Need help planing our US/Canada trip

Discussion in 'Trips & Events' started by OZ VFR, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. OZ VFR

    OZ VFR Insider

    Country:
    Australia
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Messages:
    1,031
    Likes Received:
    257
    Trophy Points:
    128
    Location:
    Old Toongabbie, Australia
    Map
    Woohoo, we are heading to the US and Canada this Xmas.
    Our preliminary (very lose) plan at the moment is:
    Arriving at Los Angeles on 19th December.
    Thinking of staying around El Pueblo, and travelling to Harry Potter world (my girls will not let me skip that) and Disneyland.
    We need to be in Las Vegas arount the 23rd December for a Cirque Du Soleil show.
    Wanting to stay Xmas eve at a small town at the Grand Canyon.
    We will then head to Yellowstone and stay a couple of days.
    Next major stop is San Francisco for New Years eve.
    Then drive to Seatle.
    We need to be in Vancouver BC on the 6th January for my daughter to be back at uni.
    We will then spend two weeks wandering around, Whistler for a few days as we are all skiers, maybe Victoria island as well, with a bit of luck catch up with Randy for a ..insert favourite beverage here.. during this time.
    Is Canadian Club big there? its big here but I also know Fosters beer is known the world over except nobody here actually drinks it.
    Happy to meet anybody else on our travels time permiting.
    The plan is to hire an SUV to carry the five of us and luggage.
    I would like to do nothing but hike some of your best parks, but my girls (9, 18 and 21 + wife) want to shop and see shows, I'm thinking we will meet somewhere in the middle, but will settle for 40/60, reality might end up 20/80 (I'm a firm believer on only fighting battles you know you can win).
    I don't use major highways here, so see no point in using them there, but I also know our time constraints and winter snow might force me to change that.
    Please fell free to advise on places to see, or places to avoid, and any tips you might want to share.
    Looking forward to it.
     
  2. OOTV

    OOTV Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Messages:
    5,979
    Likes Received:
    634
    Trophy Points:
    143
    Location:
    Anaheim, Ca.
    Keep us up to date, Long and I are only a few minutes from Disneyland, so maybe we can meet up around the time of that visit. Lots of places to meet up at Downtown Disney.
     
  3. 34468 Randy

    34468 Randy Member

    Country:
    Canada
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Messages:
    12,298
    Likes Received:
    570
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Location:
    Chilliwack, BC Canada
    Map
    Victoria Island? Never been there. I can assure you it will be guddam cold there in January:https://www.google.ca/maps/place/Vi...c6b25ff05e12da4!8m2!3d70.918437!4d-109.956665

    I think you meant to say, Victoria on Vancouver Island. Amazing how often these two names are mixed up.

    Looking forward to finally meeting you face to face. Your daughter is going to UBC correct? There is not much in Chilliwack except for possibly a few thousand cows that have very leaky arses. But not far from here is Hemlock Valley Ski Resort. I think it is now called Sasquatch Ski Resort. I can take you up there for a day. I don't think they have lodging other than private cabins and houses. Whistler is the one with all the lodges and condos. It is a world class Ski Resort. Quite expensive there though. I would be more than happy to zip out to Vancouver to meet you and your family there. I know from experience that when travelling, you can't go out to see everyone. It is much easier for them to come see you. Maybe the wife will come along and if we can find a Sunday to meet, we can let you experience good dim sum in Vancouver.

    I think I sent you my contact info inthe past but if I didn't or it got lost, just PM me for that. I don't charge really that much for this. Safe travels and I wish your daughter the best of luck and experiences at UBC.
     
  4. Thumbs

    Thumbs Insider

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2015
    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    184
    Trophy Points:
    73
    Location:
    Bath(ish)
    Map
    Just reading your list of places and dates, they're unrealistic unless you want to spend the whole time driving

    You're going to need to use freeways, I80 and I 5 in particular, both are prone to long delays in the winter, never mind the exceptional traffic at that time of year

    BTW I've travelled I5 south of Portland when it was reduced to a single carriages in both directions, don't rely on clear road

    Try marking your destinations on a map and see just how far apart they really are

    Your best bet is to initially examine to list then look up flights

    Good luck
     
  5. Samuel

    Samuel New Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    641
    Likes Received:
    219
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Los Angeles County
    Map
    If you're looking for hiking in LA, Griffith Park might be worth considering - only about 10 miles north/northwest of downtown (which might be 25-30 minutes of traffic from there) and there are quite a few spots with nice views. You can also walk from Griffith to the Hollywood sign (or close to it). Last time my family went there, we walked to the bottom of the sign (looking up) - I believe you can also walk to the top side as well.
    https://www.hikespeak.com/los-angeles/griffith-park-hikes/
    https://www.laparks.org/griffithpark

    If you can get early admission into Universal Studios, I definitely think it's worth it. Getting in an hour ahead of the peasants (haha jk) can make a HUGE difference in wait times.
    https://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/early-park-admission/
     
  6. heymike

    heymike New Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Edmonds, Washington
    Map
    That time of year, you really need to check to see which entrances are open. Normally that time of year, only the North entrance is open.
     
  7. OZ VFR

    OZ VFR Insider

    Country:
    Australia
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Messages:
    1,031
    Likes Received:
    257
    Trophy Points:
    128
    Location:
    Old Toongabbie, Australia
    Map
    If you think this plan is unrealistic, you should see my girls original one (7 states).
    Slow roads are one of our concerns.
    I'm guessing a lot also depends on how brutal/mild the season plays out.
    I will take all tips in and adjust as we get closer.
    Flying from San Fran to Vancouver might be unavoidable.
    I wish we had more time, but Xmas (our summer here) is the busiest time of year for me work wise.
    We are used to driving long distances here, most major cities are around 1000km apart, towns around 100km, but we never get slow traffic once on the hwy. Both countries about the same size, 24 million people here, 325 million there (can you go anywhere there without bumping into people?).
    We also don't get snow covered roads.
    We are all looking forward to going, my girls are very excited.
    Thanks for all tips.
     
  8. OZ VFR

    OZ VFR Insider

    Country:
    Australia
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Messages:
    1,031
    Likes Received:
    257
    Trophy Points:
    128
    Location:
    Old Toongabbie, Australia
    Map
    One of my friends use to run motorcycle tours for Japanese tourists long ago.
    He was very lose on routes, and would let them pick destinations and sites to see, then would guide them.
    One time this group got very serious at dinner discussing between themselves the first stop from Sydney.
    They decided on Cairns, they were in shock when they were told it was a 2400km ride.
    They just had no idea how big Australia is.
     
  9. 34468 Randy

    34468 Randy Member

    Country:
    Canada
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Messages:
    12,298
    Likes Received:
    570
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Location:
    Chilliwack, BC Canada
    Map
    When someone bumps into you on the roads in the USA, it is deliberate and called road rage. LOL The Plains of America are quite wide open and more sparely populated much like our Prairie Provinces but not like what your interior is I suspect. Mind you I have never been there in Australia to see for myself.

    I never answered your question about Canadian Club or as we refer to it simply CC. Yes it is readily available here and fairly popular. Considered a premium Rye Whiskey. I drank nothing but CC in my younger hears. Always had expensive tastes. Now for rye, it is always Crown Royal. An even more premium rye.
     
    Jeff_Barrett likes this.
  10. Terry Smith

    Terry Smith Member

    Country:
    New Zealand
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    1,819
    Likes Received:
    195
    Trophy Points:
    78
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Map
    I've done a family holiday from SF, down the coast to LA, over to Vegas, back to Yosemite back to SF, around Xmas in 2014. The driving was very easy, hit a freeway and sit at 85mph for 5 hours and you will cover plenty of distance (except in/around LA). Watch out for crowds at Disneyland between Christmas and New Years, California Adventureland next door was much better, make sure you get there early. Universal Studios in LA was excellent. Vegas is a bit nasty (and can be really cold!) at New Years, but we saw Cirque show Ka there and it was f..ng amazing.

    You may need to legally carry snow chains for entry to some national parks in winter (Yosemite); I bought some at a Pep Boys (like Supercheap) and was able to return them unused for 80% refund at a different store in the same chain. Hertz would not rent me any.

    My daughter hiked at Zion NP (not far from LV) this year and it looked amazing.
     
    OZ VFR likes this.
  11. squirrelman

    squirrelman Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    7,625
    Likes Received:
    111
    Trophy Points:
    78
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Map
    Canada is very beautiful and far less capitalist-spoiled than the USA. :cool:
     
  12. OZ VFR

    OZ VFR Insider

    Country:
    Australia
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Messages:
    1,031
    Likes Received:
    257
    Trophy Points:
    128
    Location:
    Old Toongabbie, Australia
    Map
    We had a family discussion, and thinking of spending Xmas eve in Grand Canyon.
    We are only allowing one day for LV, to see the "O" show on the 23rd.
    Put it all on a map, and can't see any problems with times or distances.
    Of course snow might play havoc with planning once we head north or into Yosemite, but we will adapt as we go.
     
  13. GatorGreg

    GatorGreg Honda Fanboy/LitiGator

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2016
    Messages:
    1,889
    Likes Received:
    308
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Orlando
    Map
    Oz, I hate to be the one to break this to you but the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is actually in Orlando, Florida, part of the Universal Orlando Resort. It’s about 10 miles northeast of Disney World which includes the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, etc., not to be confused with Disneyland near Los Angeles. Or maybe I misunderstood your itinerary and you’re planning to fly to Florida as well?

     
  14. VFR4Lee

    VFR4Lee Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2016
    Messages:
    739
    Likes Received:
    292
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Reseda / LA
    Map
    Universal Studios Hollyweird CA tore down a nice concert venue where I last saw Rush, to build A Harry Pothead castle.
    Bass turds.
     
  15. GatorGreg

    GatorGreg Honda Fanboy/LitiGator

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2016
    Messages:
    1,889
    Likes Received:
    308
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Orlando
    Map
    Oops, never mind then, I remember them announcing that but didn’t know it was built already! :D I’m still mad they tore down the Jaws ride in Orlando to build the Harry Potter stuff.
     
  16. OZ VFR

    OZ VFR Insider

    Country:
    Australia
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Messages:
    1,031
    Likes Received:
    257
    Trophy Points:
    128
    Location:
    Old Toongabbie, Australia
    Map
    When it comes to Harry Potter, I would never question my girls, they are always right.
    Wow, just had a look at Zion National Park, looks amazing and it is now on our list. Thanks Terry.
    Hey Randy, just curious, how much is a bottle of CC there?
     
  17. duccmann

    duccmann Insider

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Messages:
    8,512
    Likes Received:
    472
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    SoCal
    Map
    Yo OZ, when you get to Uni give a shout or PM me for my ph # so I can get you some
    FRONT OF THE LINE PASSES since I work there.
    Cheers


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Samuel and OZ VFR like this.
  18. 34468 Randy

    34468 Randy Member

    Country:
    Canada
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Messages:
    12,298
    Likes Received:
    570
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Location:
    Chilliwack, BC Canada
    Map
    Presently, at the government liquor sores in BC, 750ml bottle is priced at $21.55 CDN. It often is on sale at private stores but I don't know the prices that well. I haven't bought CC for many years. I really don't look at the prices all that much. I am at a stage in my life if I want something, I buy it. If I can't afford it, I move on. Maybe wait unti next pension cheque. But f we get a chance to meet, I will insure to add a bottle of CC to my stock. CC has a very distinctive flavour.
     
    OZ VFR likes this.
  19. OZ VFR

    OZ VFR Insider

    Country:
    Australia
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Messages:
    1,031
    Likes Received:
    257
    Trophy Points:
    128
    Location:
    Old Toongabbie, Australia
    Map
    CC is around AU$40 here, and has spread to all the pubs in the last few years.
    We often have it when my brother and I get together for a family meal (he never buys it, cheap bastard).
    Thanks Ducc, I will definetely take you up on that.
    We've booked and paid for the Cirque show at LV on the 23rd, bloody hell, AU$1000 for a few hours.
    Slowly coming together.
    Thanks to all for replies.
     
  20. Glenngt750

    Glenngt750 New Member

    Country:
    Canada
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2012
    Messages:
    468
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Map
    I am more of a Cdn. Prairie Boy, but I do NOT think you'll have any issue driving on the West Coast in Winter. May be raining, especially in the Pacific NW and Vancouver area. If you go to Whistler or a different ski resort, then you will see more snow. If you drive to conditions, you'll be fine. They keep those roads in tip top shape.
    As for going from San Fran to Vancouver, if you don't do any sight seeing you could do it easily in two days. Take 3 or 4 days and that'll give you time to let the flock spend too much cash and Pa to do some hiking! If you paid to fly the 5 of you (6?) from S.F. to Van., instead of driving, you'd be a lot poorer.
     
    OZ VFR likes this.
Related Topics

Share This Page