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7 weeks Canada and USA. Help with itinerary please.

7 weeks Canada and USA. Help with itinerary please.

Old Dec 19th, 2013, 02:27 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 314
Have to concur with several posts above about the north rim being better than the south rim. It's extremely crowded on the south rim and unless you plan on hiking pretty far down into the canyon, you won't be able to get away from the crowds. The north rim has lots of great views and the lodge has a great deck/observation room. WE did a few short hikes on our trip last summer:
http://discoverthewest.blogspot.com/...nd-canyon.html

Also, about 40 minutes outside of the north rim is Jacob's Lake Inn and Restaurant. Stop there for some of the most incredible assortment of homemade cookies. We loved the German Chocolate Cookies!
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Old Dec 28th, 2013, 07:39 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 555
Busy schedule.

Lake Tahoe - Make reservation at South Shore not North Shore. Insure you take the tram to the top of the Heavenly Mountain Ski Resort for an excellent view of Lake Tahoe while having lunch.
Lift map of that mountain (lower right is the lake)
http://www.skiheavenly.com/the-mountain/trail-map.aspx

Yosemite - make reservations now - exceptionally crowded

San Francisco - it is all expensive. Driving/parking is an adventure especially for manual shifting (hills) To save money and driving terror, you can stay outside of SF and ride in on BART 'subway' Take a commercial bus tour of SF. This is a map of that system
http://search.yahoo.com/local/s;_ylt...rancisco%2C+CA

Parents - Suggest buying them a book to plan that trip. This book has very detailed driving and park descriptions of those areas.

http://www.southutahparks.com/
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Old Dec 28th, 2013, 08:27 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 21,138
Driving/parking is an adventure especially for manual shifting (hills)

Parking at the Stockton/Sutter St. garage is relatively inexpensive. Look at the third listing here and compare prices with the other two listings:
http://www.unionsquareshop.com/parking.html

As for driving a shift car; it is unlikely that a rental will be a shift car unless it is a specialty car. Besides, anyone who drives a shift car regularly should have no problems in SF.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2014, 04:11 PM
  #24  
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 646
Thank you all for your wealth of varied advice. After much consideration and hours and hours of planning, it has all come together and we have booked.

In summary, after 12 days in the Canadian Rockies, we fly to USA (Jackson Hole).
* 1 night JAckson Hole (Virginian Lodge) - near airport.
* 1 night (2 full days) Grand Teton NP(Signal Mountain Lodge)
* 4 nights Yellowstone (Canyon Lodge - you were all correct about difficulty in getting accommodation in Yellowstone).
* 1 night Bozeman (for early morning flight next day)
* Fly to Sacramento
* 1 night South Lake Tahoe
* 3 nights Yosemite (VRBO Alpine Escape)
* 3 nights San Francisco (without car - staying South San Fran in self contained unit attached to someone's home. Perhaps not ideal location, but transport seems reasonable, price is great and accommodation looks good, so happy with decision here)
* Dad flies home and Mom and Daughter fly to Las Vegas
* 1 night Las Vegas (Homewood Suites by Hilton at airport)
* 1 night Grand Canyon (North Rim Lodge)
* 2 nights Lake Powell (Self catering Motel)
* 1 night Monument Valley (The View Hotel)
* 3 nights Moab (Cliff Rose Flats)
* 1 night Bryce Canyon (Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel)
* 2 nights Zion/Springdale (Zion Park Motel)
* 2 nights (1 day) Las Vegas (Hilton Grand Vacation Suites on LV Strip)
* Fly to New York
* 7 nights New York (staying in apartment in Jersey City - yes, we spent hours looking at pros and cons of staying in NY vs NJ, and decided this will suit us well. Not planning on rushing around NY, but taking things slowly, waking up and saying "what shall we do today", cooking in, visiting friends in New Jersey, a few shows on Broadway perhaps.)
* Mom then flies to LA for 1 night. Daughter - still up in the air where she is off to from there.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2014, 03:28 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,905
Sounds like a plan! For Yellowstone lodging, keep your rooms and then call back as the time gets closer and see if something opens up at OF or the Lake Hotel for a couple of nights, then cancel your canyon lodging nights. People do cancel as the time nears and they find they can't make it.

Do get NP pass at the first park you enter. If you are over 65 it is $10 and good for a lifetime, otherwise $80 and good for a year and lets everyone in your car in the park. You will spend more than that with the individual entries given the number of parks you will go to.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2014, 07:35 AM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
I don't think you have to be US Citizen to get the $10 deal, if your over 62 not 65. You would qualify for the $80 Park Pass.

I like your plan. 7 days in NY would be a bit much for me though. I might have selected other places besides your Utah and Yosemite for that time of year. Falls are not going to be running at Yosemite(this year is super super dry) and to me that is the primary reason for going there. Part of Utah is likely to be brutally hot. I think this summer is likely to be a very high fire season year. Hopefully, they will get a lot of rain and snow the next couple of months.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2014, 09:33 AM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 21,138
I don't think you have to be US Citizen to get the $10 deal, if your over 62 not 65. You would qualify for the $80 Park Pass.

This may depend on the ranger at the desk. French friends of ours were traveling through the West years ago, and sometimes they got a senior discount, and sometimes they were denied the discount. But I do not know if they tried to get the Golden Pass.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2014, 09:39 AM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,734
Good that you booked a place in Yosemite West - If one can't get into the Valley, YW and El Portal are the only places w/i a reasonable commute.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2014, 10:01 AM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,792
To get that $10 lifetime senior pass, you do have to be either a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident, and over 62. http://www.nps.gov/findapark/passes.htm

But the $80 annual pass is available to everybody. It's a great deal.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2014, 10:36 AM
  #30  
 
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I meant to say you DO have to be a US Citz.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2014, 04:40 PM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
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spiro - yes, I rather thought you intended that. For me (a working woman still, in the U.S.), having 7 weeks to vacation is simply mind-boggling. All the options this presents!!

Still, it's a huge country. My main concern is the issue of renting a car in Canada and returning in the U.S. (is that even possible?). Given that amount of time, maybe think about some car rentals that return at the same place and then fly to the next spot. For example, we have flown into Phoenix to spend a week in Sedona/Grand Canyon/Tucson/Saguaro NP and then flown to Salt Lake City for another week in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2014, 05:14 PM
  #32  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Apologies, I missed the line about returning the car. Ignore my comments there.
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Old Feb 11th, 2014, 11:45 AM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,502
I can't believe so much is now etched in stone with still no clarity on the daughter's final school destination.

It IS February already, so "we" should be learning soon...
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Old Feb 12th, 2014, 12:31 AM
  #34  
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NorthwestMale, we too are still waiting to hear. All we have heard from Sydney University is that there has been a delay in the processing (summer holidays here!?)and we will hear mid-February "at the earliest" ..... that is Saturday (if one is to be exact), and still no news. Will share the news once we hear!
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Old Feb 25th, 2014, 12:35 AM
  #35  
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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We finally found out today where Dear Daughter has been nominated for. All going well she is off to University of Utah in Salt Lake City and is really looking forward to it. (Re the alcohol issue - it is a dry campus which suits her very well)!
Thank you all for your input into what should be a wonderful trip for our family, prior to her exchange experience. Now we deal with the practicalities of visas etc.
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Old Feb 25th, 2014, 05:01 AM
  #36  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Whew! I know how anxiously you must have been, waiting for this news. Now you can really make some plans; enjoy!
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Old Feb 25th, 2014, 05:17 AM
  #37  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
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Wonderful news. Sounds like you/she have some great areas to explore while DD is in Utah. Don't miss Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce, Zion, Capitol Reef, Escalante, Dinosaur........it's all good.
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 02:16 PM
  #38  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
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ROFL @ the dry campus suiting her very well.


Anyway, I love Salt Lake City (er, well, after you master the collection of South West Temple Avenue and West South Temple Avenue (and East North Temple Avenue, along with North East Temple Avenue. The Capitol Building, at night, makes for a wonderful view of the valley below and the mountains to the east (best with a brilliant moon).

Glad that her destination is within earshot of most of your travel intentions, and that you can make for yourself a comfortable familiarity with the general region, both for her sake and for yours. So now, tailor your 20 days of freedom to incorporate lots of the very local flavor.
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 02:32 PM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
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For the record, IF somehow I could know what I know now and be from OZ and shipping a daughter off to school in North America for a year... with those five possibilities in mind...

I'm sure Vancouver would be my top choice/preference.


And I know Cincinnati and Richmond would be #4 and #5 in some order.

... and I know that if I, personally, were caused to go to school in one spot or the other, between Washington, DC and Salt Lake City, I would choose Salt Lake City... but I admit that people from far, far away may prefer to be immersed in the U.S. Government and surrounds, as might be the case in DC.

The weather will be (gee, gotta be careful here)... more comfortable (on a 12-month basis) in S.L.C. than in DC... though some winter days/streaks will make you question that.

All in all I couldn't be much more content with the luck of your daughter's draw, with S.L.C.

It also sounds like your planned family trip will complement her anticipated experience very nicely.

(hope it now feels good to have ended the suspense, and to now have an image in mind)
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