West Coast Craziness

seobaina

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 4, 2006
Hi all

*edit* This is my pre-trippie. For the trippie go here:


Welcome to my pre-trippie trip report. I've just booked my flights today so I'm VERY excited...let the planning begin :D

Ok, so where should I start? I guess I should intro the cast.

Firstly there is me:



I'm Helen, I'm 37, single, have two spoilt cats and I work part-time in the UK for the mouse himself as a Disney Ambassador. I guess this gives me a different perspective on all things Disney related because I am both very critical and a HUGE fan of how they represent the magic that Uncle Walt began. I've worked for Mickey on and off for nearly twenty years and I've had some amazing times and met some amazing people. I am a very proud cast member. Having said that I do need to point out that the comments, adventures, opinions etc posted here are all mine and do not reflect those of the Walt Disney Company. I'm posting as me, the traveller, not as an ambassador. Ok, with that bit out the way let me continue.

Besides working for the mouse I also have a small filming company recording anything from weddings to documentaries. I'd like to do this more but in the current climate it's a bit hit-and-miss hence the two jobs. I used to teach audio post-production at Salford Uni but quit that about two years ago.

My partner in crime for this adventure is my birthday twin, Andy:



Andy and I met best part of a decade ago when he transferred to my store...yep, he used to work for the mouse too :) We bonded instantly over the fact we share a birthday (although he's younger at 34) and our mutual love of the best princess ever, Pocahontas :grin:
Andy now works for Starbucks and although he is all loved up, his partner has kindly agreed to let him come and run around the west coast of the USA with me :d:

We've travelled together twice before; in 2010 we took a trip to WDW with another cast member and this January we travelled with two other cast members to DLRP for a couple of days.



As you can tell we are very sensible when we are together *ahem*
 

seobaina

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 4, 2006
Ok, so next I guess I should explain the plan....and yes, this is why it's craziness :dance3:

We are travelling between 15th September and 1st October. Our original plan was to fly into Seattle and drive down the coast to Anaheim. That was ruled out because car hire companies in the USA double the costs when you want to drop off at a different location in a different state. As we...well I...am on a very tight budget, it just because a balance of 'going and adapting' or 'possibly not going at all'...so we adapted :D

So this is the new insane plan :thumbsup2


  • Sunday 15th - Flight to San Francisco and stay in the San Francisco
  • Monday 16th - Drive to Medford via the Avenue of the Giants (6ish hours drive) and stay in the Medford area
  • Tuesday 17th - Drive to Portland via Crater Lake (6ish hours drive) and stay in the Portland area
  • Wednesday 18th - Drive to Seattle. Spend the afternoon Seattle or see something on the route there...not decided yet. Stay in Seattle.
  • Thursday 19th - City Tour of Seattle hopefully going up the space needle, visiting the troll in freemont and, of course, going to visit Pike's Place so we can see the first Starbucks. Then it's an evening drive south to Eugene (4ish hrs) and staying in Eugene/Springfield area.
  • Friday 20th - Drive south to San Francisco. 8hrs straight drive so LOOONG but we'll stop places on route as we need too or want too. Staying in the San Francisco area
  • Saturday 21st - Visit the Walt Disney Family Museum, then it's an evening drive to the Seaside/Monterey area (1.5-2hrs drive) where we'll stay.
  • Sunday 22nd - Drive down Pacific Coast Highway. It's a good 6-7hrs straight drive but we're gonna stop off on route at various points, starting with the 17-mile drive, etc. Staying in the Northern Los Angeles area.
  • Monday 23rd - Los Angeles. We want to go to Glendale Mall, to see the first Disney Store, to Mann's Chinese Theatre and up to the Griffith Observatory to get a view of the Hollywood sign. We'll then spend a couple of hours at the original Disney Studios in Burbank where we'll hopefully pop into the Disney Archives. As a cast member I can get in to the studio lot, which is such a good experience. Then it'll be an evening drive down to Anaheim (2ish hours).
  • Tuesday 24th - DISNEYLAND
  • Wednesday 25th - DISNEYLAND
  • Thursday 26th - DISNEYLAND
  • Friday 27th - DISNEYLAND
  • Saturday 28th - Drive down to Coronado, spend the day there and then drive back to Anaheim in the evening (2ish hrs each way). Staying in Anaheim
  • Sunday 29th - long straight drive to San Francisco, stopping as and when we wish. We're not doing the coast route this time. Staying in the San Francisco area.
  • Monday 30th - San Francisco City Tour and Alcatraz. Stay in San Francisco
  • Tuesday 1st - Flight home, arriving Wednesday morning

I know that's a lot of driving and not a lot of time in Seattle, LA or San Fran but....we had to compromise to get everything we wanted to do in. I've been to California several times so I really wanted to do some different things (ie Oregon and Seattle) and Andy wanted to go to Seattle and Disneyland...that's all he really wanted lol. He did also say that he wanted to see Alcatraz, which I wanted to go back too anyway and in LA he only listed the three things above as the things he wanted to do. He mostly wanted to go to the Disney Studios. So, this was the only way we cold get in everything we both wanted. Yes we would have liked to spend longer in these places but we've prioritised and are excited.

As for the crazy driving :rotfl: I know, I'm insane. But I am used to doing loooooonnnnggg USA roadtrips as the only driver :) In 2009 another friend and I drove 3600 miles around California in ten days, and it was fine. Last September the same friend and I did a mad trip in twelve days where we drove from Orlando to New Orleans, to Baton Rouge, then Jackson, Montgomery, Birmingham, Chattanooga, Cherokee, Atlanta, Charleston, Savannah, St Augustine and back to Orlando. We had a great time and the driving was fine, the only thing I noted was that instead of California, where we'd driven, stopped, driven, stopped, etc, on the 2012 trip we tended to see something THEN drive, which meant a lot of time without breaks. I prefer the breaks so ironically in the above plan the bit I'm least looking forward to is the drive from Seattle to Eugene lol.

So, that's the plan....now to book everything :D
 

seobaina

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 4, 2006
So ok, I guess the next topic is the flights and car hire/rental.

I've been watching these for a few weeks and actually wasn't supposed to book yet :erm: I was supposed to wait until I was sure I had the money for this trip but I kinda panicked EEEK

I should probably start by pointing out that the original plan was to fly into Seattle, spend a couple of days there then drive steadily down to Anaheim via San Fran and LA. I love California but as I have been there a few times, I wanted to visit a new state too (I'm on a mission to visit all the States eventually). Andy wanted to visit Seattle so that worked. We wanted to end up in Disneyland so that every time we left somewhere we liked we could go 'but we still have Disney' :) So I spent some time working out driving distances, etc and planned the route. Than I started looking for flights.

When I looked at this trip last year the flights to LA were £520ish and US Airways flying into Seattle and out of LA were only £560ish. In the end last year we went to Orlando/New Orleans etc but I stupidly figured it'd be similar this year :( I was a little surprised therefore to find that to fly into Seattle and out of LA was £650+ EEEK

So the 'alternative' option search began. When flights in and out of LA or San Fran were coming up at £550 and Seattle at £590 I figured we might be best to just suck up the extra cost and stick to our original plan. So I thought (luckily before booking flights) that I'd just get a quote or two for car hire/rental. That was the next shock!! ARGH

Last year for two weeks the car cost around £250-£280 so I was hoping for something similar. I happily popped in our dates and literally did a double-take when I saw a price of £450 :omg: I actually put the dates in 3 times to make sure I hadn't made a mistake.

After getting over the shock I was actually smart enough (rare for me :D) to check prices for picking up and dropping off in LA. And they went down to £260. At which point I finally twigged.

I did some more research and eventually found a car hire with our original criteria for £257. Very happy I started going through the booking process...not to actually book because we didn't have flights...but to make sure there wasn't a hidden cost. And that's where I saw it...the 'there may be additional charges for one-way travel'. So, I email the company with the quote reference to check. And sure enough, they come back to me saying that the quote would now be £307. So, not too bad...but then lower down in the email it said "the increase in price is because we have swapped you to the company that give the lowest one-way charge. Their charge is an additional $250 payable at collection". So OUCH back to being over £400.

I know in the grand scheme of things that's not that much but to me right now that was a LOT. Out of my regular work pay I'm lucky if I have £100 left per month after basic bills and, although I'd scrimped and saved to get £850 in my holiday account, I don't have any spending money for the trip yet so the extra £100+ of car hire PLUS the extra £100+ for flight made it currently out of budget :( Andy very reassuringly & kindly said that rather than not go he would lend me the £200 but I didn't want to go there unless desperate...so I went back to the drawing board.

I actually spent an entire day working out the different flight/car rental options possible flying into Seattle or LA, with internal flights, train, etc. I typed them all up in a big table with total costs, pros, cons, day-by-day plan etc....yes I'm a nerd....and emailed it to Andy. Then, I bashed myself on the head for being blonde and looked up flights in and out of San Francisco. This immediately seemed to be the best option but it did mean a lot more driving.

We could pick up the car in San Fran and drop it off in LA without one-way costs but then we either paid more for the flight or flew internally back to San Fran, which was about £45. Yep, not lots but we'd still spend a day travelling so why bother. So, with Andy in agreement, the decision made to go for the plan above. We now just had to hope we could get good flights.
 
  • seobaina

    DIS Veteran
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    Feb 4, 2006
    I should probably say that this decision was only made on Friday...

    So yesterday, Saturday comes and I'm at home checking flights randomly. I know normally the better flights come up midweek but I figured I'd check anyway. And what pops up on skyscanner but a flight with US Airways via Philadelphia for £520. There's only one flight option and on the way out it does have a 4hr layover in Philly but that doesn't bother me because I like Philly airport and we have to go through immigration, etc anyway so that will take some time. On the way home it only had an hour and a half so that was fine.

    Curious I go and search on US Airways own site, Netflights, etc and the cheapest I'm seeing anywhere else is £610 :erm: I go back to skyscanner and the flight is still there but the next cheapest option is £580. I start to panic...I'm not good at waiting when I set my mind to something and I really wanted a holiday :D £530 gave me a chance to come in on budget or close...anything over took me further from what I had.

    So I text Andy to tell him...it's about 2:15 now and Andy doesn't finish work til 3. He does the whole 'what do you think, should we book' and I go 'errr, dunno, I'll research'...and pop immediately onto the boards to ask :D After a couple of 'yeses' I sit in the front room trying to distract myself with tv until Andy calls at 3pm. At which point he goes 'well?' and I go 'I don't think we'll get better but I could be wrong but...' and he says 'so book!' :eek: And that's why we booked yesterday rather than being 'sensible' and waiting :rotfl:

    And yep, I'm now very excited but also a little 'argh' about finding the money. Still, I'm going to Disneyland :cool1:.
     

    seobaina

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    Feb 4, 2006
    Right, ok, it's been a while since I posted but I'm afraid real life got in the way :( So...update time I guess.

    What have I done...humm...well we've booked some of the hotels.

    I should start by saying I had a $100 credit on expedia so I figured I would book a hotel in the Disneyland area as that had the most nights. Last year when I was travelling around the southern states we had a potential nightmare in New Orleans. We got to the hotel to find they didn't have a room for us. Pulling out the booking info I went 'yep you do' and the lady behind the desk said 'nope, we don't and we're full with all the refugees from Hurricane Iris'. I'd been driving since 9am and it was 9pm by this point. We hadn't eaten and I was NOT impressed. I'd spent ages finding us a hotel in N.O. that was safe for two women travelling alone (I was with Clair not Andy), that had free parking, free breakfast and we could get around from. It was also the only place outside Disney that we were spending more than one night in.

    We got on the phone to Expedia and, long-story-short, Expedia upgraded us to the Marriott, gave us $15 for petrol (it was 2 mins away) and a $100 credit on the account. As if that wasn't good enough, I entered the Marriott and said 'we've been upgraded by Expedia' meaning from the Super 8 motel we'd just come from and they misunderstood, gave us a 16th Conceirge floor room with views over N.O., free breakfast and free parking :erm: They would have given us a suite but it wasn't free that first night. The room was amazing and the two beds were HUUUUGGGEEE! I didn't realise what was happening until we were in the room and they never queried it with me otherwise I'd have twigged lol I asked Clair why they hadn't checked and she said "because you were so certain in what you were asking for" lol Sometimes it pays to be sleepy :d:

    Anyway, we had this $100 credit so I started looking for hotels in Anaheim. I had a couple in mind....we only wanted cheap and cheerful as we are only there to sleep...and I ended up finding a very good deal on the Days Inn Maingate. It was only £233 for a double queen room for 6 nights. That's pretty amazing to me. Reviews were ok and it said 'free cancellation' so I figured I'd book cause we could always change. Much to my surprise the $100 credit was classed as 'expedia 100' so it went through as £100 :grin::spin:

    We actually later decided to pay slightly more and go to the Super 8 I've stayed in before, which is a bit closer, but when I tried to cancel it they said I'd only get £133 back. Luckily I hesitated and emailed Expedia to check they would give me the voucher credit back...to which they said no :erm: I tried emailing several times arguing the 'free cancellation' and the fact that I was only trying to transfer to another hotel, and they were VERY unhelpful :angry:. I eventually gave up and we're staying at the Days Inn. It wasn't worth losing the £100 credit just to go to another. So, we are staying at the Days Inn for 6 nights.

    I've only booked two other hotels so far. One is the Super 8 SeaTac which is near Seattle. It had good reviews on several sites and was only £48 for the night, so it was a great deal. The other one we booked is for our first night. We wanted an airport hotel because we don't get in til after 8pm and I didn't want to drive too far. We're also heading out early next morning so we wanted somewhere that was easy to head north from. One place that was within our budget and had reasonable reviews was the Good Nite Inn Redwood City. It was £48 for the night for 2 queen beds (we're on a budget so this was great). I happened to be scanning websites the other day and booking.com had the same hotel, same night for £34 (BARGIN!!! :spin:) so I booked straight away.

    I know most of the other hotels I want to book but I'm waiting for payment from a filming job before I can book. Then it'll be tours etc :)
     
  • seobaina

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    Feb 4, 2006
    Oooh just realised I never said we booked a car :blush: We went through alamo brits in the end because I've used them before and I like that everything is included with them BEFORE the hard sell at the airport. It was only £258 in total, with two drivers, unlimited milage, etc, etc so we thought that was good. Picking up and dropping off in San Fran...which means more driving but much cheaper deal :)
     

    PrincessInOz

    Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!
    Joined
    Feb 8, 2010
    Sounds like you have have heaps of things sorted out! Well done on the credit but what a shame you weren't allowed to cancel and keep it!
     

    seobaina

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    Feb 4, 2006
    Sounds like you have have heaps of things sorted out! Well done on the credit but what a shame you weren't allowed to cancel and keep it!
    Thanks :) Yeah, was kinda a shame cause it would have been nice to go to a better hotel. But oh well, we're only there to sleep so hopefully we'll be fine :)
     

    seobaina

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    Joined
    Feb 4, 2006
    I've been busy and at under 60 days to go, it is all getting VERY exciting :banana:

    The original plan has been adapted but only very slightly. We are now doing:


    So this is the new insane plan

    • Sunday 15th - Flight to San Francisco (staying near the airport)
    • Monday 16th - Drive to Grants Pass via the Avenue of the Giants (8ish hours drive)
    • Tuesday 17th - Drive to Portland via Crater Lake (6ish hours drive) and staying just outside Portland
    • Wednesday 18th - Drive to Seattle. Pretty sure we're going via Mount St Helen's and Snoqualmie (Andy is a Twin Peaks fan). Staying in the Seatac area
    • Thursday 19th - City Tour of Seattle, with an hour to go up the space needle, two hours at Pike's Place so we can see the first Starbucks, and a visit to the troll in freemont. Then it's an evening drive south to Eugene (4ish hrs) and staying in Eugene.
    • Friday 20th - Drive south to San Francisco. 8hrs straight drive so LOOONG but we'll stop places on route as we need too or want too. Staying in Oakland area
    • Saturday 21st - Visit the Walt Disney Family Museum, then it's an evening drive to the Salinas (1.5-2hrs drive).
    • Sunday 22nd - Drive down Pacific Coast Highway. It's a good 6-7hrs straight drive but we're gonna stop off on route at various points, starting with the 17-mile drive, etc. Staying in the Northern Los Angeles area.
    • Monday 23rd - Los Angeles. We want to go to Glendale Mall, to see the first Disney Store, to Mann's Chinese Theatre and up to the Griffith Observatory to get a view of the Hollywood sign. We'll then spend a couple of hours at the original Disney Studios in Burbank where we'll hopefully pop into the Disney Archives. As a cast member I can get in to the studio lot, which is such a good experience. Then it'll be an evening drive down to Anaheim (2ish hours).
    • Tuesday 24th - DISNEYLAND California Adventure (hopefully WOC package)
    • Wednesday 25th - DISNEYLAND park
    • Thursday 26th - Drive down to Coronado, spend the day there and then drive back to Anaheim in the evening (2ish hrs each way)
    • Friday 27th - DISNEYLAND (not sure which park). Mickey's Halloween Party in the evening :woohoo:
    • Saturday 28th - DISNEYLAND. Hopefully starting with a Walk in Walt's Footsteps tour.
    • Sunday 29th - long straight drive to San Francisco, stopping as and when we wish. We're not planning on the coast route this time. Staying in the SFO area.
    • Monday 30th - San Francisco City Tour and Alcatraz Evening Tour. Staying at same hotel
    • Tuesday 1st - Flight home, arriving Wednesday morning
     
  • seobaina

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    Feb 4, 2006
    So, where are we at. Been busy booking things :)

    All hotels are booked. In fact, I currently have two hotels booked for the first night LOL. We got an amazing deal on the Good Nite Inn Redwood City but since booking the reviews have dropped :confused2 so I've also booked the El Camino Inn, Daly City. It has good reviews and is right next to a BART station (we've booked it for later in the hols for that reason). The El Camino one is more expensive (over double) but not a bad price for SF area. We don't pay for that til we are there, so I'm holding off on cancelling either til a bit nearer the time.

    We've booked the tour for Seattle. We've gone with Northwest Tours, who have a good reputation. They collect from our airport hotel, which is fab, and have an hour to go up the space needle, plus a two hour stop at Pike's Place. Our third 'wanna see' was the Freemont Troll and I asked about a photostop there. They said it depends on traffic etc but if we mention it early in the day to the driver then he/she will try to ensure it.

    We've also booked everything for San Francisco :) We started by booking a night tour of Alcatraz. Yes, it means we won't get back to the hotel til about 10pm on the night before we fly home but everyone recommended it :d: so we've gone for it. The ferry doesn't go across til nearly 6pm so we decided to go for a hop on/off bus tour for the daytime. That way we can see everything we want without being stuck on someone else's schedule. I've been busy looking into all the different stops, etc. I'll post about all that in a bit :D

    The other things we've booked are the Walt Disney Museum. I know we probably didn't have to book this but for the sake of saving $3 by buying on the day, we figured we'd rather be safe than sorry.

    And today we have booked 'Mickey's Halloween Party' tickets for Friday 27th. It'll probably be busy as the first one, and a friday, but it is the ONLY one on whilst we are there and it is earlier than normal so we couldn't resist. Now to find costumes :confused:
     

    seobaina

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    Feb 4, 2006
    Right, catch up time :)

    Plans are pretty much done. I've been busy putting together maps, etc. We do have a big roadmap book of the USA and a foldout map of the coast but I wanted more detailed maps and plans of our specific routes so that we have less chance of wasting time getting lost... that's the plan at least lol.

    So...here come the roadtrip plans. Yes, I know they cover a lot but where we can we have flexibility (ie if we have to we can drop things out) and I'm also used to travelling long distances on USA roads. So I'm hoping these are all doable. As I say, these are just plans, we'll see if we can do it all :)

    Part One: San Francisco to Grant's Pass.



    The map starts at our hotel, goes via a paypoint for the Golden Gate bridge (luckily someone warned me that I couldn't pay cash on the bridge), then we're planning to cross the bridge and swing by Sausalito to get a starbucks :) and take photos of the view. We won't have time to wander around but we should be able to make a pitstop. Then we're heading north to the Avenue of the Giants to see the sites and hopefully drive through a tree :D. On the way north we are also hoping to see Carson Mansion (outside only, not permitted inside) and maybe stop to eat around Crescent City before staying overnight in Grants Pass. LOOOONNNNG day driving but with lots of stops so hopefully fun.
     

    seobaina

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    Feb 4, 2006
    Part Two: I don't have a map for, just the directions, cause we're basically just planning to go via Crater Lake and on to Vancouver/Portland area.

    Part Three: Vancouver to Seattle



    Starting at our hotel we're gonna head out via Officer's Row (which I just found out about) and on to view Mount St Helen's. I've been told to try two different viewpoints so we're going to Johnston Ridge Observatory and then the Forest Learning Centre. Andy is a BIG Twin Peaks fan so we're then going to Snoqualmie Falls to see the falls and eat dinner before heading on to the SeaTac area for our hotel.


    Part Four: Again I don't have a map cause we're doing a city tour of Seattle then driving down to Eugene. This is actually the drive I'm least looking forward too cause it's later, long and without the excitement of approaching somewhere. However, I figure we can stop somewhere to eat on route to break the trip.


    Part Five: Eugene down to Oakland



    LOOONG drive with not much to do on route (cause time won't allow) but we have all day to do it. The only markers I've put on route (suggestions from others) are the Turtle Bay Exploration Park/Sundial Bridge and Old Sacramento. I know most of Old Sacramento will be shut (in terms of museums) by the time we get down there but I thought it might be nice to wander around and have dinner there anyway.
     

    seobaina

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    Feb 4, 2006
    Part Six: This is a San Fran day. We have tickets for the WD Museum, so we are planning to drive in from our hotel in Oakland via the Pixar Studios (very close) to take a photo, then head to the Presidio area to get to the museum around 10am. I was hoping to do the Lucas Arts building this day too, and we might, but the lobby will be shut as it is a Saturday, so we'll see about that. If possible though, on the way south out of the city, I'd like to drive via a couple of the other sites we want (just to save doing them later as they are photo stops anyway). The main ones of these are the Mrs Doubtfire House and The Full House house. Possible couple of others but mainly them and then to Twin Peaks for views of the city. From there we have two more possible stops on route to Salinas. The first is the house used in The Princess Diaries (near Gleneagles golf course area) and Andy wants to go via the Apple building. If we can get those in the light, that'll do us as photo stops, and then we can head on to Salinas or eat first and then go to Salinas. It's only about an hour from the Apple building.

    Part Seven: Pacific Coast Highway



    This is a loooong day driving but with MANY stops, so I'm not bothered, in fact I'm kinda excited :D . Hopefully we won't be late in the night before so we can get going early.

    From our hotel we're planning on heading to 17 mile drive to drive all around it. This is our optional section because I've been there before and Andy isn't overly bothered so if we're tired or get going late we may go straight to point two which is Carmel Plaza and then Carmel River State Beach.

    From there we plan to drive down the coast with most stops in the Big Sur area. So stops we'd like to make are China Cove, Bixby Bridge (which we should be crossing), Hurricane Point, The California Sea Otter Game Refuge, Sycamore Canyon Road/Pfeiffer Beach, Nepenthe Restaurant (not booking a table but maybe we can get a drink at the bar...or in my case a coffee), Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Piedras Blancas Seal Rookery, W R Hearst Memorial State Beach, Moonstone Beach and Morro Rock. Then maybe, time allowing, via Santa Barbara to our hotel in Sylmar area of LA.
     

    seobaina

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    Feb 4, 2006
    Part Eight: LA day down to Anaheim



    It's a monday, so we're starting by heading to the Walt Disney Studios for a look around and, if we are lucky, a meeting with Dave Smith. He has said he will meet us if he is available, so I am HOPING he is. We need a good couple of hours here. Then we're going to head to Glendale Mall (site of the first disney store. I know it has moved now but it seemed fitting to go). I'm tempted to try and put Mickey's of Glendale in on route as it is on route but we'll see. After this we start the Hollywood sites (Photo stops in 90% of the cases).

    Starting with an apparently great view of the Hollywood Sign, then on to Mann's Chinese Theatre, and Rodeo Drive/Little Rodeo via part of Mullholland Drive (for Andy).



    After a brief stop here it is on to Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach, to see the Baywatch Beach :D Photos done we'll head on to Torrance High School (Buffy's High School) for a photo. Ideally we'll get here between school ending for the day and the sun setting. Then it's a shortish drive down to Anaheim to our hotel :)

    Part Nine: is a Disneyland Day so we have a meal booked at Ariel's Grotto with World of Color Tickets :spin: yay!

    Part Ten: also a Disneyland Day, but going into the Disneyland side.
     

    seobaina

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    Feb 4, 2006
    Part Eleven: Anaheim down to Coronado



    We're driving down to Coronado for the day so we figured we'd do a couple of things on route. The first is a detour via a Company D store, then it's straight to the coast for Laguna Beach and the Shake Shack :D . Then we'll drive down to San Diego. I've marked the Marine Command Museum but I doubt we'll have time for it. Instead, we'd like to spend a couple of hours (literally) visiting the USS Midway, before heading over to the Del and Coronado Beach area for the rest of the day and evening. After dinner we'll head back to Anaheim (straight drive, no stops or detours planned).

    Part Twelve: Disneyland Day with Halloween Party Tickets that evening YAY!

    Part Thirteen: Disneyland Day with, hopefully, the Walk in Walt's Footsteps tour in the morning.

    Part Fourteen: Drive back to San Francisco. I've not finished the map for this yet. If we have time I'd like to go via Malibu, then up the I5 via the Elk Reserve etc but we shall see.

    Part Fifteen: San Francisco day. We have hop on/off tickets for this day. I've actually done a text plan of the best way for us to see most of what we want with some bus rides and some walking. But here's the map I did of ALL the points of interest and the bus routes.



    We then have 6pm (ish) tickets for an evening tour of Alcatraz before catching the BART back to our hotel.

    Part Sixteen: is the return flights home...where I'm guessing we may sleep lol.

    I know, exhausting but remember a lot of our points are purely photo/view opportunities or short visits, so it's less intense than it seems.

    To say that we are excited is the understatement :D The only thing left to book, that I'm aware of, is the Tour... unless we book Midway tickets or more meals.
     

    PrincessInOz

    Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!
    Joined
    Feb 8, 2010
    WOW! You have quite a few big driving days.

    Plans look good. Hope you get everything done.
     

    seobaina

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    Feb 4, 2006
    WOW! You have quite a few big driving days.

    Plans look good. Hope you get everything done.
    Yep, lots of driving days but there is too much to do :D Have to admit, last time I was in California I probably drove almost as much cause my 'rest' days were spent driving all around LA lol. Thanks btw :D
     

    seobaina

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    Feb 4, 2006
    Ok, just over 2 weeks to go :dance3: and I think things are 'mostly' organised *touchwood*.

    I finally sorted out my travel insurance... would never travel without it but my bank balance is now £77 lighter :( Oh well, could be a lot worse and that's with zero excess.

    Last night I booked the last thing we were planning too and that was the 'Walk in Walt's footsteps' tour. So booked now are...

    • Seattle Tour (These guys offered space needle and pike's place)
    • Walt Disney Museum through Disney
    • USS Midway through the official site
    • Mickey's Halloween Party through Disney
    • Walk in Walt's Footsteps Tour through Disney
    • San Francisco (Tour)
    • Alcatraz Evening Tour

    I've also made dining reservations for WOC dining at Ariel's Grotto (earliest one they do is 5:30 so we went for that) and Goofy's Kitchen. And we have disneyland tickets :goodvibes

    So things are finally *touch wood* coming together.

    I'm starting to work on costume for MHP and have been busy printing out maps, etc of the routes. SO EXCITED :D Luckily for me, a PPI claim came through so the pressure is off a little financially.

    We still have two hotels that have to be paid for our there and obviously petrol so I'm planning to preload one of my fairfx cards with the remaining hotel costs and £100 each towards fuel. We figure that way if we have some left we can spend it and if we don't at least we're not trying to juggle fuel costs every day or so.
     

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