Ryan, Megan, and Alex's California Itinerary
Saturday, October 5, 2013 - Monday, October 14, 2013
Howdy! Never have I ever struggled with the itinerary for a trip as much as I have with this one! The airfare for this trip is free (using points/miles), so our travel options were limited. Originally, we were going to fly into San Diego and return from Oakland. For some reason, the car was really cheap for a one-way rental, but I hesitated and lost the deal. Thus, we ended up booking a round trip into San Francisco. As I started looking at options for the trip, we were going to drive into Las Vegas, catch a show, and take a long journey back through Yosemite National Park. However, after booking a bunch of hotels, we discovered that the show we wanted to see would not be playing in Vegas... so we cut that part out entirely. No problem, we could still do Disneyland, instead. They are having a "Halloween Party", where you need to buy tickets ahead of time. I rebooked several hotels to accommodate the new plans, but I hesitated on buying the Disney tickets, as I try to avoid committing to nonrefundable stuff. However, that hesitation resulted in a sell out that I missed out on. OK, fine, that's a bummer - but at least there are tons of national parks in California that we could visit. Thus, I changed up some more hotels to make that work. However, as of October 1, the government shut down due to Congress' inability to do anything right, so all national parks are closed. That made for a few more more hotel changeups. And that brings us to today, about 24 hours before we are scheduled to leave, and I have no idea what our exact plans are. I still have double the hotels booked than nights on this trip, so there'll probably be some more changes, but as of now, this is the best itinerary I can provide. We'll make it work - it'll be an adventure, nonetheless, so let's go!
All times are local to the particular city. This trip will take place entirely in the Pacific Time Zone (3 hours behind Eastern).
Emergency Contact Information:
Phone (Ryan's Cell):
Phone (Megan's Cell):
(will be checked as often as possible)
You know the drill. If we have signal and feel like setting up the webcam, the pictures above will start changing.
*** OUTBOUND ***
Flight 1/2: Saturday, October 5, 2013 -
AirTran Airlines - Flight 5673 (Baltimore to Atlanta)
DEPART Baltimore, MD (BWI) at 12:50 PM
ARRIVE Atlanta, GA (ATL) at 2:40 PM
SEAT ASSIGNMENT - Ryan: 16E, Megan: 16F, Alex: 15C
AIRCRAFT - Boeing 717-200
Flight 2/2: Saturday, October 5, 2013 -
Southwest Airlines - Flight 762 (Atlanta to San Francisco)
DEPART Atlanta, GA (ATL) at 4:15 PM
ARRIVE San Francisco, CA (SFO) at 6:40 PM [9:40 PM, EDT]
POSITION - Ryan: A18, Megan: A19, Alex: A58
AIRCRAFT - Boeing 737-700
*** INBOUND ***
Flight 1/2: Monday, October 14, 2013 -
Southwest Airlines - Flight 205 (San Francisco to Denver)
DEPART San Francisco, CA (SFO) at 11:45 AM [2:45 PM, EDT]
ARRIVE Denver, CO (DEN) at 3:05 PM [5:05 PM, EDT]
POSITION - Ryan: TBD, Megan: TBD, Alex: TBD
AIRCRAFT - Boeing 737-700
Flight 2/2: Monday, October 14, 2013 -
Southwest Airlines - Flight 3042 (Denver to Baltimore)
DEPART Denver, CO (DEN) at 4:35 PM [6:35 PM, EDT]
ARRIVE Baltimore, MD (BWI) at 10:00 PM
POSITION - Ryan: TBD, Megan: TBD, Alex: TBD
AIRCRAFT - Boeing 737-800
Hotel: Night 1 - October 5, 2013
Renaissance ClubSport Walnut Creek Hotel
2805 Jones Road
Walnut Creek, CA 94597
Room Type: Guest room, 1 King, Breakfast Buffet
Hotel: Night 2 - October 6, 2013
Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center
801 Truxtun Avenue
Bakersfield, CA 93301
Room Type: Guest room, 1 King, Lounge Access
Hotel: Night 3 - October 7, 2013
JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa
74-855 Country Club Drive
Palm Desert, CA 92260
Room Type: Signature View, Guest room, 1 King, Balcony
Hotel: Night 4 - October 8, 2013
Anaheim Marriott Suites
12015 Harbor Boulevard
Garden Grove, CA 92840
Room Type: 1 Bedroom 2 room Suite, 1 King, Sofabed, Breakfast
Hotel: Night 5 - October 9, 2013
Marriott's Newport Coast Villas
23000 Newport Coast Drive
Newport Coast, CA 92657-2100
Room Type: 2 Bedroom Villa, Bedroom 1: 1 King, Bedroom 2: 1 Queen, Bathrooms: 2, Balcony
Hotel: Night 6 - October 10, 2013
San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina
333 West Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92101
Room Type: Guest room, 1 King, City view, Lounge Access
Hotel: Night 7 - October 11, 2013
JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE
900 West Olympic Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Room Type: Deluxe, Guest room, 1 King, Breakfast
Hotel: Night 8 - October 12, 2013
Sacramento Marriott Rancho Cordova
11211 Point East Drive
Rancho Cordova, CA 95742
Room Type: Guest room, 1 King, Breakfast
Hotel: Night 9 - October 13, 2013
San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront
1800 Old Bayshore Highway
Burlingame, CA 94010
Room Type: Guest room, 1 King, Lounge Access
Car Rental: October 5 (6:30 PM) - October 14 (11:30 AM)
Dollar Rent A Car
780 McDonnell Road, Lot C
San Francisco, CA 94128
Car Type: Premium (Ford Crown Victoria, or similar)
Note: The numbers in the itinerary correspond to the map at the bottom. For context, this section was written by Ryan.
Please note that times are ESTIMATES only to give you an idea of what our original plans were. We get distracted and detoured easily, so just check the webcam and/or GPS tracker to get an idea of where we really are.
Saturday, October 5
This is going to be an odd day. We're starting off with an afternoon flight to Atlanta on AirTran. It's almost a carbon-copy of a flight we took exactly 6 years ago: Megan and I were booked on an AirTran flight from BWI to ATL for Columbus Day weekend and our first anniversary. We got to the airport with over an hour before the flight, but I dropped Megan off at the ticket counter. She checked in first, but by the time I parked, got through security, and down to the gate, they were just closing the door to the flight... leaving Megan on board. Almost seven hours later, I ended up booking a last-minute flight on Delta, and it made for one crappy first-time encounter with AirTran. Six years later, AirTran is now owned by Southwest, and within a year, it won't exist anymore. So, we've come full circle - repeating the exact same flight on the exact same day (October 5)... repeating our first experience with AirTran with our last experience with AirTran. Freaky... This time around, we've got Alex... and pre-assigned seats that puts him in a different row from us. Megan thinks one of us should take Alex's seat so he can sit next to one of his parents, but I'm inclined to let someone else watch him for those 2 hours... Hmmm... Anyhow, I have nothing else to say about the day's itinerary because it's all about flying. After landing in Atlanta, we switch to the more familiar Southwest Airlines (and hope our bags come with us) for the 5+ hour jaunt to San Francisco . We'll get there as the sun sets and will spend the night just outside the city .
Sunday, October 6
Alright, now it's time to really get started on this trip. If things go to plan, we'll get a nice early start today and catch an 8am mass at St. Stephen  in Walnut Creek - just a short trip from our hotel. From there, we'll head towards San Francisco. We'll head up to the top of Twin Peaks  to get a nice view of the city. We won't be sticking around for too long, as we'll make our way south to the Filoli Mansion  - the site where several movies were filmed, including one that I was obsessed with as a teenager ("The Game"). And that's really about it for the day. Depending on how we are doing with time, we might find something else to do in San Jose, or check out the beach. Ultimately, we'll start making our long drive south, stopping for the night in Bakersfield .
Monday, October 7
Happy 7th Anniversary to us! And what a better way to celebrate than doing a bunch of aimless driving! This morning, we'll make our way south to Los Angeles, stopping briefly at a few landmarks: The house where "E.T." phoned home , and the fuel pump  where the Tonight Show often does their recurring "Pumpcast News" skit. After that, we'll make a real stop at the Los Angeles County Museum  for a few hours. We'll wrap up our days travel by looking at dead celebrities in Hollywood Forever Memorial Park  and Forest Lawn Memorial Park . On the way to the hotel, we'll check out a small neighborhood house  where "Liar Liar" was filmed. I'm really hoping that it'll still be somewhat early in the afternoon so we can get to our hotel by around 4 or 5. We're staying at a JW Resort  for our anniversary, where the concierge has promised some type of amenity to recognize our date. Of course, I don't let Megan read this website, so it'll be s surprise for her... as is everything on this trip. :-)
Tuesday, October 8
We'll get a very late start to the day today, spending much of the morning at our hotel. Once we get on the road, we'll head to Los Angeles and check out the California Science Center . Or, if Disneyland somehow has last-minute tickets for their sold-out Halloween Party, we'll do that starting around 3pm. If not, we'll get dinner at Buca in Universal CityWalk. Either way, our hotel is just a few blocks away from the park, where we plan to retire early in the evening .
Wednesday, October 9
This is the day Alex has been waiting for! It's all Disneyland , all day long! The park opens at 8am, and we'll stick around until it closes at 8pm. After that, our hotel  is just a few miles to the south.
Thursday, October 10
This'll be an interesting morning. We'll be staying at Marriott's Newport Coast Villas - a repeat hotel from our last stay in the area, which was an amazing property. It's got multiple rooms in the villa suite, so at 5:30am, Megan and I will be waking up to do an electronic closing on our mortgage refinance - hopefully that'll take less than an hour, and Alex can stay asleep. The goal will then be to leave the hotel by around 8:30 to get to Legoland  when they open. Those hours are only from 10am to 5pm, so we'll be leaving when the sun is still shining - possibly early enough to catch the sun setting over the Pacific at Sunset Cliffs Park . Our planned hotel for the evening is in downtown San Diego .
Friday, October 11
Today is all about San Diego. We'll start off by visiting the USS Midway Museum , which is almost walking distance from our hotel. After that, it's off to Balboa Park  and Border Field State Park , where we may or may not pick up a nice Mexican family for the remainder of the trip. We'll also stop by Mission Bay Park  before getting dinner at Megan's aunt/uncle's home , who just moved out to the west coast a few months ago. Depending on how long we stay, we'll swing by another filming location  on our way to Los Angeles. As of now, we're staying in the JW at L.A. Live  - another nice repeat hotel, but it's right next to a Bon Jovi concert... We've already seen a concert by him, so we might end up staying somewhere else in LA to avoid the traffic.
Saturday, October 12
Time to start heading north! But, before we do, we'll catch up on all the LA stuff that we haven't done for a while, such as Rodeo Drive , Mulholland Drive, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Venice Beach, Westwood Village Memorial Park , the Santa Monica Pier , and the Third Street Promenade . Once it starts getting late, we'll make our long drive north to Sacramento for the night ... at least I think... we have 3 hotels reserved for tonight across northern California.
Sunday, October 13
I'm not sure if I left my heart in San Francisco, but we'll be spending much of the afternoon there, regardless. But, to start, we'll visit the capitol building  in Sacramento, possibly followed by the California State Railroad Museum . As we make our way west, we'll stop at Mt. Tamalpais State Park , Crissy Field , and Golden Gate Park  - all the non-national park versions of this area of the country. We're spending the night right next to the airport , shocked that the trip is already over... or relieved that it finally is!
Monday, October 14
What's stop 39? That's a mistake - just ignore it. We'll just sleep in at our hotel and then make our way to the airport  for our late afternoon flight home via Denver. Kelly and Joe will be in Flordia for much of our trip out west, but we'll likely catch up with them at the airport back in Maryland, as we land about a half hour apart. And that's all, folks! It may take some time to process all the pictures we took, but stay tuned for Megan's regular Facebook update!
Where you at?? We are never 100% on time to our destinations, so we've taken all the guesswork out of figuring out where we are by broadcasting our GPS location. You'll need to manually refresh this page to see our latest movements, but so long as we get cell phone signal, you'll be able to see where we are!
Megan's Location... Ryan's Location...
And if that's not good enough, we've still got our guesstimated route highlighted below...
Just as before, these are some links where you might be able to track our flight. With all of these sites, be sure to hit refresh (F5) and click 'Retry' as applicable to view the latest information.
Flight Explorer (http://fasttrack.flightexplorer.com/)
RML Software (http://www.flightview.com/)