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  1. #1

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    How do you survive I-5 ?

    For many of us a trip to Disneyland means that long dull drive down Interstate 5. I swear I've done it a hundred times,some trips were great,others not so much. So I thought I'd put it out there. How do you get through the drive with your sanity intact. Are there places you like to stop? (Santa Nella for us) More importantly are there places you NEVER-EVER stop? Any funny stories would be great too.
    P.S. This is the first thread I've ever started, so if I've made any mistakes let me know.
    Thanks!!
    " Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed"
    G.K Chesterson

  2. #2

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    Re: How do you survive I-5 ?

    Well... I just got home (on Sunday) from a road trip down the I-5. From Vancouver, Canada to Anaheim. We do this trip every summer.

    Oddly enough, our second day is a layover in Santa Nella also! Mostly because of Pea Soup Andersen's.

    The second day of driving, from the Oregon border to Santa Nella, can be extremely boring. I often find that I am the only one awake in the car.

    Actually, the next morning, from Santa Nella to the Grapevine is rather boring too, but I think we're all jacked-up because we know we're only a few hours away from Disneyland, so that takes the edge off it.

    We tried a few new things this trip, like stopping at the Ghirardelli Outlet in Lathrop (about an hour north of Santa Nella). Great place to stop and stretch your legs. It's wicked hot outside, but they have a big ice cream parlour inside, and good deals on Ghirardelli chocolate!

    We also hit a few restaurants, along the way, that we saw on; Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives - which was cool. There's a place called Casey's, in Roseburg Oregon, which serves fantastic homemade meals. Crest Burger, in San Diego serves the most amazing hamburger (called the butter burger). We also skirted around Sacramento, and stopped at the Yolo Fruit Stand, and got a pile of nuts and fresh fruit. It was worth the extra 30 minutes off the I-5, as they had the best fruit I've ever seen! (and cheap local nuts).

  3. #3

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    Re: How do you survive I-5 ?

    Living in the Portland region of Oregon, my family used to take trips to Disneyland once a year while I was growing up. The drive could be boring, but not all the time.

    My dad used to be able to make the twenty-hour drive without a stop when I was very young. Since then, though, we would stop at Santa Nella for the night. Even if we didn't stop there for a sleep over, we would always stop at Pea Soup Andersen's for at least a meal, and a stroll through the gift shop.

    We would usually fill up the gas tank in Roseburg.

    There were a few other stops for gas, although I'm not sure where they were. We used to have some friends who lived in Coalinga in California, and we'd stop there to visit for a while. Back then, and it may still be, it was a very small community where it seemed like everyone knew what was going on with everyone else.

    My dad likes to drive, so even if we would stop at Santa Nella, it would only be because we were getting to our destination the next day.

    These days, I just fly. I've spent enough time in the back of a Camaro, which is a lot like sitting on the floor, but with no room to stretch out, that I'm not interested in making the drive anymore. Airfare can be less expensive, depending on the number of people going, after all.

  4. #4

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    Re: How do you survive I-5 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyDee View Post
    We tried a few new things this trip, like stopping at the Ghirardelli Outlet in Lathrop (about an hour north of Santa Nella). Great place to stop and stretch your legs. It's wicked hot outside, but they have a big ice cream parlour inside, and good deals on Ghirardelli chocolate!
    I owned a house in Lathrop for about 4 years. Funny enough, I only went to Ghiradelli's once.

    I know the I-5 stretch all too well. I've literally driven that stretch of highway a hundred times, either going to Anaheim or Indio where my older brother lives (and I did too for a while). From Santa Nella to the Grapevine is probably the most boring leg for me, and depending on time and hunger we will either stop at the Lost Hills, Buttonwillow, or Grapevine exits to eat and top off the gas tank.

    How about them Coalinga cows....you all know what I'm talking about.
    Last edited by chadwpalm; 08-26-2014 at 09:16 AM.

  5. #5

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    Re: How do you survive I-5 ?

    Buttonwillow

  6. #6

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    Re: How do you survive I-5 ?

    We call it "The 5."

    That's how we cope.

    iPod on shuffle. With 4000+ songs, you never know what will come up next.

    Last time I drove it was for a family trip to Seattle. It took three days, but we took in a lot of sights on the way and on the way back.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  7. #7

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    Re: How do you survive I-5 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShelbyH View Post
    Buttonwillow
    I don't know why but I love the name Buttonwillow.It sounds so quaint. The exit sign that always makes me smile is the one for Pleasant Valley State Prison, I do wonder how Pleasant that place really is.
    " Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed"
    G.K Chesterson

  8. #8

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    Re: How do you survive I-5 ?

    Pretty simple:

    Ipod with 10k songs, and a 04 GT packing 450hp

  9. #9

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    Re: How do you survive I-5 ?

    I live in San Diego, so, unless we stop to grab a burger along the way, usually a non stop hour and a half drive.
    "Have I gone mad?"
    "I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are. "

  10. #10

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    Re: How do you survive I-5 ?

    We drive down 101 instead!
    I much prefer driving 101. It is pretty and there are more places to stop. It goes the ocean. Yes. It takes longer but, for us, it is worth it. If we are on shorter trips we may drive down 101 and then home via 5. occasionally we will drive 5 both ways. But driving from Sunnyvale and not Northern California or Oregon also makes it easier.

  11. #11

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    Re: How do you survive I-5 ?

    When visiting family up in NorCal we take the 99. That's where the majority of Central Californians live - more places to stop and eat/rest/shop. There's also more stretches of 3 lanes on the freeway. Californians for some reason don't know how to drive on a 2 lane road.

    In SoCal, surviving the 91 from the IE to OC is more a test of patience than anywhere along the 5.

  12. #12

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    Re: How do you survive I-5 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by chadwpalm View Post
    How about them Coalinga cows....you all know what I'm talking about.
    yep... peeewww!

  13. #13

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    Re: How do you survive I-5 ?

    I like audiobooks or podcasts, but I will zone out on them after a while. One of my favorite games comes from a soundtrack I found at the library a few years ago with 100 TV theme songs. It's a combination of "Name that Show" and just reminisce about childhood. Most people under 30 won't know these shows, unfortunately.

  14. #14

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    Lightbulb Re: How do you survive I-5 ?

    We refuse to drive #I-5 from the Bay Area because of the horrifying gauntlet of "Cowschwitz" at Coalinga. Yes, I know it makes no difference to the animals there if you drive down #101 and spare yourself the sight, but confronting it for mile after mile is soul-destroying. Passing through its real-world misery to/from the fantasy-world delight of Disneyland is just too much of a karma-destabilizer. We prefer to assimilate life's inevitable hypocrisies in smaller, blurrier doses.

    #101 is also the better choice because of its positive and varied scenery; even apart from Coalinga #I-5 is just an endless slog through post-apocalyptic desert. #101 takes a little longer, but gives you an excuse for pleasant overnights in places like San Luis Oblispo [if you haven't stayed at the
    Madonna Inn, you've missed one of California's greatest overexcesses!], Solvang, Santa Barbara [say hi to Charlie Chaplin's ghost at his Montecito Inn].

    Detour a little longer down CA#1 through Carmel, Big Sur [lunch at
    Nepenthe!], and San Simeon [the indoor swimming pool at Hearst Castle is probably the most eeriely-haunted place on Earth]. It bumps back into #101 just below Morro Bay at SLO. On your way down to Santa Barbara, if you're whining about missing Pea Soup Andersen's in Santa Nella, console yourself at the original in Buellton. I swear I'm gonna take a few cans down to Club 33; "corn chowder with sausage"?

    Once you hit L.A., you're stuck on #I-5 for the last several miles to Anaheim. I suspect that Angelinos keep blow-up dolls in their cars to McGyver their way into the car-pool lanes, but can't document this yet. Just get the multi-CD set of famous Disney songs, make sure you have a full box of Kleenex to cry your way through "Feed the Birds", "Colors of the Wind", and the many other tear-jerkers, and sniffle all the way until you see the gleaming peak of the Matterhorn.
    ______
    Rachane

  15. #15

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    Re: How do you survive I-5 ?

    I've always wanted to try the drive from BC to Disney, but being just me, cannot justify the cost of driving since flying is cheaper overall.

    I find the best way to deal with long drives overall is to give yourself time to stop along the way and see the sights, don't rush yourself, and make the drive part of the trip and experience overall.

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