Thursday, August 28, 2008

Speed Racer Vacationing

Crazy! Hhhmmm, fast paced and crazy. Going from working 6 days a week to packing on a Thursday evening, going to work Friday and leaving right after work for a 17 hour road trip to Anaheim California (DISNEYLAND) from Port Orchard, Washington and Being in Anaheim by Saturday evening was interesting but hard. We got trapped in this WestMark Resort Trial Deal where you pay 695.00 over a 7 month period and then schedule a vacation to see if this type of vacationing works for you. Well, the whole thing went like this: The salesman was NOT forth-coming about when you could schedule a vacation (he said immediately. . .you can't. You have to pay all of the 695.00 before you can schedule a vacation time), the points that you are alloted during this time is enough for 2 weeks (it's not. . .the points were good enough for 4 nights during the week and not including the weekend. That is "if" you can get scheduled in somewhere available), and nothing was said about a limited time to use the vacation points (you lose all 695.00 paid towards the trial vacation if you do not schedule the vacation during the 1-year period. Meaning, you have to first pay the 695.00 in the 1st 7 months and have 5 months left over to figure out where they can fit you in). The whole thing ended with us getting phone calls that our time period for scheduling had 1 week left and then we would be out of luck. We scheduled in San Francisco, CA because I have always wanted to see the city, waterfront, food, and trollies AND because this is about the only place available. The down side? We could only schedule during the week. We decided to make the trip our first car trip and drive over the weekend going to and coming back home the following weekend. THEN I got this brilliant idea that Ashley, my daughter, along with Larry and myself needed to see about Disneyland and if we could fit this in too. No problem! The trip only added almost 6 1/2 hours more driving instead of just going to San Francisco. I talked Larry into the extra driving by promising to drive over half way. I kept my promise =). We squeezed Disneyland into 1 and 3/4 days. We got pictures out of it and lots of fun. The down side is that we were also exhausted. Since I am not home to cook and blog, I decided that I do want to blog about all the good and bad things, places, and ideas that went with this vacation. First, driving until we just couldn't drive any further on I-5, through Oregon Friday night was difficult BUT because we drove for 5 hours that night, we made driving on the next day so much easier. We thought we were going to stop in Vancouver, WA to stay the night (about 3 hours from home) but we ended up driving through Portland and continuing past for another hour down the freeway. The negative is that when the signs say there is an exit to go to this particular town to get fuel, food, or stay in a hotel. . .they mean TAKE THIS EXIT because there is not a second exit to that town. Most medium and smaller towns in Oregon and California were like this. Our first night was around 11:30 p.m. looking for the first hotel that we saw. A Super 8 and not a cheap one at that. Cost around 95.00 to be able to have a bed to sleep in. The restaurant next door was convenient for breakfast, TJ's I believe, but the service was very slow.

Back on I-5, we saw some amazing scenery. Lots of rolling hills, steep hill climbs viewing different mountain ranges, and some cactus. We do not have cactus where we live on the coast of Washington. We also saw Mount Ashton in California but i-5 is noted more for getting somewhere on a direct route rather then being able to site see. That's okay, I will continue to post pictures and and write the diary as I can fit the time in and we are in the middle of coming home right now down Highway 101. We are just before Eureka, CA and headed towards the coastline. That means today we get to see the huge redwoods of California while driving through their state parks. My biggest lesson that I learned so far is to take the time to schedule the road trip. Less expense and more enjoyment would have been the result.

Scheduling pitstops along the way would allow us the leeway of knowing where we were going to stop but NOT scheduling specific times to be anywhere, with the exception of hotels, would keep us from worrying about a time schedule. This is my very first roadtrip so I expected lots of little learning tips along the way.

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