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View Full Version : "Keeping up with Jones" -- Friday, January 26th -- Arrival


Rajah
02-08-2001, 02:28 PM
For once, I had almost everything packed the night before. Since we'd be changing planes in Phoenix and didn't want to wait to find our luggage in LA, we limited ourselves to what could fit in two carry-ons per person. Michael grumbled about this until it registered we were changing planes (I'd only told him half a dozen times), and then he was glad we'd insisted on going carry-on only.

I went into work for about three and a half hours, then went home to finish packing. Only once I got home, I realized I still had several hours and only about 15 minutes left of stuff to get ready -- for our longer WDW trips, I usually have about an hour or two left of things to do. So, being rather worn out already after two or three nights of restless non-sleep, I decided to just take a nap. My one hour nap turned into a two hour one, but when my parents arrived to pick us up, I was in much better shape than I had been when I got home.

4:15pm, and we were off. We left from a different airport than what Michael and I usually leave from, but we were also flying a different airline (Southwest instead of Continental) and really this airport is closer anyway.

I was a bit angry to find that they've added those "will a backpack even fit in here?" frames around the conveyer, though. Every time we go it seems this is smaller than the last time, and I swear one of these days you won't be able to fit even your backpack through those things :mad: But, all our carryon luggage did indeed fit, albeit barely in the case of two bags.

This time, we didn't have the digital camera hand-checked, and that left me wondering the rest of the trip if my fears were well founded and we messed up some of the programming on the camera. You'll see why later.

We arrived about 2 hours before our plane was scheduled to leave, and my dad caught up with us (he'd dropped us off at the gate then parked the car) about fifteen minutes later. While waiting for the line-up to begin to get our boarding passes, we took turns going to the food counter down the hall and getting something to eat. I had a hot dog, Michael had a couple of slices of pizza, and my parents split a roast beef sandwich. Nothing to write home about in any instance, but decent at least.

We were lining up to get our boarding passes 90 minutes before the flight was scheduled to leave, and then in line for the "cattle call" almost immediately after that. Since this flight was coming in from somewhere else, we wanted to make sure we were some of the first in so we'd have overhead space. We also hoped to find 4 seats together, but when we got on the plane my parents picked a row at the front of the wing and Michael and I really wanted right *on* the wing -- me for the smoothness of that location, Michael to watch the wing in operation. I spent several minutes bouncing back and forth between our seats before we decided it didn't make any difference, really, so we stayed in our respective seats on this full flight.

The ride out was mostly smooth until just before we reached Phoenix, where I failed to put the book down fast enough so got a little queasy. Thankfully the A/C was still on and working fine so by the time we landed I was feeling better. Then, the walk from one concourse to the other (where we were to catch our connecting flight) cleared up the rest.

Michael and my dad found out which gate we were supposed to be in and glanced quickly at the monitor, seeing that it was supposed to leave at 9:30, which meant we only had a short time to get to the other terminal. So they practically started running to check in. My mom and I, however, finished looking at the sign and saw that it said it had been delayed until 10:15, so we took our time. The guys were surprised when we finished their sentence when they started to tell us "guess what" ;)

So we had enough time for a nice leisurely snack on some more food -- Michael and I split a philly cheese steak sandwich and fries, as did my parents. Michael also had some frozen yogurt, though the only flavor and size they had left was vanilla non-fat large :eek: I also had a chance to work on some of the cross-stitch I brought just in case this happened, while my dad (who was to be our driver in LA) looked over the maps again.

The plane didn't end up boarding until almost 10:20 and I don't think we actually left until 10:35 -- the monitor said flights were delayed due to ATC (air traffic control) and weather in LA, and we all decided we'd much rather be delayed in Phoenix on the solid, steady ground with room to walk around rather than in a plane circling for an hour in potentially rough weather.

Amazingly, our pilot made up almost all of the time we were late getting to LA so we only landed about 15 minutes late. The only problem with that was that our gate wasn't ready so we ended up taxiing and having to just sit there until almost 10:30 (LA time) anyway (we were originally supposed to land at 9:50) :eek: .

We got off the plane and were all happy we'd stuck with just carry-ons, even if they were heavy. Following instructions from a coworker who'd just recently done this very thing (only he was visiting family who lived right near Disneyland), we went straight out the door to the shuttles and waited for the shuttle to our car rental agency -- National. Normally you have to go check in at the counter before coming out to catch the shuttle, but being members of the Emerald Club through work and thus having access to the Emerald Aisle, we were able to go straight there.

MAN I hate that island where you stand to catch the shuttles. Cars rushing by left and right, honking almost incessantly. I know I sure couldn't drive in those conditions, I'm too timid! I'd never get anywhere! We ended up waiting for about 15 minutes for a shuttle to show up (may have been less, but it sure felt even longer) but one did arrive. Just as I'd been getting at every stop so far, I got a reaction out of my Tigger hat ;)

We had a very lively and fun bus driver, but talk about crazy!! She did a good job, but there's no way I'd be able to drive there!! And people say the WDW bus drivers are crazy... they apparently haven't been to LAX!

She got us to the Aisle just fine, though, and we picked out our car. This was my first experience on Emerald Aisle, but it was a good one. They had a bunch of cars lined up and ready to go and you just pick the car you want and go. I forget what we ended up with... I think a Century (Buick?) but I'm not sure. It was white, 4-door, automatic with A/C, and full sized, though which was all that mattered.

We got some great directions from the DIS, maps, and coworkers on how to get to Disneyland, and those came in handy. From the parking lot we turned right, then right again on Century, then I think it was a left onto Sepulveda (sp?). From there we crossed over to the 105. Took that south to the 605 then to 91 then 5 then Harbor. It was very efficient and everything was labeled very well so we didn't get lost at all. :D

Once again I showed my wonderful sense of direction by thinking we were coming *up* from the south of Disneyland when really we were coming *down* from the north of Disneyland :eek: So left and right were backwards again, but this time I caught it before someone told me to look to my right ;) I finally figured out why my sense of direction is so messed up there, though. The first time in 10 years since I'd been there, I came up to LA from San Diego via the train station and a friend drove us from there to the hotel, coming up from the south and east. Then, when we took the Airport Bus the next May, it took us down some back roads to reach the south side of Disneyland and come up from there. So at least I have a reason for my confusion and now I'm set straight ;)

We pulled into the hotel with no problem and my dad and I went in to check in, Michael following a few moments later. The guy was very friendly (much better help than we'd run into either at the Anaheim Inn or Castle Inn and Suites) and set up some wake-up calls for us. One for 5 for my dad and me, then one at 6 for my mom and Michael. *Then* he pointed out that early entry was at *7:30* tomorrow. For some reason, possibly left over from my last trip in May, I was thinking the park opened at *6:30* and my dad and I would have to be there at *5:30* to get the buffet tickets. I'm *so* glad this guy pointed out our error -- we quickly had him reset the wake-up calls for *6* and *7* instead ;) He also made sure we knew about the preview at DCA.

We then went over to our rooms -- 198 and 199, connecting rooms, king bed, non-smoking just as we'd asked :D Actually, I hadn't even asked for connecting rooms, but Cathy -- the DU agent who made the reservations -- had gotten them for us :D

After taking some pictures of the room, getting things ready for tomorrow, and agreeing we wanted to try for 6:30 for the dessert buffet tickets, we all crashed for the night.

-Rajah
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Mary Jo
02-08-2001, 05:23 PM
http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/family/mirror.gif <font face="Comic Sans MS"><font color=#00009c>Rajah,
I'm getting a kick out of reading your trip report, especially your take on the traffic at the LAX. ;)

Glad you all got to the hotel okay. Now I'm off for the rest of your trip. :D

<font face="Comic Sans MS"><font color=#FF0066>Mary Jo http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/family/mms.gif
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ZerasPride
02-09-2001, 09:18 AM
Rajah - another great installment. Thanks for sharing your trip with us. Now, off to read the next installment!

Lisa

CBR - 10/98
BC - 10/98
BC - 6/00
GF - 9/00
Dolphin - 6/01

benolathe
02-09-2001, 08:21 PM
Nice report.

But, I was wondering what hotel you stayed at this time. You mentioned some from an earlier trip, but I didn't catch where you were staying this time.

Sheila
sheila.bennett@home.com
Wilderness Lodge; Dec 1999
Disneyland March 2001!

Rajah
02-10-2001, 02:13 PM
We were in the Best Western Park Place :D

-Rajah
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http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/rajah/mickeymoonsm.jpg

cdrtrisal@aol.com

(Links will return when I find a new place to host the sites)

minniecarousel
02-26-2001, 09:17 AM
I'm finally getting around to reading your reports! Good job!

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Marla Hellwig
03-06-2001, 07:27 PM
It's time to let the fun times begin. Thanks for posting!