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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Winnipeg, Manitoba - for now.
    Posts
    9

    Default April - Indio/Rosarito Beach/San Diego/San Francisco/Portland

    Hey All,

    This is my 2nd post in 10 minutes, but this one at least has more notice.

    April 19th - Fly into Indio, CA. Going to the Coachella Valley Music Festival.
    April 24th - Drive to Rosarito Beach, Mx.
    April 26th - Drive to San Diego
    April 28th - Drive to San Francisco (long drive, split 2-3 ways, will take PCH)
    May 1st - Fly SFO to Portland, Oregon
    May 3rd - Amtrak to Vancouver, BC (Home)

    I guess I'm looking for any advice, any thing we shouldn't miss etc. We'll be doing Alcatraz in San Fran. I love the Gocars, so we'll do that in San Diego (I've done it in San Fran). I really want to drive PCH, but I know it'll just be a driving day...no visits into Monterrey or Carmel. Beyond that...our schedule is open.

    Thanks,

    Tyrel

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default

    What are you planning to do for transportation? I don't know of any car rental company that will allow you to drive their cars into Mexico.

    San Diego to SFO basically can't be done in a day via the PCH. Even if you never stop, it would be about an 18 hour day, and that in the unlikely event if you don't hit any traffic in the LA area. Bare minimum you need 2 days here even if do "just driving days"

    Have you considered taking Amtrak all the way from SFO to Vancouver? It would likely be a lot cheaper than trying to fly part way, and I believe its a pretty scenic trip.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 02-17-2012 at 06:58 AM. Reason: added info

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    I agree with Michael on all counts. You won't be able to take a rental car into Mexico. With things the way they are down in Mexico, it's a good place to stay away from anyway (these days). SD to SFO along the PCH is a 2-day drive. It's a long drive even if you take I-5....a good 12 hours (because traipsing through LA is difficult at any time of the day except between 2 am and 4 am. Even there, we've found a traffic jam or two!).

    Another thing to remember is that mid-April can be "spring break" time. I haven't looked to see when the colleges/universities are taking spring break. (I no longer have children in college.) You might want to research that, as it will affect any beach time you've schedule. Water is still fairly "cold" in April for the Pacific Ocean, even as far south as San Diego.


    Donna

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Winnipeg, Manitoba - for now.
    Posts
    9

    Default

    We will be renting a car from Palm Springs Airport, parking it in San Diego (we have a spot) and taking public transit/cab down to Rosarito. It's a waste of a rental car, for sure, but it's cheaper to go that way than two separate rentals.

    I realize that it's going to be quite the drive, and I know you truly advise against long drive days, but we'll have multiple drivers, so it will be okay (and it won't be icy like North Dakota was). I would like to have a stop day in Pismo Beach, or that area, but it's just not in the cards. We may take the I5 up past LA then cut over. I just did PCH from SD to LA - which was amazing, and I'd love to try again, but...it seems like unless we can fenegle our way into some accommodations along the midway point.

    We also will again look at transportation from SFO to Portland, but last month when we were pricing things out the price difference was only about 10-20 bucks, and the amount of time you save is huge. I've Amtrak'ed from Van to San Francisco about 5 years ago, and it was a good time. I'd love to do the drive one day, but we have a bit of a time restriction and need to get back to Vancouver on a certain date, Amtrak from San Fran would really just be cutting into our Portland time.

    If we do end up getting accommodations along the midway point (San Luis Obispo, Pismo Beach or whatever) is Hearst Castle worth stopping at/what are other major points of interest?

    Thanks!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Winnipeg, Manitoba - for now.
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Donna,

    We will certainly be going to Mexico. I appreciate your advice, however we have our reservations booked...and beyond that, we aren't worried. We'll keep our noses clean and stay out of trouble :)

    I think we should be clear of Spring Breakers - I'm not *sure* given that I'm from Canada, and our spring break may be scheduled differently, but even if it is "spring break" time - we're only ~25, so...bring it on! Haha.

    Thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default passing it on

    I suspect you are invincible and the warning will not be heeded, but even if you do decide to continue with your plans, the violence there is very much something you should be worried about - far more than worrying about having to cancel a reservation.

    The conditions along the Mexican border are so bad that US Marines based at nearby Camp Pendleton have been told they should not even think about crossing the border because of the extreme amount of violence in the area. Thousands of people -including innocent tourists - have been killed in the crossfire. If some of the toughest military men and women in the world, with experience in places like Baghdad and Kabul, are being told to stay away from an area, its something you might want to think about, even if you think you will be keeping your nose clean.

    Again, I have little doubt you will continue with your plans, but you should at least be informed about the serious nature of the situation.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Alternatives for your consideration

    Here are some day trip suggestions using San Diego as a hub I'm not sure that counting on a cab or public transportation to Rosarito Beach is a good plan. Once you're that far south, you'll find that the locals are friendly and helpful. This post is from a different time and location -- but you still might find it helpful to think about the preparation.

    The border can be very dangerous and I've had some personal experiences in that zone that I'm not in a hurry to repeat... But all that said, Mexico is a fun and engaging place in which to travel. The biggest problem is that your trip is so rushed that you'll probably look like an easy target to someone looking to cause you mischief. As Michael alluded above, keeping your nose clean is not really the issue. Gang lookouts will notice you as you enter the country and you may very well have company not of your choosing.

    The only way I'd want to travel in northern Mexico right now is in my own vehicle -- outfitted for the adventure or on a paid bus tour. But as long as you really understand that this will not be a safe Disneyland-like trip, you'll have an adventure!

    [As an aside, this member is a veteran of long, exhausting trips, while we don't recommend or even condone this road trip behavior -- here is a field report from a trip they took last year at this kind of pace. Clearly, they are capable of such journeys.]

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-04-2012 at 07:51 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Winnipeg, Manitoba - for now.
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Ah MM - I'm not invincible, but I'm not afraid. I feel that as long as I use my common sense and do what I can to reduce the risks, I should be okay. I know the border towns differ greatly from the rest of the country, but I've vacationed in Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo and the Mayan Riviera many times, and my parents have a place north in Bucerias (north of PV) which I've been to 3 times, including driving trips up the coast, though not overnight. Again, I acknowledge this is very different, but I also have done, and will continue to do my homework on how to best travel from San Diego to Rosarito. I would love to drive my own car, but it's simply not in the cards. If I could get some sort of private shuttle, I would. I'll continue to look into it.
    As Quebec Gen noted in the post by Mark, "if I'd watch the U.S. news everyday and believe that the bad guys I see there are representative of the average American, I would never even have ventured in the US." The murder rate in the US triples that of Canada - you can't let fear dominate your life, you just need to reduce the risks and act appropriately.

    Also - Mark, that field report was closer to last week than last year. My roadtrip experience is limited, however my driving experience is pretty solid. With my father (who actually is a professional driver, 15 years as a city bus driver in vancouver and another 15 as a crane truck operator in the Northern BC gas and oilfield) I drove out to Toronto from Vancouver in 54 hours, and I've made the journey from Vancouver to Fort St John, BC (~1300 kms) and back a number of times, on my own, during summers and winters. I make this "driving" vs "roadtrip" distinction because, as I'm sure you've noticed, I tend to have a destination in mind and make it my goal to get there asap. While I'm sure part of it is because of youth and immaturity, a large part is that I want to maximize the time spent in each end destination...I'm working on it though, I promise ;)

    Mark, I'm wondering what you mean by "looking rushed." Our foray into Mexico is one of the first things we'll be doing - and if we can head out at noon, arrive in SD by 3 - to the border by 5 and down to rosarito beach by 7. End of April, that far south? I'm thinking we'll have daylight to spare. And that's with a late leaving point, and extra travel time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Winnipeg, Manitoba - for now.
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Thoughts on using Solvang as a stop-off?

    My route is determined by timeshare resorts. When I graduated from my undergrad my parents gave me one month worth of their timeshares. That's why I have pretty set routes...
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 03-05-2012 at 04:22 PM. Reason: New Members May Not Post Commercial Links

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    Solvang is a very nice upscale town. If you have a timeshare there, take advantage of it.

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