USA West Coast Adventure Report 2018

Discussion in 'Trip Planning and Travel Concerns' started by Jason Goodwin, Dec 31, 2018.

  1. Jason Goodwin

    Jason Goodwin
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    So we have returned to Australia after our amazing trip to the USA. Time for a report.
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    Headed out to the airport....WOW. Parked the car undercover in Brisbane for $160aud.
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    And then the wait before the 14 hour flight......

    Arrival saw us get into LAX around 6:30am and clear customs about 2 hours later.
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    Picked up the car, a well equipped Toyota Sienna that smelt of smoke, drove to a walmart picked up a can of spray and cleaned the car.......Not impressed. But great car that served us well.

    Drove to our hotel using the maps I printed and then wandered downtown to lovely Burbank had some food and picked up a $50usd phonecard for the mapping.
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    What an amazing little area with great shows and nice food.
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    After a bite we decided to wander into Universal studios which turned out to be a great idea as there were little or no people around and we just walked on to half a dozen rides without waiting. Little bit of rained scared eveybody off so it worked well for us.
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    After dinner we all crawled into bed at about 8pm and had a great sleep before the first full day at Universal. Planning to get the above photo printed and framed.

    More to come
     
  2. NYDutch

    NYDutch
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    What a great start, and as usual, great pictures!
     
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  3. mdcamping

    mdcamping
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    Hey Jason, looks like you had a wonderful trip to the USA!

    Thats the kind of snow I like, where I can visit with short sleeves! Keep the pics coming! :cool:

    Mike
     
  4. BankShot

    BankShot
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    I was sending out the Dingoes to track you down Jason and sent them too soon as Mike informed me that due to my imbibing in too much MV Red last night I evidently overlooked and didn't see your post that was made yesterday. Actually I'll blame it on that last glass from the Inner Circle bottle that I cracked open specially for New Year's Eve............ :D Anyway, WOW!!! What great pics you took. Love the one at Universal in the rain and agree that it should be enlarged, mounted and framed for sure. You captured everything perfectly in that one picture. Good on you mate!!! We need to have a gold star added to the emojis so we can attach one when appropriate so please accept the words gold star as being one.... :)

    Glad you enjoyed your trip and that your travels were safe the entire way.............

    All the best and Happy New Year to you and your family, Terry..........(aka Bankshot....... and on occasion "the Yank")
     
  5. Rollin Ollens

    Rollin Ollens
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    It's too bad non of us could be close enough to you to share a cold one (or in Terry's case an extra large glass of one with a bendy straw), We're glad you enjoyed your stay. Looking forward to seeing more pics from your trip and of course pics of your local trips.

    Happy New Year!!

    Darrell & Jerry
     
  6. Jason Goodwin

    Jason Goodwin
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    So finished up the Universal part of the trip with a visit to Griffith Observatory where we were told because of the rain the view was even more spectacular than usual which I have to agree. Some pics with the GoPro5
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    And then on to Las Vegas that I must say will go down as interesting but a bit disappointing. I did enjoy the drive through the desert....at least for the first couple of hours....

    We stayed at the Desert Rose off the strip and I can highly recommend the property for cost and property size.
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    On arrival over to the camping store on steroids.......
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    Love this place.

    2 Shows, the high roller but the highlights to us were the Pinball Museum, Freemont street old Las Vegas and some of the more far-flung casinos that appealed the most.
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    Pinball!
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    Casinos off the strip with everything.....Sams Town was interesting.
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    Freemont Street and its shows with the old casinos
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    And the strip!
    next post.....On to the Grand Canyon!!
     
  7. Jason Goodwin

    Jason Goodwin
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    About 4 hours in the car to Williams and the AMAZING Bearizona that is well worth a visit if going to the canyon.
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    Drive through the park and then stay and watch the bird show, badgers and beavers......so cool.
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    Good food and coffee plus an amazing restaurant close to jaguars and cheetahs.....
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    We found Williams was a true tourist trap but at least the fuel was cheap and we got to drive on the mother road
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    Another 40 minutes in the car and we were at our stay inside the Canyon at Maswick Lodge. A very basic setup but the location is excellent. For food the Pizza Pub is good but I reckon Yavapai Lodge has much better food.
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    The Weather......VERY cold for us poor Aussies:):eek:
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    Having the car was excellent and enabled us to travel the full length of viewing locations from east to west along the rim.
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    Hermits rest is well worth the drive with amazing stops...
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    and a hot cup of coffee with a fireplace at the end of the road.
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    A run up to the tower and its view for miles is the true highlight of the visit.
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    Interesting is the setup for RV'ers at the tower end with great sites and a marketplace as well within walking distance of many of the top viewing locations.

    Next.......On to Sedona
     
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  8. mdcamping

    mdcamping
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    Cool pics, especially like that old Pinball machine!

    Mike
     
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  9. Paythebill

    Paythebill
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    Excellent and really cool pics!! Looks like it was an outstanding family vacation.:)
     
  10. Jason Goodwin

    Jason Goodwin
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    After a particularly freezing stay in the Canyon we headed for Sedona.
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    I got to drive in some challenging conditions that I can guarantee we dont experience much in the Brisbane area
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    After a short visit and bite to eat in Flagstaff we drove down the mountain into beautiful Sedona.
    Arrival at the hotel saw us offered a $20 upgrade to a fireplace room. Couldn't get my wallet out fast enough.
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    A walk around the main street with amazing vistas everywhere you looked. The RV park is in the center of town and looks amazing with walking access to the main street.
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    I can also recommend the Sedona brewing company as a great place for a local beer and bite to eat. The view above is from a lookout adjacent to the airport.

    A tip is don't pay for the parking up top bide your time as there are free parks just down the road with a short climb to BREATHTAKING views.

    The next day we did a bit of a self-drive tour before doing an off-road tour with one of the many different companies in the main street.
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    The Frank Lloyd Wright Church is amazing
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    and its views are to be seen to be believed.
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    The pics don't do it justice really.
    Pink Jeep is the biggest and loudest but I definitely recommend looking up and down the main street before making a decision.
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    It was quite FRESH......We went with the Hummer tour due to its length and value for money.
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    There are also some great places to eat AWAY from the main drag (Street).

    Next post.......On to Tucson and Tombstone.
     

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  11. Paythebill

    Paythebill
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    Amazing pics! Thank you for sharing.
     
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  12. BankShot

    BankShot
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    You really put the rest of us to shame Jason. The pics you take on your trips are incredibly well taken (are you a professional photographer by chance?) and very interesting. Makes me feel like I'm there with you guys. I think the others will agree with me on this too. I hope perhaps that the RVPR staff will issue some kind of special award to you for what you have contributed on this forum because it truly is worthy of one. You dun gud mate.......... :D

    Cheers, Terry...............(aka BankShot)
     
  13. mdcamping

    mdcamping
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    CRIKEY! :cool:

    Mike
     
  14. BankShot

    BankShot
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    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Hey Mike - Are you sure you don't mean Holy Wombats!!! :eek:

    Terry............(aka you know who I be)... :D
     
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  15. Rollin Ollens

    Rollin Ollens
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    Yummmmm!!!! BBQ!!!
     
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  16. Jason Goodwin

    Jason Goodwin
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    So off again and through to Tucson and Tombstone.

    The reason for the visit to Tucson is to partake in my favorite hobby........Looking at airplanes:D

    We stayed at a hotel on the Tucson Automall that was just a short walk to the Mall and local restaurants.

    Great location. We elected to do Tombstone day 1 and saved Pima Air Museum and the Boneyard for the second day. We also managed to lob into town when the University of Arizona area has a street fair that was a lot of fun.
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    Tombstone is about an hour and a half south of Tucson and remains very much a tribute to the wild west.
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    The town is part history museum part live show that is worth a day.
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    Even managed to catch up with a fellow professional.

    We then headed back for some shopping and meals before our day at Pima.
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    Pima Air and Space is the largest private aviation museum in the USA. The exhibit is huge, well laid out and wonderfully supported by is veteran volunteers who also take the Boneyard tour and provide excellent commentary.
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    The aircraft are well restored and well presented. The volume of aircraft and quality of information is exceptional.
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    The tour is about an hour and a half and requires pre-booking as security is strict.

    You don't leave the bus but the tour is excellent. You also can struggle to get good pictures and can only use your camera in certain locations.
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    There is also a "Museum within a Museum" where the 390th Bomb group has a restored B17 and simply fantastic historical exhibits with it.
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    Beautifully done simple and respectful.
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    The memorabilia is incredible.

    A great few days in a very interesting location.

    Next post......Scottsdale to Palm Springs
     
  17. Paythebill

    Paythebill
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    Pics and narrative are "Outstanding"
     
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  18. BankShot

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    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Absolutely Ditto That.......!!!

    Terry..............(aka BankShot)
     
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  19. Rollin Ollens

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    I will triple ditto that. We are going to be heading back to Canada via Tucson. Now I have to see it too!! Thanks for posting Jason!!

    Darrell
     
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  20. Jason Goodwin

    Jason Goodwin
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    So after the amazing Tucson, @Rollin Ollens (Darrell), I think you will love the stopover. We drove north to Scottsdale, a Pheonix suburb that is simply lovely. I suggest just wandering the area is great. The free bus system is regular and extremely well done.
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    We specifically went there to see the desert botanical gardens.
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    Can I say that you are best to visit on the first Tuesday of the month when the gardens are free. They are lovely but in all honestly overpriced.
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    These are more of my better photos and to answers the guys, no......not a professional photographer, I like to think I am an amateur with a good eye, all photos were taken on the following;
    1. iPhone 7plus
    2. GoPro Hero 5
    3. Nikon A900
    All entry-level devices with plenty of assistance for blokes like me.....Can I also recommend the APP Pica.
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    Great all round applications for great pictures
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    There are plenty of well-priced restaurants and the place feels welcoming and safe.

    From Scottsdale we traveled to Palm Springs. I initially booked Palm Springs as we didn't want to drive the extra distance through to Anaheim. As it turned out the 2 nights were NOT long enough as we loved this location.

    I suggest a trip to the excellent visitor center where you can purchase a map to homes owned by Elvis through to Sinatra and other stars of the 50's and 60's. We simply loved the place and will be back.
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    The Living Desert botanical zoo is a must. From feeding Giraffe to watching Eagle and Cheetah through to a walk through their incredible hospital.

    Its a trip I suggest many US citizens don't even think of but is amazing.
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    Palm Springs also boasts one of the finest small aviation museums I have EVER seen with much of the fleet flying and the opportunity to walk amongst aircraft being restored. Their tribute to the Bush Presidents is respectful and warm.
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    One of the aircraft is a Wildcat survivor of the great lakes and has been restored without simply replacing everything but ensuring that the aircraft is actually as it was when pulled from the lake.....AMAZING.
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    Cobras......Hellcats, Bearcats, Tigercats and Corsairs.....HEAVEN.....
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    WOW

    I think I am going to have to break my rule and add some more photos and commentary for Scottsdale and Palm Springs as I haven't added enough. Can I beg forgiveness now.........:D
     

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