We have a 4 night trip coming up in early May. We fly into and out of Oakland, landing at noon and leaving at 1pm. We are an almost-5 year old prone to car sickness but okay with dramamine, an introverted nature and solitude lover (husband), and an extroverted pregnant lady who can't walk as far as she wants because of a back issue (me). I have been to SF and Sonoma on a brief trip. Hubs has been to San Jose on business.
We are torn about our itinerary. We know we want to get down to Monterey/Carmel, and we also want to see capital-G-Gigantic trees and not have to elbow a tour bus to do it. Those are our priorities. We aren't too concerned about san fran proper except to view the golden gate and perhaps drive across it.
There is SO MUCH that every time i narrow it down i feel like i'm missing the best part. Here is the itinerary that makes sense, but does not include the Capital-G-Giants of Sequoia and/or groves in Yosemite or the "better" groves in Armstrong.
Day 1: Arrive in Oakland, drive to SF, see GG bridge, take trolley, maybe or maybe not cross the bridge depending on traffic, weather, etc.
drive to half moon bay to stay the night (*or should we just go all the way to Santa Cruz?)
Day 2: Big Basin (though I'm worried about this w/ my carsick son), Henry Cowell and the railroad, Santa Cruz boardwalk strolling, back to half moon bay to stay the night
Day 3: Monterey bay aquarium and bay boating (kayaking or small tour), relaxing, taking in the area
stay in Mont Bay
Day 4: Carmel by the sea, point lobos, 17 mile drive, stay in mont bay
Day 5: back to OAK for departure
Question: would you eliminate some of this to make the long trek to see the bigger trees? if so, where? we are open to switching hotels more often but don't want to overdo it. I know the parks we are visiting are nice, but am i wrong to feel like we're going to rome to see a bunch of awesome churches but skipping the vatican because the lines are too long or something? does that make sense?
ive read a ton of these forums which is how i got my itinerary in the first place but i can't shake the "what am i missing" feeling. thoughts?