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Trip Report - 19 days family 4 - LA,SLO,Mont,SF,Yosemite,LV

London, England
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Trip Report - 19 days family 4 - LA,SLO,Mont,SF,Yosemite,LV

Decided to write a trip report of our family holiday where the four of us (me, good lady wife and 2 kids aged 15 and 13) left the sunny climate of the UK to spend 19 days travelling from LA, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, SF, Yosemite and ending in Las Vegas. Decided to write this as a) prove that help given by other posters was not in vain b) may help others planning similar trip c) proving to myself that the credit card bills were worth it!

Apologies if any of my views upset anyone (particularly if it is where you live). This is not intended and only giving honest opinions based on what in most cases was only enough time to get brief overview of a place.

I will post as replies and give a link to next days of the trip report when they are posted on another forum. Thanks to anyone who answered any of my posts or asked questions I wanted the answers to prior to us leaving

London, England
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105 posts
24 reviews
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1. Re: Trip Report - 19 days family 4 - LA,SLO,Mont,SF,Yosemite,LV

Previous days (copy and paste link)

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g32655-i61-k218356…

London, England
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105 posts
24 reviews
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2. Re: Trip Report - 19 days family 4 - LA,SLO,Mont,SF,Yosemite,LV

Day 4 – Saturday 26 – Los Angeles / San Luis Obispo

One of the reasons for staying at the Magic Castle was that you could go to a lunchtime brunch at the Magic Theatre next door. Although we had booked this it had subsequently been booked for a private function which left us with a free morning.

We had not wanted a car whilst in LA but were picking it up this morning from Hertz on North Brea. I cannot stress enough how much you can save if you shop around for car hire and I mean for pick up location as much as hire company.

We hired a 4x4 SUV for 11 days to be dropped off at Las Vegas airport. We paid £250 + $100 one way drop off fee. To collect from Hertz at the Renaissance (both close to our hotel) was £300 more! £ not $

Me and son got in cab to go and collect where we encountered the most aggressive cabbie ever. Red lights were met with a volley of abuse and any other driver met with a hand signal (not a wave) and words questioning the other drivers parentage.

Decided to see the more local Hollywood sights which we had not really looked at like the Chinese Theatre, handprints etc.

We were then driving to San Luis Obispo. On advice we did not go down to join Highway 1 at Santa Monica as it was a weekend but drove along the 101 to Ventura.

Stopped at Santa Barbara for some lunch. Being a Saturday the beach area was buzzing and we took it all in having a sandwich down on sea front. Whilst kids and wife were dipping their toes in the water I was happily minding my own business enjoying a beer when I was approached by someone who had obviously enjoyed more than one beer that day who decided I was the man to discuss the merits of Obama and the war in Iraq. The former was actually something that a number of people seemed interested in seeking the views of during our holiday.

Although lucid to a certain extent the words ‘I have got to go now’ seemed beyond his comprehension until I was literally dragged away by the kids.

I had earlier mentioned that the safe in the hotel had not worked and it was now that I realised that our passports were still in the main hotel safe. We rang them up and they promised to UPS them to our hotel in San Francisco where we would be in a few days time.

Drive to San Luis Obispo took ages. We carried on the101 until you have a choice of staying on it or going on the Historic Route 1. I would strongly suggest staying on the 101 as much faster and also that Highway 1 is not exactly scenic for this part of the route. It does not go along the coast and whilst more attractive than the 101 I don’t think it warrants the large amount of extra time.

(Highway 1 from SLO onwards is a different thing all together).

We were staying at the Madonna Inn. Really looking forward to it as whole concept etc was something that appeals to our nature.

What we had done was book directly by ringing the hotel. This way you can choose what rooms you want. If you book online you can only choose the type of room leaving them to allocate to you and you finding out on your arrival.

We had e mailed them to ask about the kids having their own room and we told this was not allowed. Again on ringing this was not a problem.

We had 2 rooms a few doors apart. We had the Safari Room and kids had the Old World Suite. Both rooms were absolutely fantastic. Ours was a rock room with the bathroom having three showers / waterfalls going into one area with a rock seat in their as well. Really romantic place to spend our wedding anniversary.

Check in was excellent and keen to inform us about all the amenities. They now have a new pool area with spa which we went to. Has a really nice bar area with great Mojitos.

For the evening I had booked at Novo restaurant in SLO. Only about 5 mins drive from hotel. This was lovely where service, food etc were all top class. We had number of dishes including Moroccan lamb and Thai fish cakes. Restaurant was packed. I would recommend booking restaurants wherever you can as everywhere on our trip it seemed this was advisable. Not exactly the cheapest meal of the holiday at $240 but well worth it.

Really like the look of SLO – seemed lively with a nice feel about the centre.

London, England
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105 posts
24 reviews
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3. Re: Trip Report - 19 days family 4 - LA,SLO,Mont,SF,Yosemite,LV

Day 5

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g240329-i513-k2183…

London, England
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105 posts
24 reviews
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4. Re: Trip Report - 19 days family 4 - LA,SLO,Mont,SF,Yosemite,LV

Day 6

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g32737-i159-k21835…

London, England
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105 posts
24 reviews
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5. Re: Trip Report - 19 days family 4 - LA,SLO,Mont,SF,Yosemite,LV

Day 7-9

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60713-i30-k218361…

London, England
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105 posts
24 reviews
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6. Re: Trip Report - 19 days family 4 - LA,SLO,Mont,SF,Yosemite,LV

Day 10-13

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g61000-i315-k21850…

London, England
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105 posts
24 reviews
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7. Re: Trip Report - 19 days family 4 - LA,SLO,Mont,SF,Yosemite,LV

Day 14-20 (Vegas)

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g45963-i10-k218575…

8. Re: Trip Report - 19 days family 4 - LA,SLO,Mont,SF,Yosemite,LV

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