A Big Holiday in USA!

Union Square, San Francisco

Union Square, San Francisco

Patty and I had the honour of being invited to a wedding in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA in September 2012.  It seemed a shame to only go for the wedding.  So, using our Wyndham Credits to assist, we made a big holiday of our visit to the USA. 

As part of the trip we stayed at the WorldMark Resorts in San Francisco; New Orleans; and San Diego.  We also used Credits with the Travel Club to help with a number of flights and some other accommodation.  In addition, we managed to snare accommodation at the extremely hard to get Manhattan Club, New York, through RCI.

San Francisco is a cool place to visit.  So is its weather.  Therefore, I suggest you have a jumper handy with you.  We had a one bedroom, two bathroom unit.  It is a tastefully decorated older hotel.  The foyer is really well appointed, complete with fire place.  The “condo” building (as was described by the manager) is very close to the heart of city; Chinatown and iconic cable cars.

Frisco is as hilly as you read, but if you like walking, as Patty and I do, you can easily find your way around.  We did the touristy things like a half day bus trip around the city, including a visit to the Golden Gate Bridge.  This gave us a good snapshot of the city.  We visited the must-see, Alcatraz, and went on a sunset cruise around the harbour and watched the daily fog rolled in.  We also made a full day trip to Yosemite National Park.  Well worth seeing (and a lot warmer than Frisco).  All excursions were booked through the Resort.  We also made sure to ride the cable car, and yes you are allowed to stand on the outside, as I did twice. The city is well worth a visit with well situated accommodation.

Horse & buggy ride in New Orleans

Horse & buggy ride in New Orleans

New Orleans – Crescent City – Nawlins’ (depends who you are talking to), abounds with the renowned Southern hospitality, especially at the welcoming WorldMark Avenue Plaza.  It is ideally located in the Garden District.  The famous Mardi Gras has its route right in front of the hotel.  The hotel itself comes with its own pre-Civil War haunted house on the site, with free tours available (but not at night).  There was even a two piece jazz band playing in the common room one afternoon for guests’ entertainment.

The quaint street cars run outside the hotel right into Downtown New Orleans and stop opposite Bourbon Street, the party central of a party city. When we were there the tracks were being fixed up but will be ready in time for the Mardi Gras and American football Super Bowl in early 2013.  The Garden District abounds with beautiful Civil War era buildings.  You can almost imagine sitting on a wicker chair on the veranda, sipping on a Mint Julep waiting for Scarlet and Rhett to ride past on their horses.  Besides a tour around the city that freely talks about its destructive hurricanes and see the restoration work; as well as a paddle cruise up the mighty Mississippi; we would recommend a swamp tour to see the ‘gators and other wildlife outside of the city.

USS Midway floating museum in San Diego

USS Midway floating museum in San Diego

We were not long in San Diego, but the WorldMark San Diego Resort is up to the usual, very well appointed standard which we have come to expect.  We caught taxis downtown, for convenience, but it was not expensive.  Coronado (by ferry); old town (by train); and Balboa Park (walking from the Hotel) are all well worth visiting.

What is a visit to the USA without going to the “Big Apple”?  The Manhattan Club is ideally situated.  It is two blocks from Central Park and four blocks from Time Square.  Both easy walking distances as are a lot of the must sees in Manhattan.  There is too much to do in New York for us to recommend favourites.  But a few things we did, was to buy a two day hop on hop off bus ticket with four specific routes; saw Broadway shows by purchasing discount tickets in Time Square; and caught a bus from the bus terminal to Woodbury Common.  This is a factory outlet shopping mecca for designer goods.  Clothes and accessories are normally cheaper in the USA than Australia, but these prices are much cheaper again.

The USA is a very large country and by using Wyndham Credits to stay at a myriad of resorts available makes the journey that much more affordable.

Terry and Patty, 

WorldMark Owners since 2004

2 thoughts on “A Big Holiday in USA!

  1. Hello Wendy

    It was a great holiday with a lot of planning was involved.

    Once the wedding date was set (15 September 2012) we came up with a rough itinerary and some of it depended on what Wyndham had to offer. Having been to the USA 3 years previously, we wanted to see different cities this time. We booked the resorts in San Francisco; New Orleans and San Diego for 7 nights each in November 2011 which was the minimum number of nights available at that time and 9 months before the start of the trip. We also went on the wait list for the Manhattan Club in New York at the same time. Other accommodation was booked in New York as a backup. This particular accommodation did not require payment until 48 hours prior to checking in.

    A close eye was kept on what was still available at the booked resorts through the year. As our itinerary firmed we changed bookings in San Diego and New Orleans. We booked 3 nights in San Diego on 23 July. Once this was confirmed we cancelled the 7 night booking. On 7 September we booked 6 nights in New Orleans and subsequently cancelled the 7 nights. We kept the 7 night booking in San Francisco though only used it for 5 nights as there was no other availability to make another booking.

    In August we were offered 7 nights in the Manhattan Club. We could not use the first 2 nights (due to the wedding we attended) but still accepted the offer and used it for 5 nights. We changed our other New York booking from 7 to 2 nights with no penalty.

    In June we contacted the Travel Club and arranged for them to make internal USA flights and other accommodation bookings, using our credits.

    We hope this information helps and are willing to assist with any other enquiries you may have.

    Regards

    Terry and Patty

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