trip is now less than 3 months away, that I should start a PTR. I know how much I enjoy reading everyone else's reports, and how much information I have gathered from them, so I figure that if I can help anyone in any small way, then that'd be great!

    So, here goes....

    We are a family of 4...myself, DH and 2 DD's (10 & 7) from New Zealand. Before husband, I did the typical OE and lived in both London and San Francisco for a year...and have never quite lost the travelling bug. While in London I made it over to EuroDisney (only a year after it opened::yes::) and then Disneyland while I was living in San Francisco. I've never made it back...until now!
    We have travelled to Queensland a few times, most recently last year.

    For this trip my Mum will be joining us. Like the others, she has never been to the USA.

    What started out as a 3 week road trip from San Francisco to LA has increased slightly to a 5 week road trip, also taking in the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Palm Springs and San Diego. We figure that since we are spending so much on airfares, we might as well make the most of it.

    Here's the 'almost set in concrete' itinerary...

    Day 1- arrive SFO from Auckland
    2- San Francisco
    3- San Francisco/ Marin County
    4- San Francisco- "Alcatraz" booked
    5- San Francisco
    6- Travel to Cambria, via Monterey and Carmel (We have several long driving days ahead of us, but DH more than happy with that- gets us to places we otherwise wouldn't visit. Kids are also used to long days in the car)
    7- Maybe Hearst Castle, then drive to Barstow
    8- If no snow, drive to Williams on Route 66.
    9- Grand Canyon, then drive to Las Vegas
    10-Las Vegas- staying off the strip, but will definitely be taking in the nightlife...remember, we have a built in babysitter with us :thumbsup2
    11-Las Vegas
    12-Las Vegas
    13-Las Vegas- husband has mountain bike tour organised, so SHOPPING for the girls!!
    14-Las Vegas
    15- Las Vegas
    16-Drive to Palm Springs- Cable Car
    17-Drive to San Diego-visit Coronado, Gaslamp Quarters
    18-San diego- we have a Go-San Diego card, so will be busy! Seaworld, Old Town
    19-San Diego-Legoland, USS Midway
    20-San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park and then drive to Anaheim
    Days 21- 32...Anaheim/LA/OC etc

    We have purchased 14 Disney passes and plan on spending lots of time at the parks. Being off-season, the hours will obviously be reduced, but we're fine with that. We'll have access over 2 weekends, so will do the night shows then.

    We'll head into LA several days to do Universal Studios, Santa Monica, Hollywood etc.

    Now that we (I!!!) have organised most of what I can from this end, it's time to sit and wait..and plan, plan, plan! I don't want to have each and every day organised, but definitely need a rough outline of what we want to do so that every thing gets covered. That's where this board comes in so handy...so many great ideas.

    Can't wait!!
     
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  3. Travel Mum

    Travel Mum DIS Veteran

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    Hi NZer, I've noticed a few posts from you already (hard to miss with your "name") but it's great that you posted a PTR so that we can all see what you are doing. What a great trip you have planned! :cool1: I too previously lived in the U.S. but it was in L.A., first when I was a child aged 8-10, again when I was aged 12-16 and then back again after uni for six months. So I know how living in the U.S. makes the joys of America rub off on you and it must have been very hard on you to have had to wait this long to get back. I'm VERY happy for you and you must be so excited!:cheer2:
     
  4. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Another travel Bugger.


    Pulling up my chair for this ride. It sounds like a fantastic trip!

    popcorn::
     
  5. Ms. Shuttergirl

    Ms. Shuttergirl DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like a fabulous trip you have planned!!!
     
  6. SnowWhite09

    SnowWhite09 DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like a fantastic trip - cant wait to hear all about it!
     
  7. alicia1506

    alicia1506 DIS Veteran

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    sounds like a great trip - can't wait to hear more :)
     
  8. marvel

    marvel DIS Veteran

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    good plan. similiar to ours for april next year. Can you still get the 14 day disney passes??
     
  9. Franrose

    Franrose DIS Veteran

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    Can I come???
     
  10. Caroline NZ

    Caroline NZ DIS Veteran

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    Your trip sounds awesome. We are visiting some of the same places as you on our road trip next year.
     
  11. Andona

    Andona Destroyer of the Aussie Dollar

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    Sounds like a wonderful trip, you will have a great time. And such a good idea to take a loving grandma with you, she will have such a good time seeing it all with your kids :)

    Andona
     
  12. nzer

    nzer Earning My Ears

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    Thanks for the warm welcome everyone :)

    Marvel, yes, you can still get 14 day passes. We bought ours from Flight Centre 3 weeks ago. It's going to make our whole Disney time so much more relaxed, knowing we don't have to do everything as quickly as possible.

    Hmmm, what aspect of our trip can I plan today? :dance3:
     
  13. nzer

    nzer Earning My Ears

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    Wow! Very impressed. The Go-San Diego cards which I ordered last weekend only took 5 days to get here. It was really exciting to get a "Fed-Ex" package.:woohoo:
    The little book that came with it is great too. Now, how many things can we fit into 3 days??
     
  14. Franrose

    Franrose DIS Veteran

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  15. Beee

    Beee Mouseketeer

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    you've got a great trip planned! I would have loved to do San Fransisco & Las Vegas but just couldn't swing it time wise for this trip. I am already vaguely planning our next trip lol which will be san fran, DC, nyc, vegas and fly out of LA. That'll be another couple of years away I think! So I will take in all your tips and must sees from your trip :cool1:
     
  16. nzer

    nzer Earning My Ears

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    Just checking in to say hi ;)

    Two very excited girls woke up in our house on November 1st and ran around the house shouting "We're going to America next month! We're going to America next month!" What are they going to be like the day we leave?

    Almost had enough of mice at the moment (thankfully, not the 'big' one!) I'm a teacher and 4 of the classrooms in our block have had an infestation of them this week. LOTS of cleaning and throwing out has been going on. Now I definitely have to buy mouse-ears for my colleagues, as we have been dubbed the 'Mouseketeers" by the rest of the staff. Roll on the holidays! :goodvibes
     
  17. alicia1506

    alicia1506 DIS Veteran

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    Yay!! Not long to go now!!! So happy for you :)
     
  18. Minniemum

    Minniemum DIS Veteran

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    Great to hear your DD's are getting excited!

    I don't do mice except Mickey, Minnie, Steamboat Willy, Remy etc
     
  19. Ozdisneydreamin

    Ozdisneydreamin Earning My Ears

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    Aww your girls sound adorable. So exciting for them!! Your trips sounds brilliant !!
     
  20. Marlea98

    Marlea98 DIS Veteran

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    Have fun :) A word of advice about Vegas with kids; the later you are out the more the girly cards handed out and thrown on the footpath! The card touts are not shy about thrusting them in your face, even if you are the father holding your children's hands! Might pay to do a but of birds and bees talk before you get there :)
     
  21. nzer

    nzer Earning My Ears

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    Just had to say :ONE MONTH TO GO!! (although 4 weeks and 2 days sounds better):hyper:
    This time next month we'll be 2 hours into our flight to San Francisco. Can't wait!!! No sure why the ticker says 1 month and 1 day...could it be the time difference?


    Ta for that. Yes, we are aware of this. Eldest has just finished puberty lessons at school so is quite interested the whole male/ female thing:ssst: We try to be as honest as we can be (within reason of course) so we're semi prepared for it.
     

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