California Photos

Trip Journal

Departure date: 05/11/2018

We have more sightseeing than ever on this 16 day tour to California. We have some highlights almost every day. Come back here to follow our trip with photos and daily commentary.

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May 11, 2018 – Friday – What a rainy day to start a vacation. The rain continued until noon. That’s ok, we just spent the day riding on the bus. Tonight we’ll stay in North Platte Nebraska at the Fairfield Inn. It’s cloudy and 60 degrees.

May 12, 2018 Saturday- No sunshine yet today but we still had a good BBQ lunch stop in Cheyenne. We had a short city tour then stopped at Messengers Old West Museum. Restored cars, wagons, saddles and more. Western flair throughout the day as we drove to the Hampton Inn in Rock Springs Wyoming.

May 13, 2018 Sunday-It’s Mothers Day and we enjoyed some sunshine in Salt Lake City. We had a nice dinner then had a tour visiting Temple Square. We learned many things about the Mormon Church and their world headquarters. We attended an organ recital in the tabernacle then left for the Bonneville Salt Flats. It chilled off a little bit but was an interesting stop. Tonight we’ll stay in Elko Nevada at the Red Lion Casino.

May 14, 2018 Monday- This morning we stopped in Carlin Nevada for a tour of the Newmont Gold Mine. It was so interesting to see how gold is mined through the open pit process. There is so much big equipment and we got a close up look at the trucks then went to the mine site. It was a very enjoyable tour. This afternoon we arrive in Reno checking into the El Dorado Hotel in the downtown area. There are shops and casinos galore.

May 15, 2018 Tuesday-Sunny and 70 degrees as we crossed over into California. We picked up a local guide in San Francisco and he led us around the town.  Everybody rode the cable car, took pictures at the Golden Gate Bridge and finished the tour at the fisherman’s wharf. Our hotel is just two blocks from all the shops, restaurants and the noisy seals at Pier 39. It was a relaxing day full of sightseeing.

May 16, 2018 Wednesday- A nice sunny day in San Francisco as we visited Alcatraz Island. The closed federal prison has a guided tours and you get to see inside what life was like here. The cells are pretty sparse and small. Lots of birds inhabit the island along with many colorful plants and flowers. This afternoon we stopped at a winery arriving later at our hotel the Tachi Palace.

May 17, 2018 Thursday- The big sequoia trees are stunning. You have to look at these photos to get some perspective of how just big they are. This morning we drove past field upon field of fruit trees on our way to Kinsg Canyon National Park. At Kings Canyon we walked among these giant trees, the General Grant tree is one of the three largest in the world. It was sunny and just the right temperature. This afternoon we went to Yosemite National Park. We had a picnic lunch along the Merced River then continued further into the park for stunning views of “El Capitan”, “Half Dome”, “Bridal and Yosemite Falls”. It was a wonderful day full of some fantastic sites.

May 18, 2018 Friday- Back along the coast, sunny skies opened and we had a guided tour of the Hearst Castle in San Simeon. It’s an amazing home and a well conducted tour. The grounds, pool and home are outstanding. After lunch we continued reaching Ventura. We’re staying at the Crowne Plaza, a beach front hotel. We have a boardwalk and pier to walk on, there were even surfers taking in the waves.

May 19, 2018 Saturday-Today we had great weather, sunny and 70’s. We stared our day at the Reagan Library. So many details about the 8 years of his service kept us all interested, complete with the actual Air Force One inside for us to walk thru. After lunch, we headed downtown to tour the Warner Brothers Studio. We had a riding tour that took us to see how they transform streets and buildings into whatever they need. We also visited a few sets and prop shops to complete our time there.

May 20, 2018 Sunday- A local guide joined us for the day taking us to the Farmers Market, Le Brea Tar Pits and more. It was a full day of sightseeing ending at Hollywood Boulevard. Graumans Chinese Theater, the Hollywood Museum and of course the Stars Walk of Fame. It was a wonderful day with warm mid 70’s temperatures.

May 21, 2018 Monday- Leaving LA , we stopped at the Crystal Cathedral. Still undergoing remodeling, it was a stop appreciated by all. The Hour of Power church now belongs to the Catholic Diocese and will be open in June of 2019. Making our way to Nevada, the next two nights are downtown Las Vagas at the Golden Nugget. Plenty of shows, the light display and everything is right outside the front door of our hotel. Easy walking.

May 22, 2018 Tuesday-So far today we went to Hoover Dam for a tour. Sunny and 80’s already by 10:00 AM. Back at the hotel before noon, we have the rest of the day free to visit the strip, make arrangements for shows or  rest for an exciting night on Fremont Street.

May 23, 2018 Wednesday- Today was a travel day. The scenery through northern Nevada and Utah is fantastic. The rock formations continued throughout the day. Tonight we stay in Moab Utah and had a delicious BBQ dinner. After dinner some of us chose to ride the canyon land boat tour into the night for a patriot light show.

May 24, 2018 Thursday- at the Arches National Park, we had a guided tour getting all the information about weather, plants and the geological history of the area. Pristine blue skies, sunny warm weather and beautiful rock formations. This afternoon we continued through the rocky mountains onto Denver. Tonight we stay at the Drury Inn.

May 25, 2018 Friday- Heading home, today we stopped in North Platte Nebraska for lunch and a tour of the Union Pacific Rail yard. You can’t go near the tracks but they have an Observation building called the Golden Spike. It’s staffed with retired rail road employees. The size and number are astronomical. They use 500,000 gallons of diesel fuel every day. The rest of the day we’re on the road driving to York Nebraska for the night.

May 26, 2018 Saturday-Almost home. You can really get a snapshot of our trip with all the photos. It’s been a great time and we experienced so many places and people. You just can’t imagine.

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