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Old 02-12-2013, 09:20 AM   #226
skier_pete
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Day 25: Australia Zoo part 2

After that, they had scheduled only once a day the big animal show is the “Crocoseum”. They had lots of different animals, but we were that close so I didn’t take a lot of still pictures. (Again, a lot of the time I take more video than stills.) The most interesting part of the show was the crocodiles. They had a large narrow pond in which they released the croc. They described how in the wild he would be nearly invisible under the water, without a ripple to show. Of course the clear water you could see him approached the keeper. They used vibrations and a (dead) chicken to bait him to come to them.







The park really wasn’t that crowded. I suppose being winter time, mid-week, there were only the out-of-town level tourists around. It definitely made for an easy experience though!

Here’s another Wombat:


Camels:


The Koala encounter I signed both DD and myself up for it. DW wasn’t that interested. There was one other little girl that joined in, but we had close to a ½ hour total, so we all had our fill of holding this girl. Again there was a keeper/handler and a photographer. The koalas themselves are pretty easy to handle. They are sort of dim, so they instinctively treat you like a tree and grip right onto you. This one was very mellow and easy to handle. Sharp claws made it a little tricky, as DD got scratched up until she put her sweater on.











They had actually a large area for Koalas, where they did the Koala encounters but also where you could get up close with Koalas for no extra charge. They had a few Koalas in low-set branches that were close enough to pet.





Finally, what happens when you take one of the cutest creatures in the animal kingdom, and then have a baby version of it. Well, you get cute squared, that’s what you get. Notice baby nestled in mama’s lap:







It was close to closing time by the time we left the zoo. We had decided to have dinner at the Beerwah Tavern in nearby Beerwah, but when we got there the dining room was not yet open. (It was a little before 5 PM.) so we decided to head back to the room. We relaxed for about an hour and went back out to the restaurant.

The place had been recommended to us, and this was a case where the food was actually very good, and not quite as expensive as most places. You still had to go up and order your own, and then wait in a second line for drinks. They had a guy in the Tavern doing trivia, and was asking for people to sign up. I finally relented, not sure (a) how I would fair with Australia trivia and (b) if I DID fare well, would they like ride us out of town on a rail.

The funny thing is the first few questions were very America-centric. Asking who the 12th president was or something like that. I started out OK with some movie trivia too, but then they got as I feared to some Aussie specific questions: “What product advertises with the saying…” Gah! Anyways, suffice it to say we did NOT win that first round, and by the time it was over it was time to go. The evening was spent relaxing and re-packing, this time with heat in the house! Tonight was sort of our last night “on the road” in Australia!
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October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK NEW TR
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:26 AM   #227
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Day 26: Last full day in Australia

We had a flight out of Brisbane at 8 PM tonight, so we still had the day to explore the Glasshouse Mountains. We packed up our stuff in the car and pulled out of Crookneck. The first thing we did was a hike up a mountain to a scenic overlook. Again, I tortured my family, and again they grumbled, but made it through this one.It was probably about a 30 minutes walk up the paved path, but it was a pretty steep grade.



The views were pretty cool though. Not only of the mountains, but you could see that the forest around the area was actually PLANTED. This is will the intention of harvesting the trees for wood in another 15 years or so.



The highway back to Brisbane:







After the hike, we did something for DW. She wanted to go to the Buderim ginger factory and tour. They had a few rides, a restaurant, shops and then a tour of the factory, so we decided to give it a try. It was a bit expensive, so we only signed up for one ride and the Ginger tour. They accidently gave us train ride tickets too.

The main ride was called Overboard. It was sort of like “It’s a Small World” in that it was the story of a Gingerbread man that escaped his two chefs and travelled all around the world running away from them while an extremely irritating song played over and over. Actually it was just like Small World except totally lame. DD posing with the Gingerbread man:





I took lots of pictures thinking of my fellow DISers. See if you can spot the Gingerbread man as he travels around the world evading those cooks!

















Hopefully I have shown you enough of this that you will never need to see it for yourself. A single ticket was $12, but the good news is since no one else was waiting to get on (WHY NOT, you ask!) they let us go around AGAIN!
After that, we ate some lunch at a little shop. And no, not everything had ginger in it. (Thank goodness!) We then did our tour of the ginger factory. Being an engineer I found this pretty fascinating, as while ginger is grown, it is processed here to form the candied form of ginger, as well as the syrup used for – yup – ginger ale. This plant is one of the largest in the world, and they process quite a bit (I forgot the amount – so you’ll have to settle for “quite a bit”).







From here we traveled to the town of Maleny, because we had heard there were some nice shops there where we could pick up souvenirs. The town is perched high on this ridge overlooking the valley, so it was quite a drive to get to. DD was getting tired, so pouted about walking. (She did enjoy the ginger tour, though it wasn’t really specifically for her.) We were able to pick up the last couple of gifts we wanted, including a frame for us.

From there, we drove down to Brisbane and got some dinner at a food court in the airport. The flight to Sydney was uneventful, and we made it over to our hotel. It was near 11 PM when we got to the hotel, and we had an early flight. The hotel was the IBIS, and the room was quite possibly the smallest hotel room I’ve ever seen, with just barely enough room to hold the two full-size beds and our luggage. The bathroom was even more of a miracle, seemingly only slightly larger than an airline bathroom, or more like a shower with a toilet and sink built into it. The shower did not have a lip, only the floor was slightly canted so that the water could fill the whole floor of the bathroom if you let it run too fast. I unfortunately didn’t think to get a picture, but I was glad we were only using it for a short time.

Up next, our first ever 40-hour day.

As a side note, there won't be an update for a little while, as next week we are leaving to visit my parents in Arizona. There really are only two days left of the TR - so hopefully I can wrap pretty quickly.

We also have sad news in that last night we had to have one of our kitty cats Benny put to sleep. He'd been sick since we got back from Australia with diabetes, and while we'd been treating him for several months, he was only getting worse. I was a very hard decision to make one of the saddest days in a long time. (We have been lucky to have death visit us infrequently.) So, a quick memorial to our lovely (pain-in-the-a$$) cat.

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December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
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November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
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The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK NEW TR
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:31 AM   #228
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I'm so sorry about your furbaby. Hope everyone is okay at home.


Great updates. Love the Australia Zoo pictures. If you don't tell anyone else, I'll also admit that I find Bindi a bit creepy.

But it looks like you got your fill of animals there.
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:14 AM   #229
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I'm so sorry about your furbaby. Hope everyone is okay at home.
DW is still very sad. Overall though we are coping OK. It probably will help us to go on vacation in a few days. Thanks for the hug!

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Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
I'll also admit that I find Bindi a bit creepy.
Yeah, isn't it a little weird the way they started selling her from like the moment her Dad died? I remember then trotting her out on American TV at the time. I mean, DD likes her and picked up some DVD copies of "Bindi the Jungle Girl", but from an adult viewpoint its like "OK - let's back off with the child exploitation here."
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October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK NEW TR
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:15 PM   #230
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Hope DW is better.


I also meant to say that I've been to the Buderim Ginger factory. I don't recall the not-IaSW ride. Something to not add to my bucket list.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:53 PM   #231
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Sorry about your losing Benny- I know how it feels. Very hard also to have to make the decision.

Glad you had a good time at the Zoo-must be time we went for another visit. They didn't have their own photographers back last time we went and I remember taking some good photos of an overseas rellie getting close with the animals. They were sad there this week as they lost their 60 year old elephant to kidney failure.

Also glad you got to see a little of the hinterland. I don't think anyone I know has done the ginger factory ride though I remember seeing an ad on a billboard a year or so ago and wondering what on earth is that?? the old train ride used to be lame enough. The factory tour is interesting though.

Have a good break away and thanks for taking the trouble to finish the trip-have enjoyed seeing Aus through your eyes.
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:52 AM   #232
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
I also meant to say that I've been to the Buderim Ginger factory. I don't recall the not-IaSW ride. Something to not add to my bucket list.
Good choice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie Wendy View Post
Sorry about your losing Benny- I know how it feels. Very hard also to have to make the decision.

Glad you had a good time at the Zoo-must be time we went for another visit. They didn't have their own photographers back last time we went and I remember taking some good photos of an overseas rellie getting close with the animals. They were sad there this week as they lost their 60 year old elephant to kidney failure.

Also glad you got to see a little of the hinterland. I don't think anyone I know has done the ginger factory ride though I remember seeing an ad on a billboard a year or so ago and wondering what on earth is that?? the old train ride used to be lame enough. The factory tour is interesting though.

Have a good break away and thanks for taking the trouble to finish the trip-have enjoyed seeing Aus through your eyes.
I didn't mention it, but we DID do the train ride as well, though we didn't pay for it. They accidentally printed the tickets for us, and decided to give them to us anyways. (Maybe felt sorry that we were paying $12 for the boat ride.)
The train ride was pretty bad in that it was quite long and slow. The tour, as you say, was really worth it. Not upset we did it, but

And thank you for your help with the trip. We feel that the Brisbane area was the one area we didn't have enough time to spend in. If we ever get back in another 10 years (or more) we would definitely go back and explore some more. (Just not at Buderim Ginger!)

I hope you stick with me through the end of the TR. There's really only 2 days to go, but we saw some fun sights in LA - the Santa Monica pier and Legoland! It's possible I may even make an update during my upcoming trip to Arizona. I should have this thing wrapped within a month I hope! That's good because we are only 3+ months from our NEXT Disney trip.
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1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK NEW TR
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:39 PM   #233
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That koala interaction looks so amazing! I used to LOVE koalas as a kid, mostly because I watched that Japanese anime show called Noozles. However, I can guarantee that's the only Japanese anime I have ever watched! The crocodile show looks pretty cool, although those always make me nervous because I think I would freak if I ended up at a show where a croc went rogue on the handler.

Looks like a fun time at the zoo overall! Oh yeah, and feeding the kangaroos looks pretty awesome too. The one of the kangaroo sticking his tongue out was too cute!

Hmmm, gingerbread It's a Small World...I think I'll stick with Disney's version!

Sorry to hear about Benny. He looks a lot like my sweet Linus that we lost shortly after Paxton was born It is always hard losing a pet. As much as they can drive you crazy, they are part of the family. My cat drives me insane sometimes, but I know I will be a mess when she goes.
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:51 PM   #234
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khertz
That koala interaction looks so amazing! I used to LOVE koalas as a kid, mostly because I watched that Japanese anime show called Noozles. However, I can guarantee that's the only Japanese anime I have ever watched! The crocodile show looks pretty cool, although those always make me nervous because I think I would freak if I ended up at a show where a croc went rogue on the handler.

Looks like a fun time at the zoo overall! Oh yeah, and feeding the kangaroos looks pretty awesome too. The one of the kangaroo sticking his tongue out was too cute!

Hmmm, gingerbread It's a Small World...I think I'll stick with Disney's version!

Sorry to hear about Benny. He looks a lot like my sweet Linus that we lost shortly after Paxton was born It is always hard losing a pet. As much as they can drive you crazy, they are part of the family. My cat drives me insane sometimes, but I know I will be a mess when she goes.
Thanks for the sympathy. We are at the airport and DW was talking about Benny again. It's going to take her some time.

The koala interaction was really great. It was pretty awesome to hold one and their instinct is to just hold on.

Overall the lesson is if you ever find yourself north of brisbane ... Australia Zoo yes, Overboard! no.
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1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK NEW TR
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:57 AM   #235
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Day 26 - The Longest of Days!


Man, my times between posts get longer and longer. I really want to get this thing done though. I promise anyone that has stuck with me, just another week or two to wrap up!

Day 26 – Australia Version

We had a fairly early flight out of Sydney, 9:50 AM, so we wanted to give ourselves plenty of time so we arranged for a shuttle to the airport at 7 AM. We thought this would give us plenty of time, almost 2.5 hours. Well, we get to the airport to check our bags, and Delta had about 8 counters open, and 5 of those 8 they were using for people who had medallion club/first class. So, we waited in line almost an hour, by the time we got to the ticket counter there were only about 4 other groups in line behind us. They gave us special passes to allow us to skip through the security lines, saying we “barely” had time to make our flight. (Now at this stage, there was still almost 75 minutes until departure, even with the time it took to check our bags.)

What we didn’t realize is that for some reason they expect everyone to be aboard the plane 30 minutes before the flight – so suddenly we only had like 45 minutes to get through security and to the departure gate. Unfortunately, DW had bought an opal ring that she had wanted to get the tax back at duty free, but there was no time left for this – so we took a $50 hit on this. It turned out we had to walk what seemed like about 2 ½ miles to get to our gate. So, even though they breezed us pretty quickly through security and customs, we still got to the gate they were already almost done boarding the plane. I had just a few minutes to run over and get us something to eat for breakfast. (I think they eventually served some food on the plane, but not right away.)

The flight to LAX was about as uneventful as a 14 hour flight can be. Flying east, you go through a period of daylight and an even shorter period of night. Because we left in the morning, we didn’t really feel particularly tired on the plane. I ended up watching four (FOUR!) movies on the plane using the in-seat system. I can’t even tell you what they all were, but I had to be extra cautious to pick movies that wouldn’t show disturbing things to DD. (One of the guys in front of us was watching a sex comedy that had considerable nudity, so these movies weren’t “edited”. I don’t think DD could see it.) I remember I watch “In Time” with Justin Timberlake, which was OK/stupid sci-fi. I also watched “Mission:Impossible 4”, which I totally loved the first time and liked just as much the 2nd. Can’t remember what the other two movies were right now.

Anyways, had a few drinks as well (FREE DRINKS!!) and just as we were getting tired and ready to sleep, it seemed it was time to land. Calculating it out, 10 AM departure + 14 hours means our internal clock said midnight in Sydney. Of course the actual time said it was 7 AM when we landed. On Thursday, August 16th. That's three hours before we left Sydney. Where's Doc Brown when you need him?

We then had to drag ourselves through the two rounds of customs (one for us, one for our bags) and finally we were out in sunny, warm LA. We next had to get a shuttle to the hotel, which was the LAX Marriot. We were going to rent a car here as well as we had a few days, but we didn’t need the car right away, so rather than rent the car that morning, we just went to our hotel. I would go back and get the car in the afternoon, and save a day’s rental.

So, Here was the one place that our travel agent steered us VERY, VERY wrong. She told me we needed to get a room for the previous night in order to check into the hotel at 9 AM like we were doing. Well, we pre-paid the three nights, and had a pretty darn good rate ($108 a night), but it turned out our reservation had been canceled, because we hadn’t shown up the night before. They were able to give us a room anyways, and regive us our reservation, but I ended up eating that extra night because I couldn’t get it refunded, even though it was a travel agent screw up. (I did only a few hotel rooms and our rental cars through a travel agent, everything else I did on my own.) I was too tired to be upset about it really, and just glad to get to a bed. We went to sleep, and set the alarm for 2 PM, giving us about 5 hours of sleep.

Day 26 – USA Version

This actually worked out pretty good. We got up and our room was immediately off the pool (1st floor) so we got suited up and went out to the pool for a few hours. It was remarkably breezy by the pool, but the pool was heated – Take that AUSTRALIA! - and was pretty comfortable. After swimming for a while, we decided to spring the surprise we had for DD. If she wanted to, the next day we would drive down to LEGOLAND! She was SOOOO excited about this. In fact, so excited that almost all she talked about after the trip was how she got to go to Legoland. (Yeah, the Great Barrier Reef – psht!)

Anyways, that wasn’t until tomorrow, my plan for tonight was to head out and do something fun in LA for the evening so we would be tired enough to sleep at night. My suggestion to the family was to check out the Santa Monica Pier, as none of us had ever been there. So, we waited late enough to miss the worst of LA traffic, and arrived at the pier at very close to sunset, so probably around 8 PM. The place was VERY, VERY busy, turned out there was a big concert going on that night nearby might’ve been the reason. We took a few pictures of the beautiful sand beaches of LA:







We decided to eat at Bubba Gump’s. A chain, but one we’ve never eaten at before. I don’t know what it was, but we just enjoyed this meal so very much. I had the mixed shrimp four ways. (I couldn’t help thinking I gotta try all of Bubba’s “Shrimp” recipes!) The food was awesome as was the service. And the prices seemed sooo reasonable. We spent about $90, but that included appetizer and dessert and drinks and tip. Yikes! Fun meal, too.
We left Bubba Gump’s and went out to the pier. It is interesting to note that the Santa Monica pier, apart from it’s fame in movies and TV, is also the END of Route 66! I thought I took a picture of the sign, but apparently not.





They of course had an amusement area. The price for the pass was sort of expensive, so what we decided to do was get the pass for DD, and then for us we only got a single pass so we could all ride the Ferris Wheel together. DD rode maybe a dozen rides on the various kiddie rides, including the pirate ship. Then, we rode up and around on the Ferris wheel.











We stayed there probably until around 11 PM, long after the concert had broken up. There were still a lot of people around. DD got fascinated with dragging her shoes full of sand and then dumping the sand out onto the pier, so we sat and did that for about 10 minutes. We then went back to the car and headed back to the hotel. For those keeping track, this was approximately the 40th hour of Thursday, August 16th. (10 hours in Sydney, 14 hours on a plane, 16 hours in LA)

We had close to a two hour drive the next day and were hoping to get a decent night sleep. Surprisingly, I think we all fell asleep pretty well, though I don’t think either DW or I slept particularly well, waking up rather early.

Still to come…Legoland and the trip wrap up.
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1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK NEW TR
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:38 AM   #236
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Oh man, that time change had to be ROUGH. Talk about the longest day ever, literally!

Oh man, kids...after exploring a whole continent/country, she was most excited about Legoland!!! Kind of like getting all kinds of cool gifts for Christmas and having more fun with the boxes, but on a much larger scale!
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:51 AM   #237
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khertz View Post
Oh man, that time change had to be ROUGH. Talk about the longest day ever, literally!

Oh man, kids...after exploring a whole continent/country, she was most excited about Legoland!!! Kind of like getting all kinds of cool gifts for Christmas and having more fun with the boxes, but on a much larger scale!
It was really odd. The time change was tough - but I never really had an issue with falling asleep. However, for about a week I kept waking up really early. Overall, it wasn't any worse than the 3 hours from California. It probably helps in my case that I sometimes have to work shift work and stay up all night - which I hate - but I find now that I've stayed up for 5-7 nights in a row, one night is pretty easy.

Yeah, the whole kids thing - we spend all this money on awesome vacations, when typically all you need to do is go to a hotel with a pool and a splash pad and you are golden as far as your kids care. And what's especially funny about how much she loved Legoland is she wouldn't ride almost ANYTHING!

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Old 03-06-2013, 03:51 AM   #238
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Oh.....Groundhog day. Welcome to the travel experience of the Aussies!
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:55 AM   #239
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You did well to keep going for your 40 hours - yeah-think of us-we do this ALL the time!! Sorry but I'm with your TA on the hotel-we normally pay an extra night after a long haul to check in immediately on arrival (but we do contact the hotel directly and let them know we won't be checking in the night before) as at so many hotels its 3pm strict or the most concession you get is maybe 1pm check-in if they aren't too busy. After the long flight you just want to stretch on a bed, have a shower and chill for a bit. If we are in our room by 7/8 am we often nap for a strict 4 hours (none of us sleep on planes-we set our phone alarms) then go out sightseeing and go to bed at the normal time that night. Looking forward to seeing your Legoland pics!
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:58 AM   #240
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
Oh.....Groundhog day. Welcome to the travel experience of the Aussies!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie Wendy View Post
You did well to keep going for your 40 hours - yeah-think of us-we do this ALL the time!! Sorry but I'm with your TA on the hotel-we normally pay an extra night after a long haul to check in immediately on arrival (but we do contact the hotel directly and let them know we won't be checking in the night before) as at so many hotels its 3pm strict or the most concession you get is maybe 1pm check-in if they aren't too busy. After the long flight you just want to stretch on a bed, have a shower and chill for a bit. If we are in our room by 7/8 am we often nap for a strict 4 hours (none of us sleep on planes-we set our phone alarms) then go out sightseeing and go to bed at the normal time that night. Looking forward to seeing your Legoland pics!
Well, I guess you only do it ALL the time if you are coming to the States and/or Europe ALL the time, right? Do all Aussies travel internationally? I mean, we have some friends that travel, but NONE have gone to Australia except for the ones who have relatives there. And there's a lot of people I know that never, ever travel anywhere. I have to imagine it Australia the percentage of people the travel internationally is higher than the US, but also the majority must never or rarely travel.

I give you guys a lot of credit for the travel you do, though. I couldn't imagine doing that kind of trip, especially coming to the US East Coast, on any sort of regular basis. NOT even for Disney World!

We did pretty much what you do Wendy, crashing in the room and slept for a few hours. In the end, we got our room, which is why I didn't get too worked up about it, but there was some obvious mis-communication that went on. I had specifically asked our TA if we should call the hotel the night before, and she said "No it was all set" and then when we get there to have them tell us "That's wrong" and "your reservation has been cancelled", well not what we wanted to here.

Gotta get some time at home to post those Legoland pics. I took quite a few of the models.
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1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK NEW TR
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