We are off to California!!

(222 Posts)
shesariver Mon 05-Nov-12 09:26:01

After many hours research and lots of help from fellow Mumsnetters on my previous thread now cant quite believe that we are all booked up (through Trailfinders) so thanks again!

Final Itinerary worked out - we fly out from Glasgow next August 31st and spend 2 nights in New York, and then fly onto California.

4 nights San Francisco, then pick up a car - 1 night Monterey - 1 night in Santa Barbara (at a lovely hotel right across from the beach) - 4 nights Los Angeles - and last but not least 4 nights in an ocean front room in a hotel on Laguna Beach!

Now we can start planning all we want to do!

Chopstheduck Fri 04-Jan-13 06:49:41

Rubes, we've done that in the us - smuggled extra children in via fire doors grin it might be worth calling them direct though and see what they say. I think half of it is the booking websites rather than the hotels.

That Italian sounds fab! Looked and the menu and I am drooling. Traditional Japanese would probably be good, though the dts have never tried it. They aren't fussy though, so would prob like it. I am very very tempted by that Italian, will show dh later and see what he thinks.

We're staying in Anaheim for the LA leg, but will have a car.

Chopstheduck Fri 04-Jan-13 06:58:45

Morning girls x

Thanks for the tip, trips. It is going to be a very long drive, but wanted to make an early start for the Grand Canyon. I looked at the train, it looks really fun but very £££ so we will probably drive.

It just happened tht there was a rather nice little hotel in Modesto with a pool for a couple of days relaxing - hotels in Yosemite itself were rather pricey. Dh has sll the booking confirmations so I'm not sure which one we did book. Do tell me your story!

I wish we had four weeks there! Tbh DH work were funny about him taking three weeks off!

Dd broke my keyboard <sob> she chucked coffee all over it. It's now acting drunk, spewing random crap. I got one down from the loft, but tht also inserts random letters, so I'm on the iPad. Need keyboard!

Chopstheduck Fri 04-Jan-13 06:59:22

Sorry ladies, wrong thread! blush

BettySuarez Fri 04-Jan-13 07:29:36

Ohhhh how exciting, we are off for two weeks in October and hoping to fit in San Fran, National Parks, Las Vegas and LA.

Will watch thread with interest. Have a fab holiday OP

Ooooh Anaheim is bloody miles away from WeHo! If you're planning in a Sanra Monica/Venice trip though you could factor in il Piccolino cos it's only about 30mins from there

Will ask some friends who have family in Anaheim for you though in the meantime

Chopstheduck Fri 04-Jan-13 15:09:42

thanks AmericasTorturedBrow! I know it is quite far out, but we are used to driving lots on holiday (record is 3000 miles in just under 3 weeks grin), and we will def be in LA for at least two of the days so could easily factor that in. Any suggestions for Anaheim would be good too though, cos prob have one day there for one of the parks.

Chopstheduck Fri 04-Jan-13 15:11:13

I was in Indianapolis last feb for the Superbowl and we did Chicago as a day trip, so 33 miles is nothing! grin

Had a lovely mexican in Chicago too actually, though admittedly that one was an exhausting day.

Chopstheduck Fri 04-Jan-13 15:12:56

oh and shesariver, sorry for the repeated hijacking!

Ah well you're fine then! If you head into Sabta Monica Swingers Diner on Lincoln and Broadway is awesome for breakfast/brunch etc, food is always excellent

there's a brilliant French patisserie in Brentwood (on wilshire close to Bundy) called Amandine, pastries and French toast and omelette a to die for.

There are some great places to eat on Abbot Kinney in Venice, just take your pick! If you're in Ocean Park (the area between Santa Monica and Venice beaches - has the nicest part of that stretch of beach with less tourists) on a Sunday, there's a great farmers market on Main Street which is mainly food to eat there and then and they'll validate your beach parking for the morning.

Am back in the UK at the moment and actually really looking forward to going back having been on this thread! How old are your DC?

Chopstheduck Sat 05-Jan-13 08:41:45

ooh the farmers market sounds right up our street! thank you so much for all the tips, will have to print this off. We're just taking the two youngest, 7 year old twins. They are pretty easily pleased though, love doing pretty much anything except shopping.

If you like farmers markets to eat in, the original one at the Grove in Fairfax (just south of WeHo, east of Santa Monica) has a lot of variety. Santa Monicas farmers market on Wednesday mornings on Arizona between 2nd and 4th is all produce but lovely to walk around. We do our weekly shop at Brentwood on Sunday mornings - mix of produce, instant food (hmmmmm fish tacos!), bouncy castles for children etc

Chopstheduck Sat 05-Jan-13 09:05:11

oh you are making me hungry now!

Definitely need to print this thread. Some great tips. Thanks everyone.

We are starting to research and plan now. We fly in to Vegas on 4th of July so are panning on just staying that first night and then picking up car next morning and heading to death valley. Is two nights there enough? I know it will be hot!

Rough idea is to then head for Yosemite and from there across to coast and head down stopping at various places.

Anyone any good hotel recommendations for San Francisco. We will be there for a few days so somewhere nice is on the cards. We have been before but years ago.

mummytime Mon 07-Jan-13 17:08:56

If you have time to go so far north I would recommend Larson National Park. We went there from Lake Tahoe, after Yosemite. We then crossed over to the coast and travelled down staying at the Water Tower. We ended up in a Marriot near Fisherman's Wharf (but we had a lot of Marriot points at the time).

rubyrubyruby Wed 30-Jan-13 10:51:09

The price you have been quoted from Trailfinders is very good.
We are going similar and our quote was over £13k !!

The difference is we are going there for 19 nights, are travelling in the summer holidays and there are 5 of us.

Just so people are aware of the difference this makes.

RedNats5 Mon 04-Feb-13 21:17:05

There is some great advice here, I'm going to print this and read through again.
We are going on our first california road trip this summer.

Rubyrubyruby, we are also a family of five travelling in the summer. 5 makes such a difference with the hotel availability and cost!! We had no choice of travel dates as we are tieing it in with a work trip for husband.it has probably increased costs but also means we don't have to pay or his flights.

Thanks for all the useful advice here

RedNats5 Mon 04-Feb-13 21:18:22

Shesariver your itinerary sounds great I'm sure you'll have an amazing time

shesariver Thu 07-Feb-13 11:04:44

Thanks everyone for the contributions, starting to plan whet we want to do now!

ciderbuda as youve did the trip before have you any particular tips?

stylelost how are you getting on with your itinerary, what you plan to do sounds really similar to mine, and have you booked anything yet?

ssd we originally wanted to add on 4 days in San Diego but dont have the time or money, but plan to drive there for the day to see it when we are staying in Laguna Beach.

newpup come back to the thread or pm me and let me know how your holiday was, have a great time!

americas if you dont mind I will contact you for suggestions regarding LA then thanks.

betty have a fab holiday to!

And chops no need to apologise for "hijacking" - the more the merrier!!!! smile

shesariver Thu 07-Feb-13 11:05:32

rednats, have you booked your trip yet? smile

RedNats5 Thu 07-Feb-13 13:08:25

Hi yes I've jut finished booking everything just need to sort car now. Then will start planning our days. Really excited, got a top ten San Francisco book last night and was reading avidly.

shesariver Thu 07-Feb-13 16:39:52

Whats your itinerary then? Have also stocked up on books, its very exciting!

Isityouorme Sun 10-Feb-13 08:25:16

Red bats -virgin car hire is coming out at a great price. Hundreds cheaper than holiday autos!

Belo Sun 24-Feb-13 08:22:41

I've just found this thread and it has made me v excited, but also a bit panicky. We're off to California in 4 weeks and I've not booked anything yet other than our flights. shock

I hope I'm not hijacking this thread but I have a couple of questions I'd like to throw in.

Must book Alcatraz today. In fact, I better work out our itinerary today and book our hotels too! Has anybody found any family friendly hotels in San Fran? And any suggestions for hotels on route between San Fran and LA would be appreciated. We don't need to worry about LA accommodation as we're staying with family.

Will be arriving in San Fran from Sequoia and are wondering if we should hold onto our hire car whilst staying in San Fran for just over two days. What is parking like there? Will that be expensive? Has anybody done any research into this? I was in San Fran a couple of years ago and I found the public transport system to be excellent, so I don't think we will need the car whilst there.

newpup Sun 24-Feb-13 09:15:31

Hello. Just found this thread. We are going to California in July, 4 nights in San Fran then fly to LA, pick up a car, 5 nights in LA and drive to San Diego, 5 nights in San Diego. So excited! I went to California 20 years but DH goes every year for work. Lots of great tips on here. My DDs are (or will be by then) 14 and 11. Thinks we know we want to do:

Alcatraz
Muir woods
Obviously treking around Pier 39, Lombard street, China town etc
In LA
Disney
Universal
Knottsberry Farm
Hollywood
In San Diego
Seaworld
Beach
Aquatica

I would love any tips or advice, thanks!

Pitmountainpony Sun 24-Feb-13 12:47:31

Parking is tough in sf...ditch the car for sure.
New pup your list sounds great.
Don't miss the Griffith lark observatory at night time.it is free and stunning views of LA.
I also love the Getty ...also free, but You pay to park great lunch on the terrace and amazing views...I never even look at the art just walking round is so inspiring.
Zumba beach is where bay watch was filmed and my all time fave beaches dune point...both 30 mins up coast from Santa Monica in a car. We saw a whale the last may, just sitting eating our sandwiches...maybe 10 metes away.
You will live it.
Universal is a,lot of fun...be there when it opens and straight on the tour to avoid the lines.

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