Day 1 (Saturday August 9)

We left Vancouver about 11:00. We went to the Peace Arch, driving through some bad New West traffic. We didn't go Peace Arch or Sumas or Huntington over the Port Mann (even though the radio reported short line ups there, especially Sumas) because the Abbotsford air show was on and we were worried about traffic going East over the bridge and towards the valley.

It took about 45 minutes to get through the border. Susan and the girls got out for a quick trip to the bathroom while in the lineup.

We stopped for lunch at the Bow Hill rest stop a little ways past Bellingham.

Traffic as we went through Seattle was quite bad, not surprising being a Saturday mid day.

As we drove South Glen researched and phoned ahead in order to find us a campground to stay in for the first night. Many places were full near where we had originally planned to get to, Vancouver Washington, as we called various places getting further North, we finally found a campground that was open, but the lady on the phone said that with kids we would probably enjoy Camp Kalama more as it had more for kids.

We stopped for our first night at Camp Kalama, fronting on to the Kalama River just before it enters the bigger Columbia River. It was a pleasant campground in a natural setting.

Day 2 (Sunday August 10)

We left Camp Kalama at about 10:30 in the morning. We again ate lunch at a rest stop in Washington State and then soon crossed into Oregon. As we drove South Glen researched and phoned ahead to various campgrounds in order to find us a place to stay for the night. We had planned to stay in Grants Pass, but campground availability and travel time put us into a campground in Wolf Creek Oregon called Sunny Valley RV Park. It was a very nice place and we just had time for a short swim and a small campfire used to roast some marshmallows.

Day 3 (Monday, August 11)

The girls played in the playground, bought some pins from the Sunny Valley RV Park store, and we then got on the road. The girls and I had planned many months before that we would be spending Monday night in Red Bluff California, and this is exactly where we got to. The first few morning hours were spent driving out of the mountainous road in Oregon, being amused by the huge RR carved into the mountain that Rogue River has, and doing some tax free shopping for food and some clothes at a Costco in Medford Oregon, before driving down the long slope into California where we stopped and confirmed that we were carrying no fruits or vegetables. We had lunch at the first rest stop in California, where it was HOT, VERY HOT. We collected a few tourist brochures from the visitor information center and then continued up the hill. It was then relatively flat driving through most of Northern California until we got to our campground for the night, the Lake Red Bluff Recreation Area Sycamore Grove Campground. Being a weekday, there were very few people in this park so we got a good spot relatively close to the washrooms. We looked at the fish dam built on the river there, which admittedly was quite low on water (undoubtedly due to the drought happening in California) and then then had dinner just as the sun was setting. After dinner we laid on a blanket on the grass and saw shooting stars (and various other nighttime sky objects).

Day 4 (Tuesday, August 12)

We packed up relatively early (early for us is maybe 10:00am), spent some time at the River Discovery Centre, and then got on the road heading for our first reserved campsite at San Francisco RV Resort in Pacifica, just south of San Francisco. Our drive there was ever so slightly stressful as the roads were very busy and we continued to use the HOV lane. As we got close to the Bay Bridge, we first got out of the HOV lane as one of the HOV lanes had painting on it that only cars with their fastpass could use that lane, but then Susan pointed out the next HOV lane which didn't have the fastpass warning. We jumped over to that lane and were quickly speeding down the bridge, yet confident that we had just broken their intended use for that lane. We have since called the San Francisco Bay Fastpass organization a few times to see about how we can minimize our ticket costs, but they keep saying to call back as dealing with out of country violators (us) takes their system a long time. Wish us luck. We arrived at the San Francisco RV Park at about 4:30 and set up in our spot.

The campground itself is at the top of a bluff looking onto the ocean and after setup we drove a short distance to get down to beach level. We waded into the water and were having a great time jumping up and down as the various size waves came in. Melissa and I were a bit farther out than Kayla when a big wave came in. I held onto Melissa's hand, but when the wave hit Kayla it knocked her over and into the sea clothes and all. We quickly enough picked her up, but she then spent the next hour having to wear wet clothes full of sand. To try to dry out, we got into the wind and had fun flying some kites. We then walked out on the (fishing) pier, and enjoyed seeing a seal who was playing in the water.

I walked over to a local Safeway that night before going to bed to get some milk.

Day 5 (Wednesday, August 13)

The next morning we rejoiced in not having to tear down due to our spending 2 full nights in San Francisco so we drove to downtown San Francisco. We started by walking on some of the piers and looking at the great number of seals and looking out at interesting things such as the view out to Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. We checked if we could take a boat out to Alcatraz but were disappointed to find that tours to the island need to be booked weeks in advance at this time of year. We then watched a crazy street show on Pier 39 where the performer did some cringe inducing tricks such as nailing a nail into his head and carrying members of the audience in a piggy back ride across broken glass in his bare feet. We then had a fun good lunch at Bubba Gumps Shrimp Company. For the afternoon we walked down to catch a ride on the Powell and Hyde cable car. While walking there we got ourselves a full day transit pass. The lady at the counter tried to convince us we would be fine not getting Kayla a day pass as kids up to 5 ride free and she was confident we could argue the drivers into believing Kayla was 5. We bought Kayla a ticket against the woman's recommendation. The lineup while waiting for the ride was LONG, VERY LONG (taking about an hour), so while waiting one of us snuck out and got us some ice cream from Ghirardelli chocolate shop just up the street and enjoyed that. Soon enough we were on the cable car, actually being lucky enough to be the first allowed on so we got the best seats, right at the very front. We rode the full length right to the other end. We then got on a bus that took us out to the Golden Gate bridge. We walked out on the bridge. On leaving the bridge we made a mistake and took the wrong bus (the one going back to where we had come from after getting to the other side of town due to the long cable car ride), so we got off and went back to the Golden Gate before finally going downtown again to Fisherman's Wharf. For dinner we enjoyed ourselves at the Rain Forest Cafe. The girls were at first shocked at how loud the animatronic animals would get, but we warned them there would be many such shows at Disneyland. All enjoyed it. We got back to the campground at about 10:30 at night.

Day 6 (Thursday, August 14)

We picked up and set off as early as we could, as our drive this day was to Anaheim which was one of our longest planned. We headed south on the 280 and then US-101, and followed it along until one of the girls had to go to the washroom, so we pulled off and went to a strip mall in Gilroy. On leaving the mall we followed the GPS suggestion and took highway 152, better known as the Pacheco Pass Highway, past the San Luis Reservoir. We then took the I-5 for a fast trip south. We were on track for getting to the Anaheim Resort RV Park in good time, probably about 4:00. But then we hit the LA rush hour traffic! We had wanted to get there before 5:00 because that is the time the main office closes, so we called and they told us not to worry as the maintenance staff would show us exactly where we were staying. Our GPS did us good and got us there in the heavy traffic at about 6:00. The maintenace man was nice and checked us in. We set up our trailer in what we thought was one of the best spots in the park, right in the middle. That evening we could easily see the Disneyland fireworks as we were only about 1km away. Before going to bed that night, I walked over to the local Walmart and bought us some milk.

Day 7 (Friday, August 15)


We had many months before got ourselves a subscription to Touring Plans for the Disneyland resort. Touring Plans is a company that helps Disney visitors plan their trips so that they can have a plan that accounts for the carefully predicted time and day park and line busyness so that a realistic plan can be generated that the visitors follow. Our schedule, which did have 190 minutes of scheduled break time spread over 5 distinct breaks (things like snacks and lunch and dinner) showed between 9:00am and 11:00pm as going on 29 different rides and shows and having 256 minutes scheduled to be in line waiting for things, 197 minutes walking, and 21 minutes of unscheduled time. Believe it or not, it actually worked extremely well!

After taking the shuttle over to the park we started the day by visiting princesses in the royal hall, specifcally spending some time with Snow White, Ariel, and Cindarella. We rode big thunder mountain railroad, we rode the matterhorn, we rode Splash Mountain during the hottest part of the afternoon, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted House (which broke down for a while when we were in it), time on Tom Sawyer Island, Space Mountain, Mad Hatter Tea Party (teacups!), Autopia, Indiana Jones, the Magical Fireworks show, and of course Dumbo. The only ride not ridden by all 4 of us all day was Indiana Jones as Melissa was just a tad too short. Mom stayed with Melissa and then rode by herself once dad and Kayla were off. For lunch we had a brown bag lunch on Tom Sawyer island. We had dinner in the Village Haus Restaurant, the "same" restaurant we ate in a couple of years earlier in Disneyworld.

Favourites this day were big thunder mountain railroad, splash mountain, and autopia.

Also surprising was that we ran into some friends during the day who we didn't even know would be there at the same time. It's A Small World is true!!!

We had originally based our Disney attendance plans to attend on the predicted least busy 3 days during the 5 full days we were there, which meant this Friday, and then Monday and Tuesday. As the day ended we realized it would be crazy to try to have full days 2 days in a row on Monday and Tuesday so we decided we would next return on the Sunday before our final full day on Tuesday.

Day 8 (Saturday, August 16)

We had originally planned to spend this day going down to San Diego to the zoo. On the shuttle ride back to our trailer the evening earlier we had heard some people talking about going to a water park the next day, and when we compared the idea to several more hours of driving in order to get to San Diego and back, that seemed like a good plan. We did some research and decided we would go to the Knotts Berry Farm waterpark this afternoon. First off we went shopping for some groceries and some Disney trinkets at Walmart. After lunch we gave it some thought and although the idea had been the waterpark, we just decided to take advantage of the very nice pool present at our RV campsite. We spent several hours in the pool, and Kayla met a new friend who was just from Chilliwack. I spent some time revising our day 2 resort plan so that the times would be appropriate for our Sunday attendance as compared to the Monday we had originally planned and then printed copies of the new plan in the campsite office. We got to bed just as the fireworks were going off as we knew we needed good rest for the full day ahead of us.

Day 9 (Sunday, August 17)

Our revised day 2 plan had us going to Disney California Adventureland. Our lunch this day was a reservation at Ariel's Grotto, a higher end (priced) restaurant where we got to meet not only Ariel but many other Disney Princesses. Our schedule said we had 157 minutes of walking, 233 minutes in line waiting for things, and 115 minutes of totally unscheduled time in order to see 28 different rides/events. It was a great day of going on things. Glen had to skip out for about 90 minutes in the afternoon since his insulin pump infusion set came out on a ride mid afternoon and in order to minimize a stratospheric blood sugar had to go back to the trailer to put in a new one. Melissa's only ride she couldn't ride this day because of height was the big coaster California Screamin'. It was Kayla's favourite in the park and she rode it twice, once with dad and once with mom. Don't worry, while waiting for dad and Kayla to finish their ride Melissa got an extra ride on King Triton's carousel. Melissa's favourite ride, actually for the whole trip was the Carsland Radiator Springs Racers. This ride is actually the current favorite ride in the whole resort. We knew (as did the Touring Plans site) that this ride would have very long lines as the day wore on, and that the "Fastpass" tickets for this ride would "sell" out before noon time (for example if you go to get a Fastpass at about 11:00 you'll be riding at about 9:30 that night), so we got our fastpass ticket early. We rode the wilder-than-Splash-Mountain Grizzly River Run during which we got very wet. Both girls had great fun on the Tower of Terror. We also watched a few shows in theatres such as the fun Muppet Vision 3D and met some characters. Late in the day we were in the line to ride Luigi's Flying Tires, which is sort of a bumper car hovercraft ride. We were next to get on after waiting in line and the ride broke down. They said it might be broken down for a few days. We finished the day by watching the World of Color water show.

Day 10 (Monday, August 18)

We had a relaxing morning and dad again revised the plans for day 3, planning to visit both Disneyland and California Adventureland in order to ride the highlights from both parks. After lunch we went to Huntington Beach for some beach time. We had lots of sunscreen on but still all got sunburnt (mom and dad the worst), so spent quite a few days putting on Aloe Vera. Sandcastles and wave jumping were done. We again got to bed quite early so we could maximize our third full day.

Day 11 (Tuesday, August 19)

The best laid plans don't survive contact with the enemy!

We still had a good time, but things didn't unroll quite as planned. Susan woke up early saying (and looking like) she had pink eye. We looked for a pharmacy open early, and I ran over and got some eye cleaner. Although we started dealing with it early, it didn't allow for as early of a day as we had planned. This day had been planned as our "early entry" day where we were going to get into the park starting in Disneyland at 8:00am. We got in about 9:45. So already the schedule we were following was in the skids. Once in the park, I immediately ran over to California Adventure Land in order to get a Fastpass for Radiator Springs. I was lucky enough to get a ticket for between 2:00 and 3:00 that afternoon. I then went back and joined everybody back in Disneyland. At about 11:00 I went to get a Splash Mountain fastpass, with the hopes it would be for 1:00 or 2:00 so we could ride splash mountain then go over to California Adventure Land and ride radiator springs and stay there for the rest of the day. However we weren't that lucky and instead got a fastpass for Splash Mount between 2:40 and 3:40. So we rode some Disneyland favourites and other Disney things we had missed (such as the "traditional" carousel), then after lunch went over to the other park to ride Radiator Springs (and also Luigi's Flying Tires in Carsland which was now fixed), then back to Disneyland to ride Splash Mountain. It was fun, but tired the girls out quite a bit so we had a relatively relaxing time just staying in Disneyland. The only ride we had intended to go on but never did get on was the big ferris wheel. Oh well, I guess you have to leave something for next time. We got quite a few more character meets and got signatures from Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Pluto.

Day 12 (Wednesday, August 20)

We got away in the morning at a reasonable time (maybe 11:00) and headed off with the plan to get quite far (maybe Sacramento). On the way there as we drove out of southern California it really struck Susan and I how Radiator Springs Racers was based on the roads we were driving on. We did quite well, with the girls resting catching up on some sleep they had missed in the last few days, and made it to Lathrop and stayed in the Dos Reis Regional park, which is right next to the San Joaquin river.

Day 13 (Thursday, August 21)

In the morning the girls spent a short time playing in the playground and then we got on the road. We made it to Lake Siskiyou campground in Mount Shasta. On arriving in the park dad and the girls walked down to the lake and went on some trails. After dinner the girls went to a movie in the campground's outdoor theatre, The Croods.

Day 14 (Friday, August 22)

Today we got up and continued to head north. Susan set the pace because she said she wanted to make it to the Woodburn RV Park in Woodburn Oregon. She wanted to get there because she wanted time in the tax free outlet mall right next to this RV park. We had a driving day with a lot less stops than usual in order to get there, and we arrived just in time to have dinner and give Susan about 90 minutes in the mall. Dad and the girls went to the pool and swam while Susan shopped.

Day 15 (Saturday, August 23)

In the morning we got on the road on the way to Seattle. We stopped for lunch at a rest stop just as we entered California. Our comment was that the state with the nicest rest stops is Oregon. By far the best rest stops were in Oregon, Washington state didn't have terrible rest stops but they don't have the nicest/cleanest. California rest stops are very varied, some of them are by far the worst, and some are quite reasonable (similar to Washington state ones). Our destination this day was Seattle, and we pulled in early enough at the very nice Pleasant Lake RV Park in Bothell. We were early enough that we went to our favorite restaurant downtown, the Crab Pot. When I say "our favorite restaurant" I should clarify that it is Susan and Glen's favorite. Kayla had fun using the hammer, but being a picky eater not loving seafood didn't find much else to rave about. Melissa enjoyed using the hammer as well, and enjoyed some of the seafood, but probably wouldn't go out of her way. Everyone did enjoy donning their bibs. After dinner we looked at the impressive new Seattle Great Wheel, the ferris wheel out on the wharf. We decided not to ride it as the wait to ride would be about 2 hours. We also walked around down on the pier and the girls bought some souvenirs. We finally got back in our vehicle and due to some GPS confusion, we first got some gas, then mistakenly went back to the pier before finally setting the GPS right and getting back to our campground in Bothell.

Day 16 (Sunday, August 24)

We got up and were sorry to leave our last campsite and started heading home. We stopped at the Costco in Burlington and did some grocery shopping and also had lunch there (and got gas). That Costco is right next door to an outlet mall, and dad took advantage and ran over to the Eddie Bauer outlet and got a few shirts. The border crossing at Peace Arch was quite quick, and our trip home ended when we arrived home at about 4:30. A wonderful time was had by all.

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