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Old 05-14-2010, 06:48 PM   #1
TheTXTaylors5
He's the Mickey to my Minnie
 
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,380

California Backstage Magic DISUnplugged Podcast Tour: 04/13/10 Trip Report w/Pics

My husband I were lucky enough to experience our very first Adventures by Disney Tour with the Podcast Crew (Pete, Walter, Kevin and John) and 44 DISers.

DISCLAIMER: Your CA Backstage Magic Tours may or may not include everything we did.
SPOILER ALERT: This Trip Report goes into detail about the Tour.


Here's our Trip Report ...

Sunday - April 11, 2010

This is the first and only trip we have taken on our own since our first child was born almost ten years ago. So, it took a lot of pre-trip preparation not only to make sure DH (Bill) and I had all our bags packed. But, I had to make sure the pantry was stocked and my Mom and the Nanny had all the information and tools they needed to care for our children for a week. My Mom watched the kids during the evenings and on the weekends. The Nanny was hired to watch DS4 during the daytime and take DS9 and DD7 to school and pick them up in the afternoon and entertain them until my Mom got home from work. I was exhausted before this trip even began. I didn't get any sleep on Saturday night. I was busy doing laundry and making sure Bill didn't oversleep. We planned to depart around midnight. I am better off not sleeping at all than trying to sleep for 2/3 hours and try to wake-up. I usually feel more tired. I reluctantly woke Bill up out of a deep sleep around 11:45. The bags were all packed and just needed to be loaded into his car.

Believe it or not, even though Southwest is based in Dallas (Love Field Airport), we found cheaper non-stop flights on Southwest out of Austin to LAX.

We left our home north of Dallas around midnight to make the four hour drive to Austin. Our flight wasn't until 9 am. Meaning, we needed to be at the airport around 7 am. We were parking the car at an off-site lot and taking the shuttle to our terminal. So, we factored in that time and stopping once for gas and leaving time for any unexpected stops. We arrived near the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport around 5 am. We found the off-site parking. But, it was way too early to just sit at the airport. We passed a Waffle House on our way into the Airport. So, Bill made a u-turn and we decided to start the trip off with a nice breakfast. Since having kids, we haven't been to Waffle House that much. I got the cheese omelet and hashbrowns. The omelet was light, fluffy and oozing with cheese. It was yummy! Bill got the same with a waffle added. Of course, we both downed a couple cups of coffee. The caffeine was well needed! We slowly ate breakfast and still had over an hour before most people for our flight would arrive.

We decided to head back to the off-site parking. So, we could get our bags checked and just relax for a bit at the airport. I had two new books to read this trip and I couldn't wait to get started. Bill bought me Spinning Disney's World and Designing Disney right before the trip. Checking our bags was a breeze and at this time of the morning, security should have been quick. But, we encountered the Kansas State gymnastics team entering security at the same time as us. So, the line went from zero people to over sixty people in a matter of minutes. We had the time. So, this was only a minor inconvenience. I was getting a kick out of the students. More than half had on cowboy hats. I know I have nothing on me, but I always breathe a sigh of relief when I get through the metal detector without making it go off. However, it did go off. I took off all my jewelry and watch. The TSA Agent just did the wand and let me go on my way. I still don't know what made it go off because coming back home, I had on almost the same outfit and the metal detector didn't go off at LAX. Go figure.

Bill overheard a Southwest employee tell someone that our flight was overbooked and was telling me when the announcement came over the PA. They were "begging" for six people to fly out later. They offered all kinds of incentives (free flight later, $200 AND a free voucher for a one-way flight within the next 12 months.) It was very tempting. But, we had ABD waiting for us at LAX (or at least we thought). So, we stayed put. The flight was uneventful, which is always good.

This is what two adult looks like on their first trip without the children ...

happy!

We landed at LAX on time. What a chaotic airport! Bill and I made our way down the escalator to the exit expecting to see a smiling driver holding an ABD sign. However, we only saw RCI and Carnival cruise signs. Maybe, they were over by the baggage carousel. So, we headed over there to get our baggage and still no ABD driver. We got our luggage and decided to check outside. Maybe, they were waiting for us outside. No such luck. We waited more than 45 minutes before Bill finally called ABD. He got hold of a person that had no idea about our reservation and what he was talking about. Yes, very frustrating. It was a Sunday. So, we obviously got the low man on the totem pole. But, they took Bill's mobile number and said she'd call him back. Thirty minutes later, still no call. So, Bill called ABD back again. The person told him they hire out the drivers. It is a third party. She could see our reservation and arrival information in the system. But, didn't see where there was a confirmation on who was picking us up. So, she said she would call the shuttle service and call us back. Fifteen minutes later, she called back and told us our best option was to just take a cab to the hotel and they would reimburse us. It was a minor hiccup in the trip. So, we went back outside again and found the taxi stand. Our bags were loaded and we were on our way to Hollywood!


Photo teaser ...
__________________
Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS13 DD11 DS8 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 08/DLH (DLR), 10/DCL - Magic (Southern Caribbean); 11/AKV;2015: 01/AKV ~ WDW Marathon Weekend, 04/ABD - CA/GCH(DLR)


Last edited by TheTXTaylors5; 05-28-2010 at 12:05 AM.
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