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Trip Report west coast in december for 2 weeks

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My wife and 14 year old daughter went on a trip to the west coast of USA from 17th Dec to 31st of Dec. Wanted to thank the forum members for all the contributions made pre trip and all aspects worked out well.
Flew EVA air from Bangkok to Seattle via Taipei.
17th-19th-In Seattle stayed with a friend for 2 days and visited Snoqualmie pass, Steven’s pass and the Bavarian town of Leavenworth which was all lit up for Christmas. Experienced snow fall for the 1st time in our lives. Down town Seattle was nice and visited candy cane street at night. All members in this locality have to decorate their houses during Christmas ,which is mandatory and attracts big crowds.

20th-22nd LA-Flew VA . It rained continuously for the 2 days. Universal studio was interesting while the highlight was the Lakers game at staples centre against the Bucks. Stayed at the holiday inn walk of fame.

22nd-24th Las Vegas. Flew south west and stayed at the Bellagio. Saw the “O” show which was brilliant. Freemont street experience at 10pm for Queen was enjoyable. Did some shopping at the premium outlet and fashion show mall.

24th-25th Grand canyon-south rim. Booked a car with Dollar from the hotel. The drive was smooth and the town of Williams was totally white. Being holiday season there were a lot of tourist buses. Checked in at Thunderbird lodge with a canyon view room. Post sunset the temp dropped drastically. Had dinner at the BA restaurant, which was good. Next morning the sunrise was amazing. Left at 11 for Vegas and drove via Hoover dam. The place was packed with long lines for the 15 min chopper ride over the dam. Checked in at Springhill suites. This hotel is off the strip but very good value for money.

26th-27th- South Lake Tahoe- took south west early morning for Reno. I had booked an all wheel drive. Hertz upgraded the SUV to Nissan infinity. Amazing vehicle and the drive was really enjoyable. Checked in at Alpen rose inn and went straight for the snow mobile at zephyr cove. For 2 hours this experience is a must. Spent the rest of the evening around heavenly.

27th-28th-Yosemite. This is the portion of the trip that had me worried. Fortunately it was a sunny day and left Tahoe at 10 via Highway 50. Stopped at Placerville for lunch and then took highway 49 to Groveland. It was a very scenic drive thru the entire stretch.
Reached Blackberry inn at Groveland and had dinner at hotel charlotte.
Next day left for Yosemite early and headed for badger pass. Did a bit of walk with snowshoes. In the afternoon visited the valley. It had started to rain and a storm was approaching hence decided to leave after a couple of hours. The waterfalls-bridal veil and the lower Yosemite falls were in full flow the entire valley with all the snow on the Granite rocks was a sight to behold.

28th-29th- Drove early morning from Groveland to Big Sur. Had lunch at nepenthe, lovely drive. Visited Carmel in the evening and stayed at the pacific Garden inn at Pacific Grove. Had dinner at Mission Inn ranch at Carmel.
30th-31st –San Francisco-did the 17 mile drive along pebble beach and left for SFO.
Checked in at the Marriot at Union Square. Took the tram to Fisherman’s wharf. Nice sunny day and entire city was in the new years mood.
Flew out on 31st night.

All the hotel reviews were exactly as I expected. Booking in advance enabled me to get some good deals on the domestic travel as well. Wanted to specifically visit in winter as the crowds are less and the drives are far more enjoyable. Driving thru snow was an enjoyable experience and was fortunate not get stuck in the winter storm. Lake tahoe and Yosemite in winter a must do.

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