California Family Road Trip

When california calls, you take a family road trip

There once was a show on tv about a blended family living in San Francisco that made TGIF the best night on cable. That show was Full House. From that show a burning desire to travel to San Francisco was born.

When we were given the opportunity to travel to California we did not hesitate. We packed our car and drove with 3 kids in tow through 6 states and 3 provinces. San Francisco proved to be the highlight of this trip.

When we departed Calgary on December 19th our kids had no idea where we were heading and for how long. We were about to drive from Calgary through Vegas on our way to Anaheim then back up the coast with a stop in San Francisco and back up through Portland and Vancouver. A total of 19 days on the road.

Believe it or not, road trips are what our family does best. We have done numerous road trips closer to home and the farthest to date was Chicago but this one was going to be our longest. Our first leg of the journey brought us into Idaho Falls and then into St.George, Utah for our second night. On our third night we rolled into Vegas.

When we woke the next morning, we headed further west into California. Our final destination would be Anaheim but we weren’t going for Disneyland for there was no interest in spending Christmas with Mickey and his gang. We opted to visit Sea World, Legoland and Universal studios instead.

Christmas however was spent lounging around the pool and enjoying the California sun. Coming from cold Canada swimming in December was a peculiar idea! Kids and adults had a great time. No presents were needed, just family time under the beating sun.

The road north

Although there was some amazing things to see and visit in Anaheim we headed north on interstate 5 towards San Francisco on the morning of 30th of December. By the time we reached San Jose we stopped to visit family and to stretch our legs and get a good night’s sleep before heading into San Fran.

For those who have never travelled in California, be warned. The traffic is quite exceptional especially for those coming from a place like Calgary and the prairies. For most of us a traffic jam is a herd of cattle crossing the highway en route to the mountains. California interstates never seem to sleep. To our dismay this was the most traumatic part of the journey.

Once we reached San Francisco it far exceeded our expectations! There were numerous places we had to visit and we were lucky to have a personal guide show us around. From the Golden Gate Bridge to the famous Painted Ladies, this place was very nostalgic for our 12 year old selves.

Fishermans Wharf was also a place that left us feeling all sorts of love. From the shops and the people the energy in this place was captivating. The streets were lined with what seemed like hundreds of people yet we never felt crowded. The smells alone would nauseate even the most veteran of fisherman but no one seemed to mind.

Who could also pass up Lombard Street? We drove and walked that street and it was worth every turn. Highlight of San Francisco!

The road home

We left San Francisco feeling enchanted with the city for all it’s picturesque and dreamy streets and scenery. Visiting this city far surpassed our expectations and we long for the day when we can return and absorb it’s charisma.

The road home took us through Portland, Seattle and into Kamloops. Although we missed the sunshine of California, coming home was a little bittersweet. Our family drove over 5ooo kms and spent a total of 7 days in a car. Despite the lack of sleep and comforts of home getting to be with the people we love the most made it entirely invaluable. This California family road trip was by far our favourite. For now.

To travel is to live

Hans Christian Anderson


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