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My Review Of California


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I promised I would write a review when we got back!! Thanks again to Seniormiss, Jana White, and Suznf and everyone else who helped. We left buffalo on October 31st for a pre-cruise stay in Orange county. We stayed in the Marriott Residence in Costa Mesa/Newport beach. We arrived into LAX with no problems, went outside and got on the courtesy shuttle to retrieve our rental car. Found the 405 no problems, love the car pool lane. Checked into the hotel, got the kids ready and headed to Huntington beach for Halloween. Had no problems parking and headed for dinner at the Huntington beach Brewery. They close down the main street for Halloween and all the shops hand out candy. It was pretty amazing and the boys enjoyed themselves. We walked down the Pier at night and couldn't believe they were surfing. So we watched them surf and headed back to the Hotel.

 

The next day we headed to Newport Beach and walked along the beach and then headed over to the Balboa fun Zone but it was closed. So we took a boat tour and saw some beautiful home's and the sea lions. Had to rush back to the Hotel because this was the day we were going to see Jay Leno and the boys were going to see the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. We got out to Burbank with no problems saw Jay leno and got to experience LA traffic on the way home. Atleast 3 hours to get back, then I had to go and pick them up at the Hockey game in Anaheim. Went back to the Hotel and had some drinks. Also Liqour store right beside hotel!!!!!

 

Next day we decided to drive down the Pacific Coast Highway and head towards Laguna Beach. We stopped at the Albertson;s and got some snacks and made some Bloody Mary's for the beach. We passed fashion Island but we never did get to spend time there. We arrived in Laguna and asked a local where to go. He sent us to the beach were the Montage Hotel was and there is a parking garage. This was by far our Favourite beach of the whole trip. Headed back towards Huntington Beach another great beach and had lunch/dinner on the pier at Ruby's. Went back to the Hotel only to return again to have a fire on the Beach.

 

Friday we headed to Disneyland for the Day and Night. Friday Disneyland is open til midnight and they had Fireworks. The most incredible fireworks I have seen but the boys both fell asleep before they started.

 

Saturday we headed over to the South coast plaza did some shopping, headed back to the hotel for some laundry. That evening we went to The Cheesecake Factory at the Irvine Spectrum. Cool plaza, lots of restaurants and shops all outdoors. Had one final bonfire on Huntington beach and off to pack for the cruise.

 

Sunday up early and headed over to the Queenmary for early check-in. Not so easy because there was some race going on and nobody seemed to know about the early check-in or were it was. My advice if driving to the pier. Park in the Carnival Garage for $12 a day, drop your luggage with a porter at the back of the garage before you park. Then head towards the back of the Queenmary. We were the only one's there and pretty much first on the ship.

 

Cruised on the Pride and then we had three days after the cruise where we stayed at the Crowne Plaza LAX.

 

Sunday night we headed to Santa Monica to see the pier at night. We parked and walked down the third street promenade. It is closed off to traffic and has lots of shops and place's to eat. We ate on the pier at Bubba gumps and had a great time. We also went to Manhattan beach which was another amazing beach and had some drinks at a beach restaurant and watched the sun set.

 

Monday we did a tour with VIP tours and saw the movie stars home's, farmers market, rodeo drive, etc. We actually saw Nicholas Cage, Steven Spielberg and Tom I can't remember his name from dancing with the stars. And we got to experience an IN and OUT BURGER.

 

Tuesday our final day so we were going to go to Malibu but decided we all wanted to head back to Laguna beach so we drove down the PCH. We spent the day on the beach and just as we were leaving a school of dolphins swam by. It was the perfect ending for our stay in California. On our way back to the Hotel we stopped at Duke's in Huntington beach right at the beginning of the pier and had Dinner.

 

We tried to do as much as possible, but we never got to the Side street cafe or boomers but we passed it many of time's. Over all we enjoyed California more than the cruise. I hope this helps!!!

 

Thanks

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Wow--you did a lot in that amount of time! Glad you enjoyed California. My dad lives in Newport Beach, so I recognize a lot of the places you mentioned.

 

Now you'll have to make a trip to see the other half of the state! I live on the Central coast between Carmel/Monterey and San Francisco. We even have our own amusement park complete with rides and games. It's called Santa Cruz Beach-Boardwalk. Your boys would enjoy it! We also have the redwood trees which are awesome to see. You can even walk inside the trunk of some really large, old redwoods. One of them at Henry Cowell Statr Park used to be a room. Amazing.

 

I can't remember if you said you've been to California in the past. If not, you can't miss San Francisco! It's a must-see. So much to experience there. Further north you might want to check out the Napa Valley wine country and Yosemite National Park. There's also Lake Tahoe to consider.

 

And, while you're in my area, be sure and spend some time in Carmel and Monterey. A very pretty area on the coast. Check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium for your boys. You, too!

 

Okay! So now you can go and plan for your next California visit! :cool:

 

I promised I would write a review when we got back!! Thanks again to Seniormiss, Jana White, and Suznf and everyone else who helped. We left buffalo on October 31st for a pre-cruise stay in Orange county. We stayed in the Marriott Residence in Costa Mesa/Newport beach. We arrived into LAX with no problems, went outside and got on the courtesy shuttle to retrieve our rental car. Found the 405 no problems, love the car pool lane. Checked into the hotel, got the kids ready and headed to Huntington beach for Halloween. Had no problems parking and headed for dinner at the Huntington beach Brewery. They close down the main street for Halloween and all the shops hand out candy. It was pretty amazing and the boys enjoyed themselves. We walked down the Pier at night and couldn't believe they were surfing. So we watched them surf and headed back to the Hotel.

 

The next day we headed to Newport Beach and walked along the beach and then headed over to the Balboa fun Zone but it was closed. So we took a boat tour and saw some beautiful home's and the sea lions. Had to rush back to the Hotel because this was the day we were going to see Jay Leno and the boys were going to see the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. We got out to Burbank with no problems saw Jay leno and got to experience LA traffic on the way home. Atleast 3 hours to get back, then I had to go and pick them up at the Hockey game in Anaheim. Went back to the Hotel and had some drinks. Also Liqour store right beside hotel!!!!!

 

Next day we decided to drive down the Pacific Coast Highway and head towards Laguna Beach. We stopped at the Albertson;s and got some snacks and made some Bloody Mary's for the beach. We passed fashion Island but we never did get to spend time there. We arrived in Laguna and asked a local where to go. He sent us to the beach were the Montage Hotel was and there is a parking garage. This was by far our Favourite beach of the whole trip. Headed back towards Huntington Beach another great beach and had lunch/dinner on the pier at Ruby's. Went back to the Hotel only to return again to have a fire on the Beach.

 

Friday we headed to Disneyland for the Day and Night. Friday Disneyland is open til midnight and they had Fireworks. The most incredible fireworks I have seen but the boys both fell asleep before they started.

 

Saturday we headed over to the South coast plaza did some shopping, headed back to the hotel for some laundry. That evening we went to The Cheesecake Factory at the Irvine Spectrum. Cool plaza, lots of restaurants and shops all outdoors. Had one final bonfire on Huntington beach and off to pack for the cruise.

 

Sunday up early and headed over to the Queenmary for early check-in. Not so easy because there was some race going on and nobody seemed to know about the early check-in or were it was. My advice if driving to the pier. Park in the Carnival Garage for $12 a day, drop your luggage with a porter at the back of the garage before you park. Then head towards the back of the Queenmary. We were the only one's there and pretty much first on the ship.

 

Cruised on the Pride and then we had three days after the cruise where we stayed at the Crowne Plaza LAX.

 

Sunday night we headed to Santa Monica to see the pier at night. We parked and walked down the third street promenade. It is closed off to traffic and has lots of shops and place's to eat. We ate on the pier at Bubba gumps and had a great time. We also went to Manhattan beach which was another amazing beach and had some drinks at a beach restaurant and watched the sun set.

 

Monday we did a tour with VIP tours and saw the movie stars home's, farmers market, rodeo drive, etc. We actually saw Nicholas Cage, Steven Spielberg and Tom I can't remember his name from dancing with the stars. And we got to experience an IN and OUT BURGER.

 

Tuesday our final day so we were going to go to Malibu but decided we all wanted to head back to Laguna beach so we drove down the PCH. We spent the day on the beach and just as we were leaving a school of dolphins swam by. It was the perfect ending for our stay in California. On our way back to the Hotel we stopped at Duke's in Huntington beach right at the beginning of the pier and had Dinner.

 

We tried to do as much as possible, but we never got to the Side street cafe or boomers but we passed it many of time's. Over all we enjoyed California more than the cruise. I hope this helps!!!

 

Thanks

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Goodasgold

 

My favourite city has always been San Francisco! At the start of our planning for this cruise I had actually wanted to fly into San Fran and drive down the PCH to LA. But Grandma thought that would be to much time in the car for the little one's. I have been to Tahoe a couple of time's as well as Napa. But my husband and children have never been. I think California is amazing!! And now I know I will have no problems getting any of them back!

 

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Goodasgold

 

My favourite city has always been San Francisco! At the start of our planning for this cruise I had actually wanted to fly into San Fran and drive down the PCH to LA. But Grandma thought that would be to much time in the car for the little one's. I have been to Tahoe a couple of time's as well as Napa. But my husband and children have never been. I think California is amazing!! And now I know I will have no problems getting any of them back!

 

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WOW

 

Thanks for your comments and the drive down memory lane. I grew up in the OC, so I know that area really well. My brother and friends still live down there, so I visit several times a year.

 

There is still much to see in California like the other ccer stated. Yosemite, Sequoia, Lake Tahoe, and the gold rush communities to name a few. It takes a few trips to CA to even see a few parts of the state.

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im so glad everyone is saying they love CA..

we live about 15 min from san francisco and theres no place like the bay area.. we are 3 hrs from the snow, and we have nice weather in the summer.. and the napa valley,, need i say more .... :)

 

 

theres some cruises out of SF on princess, but i heard after this april, they wont be sailing from there anymore :( hopefully its not true...

the drive to LA isnt too bad, about 5 1/2 hours.. we just did it this week and they had the 405 closed on one side on wednesday 11/22 due to a paint spill off a truck,, so it took about 2 hours to get from the san pedro pier to LA, but were use to traffic in the bay area... so all is well

 

take care everyone, hope you all had a good turkey day and happy holidays

 

melissa

 

new pics

http://good-times.webshots.com/album/555967401BpRTpu

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Today I decided to see if you posted your trip and was very happy you did. Wow, you certainly packed lots in to those days. I went to downtown Huntington Beach on Halloween and everyone looked like they were having a great time. There really is lots to do in this area, besides Disneyland. Sometimes us locals forget what a great place Southern California really is. So glad you had a great time!

 

Jana White

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Loved your trip report - I live in Irvine and it's always refreshing to get a new perspective on the area. I really need to go down to Laguna - can you believe I've never been there even though I've been in Irvine for 4 years.

 

Everyone loves the fireworks at Disney! I go practically every week and it still never ceases to amaze me.

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Don't forget some of the most beautiful parts of our state: the Sierra Nevada (with Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, Lassen and Devil's Postpile national parks to just name a few locations) and our beautiful redwood coast (Hwy 1 north of San Francisco to the Oregon border). The latter is my favorite vacation trip, and the former is where I go to relax and fly fish in gorgeous surroundings. Not so easy to get to in just a couple of days before or after a cruise, but both can be vacation destinations all on their own, with great bed & breakfast accomodations or camping.

 

Also, I can second the central coast as a great destination. From trendy Santa Barbara to quaint Cambria, Hearst Castle, the wonderful Big Sur coast, and Monterey & Carmel, there is plenty to do in that area for at least a week's vacation.

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I can't wait to see Yosemite!! I just love to travel but I need to win the lottery. I love cruising but my DH just discoverd snorkeling on our cruise prior to this one and Mexico is not great for snorkeling. Right now we are looking into the Turks and Caicos for a week so he can get his fix of snorkeling in. But if I need any advice on California I know where to come. I also hope in the next couple of years I get to experience so more of your wonderful state. It's true we take for granted what's in our own backyards.

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I can't wait to see Yosemite!! I just love to travel but I need to win the lottery. I love cruising but my DH just discoverd snorkeling on our cruise prior to this one and Mexico is not great for snorkeling. Right now we are looking into the Turks and Caicos for a week so he can get his fix of snorkeling in. But if I need any advice on California I know where to come. I also hope in the next couple of years I get to experience so more of your wonderful state. It's true we take for granted what's in our own backyards.

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I promised I would write a review when we got back!! Thanks again to Seniormiss, Jana White, and Suznf and everyone else who helped. We left buffalo on October 31st for a pre-cruise stay in Orange county. We stayed in the Marriott Residence in Costa Mesa/Newport beach. We arrived into LAX with no problems, went outside and got on the courtesy shuttle to retrieve our rental car. Found the 405 no problems, love the car pool lane. Checked into the hotel, got the kids ready and headed to Huntington beach for Halloween. Had no problems parking and headed for dinner at the Huntington beach Brewery. They close down the main street for Halloween and all the shops hand out candy. It was pretty amazing and the boys enjoyed themselves. We walked down the Pier at night and couldn't believe they were surfing. So we watched them surf and headed back to the Hotel.

 

The next day we headed to Newport Beach and walked along the beach and then headed over to the Balboa fun Zone but it was closed. So we took a boat tour and saw some beautiful home's and the sea lions. Had to rush back to the Hotel because this was the day we were going to see Jay Leno and the boys were going to see the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. We got out to Burbank with no problems saw Jay leno and got to experience LA traffic on the way home. Atleast 3 hours to get back, then I had to go and pick them up at the Hockey game in Anaheim. Went back to the Hotel and had some drinks. Also Liqour store right beside hotel!!!!!

 

Next day we decided to drive down the Pacific Coast Highway and head towards Laguna Beach. We stopped at the Albertson;s and got some snacks and made some Bloody Mary's for the beach. We passed fashion Island but we never did get to spend time there. We arrived in Laguna and asked a local where to go. He sent us to the beach were the Montage Hotel was and there is a parking garage. This was by far our Favourite beach of the whole trip. Headed back towards Huntington Beach another great beach and had lunch/dinner on the pier at Ruby's. Went back to the Hotel only to return again to have a fire on the Beach.

 

Friday we headed to Disneyland for the Day and Night. Friday Disneyland is open til midnight and they had Fireworks. The most incredible fireworks I have seen but the boys both fell asleep before they started.

 

Saturday we headed over to the South coast plaza did some shopping, headed back to the hotel for some laundry. That evening we went to The Cheesecake Factory at the Irvine Spectrum. Cool plaza, lots of restaurants and shops all outdoors. Had one final bonfire on Huntington beach and off to pack for the cruise.

 

Sunday up early and headed over to the Queenmary for early check-in. Not so easy because there was some race going on and nobody seemed to know about the early check-in or were it was. My advice if driving to the pier. Park in the Carnival Garage for $12 a day, drop your luggage with a porter at the back of the garage before you park. Then head towards the back of the Queenmary. We were the only one's there and pretty much first on the ship.

 

Cruised on the Pride and then we had three days after the cruise where we stayed at the Crowne Plaza LAX.

 

Sunday night we headed to Santa Monica to see the pier at night. We parked and walked down the third street promenade. It is closed off to traffic and has lots of shops and place's to eat. We ate on the pier at Bubba gumps and had a great time. We also went to Manhattan beach which was another amazing beach and had some drinks at a beach restaurant and watched the sun set.

 

Monday we did a tour with VIP tours and saw the movie stars home's, farmers market, rodeo drive, etc. We actually saw Nicholas Cage, Steven Spielberg and Tom I can't remember his name from dancing with the stars. And we got to experience an IN and OUT BURGER.

 

Tuesday our final day so we were going to go to Malibu but decided we all wanted to head back to Laguna beach so we drove down the PCH. We spent the day on the beach and just as we were leaving a school of dolphins swam by. It was the perfect ending for our stay in California. On our way back to the Hotel we stopped at Duke's in Huntington beach right at the beginning of the pier and had Dinner.

 

We tried to do as much as possible, but we never got to the Side street cafe or boomers but we passed it many of time's. Over all we enjoyed California more than the cruise. I hope this helps!!!

 

Thanks

 

What a great post. You sound like a wonderful ad for Southern California. It sounds like you did just about everything. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to be living here. What a wonderful time for your family. How very thoughful of you to fill us in on your vacation.

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