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Well, it looks like I may finally get to take a long post-poned vacation. We are thinking that we'll be heading from Austin TX to Cali, with various stops along the way to show my 10yr old a bit of the western United States. The only problem is, I've never been to where we're planning on going. What I'd like to get is some advice from locals along the way, about what to avoid, when to avoid it, what the better options are, and what is available.

So, our primary reason for going is Disney Land for Christmas (for the 10 yr old, of course :grin: ), driving all the way. There will also be various stops in Phoenix, LA, east San Francisco bay (Richmond, Brentwood, Livermore). Strangely enough, we also have friends and/or family in those locations so no hotels are needed. :poketounge:

We know our basic travel dates (12/18 - 1/3) and the general route to follow, but at that time of year I have no clue if certain routes are a bad idea (like going to New England in November expecting to see fall colors....ain't gonna happen).

My basic route will be to take Ih-10 all the way to LA, then the Pacific Coast Highway north, then after all visits are exhausted to head back to Austin via a more northerly route and stopping off at places like Yosemite or Sequoia National Park, Flagstaff, and Albuquerque. This is where I don't know if this is a bad idea or not. For all I know it will be snowed in and nothing there to see. I know the Albuquerque/Lubbock/Austin route and Austin/Phoenix. But the rest of it I know nothing. Is it better to visit DisneyLand the week after Christmas, or before? Is it better to drive north or south on the PCH? Certain days of the week on the PCH, not weekends?

Any info is welcome. Thanks! :nanawoot:
 

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Well, it looks like I may finally get to take a long post-poned vacation. We are thinking that we'll be heading from Austin TX to Cali, with various stops along the way to show my 10yr old a bit of the western United States. The only problem is, I've never been to where we're planning on going. What I'd like to get is some advice from locals along the way, about what to avoid, when to avoid it, what the better options are, and what is available.

So, our primary reason for going is Disney Land for Christmas (for the 10 yr old, of course :grin: ), driving all the way. There will also be various stops in Phoenix, LA, east San Francisco bay (Richmond, Brentwood, Livermore). Strangely enough, we also have friends and/or family in those locations so no hotels are needed. :poketounge:

We know our basic travel dates (12/18 - 1/3) and the general route to follow, but at that time of year I have no clue if certain routes are a bad idea (like going to New England in November expecting to see fall colors....ain't gonna happen).

My basic route will be to take Ih-10 all the way to LA, then the Pacific Coast Highway north, then after all visits are exhausted to head back to Austin via a more northerly route and stopping off at places like Yosemite or Sequoia National Park, Flagstaff, and Albuquerque. This is where I don't know if this is a bad idea or not. For all I know it will be snowed in and nothing there to see. I know the Albuquerque/Lubbock/Austin route and Austin/Phoenix. But the rest of it I know nothing. Is it better to visit DisneyLand the week after Christmas, or before? Is it better to drive north or south on the PCH? Certain days of the week on the PCH, not weekends?

Any info is welcome. Thanks! :nanawoot:
.
....Ok Region 18, lets show some down right home hospitality to these folks, we got the dates. ( 12/18 to 1/3):bigups:
..:beer::alc:
 

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It won't matter when for Disneyland the kids are out of school the week before and after till New Years.

I can Check with General Electric and see if they still offer Club 33 for customers and if they do I can get you all a free sit down Dinner at Club 33 in the park. What you get is free admission to the park and pay for Dinner $100.00 per person kids may be a little cheaper which is about the same per person as admission but I think you get both parks also and entrance an hour before the park opens to the public. All there is ,is a door with a 33 on it so when you ring the doorbell a waiter in a tux invites you in and you get into an elevator that takes you up to your private gourmet dinner or lunch.


I haven't asked in a couple years but we sent a lot of customers and their kids over the years. I will check it out with my GE Salesman and see if it's still offered.
Robert
 

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I live in Richmond, be carful there. Lol. Wish you safe travels and lots of fun! If you see a silver 68 in the East Bay that'll be me!
 

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Hey Ray.. the Mrs. And i went to the Redwoods last year and had a great time. If you have an extra day, head north from S.F. to see the Coastal Redwoods. We took Hiway 1/101 to Trinidad , which is a great, slow drive, but we had 10 days to play with. I recommend Hiway 101 out of S.F. if you go north. If you've never seen the redwoods, you will be amazed. I was 12 the last time i saw them, so it was a good reminder for me about how majestic they are. Also, San Diego has good weather that time of year.. can't beat either place. Take plenty o' pics..
 

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..can you imagin driving your Elky thru this!?!:eek3::driving:
..been there many of times, really beautiful too..:bigups:



:bigups:
 

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Can you imagine driving a 58 Olds Super 88 thru that? they had to rotate the mirrors in so it would clear. that was in 1968.. We drove thru that tree again last year.. sure seemed bigger 46 yrs ago..
 

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..can you imagin driving your Elky thru this!?!:eek3::driving:
..been there many of times, really beautiful too..:bigups:

http://www.elcaminocentral.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=32114&stc=1&d=1414066805

:bigups:
I've been there a few times also. It's absolutely gorgeous up there. There are some wonderful short trails around there too. The air smells so good when you are in the redwood forests. When it rains it smells especially good. You've gotta stop there.
 

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Monterrey Bay Aquarium would be great for a 10 year old and of course you gotta drive across the Golden Gate bridge ( in your elco of course ! ).
Rob
 

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The Exploratorium in SF is a great place for a 10 year old and adults too!
 

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Rob,

I might suggest that you skip the PCH. If you want to see the coast drive to Santa Barbara but stay on Hwy 101. HWY 1 goes along the cliffs and the Pacific Ocean. While it is very scenic, it is about 80 miles at 35 to 40 MPH and there are no exits once you commit until you hit Carmel. You can also see the coast in Santa Cruz or San Francisco. AS for the Sierras, we have been in an extreme drought the last couple of years. In a no telling if we will have deep snow.
 

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I've been to California twice in my life. Once when I was born at Fort Ord and a 3-day trip for my cousins wedding 19 years ago in Novato. Flew into Oakland and drove into SF and over the bridge. Spent the rest of the time in Novato, left early (5am) on day 4 for home out of SF airport. All the relatives live in the east bay area and have for almost 60 years.

I figure you have to do the once in a lifetime things while you're out there. Which is why I figured PCH headed north, then back via Yosemite if possible (but the map says the road is closed during winter). Then head on down thru Death Valley and thru Vegas to Hoover Dam, Flagstaff, Phoenix (again), some friends in west Texas, then home. Wish it could be longer than 2 weeks since that's a lot to see but winter break for school isn't even 3 weeks, and finances don't really permit anything longer. And having done my own long road trips in the past I know all about taking breaks, especially with a kid in the car 'cause I know she won't spend all the time staring out the window. So I don't think we'll really get to do the north peninsula this time, but at least we'll get a taste of everything else.

As for Disney, I figured can't do much about the crowds and at least our friend lives just north of there in La Habra :bigups:
 

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I agree with the slow drive north on PCH north of San Simeon. The road get narrow and depending on the weather you can encounter road closure due to rock slides. If you have time stop at the Hearst Castle. There also Elephant Seals and Zebras in San Simeon. In my town or Morro Bay we have the Rock which is a volcanic plug that sits in the bay. We also have the assorted tourist shops from here to the castle. There are also several Spanish Missions from San Diego to the Bay Area. I hope you and your family enjoy your time in California.

Mark
 

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Born and raised in the Bay Area. A lot to see but understand your time is limited. Since this "road trip" is basically for 10 year old, then you need to think like a 10 yr old and choose routes and sites that would make a 10 yr old go "WOW". Keep in mind that a lot of amusement parks and tourist sites are closed during winter (even in Cali). Suggest you go "on line" just prior to your trip to get the latest info regarding road conditions and tourist attractions. You really need not worry about weather when in Cali. It is either raining or it's sunny. Avoid the PCH, but if you want to see the coast, pick it up north of Santa Cruz. There is a "look out" point at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge that will give you guys a "one in a lifetime" view you wont forget. You can PM me anytime if you have any questions. I live in a little "horse town" called El Sobrante which is a neighbor to the City of Richmond..
 

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One more thing. You can use Google Earth to get a "birds eye" view of your intended routes and or stops. I have used it many times to see whats to see on my "road trips".

PS: The route you are considering taking on the "return to home" trip can be "Nasty" that time of year. Expect heavy rains, possible flooding, snow, strong winds, etc,etc.
 

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How to have the perfect day at Disneyland.
http://www.wikihow.com/Have-the-Perfect-Day-at-Disneyland

Don't overlook the FastPath comments.
Also, A local that frequents the Park can be good to take with you.

I haven't been for 25 years. Yet when I went, I always touched as much as I could.
It has always been very interesting to me to see how they made things to reduce maintenance time and costs.

Explain to your daughter that hanging a ten year old up by her ears for an hour a day, can save the expense of buying a mouse ears hat. By then they will have stretched and she will fit right in.
 

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FYI, hoover dam no longer has the "good" tours. They have a museum built nearby, but that's it. Can't go down inside anymore. There is a new bridge just south of the dam that crosses the river- very dramatic.

If you are heading back through Flagstaff, might consider stopping by at the Grand Canyon!

If you need more insight into the Vegas area, just let me know.
 
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