Well, I'm back. I know all of you are very excited to hear this.
My full report, perhaps with additions as I think of them. Pictures to come in the next couple of days, I'm too damn tired to do anything that complicated right now.
Basic idea of trip:
Go down to Disneyland, maybe cut over to Vegas, and come back.
Friday (the Easter long weekend Friday), we both woke up late (my wife and I), so we left late, and got stuck in a nice 2 1/2 hour border lineup to get down to the states. So, 3pm, and we're on our way. Basically cut right through Washington with a stop in some bum-fuck town that I would never visit again in a million years for some Taco Bell cuisine. Can't remember the name, but it's somewhere between Seattle and Portland.
Cut over from said bum-fuck town over to the Oregon Coast. OH MY. I havn't been to the Oregon coast since I was like 4, so I don't really remember it. But thruth be told, if I were blindfolded and dropped off there, I would've though I was in BC. It's gorgeous - if you haven't been, go, and stay in a Bed & Breakfast right on the water. Wow. Just awesome.
So I spent a good portion of the night driving along the coast in the dark (given our late start time), and had no idea and thought it just looked like any other town. Come morning I came to appreciate it though. I was really hoping to do some stuff on the Dunes, but it turned out to be a busy weekend, and prices were high, and the wife was iffy, so we said screw it and drove to San Francisco.
When you drive into San Francisco from the North, at night, after having been with 4 or 5 cars for HOURS on the I-5 - well it's quite the experience. Basically, as soon as we got about 40 miles away, all of a sudden all 6 lanes (yes 12 lanes in total) going i my direction were PACKED, and people are weaving in and out and FLYING (probably doing about 130-150km/h) - and it's dark, and I'm in a place I have never been before.. so that was intersting. Next thing you know your at a toll for the Golden Gate bridge and those 6 lanes turn into 12, and then into aprox. 24 lanes for paying the toll ($2USD) for the priveldge of crossing the bridge. THEN it proceeds to go right back down to 6. Wow. My first taste of driving in a town where people drivng VERY aggresively, and actually know how to drive. I loved it. California also allows lane splitting with motorcycles, which I'll get into a little more later, but it scared the crap out of me to have a HD ride by within inches when I'm just crawling along the congested freeway.
Anyways, spent 2 nights in San Fran, beautiful city, WAY too busy for me - it took us about 45-60 minutes to into downtown (the fisherman's wharf) by car, had I ridden the bike it would've taken about 3 minutes - lane splitting as it's best.
Checked out this crazy house called the Whinchester house, if you haven't heard of it, I recommend you look it up and/or visit it. It's the widow of the guy who owned the Whinchester gun manufacturing company, and she was NUTS, and built an absolute insane house with windows in the floors and stairs that goto no where.
San Fran was nice, but BUSY. Lots of bikes. More on bikes later.
Then it was off to LA, and from San Fran we got to take this nice windy rode that took us right through wine vinyard country. Very cool, very nice. Oh and it's nice and sunny and warm everyday.
So I thought San Fran was nuts, and was dreading driving into LA, but by now my new found driving skills have taken hold and I have learnt that you don't need to signal, and that 4 ft. IS enough room to get a 4x4 SUV into another lane when traffic is moving. Try doing that 6 times to get across from the carpool lane to the exit you don't want to miss. Holy shit is that town crazy.
So we spent a day in Disneyland, a day in San Diego (mainly at the Zoo), and a day at Universal Studios and the Hollywood area. Man do they make Hollywood out to be a nice place on TV. It's a dive. I felt safer and felt the area was cleaner around Hastings and Main. Don't get me wrong, they have some nice stuff and some nice houses around, but it's a dive. Very disappointing.
Then Vegas. WOO vegas. Defintetly going back. Word of caution to ANYONE planning on going, BOOK IN ADVANCE. especially on a weekend. We coudln't find a room anywhere for less than $129USD a nite. Ouch. So we only spent a nite there, too bad - we're defintetly going back - they have WAY too many things to see (and I mean WAY too many). Awesome cars, awesome bikes riding up and down the strip makes Robson look like a joke, most people (at least from midnite on) are dressed to kill and ... well.. they had some very nice looking people. Scummy place don't get me wrong - but awesome.
Oh, and on the way to Vegas I stopped off at a little motorcycle shop called Chapparal. Oh, did I said little? I meant the biggest friggin' bike shop you've EVER seen. This place is like a department store. Take BK or RMS, or any other reasonable sized bike shop, and triple it's size. Now you have an idea how big they're floor for bikes is, and the accessories area is TWICE as big as that. It's HUGE. Painful to say, they had NOTHING I wanted. I would've picked up an Alpinestars Dyno jacket, but they didn't have the color/size I wanted so I'll have to order it online, but at least I have sizing for that stuff now. Wife found a nice Dainese jacket, but www.bimoto.be will be the way to go for that. Awesome shop.
So we spent the night in Vegas, were up to about 5am in the morning gambling, woke up at around 10am, went and gambled some more, and left for home at around 5pm. I haven't slept yet.. well, a 40 minute nap in the back between somewhere in Oregon and Portland. And that was it. 22 hours includning 4 meals and pit stops (And gas stops for that matter).
Guys that are planning on doing a bike trip down there - be prepared to be BORED out of your tree. I-5 or the 395 to Vegas are STRAIGHT as an arrow and they go for MILES AND MILES. I have a new found love for cruise control.
I have a whole bunch of things I learnt on my trip, but I'll post those with the pictures when I have a minute. I think my fingers are all worn out now. It's pretty nice here and I was thinking of going riding until I realized I'm going to fall over.