Auto Europe's PR Manager Jackie left the Australian winter for a road trip throughout sunny 'Callie'. After this story, we can't wait to go ourselves.
We commenced our holiday with a 4 day stint at one of the world's best theme parks, Disneyland. There was something for everyone - little mermaids, Mickey's parade, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Cars Land, Splash Mountain and of course the epic California Screamin' rollercoaster. From 8am until 10pm we zipped around with our fast passes, soaking up the magic in between double scooped ice-creams.
On day 5 we collected a 7 seater Nissan Pathfinder from Hertz in Anaheim, pre-booked through Auto Europe in Australia and headed off to San Diego via LEGOLAND on I-5 South, with the help of our Auto Europe GPS. The roads were easy to navigate and clearly signposted. There was even a separate car pool lane for vehicles carrying more than 2 passengers. We also quickly learnt that in California, you can also turn left on a red light. San Diego is a most pleasant city with its spectacular marina, famous zoo, Sea World and wonderful climate, year-round. The old town is full of Mexican influences and ideal for market shopping. After a couple of days rejuvenating, we headed off to collect our RV from Cruise America. Located a few miles from the city, Troy at Cruise America had our vehicle ready to go. Complete with bedding kits and a brand new kitchen kit, we watched the vehicle orientation DVD and eagerly jumped aboard to commence our road trip to San Francisco.
We soon realised the benefits of traveling by RV include unpacking just once, always having a toilet at road stops and being able to chill food. Wanting to take things in our stride, we hadn't booked any RV parks for the first few nights but soon learnt that RV Parks were busy and we needed to call a day ahead. The Parks varied a great deal in price, anything from $50 per night with hook-ups to over $100 nearer LA. Some were complete camping grounds with outdoor pools and play grounds; others were not dissimilar to car parks. Our road trip took us up to Los Angeles, through Newport and Huntington Beaches, Santa Monica, Malibu and onto a little town of Lompoc, stopping for a swim and box of fresh strawberries along the way. After a quick bagel and coffee refuel, we headed into the sunset to the seaside town of Morro Bay for marshmallows around the campfire.
Hugging the Pacific Coast Highway where ever possible, we accepted that RVs are much more suited to the open road than congested cities. The next day we continued along the Pacific Coast Highway, stopping off at the picturesque Moonstone beach and passed the impressive hilltop estate of Hearst Castle. On the lookout for nature, we came across over 1,500 elephant seals wrestling and wallowing in the sand at Piedras Blancas Rookery where almost 150 years ago these magnificent mammals were slaughter almost to extinction. That day we meandered around the breathtaking cliff top roads, hugging the coast to Big Sur and over the Bixby Bridge. The scenery was truly magnificent! After an overnight stop at Carmel-by-the-Sea, we were told by neighbouring RVers to take the 17 Mile Drive around the coast through some of the most prestigious golf courses in the world - Spyglass Hill, Pebble Beach and Spanish Bay. At 'vista points' we encountered more elephant seals, deer, squirrels and many species of sea birds.
After lunch at Monterrey, we headed east towards Yosemite National Park. For all considering it, Yosemite is definitely worth the drive. The magnificent granite rock faces of El Capitan and Half Dome are spectacular. You could easily spend a few days in the park, exploring the hiking tracks, granite cliffs and waterfalls, venturing up to Glacier Point. Our last stop on this 1,000 mile road trip adventure took us west into the sun, to San Francisco. Vibrant and exciting, there are some iconic must-dos in this city. Drive over the Golden Gate Bridge and down the twisting Lombard Street, catch a historic cable car, soak up the atmosphere at Pier 39, shop til you drop and experience a true American 'Mel's' diner, where you can have steak for breakfast!TIP: Take a GPS when travelling through remote areas as mobile network coverage is not always available, even with a US SIM card, making it difficult to find RV parks in the dark.
If you're California dreaming as well, give us a call on 1300 656 601 or simply book online today!