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Old 12-11-2010, 11:34 PM   #271
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Yeeeeaaah, that little argument aside, I still had a great time hanging out with you But that happens sometimes I just really don't like being on Main Street during fireworks or parade unless I get there early enough to beat the crowd. It's just a thing with me, especially from working there and from going to high school where I went.

Anyway, I definitely had a good time hanging out with you those couple days Also, I bought the mailer for the Photopass disc today, so I'll be popping that into the mail soon
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:09 PM   #272
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So where's the CA TR?
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Old 12-14-2010, 02:21 AM   #273
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Originally Posted by DisneyFirefly View Post
Yeeeeaaah, that little argument aside, I still had a great time hanging out with you But that happens sometimes I just really don't like being on Main Street during fireworks or parade unless I get there early enough to beat the crowd. It's just a thing with me, especially from working there and from going to high school where I went.

Anyway, I definitely had a good time hanging out with you those couple days Also, I bought the mailer for the Photopass disc today, so I'll be popping that into the mail soon
It was great. I'm still hoping for a lottery ticket win so I can join you for your birthday!

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So where's the CA TR?
I'm thinking about it.....
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Old 12-14-2010, 01:21 PM   #274
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In case anyone is interested, I've started My Mad Dash for 1 day at DLR PTR/TR ...

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Old 12-15-2010, 03:30 AM   #275
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Day 4 – Heading towards San Francisco

After the late’ish night last night at DTD, I was deep in DreamLand when the alarm rudely went off at 6.40 am…..again! I was ready to throw that alarm across the room!

DH planned yet another early start as Conference kick-off was 8 am.

So, I faced the perplexing conundrum of….
Do I try and sleep-in or do I get up, get ready and head towards Animal Kingdom?

What the heck was I thinking?!!!

The sleep-in won hands down. I’d spent the last 3 days, after flying for a whole day straight, pretty much commando at the World and here was an opportunity to stay in bed and catch up on some much needed sleep.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get back to sleep….and after tossing and turning for about 20 minutes, I gave up. I decided that I would get up and wander around the resort. I also needed to organize to get our bags to the main complex so that we could catch ME to the airport.

So, after grabbing a shower, I called Bell Hop and arranged a suitable pick-up time. Problem was….that meant that I wasn’t going to have enough time to get to Pepper’s Market, have breakfast and get back to the room. So, breakfast got delayed that morning. But, I took the opportunity to take a few more shots of the resort…and the results have already been posted in a very early post.

I waited for Bell Hop to arrive and when they did, the bags and I got a ride back to the main building.

As an international traveler and someone who had already experienced the resort check-in earlier in the year, I had worked out that I was NOT going to check the bags all the way through from CSR. The reason was that CSR would have charged me the baggage fees; and with two bags, the fees were $50. As an international traveler, we don’t get charged for the first bag each. With two bags, our fees would have been $0.

Try explaining that to the CM working at resort check-in!

After 15 minutes of ever decreasing patience in explaining the same thing in 101 different ways, the CM gave up. I know he didn’t understand but as I was holding on to the line of “airport check-in = $0”, he figured that I wasn’t worth wasting any more time on.

So, with that sorted, I headed to Peppers for breakfast. I knew I had time for a leisurely breakfast, so I decided to sit-in and pay the 10% service fee.

And because this was a later breakfast time for me than normal (it was already close on 10 am), I decided to order this for breakfast.





Yup – the Eggs Cooked to Order breakfast, complete with Muffin, Hashbrown and Bacon.

(And if a certain ball giver is lurking about my TR, you’ll be pleased to know that I thought of you at this point. I moved the bacon up to the top so that I could take a shot of it – just for you!)

The hashbrowns were particularly good and the bacon was delicious.





I needed about 3 cups of coffee that morning before my brain finally kicked into gear. DH had texted me during the morning to let me know that he would be heading out of the conference sometime near 11 to catch ME.
I still had 20 minutes to kill; and it was turning out to be another one of those unseasonally hot and humid October days for Orlando. In fact, I’d caught on the news that morning that the Meteorologists were expecting that day to break the hottest day in October record since records were kept! It was going to be in the 90’s.

So, I wandered into Panchito’s Gift Shop. I saw the votive candle holders and the CD in the shop. Turns out I could have done most of my shopping at Panchito’s without needing to go to the parks.
And then it hit me! Maybe…..they would have the backscratcher…..





YES!

Armed with my prodding stick, I headed over to the Convention center and waited for DH.





It looks like a nice place to attend a conference.

There was a Mears bus waiting outside. Turns out that there were a bunch of conventioneers booked on ME. DH and a whole bunch of people came out and we started to board the bus. I know a bus is a bus; but it sure wasn’t Disney Transport to me!

We didn’t get the standard CD telling us where to go when we got to the airport; nor were the seats decorated with Disney motif.

But it left on time and because there were so many of us, we didn’t stop at any other resort.

DH and I grabbed our bags and checked us in…no charge.

MCO must be about the only airport in the world where something like this does not seem out of place!





Then we had time to meander through the shops at the airport and to grab lunch. We decided on S’barro. I got the Pepperoni pizza – my first pizza slice for this trip.





DH got the salad…and the bread.





And it was time to board our flight.





We flew American Airlines and were heading to Los Angeles LAX before transferring to a flight to San Francisco SFO. So, we knew we would have time to have dinner at LAX and didn’t purchase extra food for the flight as we normally would have done.

The flight was thankfully uneventful. DH and I spent the time going through my photographs. He had been so busy with the conference that I hadn’t yet been able to share the detail of my time at the World with him. I was pleased to learn that my photography impressed him!

The benefit of flying American for us is that we get to use the American Eagle lounge. DH is a Qantas Club member and has reciprocal rights in partner airlines. So, when we arrived in LAX, we headed for the lounge and grabbed some free drinks and nibblies. We also decided to order a sandwich and a soup in the lounge. The lack of pictures is an indication of how unporn worthy the food was.

And then it was time to board our flight to SFO.





We landed on time, got the car hire and headed over to our hotel.


I love being in San Francisco and there is always a sense of homecoming whenever I see the bay. This is where we choose to stay when in Silicon Valley. You could almost call this our home in the US.


Our lounge room and TV.




Our kitchen.




The master bedroom, King Bed.




Sink area.




Master bedroom ensuite Bathroom.




There is a walk-in robe to the side of the sink area; I didn’t take a picture.

Second bedroom, Queen bed.




Second bedroom sink area.




The second bedroom ensuite bathroom is pretty similar to the master bedroom.

We were staying here for the next 2 nights!


Up Next: Around Silicon Valley


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Old 12-15-2010, 10:53 AM   #276
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That hotel room is so pretty!
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Old 12-15-2010, 06:40 PM   #277
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Hmmm I'm experiencing deva vu, somehow I feel like I've seen those pictures before....
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Old 12-17-2010, 02:50 AM   #278
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That hotel room is so pretty!
I love it. It's a nice place to chill out and relax.

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Hmmm I'm experiencing deva vu, somehow I feel like I've seen those pictures before....
I'm guessing that you've been to my new PTR/TR....
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Old 12-17-2010, 07:32 PM   #279
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Day 5 Around Silicon Valley: Update 1 – Stanford and Rodin

After the long’ish travel day from DTD to San Francisco, I was deep in DreamLand when the alarm rudely went off at 6.40 am. We might have been in a different town – but DH still was on a work trip.

DH had a full day of meetings planned and he needed to get up and about. I decided that I should at least get up and join him for breakfast. Afterall, he was working and I wouldn’t be seeing him again until the end of the day.

The place we were staying at includes a hot buffet breakfast. There is usually an egg option, a meat option (bacon, beef pattie or sausage), a cooked veg/fruit (tomato or mushrooms) and a potato accompaniment (diced or hash brown). And there is also the sweet selection – waffles or hot cakes, the various assortments of pastries, fresh fruit, yoghurt – as well as oatmeal. I didn’t take a picture of the breakfast we had on any of the morning we were there because there is usually a whole host of business people – some of which are my DH’s work colleagues – at breakfast. It just doesn’t seem appropriate to do so.

Our home away from home is a great base for Silicon Valley and the Bay Area. It is close to a number of shopping malls, warehouse outlets, tourist traps and great restaurants. Plus, it is really close to a CalTrain station for that easy access into the Downtown San Francisco area.

So, after dropping DH off at the work campus, I had the car and the whole day to myself. The only plans I had for the day was to catch up with my cousin, who was planning on catching the CalTrain down to meet us. She would call me later in the morning to confirm which train she would be on and I would pick her up at the appropriate station.

It was barely 8.30 am. I decided that I would head to Stanford University to check out the Rodin statues. I had been to Stanford many years ago – when a friend was working at the Linear Accelerator. We got an insider’s tour then but in those days, digital photography had not been invented.

The visitor information at Stanford was very helpful. They provided me with a map and pointed out some areas that I should go visit as well as the statues.














There are about 40 Rodin statues on the campus. Such amazing treasure just available for anyone to walk up and admire the craftsmanship of his very visual work.

FYI – The last time a Rodin statue sold by auction was in about 2008. It fetched nearly $20 Million. It really is something to think about, isn’t it? Especially when Stamford just has their 40 statues just displayed out and about in the open.


















By this stage, my cousin had called me to say that she had been delayed and was going to be catching a later train. We’d arranged the appropriate station and time to meet and I found that I still had about 90 minutes to kill.


Up Next: Silicon Valley Food


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Old 12-17-2010, 07:39 PM   #280
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Day 5 Around Silicon Valley: Update 2 – Silicon Valley Food

With time on my hands, I decided to head next door to the Stanford Shopping Mall. I didn’t have a big shopping list with me this time. But I couldn’t resist the opportunity to take a look in my favourite stores. DH had also told me that I should get myself a Pandora charm (or two) for our wedding anniversary, which was (then) about a month away.

But when I got there it was after 2 pm, I realized that I still hadn’t had lunch and was starving! I did take some time to take a look inside some of my favourite stores but my heart wasn’t really into the shopping. Have you ever tried shopping when your tummy is growling at you? Well, I find it really hard to focus on anything else.

So, I headed here instead.




Lunch comprised of a hearty pumpkin soup. That bread stick was just delightful and dense. Plus, I didn’t taste too much added sugar; so I was really happy with my choice.




I know I’ve just talked about not having too much sugar in the bread, but this was my chosen snack. Hey – take a good look at the shop! It IS French.

The snack was just chocolaty and rich and packed with calories! But SOOOO worth it.




And I decided to go the whole hog and had this to drink with my meal.




The best thing about that lunch was the company! As I sat down with my lunch, an older gentleman walked up with his golden labradour. He was looking for a seat and as I had a larger table with 4 chairs, I asked if he wanted to share the table with me. He was delighted to share the table and asked if I would hold on to the dog whilst he went inside to get his afternoon tea. The dog’s name is Prishka and the older gentleman is “Edward”. Edward and Prishka were fantastic company. It turns out that Edward was retired and came into the Mall at least 3 or 4 times a week to enjoy an afternoon treat. Edward used to own his own business in Stanford and lived up in the hillside. I wished that I had taken a photograph of him and Prishka. I am hoping that when I head back to San Francisco in January that I may bump into him and Prishka again.

In the end, I spent way too long chatting with Edward and completely lost track of time. I missed out on some shopping time and had to fly to go pick my cousin up. I ended up being 15 minutes late!

Lucky for me, my cousin hasn’t got a choice – I am family (and still her favourite cousin); so late or not, she didn’t complain and we were really happy to see each other again.

I took her to my favourite bakery and pie shop for more snacks and to catch up about family news.

This is part of the goodies on display…




My cousin decided to select these items. Both were yum!




And I went with my favourite American pie.




I also had a pot a tea to drink. Our bill came to under $10. Such a bargain!

My cousin and I had a great time chatting and catching up on family news. But we still had over an hour to kill before DH would be finished with work. So, we headed over to a nearby suburb to browse the shops. After being at the World, it was almost a relief to come back to Earth and see normal shops and normal prices. Don’t get me wrong, I would have loved to still be at the World; but as I wasn’t, I still had to adjust to reality. My cousin had a great time with the shopping, as she needed to work out her costume for a Halloween party she was going to.

Me? I found it hard to look at stuff that did NOT have Mickey ears. I really had a bit of an issue adjusting to reality that day!

It was soon time to head back to pick up DH. We headed back to our suite to meet up with DH and when my cousin realized that we had an extra room, she decided to stay the night with us. If only we had realized this earlier, she would have packed extra clothes. As it was, we worked out that her needs were minimal and she could pick up what she wanted if we went shopping that night. What a hardship that was going to be!!

DH and I didn’t have a lot of shopping time on this trip and this night was always going to be the night that we would get some shopping done. We’d decided that we were going to spend the night looking for…toys for DS. The nearest Mall had a Lego shop and Games Stop. We hit the mall and did enough damage on the credit card in a very short period. We also needed to find Bakugan for DS and after the mall, we headed to the nearest Toys R Us and Target. Sadly, neither had any the Bakugan DS wanted; but we picked up clothes and other toys for him.

And we made sure that didn’t forget to eat. We went to an old favourite Malaysian restaurant for dinner and just made it in before the kitchen shut for the night.

We started with Roti (flat bread) and curry for appertisers. This was pretty good.




We then moved on to the fried noodles (Char Kaoy Teow)…




a spicy fried vegetable (Sambal Okra)…




and a stir fry seafood, tofu and vegetable dish.




We also had a soup based noodle dish. The soup is a spicy tamarind based fish stock (Assam Laksa).




The food was not as good as we remembered it. I’m not sure that we would go back there again. But the company was the BEST!


Up Next: Day 6 - Half Moon Bay, last minute shopping and time to go Home


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Old 12-18-2010, 01:29 AM   #281
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As someone who grew up in the birth of Silicon Valley I was going to call you on staying as far north as Belmont being nowhere near Silicon Valley, but I moved away over 25 years ago (showing my age) and when I googled it, and found on Wikipedia, that Silicon Valley has grown from the 3 mile radius of "Apple Way" (which is probably history by now since Apple has since moved to a complex that is probably 3 miles from Apple Way, only REALLY old timers remember Apple Way) to the entire peninsula on both the east and west bay!

Wow! I am truly a Southern Californian, and perhaps I'm glad (since I am in such close proximity to DL!). So Enjoy your expanded SV trip, I can't even give you tips since it's been so long since I've really been there, the only thing I know that is still there that isn't worth going is a Damn Cruise by the Damn near my HS which I don't even know the name of, but we used to drive that way home in HS because it was scenic and we enjoyed it. I always like to take that cruise when we go back because it is nostalgic, but for people who didn't grow up with it, there really isn't much meaning....

Anyways...I am reminiscing on your TR....let's get back to our regularly scheduled programing!
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:59 PM   #282
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Just caught up on your TR. Loving the food porn and those photos of Stanford came out great. Really gorgeous!
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Old 12-23-2010, 04:11 AM   #283
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Originally Posted by franandaj View Post
As someone who grew up in the birth of Silicon Valley I was going to call you on staying as far north as Belmont being nowhere near Silicon Valley, but I moved away over 25 years ago (showing my age) and when I googled it, and found on Wikipedia, that Silicon Valley has grown from the 3 mile radius of "Apple Way" (which is probably history by now since Apple has since moved to a complex that is probably 3 miles from Apple Way, only REALLY old timers remember Apple Way) to the entire peninsula on both the east and west bay!

Wow! I am truly a Southern Californian, and perhaps I'm glad (since I am in such close proximity to DL!). So Enjoy your expanded SV trip, I can't even give you tips since it's been so long since I've really been there, the only thing I know that is still there that isn't worth going is a Damn Cruise by the Damn near my HS which I don't even know the name of, but we used to drive that way home in HS because it was scenic and we enjoyed it. I always like to take that cruise when we go back because it is nostalgic, but for people who didn't grow up with it, there really isn't much meaning....

Anyways...I am reminiscing on your TR....let's get back to our regularly scheduled programing!
Glad you enjoyed your reminiscing. Scheduled programming resuming soon.

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Just caught up on your TR. Loving the food porn and those photos of Stanford came out great. Really gorgeous!
Thanks! I really love this part of the US and am lucky to be able to visit as often as I do.
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Old 12-24-2010, 06:26 AM   #284
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OT - Merry Christmas to All

It's about 30 minutes to Christmas and I'm sitting here waiting for Santa to arrive.
Norad Santa is tracking at Gizo, Solomon Islands right now. He's already hit Russia, Marshall Islands, Vanuatu and New Zealand....hmmmm....I wonder if this means that he's going to avoid going to that big island west of NZ....oh wait...he's heading for Micronesia.

We've just come home from dinner with my family and I'm waiting for DS to get into bed so that I can complete finishing touches for tomorrow morning. I still have at least 30 minutes; although given the amount of sugar that DS has eaten, he'll be bouncing off the walls for a couple of hours yet.

But I am getting way off topic.

Merry Christmas everyone. By the time you lurkers, drive-throughs and subscribers are reading this, Christmas Day would have come to Australia.




I thank you all for being here and becoming my ethernet family.

May Christmas be a merry and happy "feastival" for you and your family.
And here's to the completion of this TR in the next week or so.

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Old 12-24-2010, 08:37 AM   #285
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So now you have me even more confused. In the states we still have another day to Christmas. I know you're ahead of us...but only ONE day.

Well regardless....Merry Christmas!!!!

We're on the road, but hope to arrive at the parents shortly after noon.
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Alison ~~~~ A Haunting, plundering, and Fiesta Caliente | Our Disney Dream Home|Sleepy and Grumpy Visit Tatooine |Keep Your Eyes on the Road | I do get to go to WDW this year! | Expo 2013 | ...It's How You Play the Game | We need a little Magic... | TR - Pinch me... | Destination D-75 TR | It'll be a WONDER ... | Cheating on Mickey w/ Harry, PTR | D23 Expo 2011 TR | D23 D40 WDW in Detail | DCA F&W Review | Jan 2010 DR Visits 2015: VGC, VWL, DCL 2014: VGC, CSR, VGF, DCL 2013: VWL, BCV, DCL, AKL, BLT, VGC, 2012: VGC, DCL, 2011: VGC, BLT, OKW 2010: THV, AKV, VGC, 2009: BWV 2008: SSR, 2007: AKL & GF, 2001: AKL, BC & DCL 1997: DXL & WL 1993: GF, DL Too many to count since 1973!

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