hello fellow Vancouverite!
This is what we have done. We leave in the morning, stop in the afternoon at the outlet mall in Oregon right off the I-5. We get to browse the stores and get to stretch our legs for longer then 10 mins. There is also a subway there so we can grab lunch. Then we head to Yreka for the night (its a 10 hour day there) . we stay at the best western there. Pretty good price. Get up in the morning and hit the road. last time we stopped at a walmart for a 30 min break. Shopped a bit and grabbed a chicken meal for the road for lunch. Now this is the best part for me. Our final stop for the day is in Buttonwillow (it's 7.5 hours there). there is a best western there that was $75 for the night. Before the hotel is a restaurant called willowranch BBQ. I highly recommend stopping there for dinner. I think about that Tri tip dinner every day! . then we get up in the morning and again hit the road. It's a 2 hour drive into Santa Clarita, which is right before LA. We stopped there last time, grabbed some lunch and then headed to Griffith Observatory for a couple hours before we headed to the hotel. That way the longest part of the drive is the first day. Which I recommend, because by the second day we're all sick of the drive! And it was cheaper to stop in Buttonwillow then drive into Anaheim and just get a hotel room to sleep in for the night. Plus you aren't driving as much those 2 days. And I second the comment about the trip home just plain SUCKS! I've done the road trip to So Cal 8 times now (I flew once). and This is the itinerary we plan on taking again (hopefully this summer). What ever itinerary you decide, enjoy and have fun!