Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Dunnar

California trip

12 posts in this topic

Here is the itinerary of our next family vacation:

Cleveland to San Francisco

2 nights at the Grand Hyatt San Francisco
Do some shopping.
This is what I have planned for one of the days, walk and take public transportation where possible - https://goo.gl/maps/MCbd9emyK2M2

Rent a car, drive from SF to Yosemite
2 nights at Half Dome Village cabin
Want to hit the following trails: Yosemite Falls and Half Dome

Drive to another part of Yosemite
2 nights at Big Trees Lodge

Drive to Kings Canyon Natl Park
1 night in John Muir Lodge, Grant Grove Cabins - Kings Canyon Natl Park

Drive to Sequoia National Park 
2 nights in Wuksachi Lodge
Looking into Crystal Cave Tours 

Drive to LA, drop off rental car
2 nights in JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot
Do some shopping.  Beach, Pool, etc.

Fly home to Cleveland

Still in the planning phase of what I want to see at each stop.  The key is to limit the driving time and have enough flexibility in your schedule to do the unexpected.

We did a similar trip 2 years ago to Glacier+Yellowstone.  It was THE best vacation I have ever been on.  Even though we hiked and moved around a lot, it was relaxing being away from everything, disconnected from the outside world and being one with nature.  Every day was an adventure.  I woke up each day never knowing what I would see. 

These trips are a direct result of doing the same family vacation year after year for 7+ years (maybe longer, I lost count).  We went with my inlaws, to Florida, to the beach and visited my sister inlaw for a few days.  We ate at the same places, saw the same people, and did the same things.  I finally had enough and said I was going to plan something completely different ... and something that couldn't possibly involve any other relatives.  I plan and research everything.  Wife has been great at letting me pick whatever and where ever.

Jag and Lasraik like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Jag said:

All those spots are great, except LA sucks.  I grew up about 6 hours North of San Fran in the Redwoods.  The massive size of those trees is something you never forget.  You guys will have a blast.

Thanks, looking forward to it

lol ... I don't care for LA either.  But my daughter wants a picture of her with the Hollywood sign.  And we are staying in Santa Monica within walking distance of the pier and the promenade.  So it should be fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too found LA flat and boring. Except Disney, which was just about OK, and was a good head off point for Tijuana and San Diego.

Had a great time in SF. Are you planning to hop across to Alcatraz? I know it's cheezy, but for me it was memorable. The audio tour was atmospheric and excellent.

When are you planning on going?

Does that mean you've canned the EU trip?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Going in May of next year.  The France trip will be in 2019.  South Africa in 2020.  At least that's the plan.

We will not be going to Alcatraz.  Nothing the kids or wife are interested in.  It also boils down to time, we only have a day and a half in SF.  I want to go back at some point without the kids and do wine country.  Maybe head north along the coast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Dunnar said:

Going in May of next year.  The France trip will be in 2019.  South Africa in 2020.  At least that's the plan.

We will not be going to Alcatraz.  Nothing the kids or wife are interested in.  It also boils down to time, we only have a day and a half in SF.  I want to go back at some point without the kids and do wine country.  Maybe head north along the coast.

Wine country all burned to the ground this year.  Crazy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/29/2017 at 9:28 AM, Dunnar said:

Here is the itinerary of our next family vacation:

Cleveland to San Francisco

2 nights at the Grand Hyatt San Francisco
Do some shopping.
This is what I have planned for one of the days, walk and take public transportation where possible - https://goo.gl/maps/MCbd9emyK2M2

Rent a car, drive from SF to Yosemite
2 nights at Half Dome Village cabin
Want to hit the following trails: Yosemite Falls and Half Dome

Drive to another part of Yosemite
2 nights at Big Trees Lodge

Drive to Kings Canyon Natl Park
1 night in John Muir Lodge, Grant Grove Cabins - Kings Canyon Natl Park

Drive to Sequoia National Park 
2 nights in Wuksachi Lodge
Looking into Crystal Cave Tours 

Drive to LA, drop off rental car
2 nights in JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot
Do some shopping.  Beach, Pool, etc.

Fly home to Cleveland

Still in the planning phase of what I want to see at each stop.  The key is to limit the driving time and have enough flexibility in your schedule to do the unexpected.

We did a similar trip 2 years ago to Glacier+Yellowstone.  It was THE best vacation I have ever been on.  Even though we hiked and moved around a lot, it was relaxing being away from everything, disconnected from the outside world and being one with nature.  Every day was an adventure.  I woke up each day never knowing what I would see. 

These trips are a direct result of doing the same family vacation year after year for 7+ years (maybe longer, I lost count).  We went with my inlaws, to Florida, to the beach and visited my sister inlaw for a few days.  We ate at the same places, saw the same people, and did the same things.  I finally had enough and said I was going to plan something completely different ... and something that couldn't possibly involve any other relatives.  I plan and research everything.  Wife has been great at letting me pick whatever and where ever.

Sounds like a nice trip!  For some reason I like LA, thought about moving to Ventura (about an hour drive from LA) a few years back

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Going to try innsdale Drive hike to see the Hollywood sign.

https://www.hikespeak.com/trails/hollywood-sign-hike-innsdale-drive-mulholland-highway-mount-lee-drive/

Does anyone live near the LA area and have any recommendations?  One of the things we would like to do is see the Hollywood sign.  The challenge is we will be in LA on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, so I am anticipating everything to be packed.

I am in the process of getting my fat ass back in shape so I can do all the hiking we have planned.

Edited by Dunnar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Recap of our trip - San Francisco is a cool city.  Very diverse, alive and so much to do.  However, I am not sure if I will be back.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it ... but everything is dirty.  Nothing looks like it has been cleaned in a long time.  Homeless are all over the place and its common to get a whiff of urine.  Our hotel by union square was the perfect location to take in the city, however, we paid for it ... the room was VERY expensive.  One highlight of mine was the food ... coffee and pastry at the farm market, clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl, going to In-N-Out Burger for lunch (sorry, I like 5 guys better) and walking next door to Crispy Cream donuts for dessert ... then going to the Ghirardelli factory for chocolate.

We were scheduled to leave on a Sunday morning, I walked about 1-2 miles to the rental car place through China town.  Sunday morning walk through a major city is a fun experience to see everything.  We packed up and went nowhere.  Unbeknownst to us ... the SF marathon was going on which closed every East West street except 2.  Turned out not to be a big deal, we just had to be patient.

20180519_100020.thumb.jpg.bf86bd24ca06c921ac434bf5ece13b3d.jpg20180519_150323.thumb.jpg.98568af760ef2af552c7d65333853f19.jpg

On the way to Yosemite, we stopped for lunch.  My friend that I play Xbox with lives there.  Our families got together, kicked back and enjoyed the company.

Saw that Yosemite Valley is finally reopening today after being closed for 3 weeks.  Several of the areas we went to during our trip were impacted by the fires.  I know that sometimes the fires are necessary, but never the less, I hate seeing it.

We did some hiking ... our first was the Upper Yosemite Falls hike.  It was the toughest hike I have ever been on.  Straight up, canyon to rim, gained 2000 ft of elevation in just over 3 miles all on a granite trail.  To make it tougher, we experienced something of a rarity in Yosemite ... rain.  it rained a little while we were on the top of the trail.  It served to make the granite slick for the hike down, forcing you to secure every step over the entire length of the trail.  It was absolutely beautiful.  Glad we did it, won't be doing it again.

20180521_101409.thumb.jpg.7410273acf9a083e47f188ae63f20540.jpg20180521_111110.thumb.jpg.25a43dcaefd7f364a0f6ca5a9640e800.jpg

Next day we hiked the 4 mile trail which is another canyon to rim hike that ends at Glacier Point.  Also a tough hike, but not nearly as bad as the previous day.  The views are spectacular.  You could see Half Dome and Yosemite Falls.  We had discussed doing the Half Dome hike, which requires a permit.  We ultimately decided against it.  On our way down we saw a chopper ... found out the next day someone died on Half Dome.  They scaled it during the rain.  You can see Half Dome in the first pic background ... and my son is at the age where he doesn't smile.

20180522_122935.thumb.jpg.9656e399d5bd47d0cddfcee9cfa46ded.jpg20180522_124323.thumb.jpg.baf28d92c070631a12cb2fc4c8ceba7e.jpg

From the valley, we went south to stay at our next stop.  That area was (maybe is) closed due to the fires as well.  We took a horse back ride   My old man joints were beat and needed a day off.  From there we went to Sequoia.  I was simply in awe of the size and mass of the trees.  To think that some of them were over 1000 years old when Christ was born is mind-blowing.  Interestingly enough, almost every sequoia has fire damage.  Some of them have extensive damage, yet continue to thrive.  Mother nature designed them to withstand intense fires.

20180524_123920.thumb.jpg.49fc38d9b311ddfa84bd1b00373ebe47.jpg20180524_121751.thumb.jpg.3f650325adab8b6cfa999d21f6d0ed53.jpg

We continued hiking.  Here is me standing on Mt Baldy ... oh the irony.

20180524_162121.thumb.jpg.b332b48db1f4f4a44b1fe25454959cf3.jpg

Did another hike in Sequoia, Lakes Trail.  It was foggy, which obstructed some of the views.  Speaking of fog ... we had lots of fog in Sequoia which dampened the panoramic views.  Anyway, it was Memorial Day weekend when we did the lakes hike.  We encountered something unexpected ... snow.  We were hiking on it.  So much snow that the last of the 4 lakes was inaccessible.  That hike is why I love doing this, why I plan these trips and why I continue to desire to explore and see the world.  Me and my family might as well have been the only 4 people on the planet.  It was us and nature.  We could hear the water falls, see animals, and explore to our hearts content.  I spent about 10 minutes laying on the granite right beside the lake just relaxing.

20180526_130631.thumb.jpg.2bec66d0ff980f0d245a7beea8764303.jpg20180526_131534.thumb.jpg.6c22c2996765247c43187fac43257626.jpg

Did a cave tour which was really cool.  When we got deep into the cave, the operator stopped and turned out the lights.  The whole group was encouraged to sit in silence.  It was darkness on a whole different scale.  Couldn't see my hand in front of my face.  If you have never been in a cave, it is an unworldly experience.  Really gave me some perspective when we heard about those kids stuck there in Thailand.

From there, we left the parks and drove to Santa Monica.  On our way to SM, we stopped in Hollywood.  One of the main goals was to find a good spot to take a pick of the Hollywood sign.  Mission accomplished: 

20180527_130702.thumb.jpg.e4b033d1ed8f315303dc4bf780f15d62.jpg

I loved SM.  Beach, shopping, the pier, good food, excellent people watching.  Great place to kick back, relax, and and wrap up the trip.

We loved California.  Its such a great place full of diverse landscapes and great people.  Everything was fantastic.  Driving around the state, I can understand why there are so many fires.  Darn near everything was brown.  I was also struck by the number of farms.  Acres and acres of tree farms, oranges, lemons, almonds ... all over occupying every square foot. 

Like Florida, its a great place to visit but I would not want to live there.  Way to many people and traffic and congestion and everything is expensive.

Again - I share because I enjoy seeing others trips and experiences and hope people enjoy the same.

 

 

Jazz, Pasanda and Elovia like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Dunnar said:

... and my son is at the age where he doesn't smile.

20180522_122935.thumb.jpg.9656e399d5bd47d0cddfcee9cfa46ded.jpg

20180527_130702.thumb.jpg.e4b033d1ed8f315303dc4bf780f15d62.jpg

The nut doesn't fall far from the tree, now does it?

:D

Looks like it was a cool trip ... especially the snow and fog parts.  *bahdum-tish*  Thank you.  I'm here all week.  Don't forget to tip your waitresses.

 

Pasanda and Dunnar like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0