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Old 10-02-2008, 12:08 PM   #1
Claire L
Enjoys a good broadway show
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Cool 3 states, 3 weeks and 2000 miles in a Jeep - Day 1

Friday June 16th 2006

We were up by 3.45am and got dressed making sure we had all important documents ie passport, flight tickets and money, anything we had forgotten could always be bought DMIL and DSFIL arrived at about 4.20am and soon the car was loaded and we were off. Traffic was good so we were at the airport by 5.50am Check in opened at 6.00am so we were first in the queue and had to wait a few minutes whilst the desks were got ready. Tickets were soon issued for the seats I had pre booked which meant we were right at the back of the cabin by the stairwell and could recline without hindering someone else. It was then time to get the TC's from Travelex so DMIL and DSFIL went off to get a drink, some 20 minutes later we met up with them and had a farewell chat before heading through passport control and onto the Virgin Clubhouse. We didn't stop in the departure lounge as thought we could pop back later after our carryon had been stored in the Clubhouse. Well we found the Clubhouse and what can I saw wow the staircase up was impressive and I then handed over our voucher to the attendant at the door and we were quickly in. Our carryon was then handed into the storage desk, which was so different to Gatwick where you just have lockers to use. The new Clubhouse hasn't been open long and WOW it is huge and very very nice.



We had a quick nose around and decided to have a wander before ordering any food. There are so many seating areas including a formal dining area, the bar, a library, a chill out area, a deli bar, games area, huge TV screen and loungers along with a roof top terrace and a Beauty/relaxation area.

We decided to sit in the chill out area and ordered breakfast which was a full English breakfast with tea and an orange juice for Nathan. Soon after ordering the drinks arrived followed by the brekkie.





Mmmmm it was yummy After this we took a stroll around the lounge, checking out all the different area and then out onto the roof terrace. And then over to the Beauty/relaxation area which is called the 'Cowshed'. A very pleasant assistant showed us around and we took a look at the Spa.



We then took a brochure away to look at, soon after Nathan had a 'Floaty Cow' massage booked in for 8.30am and I had 'Fresh as a daisy' booked in for 9.30am. As we had a few minutes to spare we went to the internet bar and logged on whilst deciding what else to order. Nathan soon disappeared for his massage and returned 15 minutes later looking very relaxed We then ordered more food a bacon muffin for Nathan and a smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel for myself which I ate after my treatment as it was nearing 9.30am. Mmmmmm what a fab 30 minutes I had prior to the flight very relaxing After this I ate my bagel and we made our way to the gate as boarding had been called. Upon arriving at gate 19 the queue was rather large but as we had PE tickets we were able to us the Priority queue and we were soon onboard and settling in with champagne for me and orange juice for Nathan. I must say and Nathan agrees the Heathrow planes are so much nicer than the Gatwick the seats were more comfortable and the entertainment system was the on demand system



Take off was nearly on time at 11.25am. The crew were soon round with the drinks trolley I had vodka and diet tonic and Nathan stuck with coke. It was then time for the main meal which was a small salad then I had the chicken and pasta with mushroom and broccoli, which was quite tasty and the pudding was a chocolate mousse, very very yummy, all washed down with white wine. Soon after liquers were offered and I ahd a Baileys. The flight was smooth and the time passed, having the on demand entertainment system helped with loads of movies and games to choose from. Later in the flight we had a doze as the head rests were very supportive. Soon we were nearing the end of our flight and as we came into land got a great view over SF.





We landed at 1.30pm ontime. Once off the aircraft we headed staright for Immigration which had a huge line Eventually we were through and the luggage was only just starting to arrive, surprisingly ours all arrived very quickly so we soon scooted off to collect the car via the airport monorail. As we were doing a fair few miles we upgraded to a Jeep Cherokee.

At last we were heading to SF at 2.30pm The freeway was running smoothly until one point where the traffic slowed but it soon started moving again and by 4.15pm we had reached our hotel which was the Hyatt at Fisherman's Wharf. I had booked this myself as a special package to include parking and brekkie, knowing that valet is not cheap ($36 a day) it worked out to be a good deal. Checkin went smoothly and we got a nicely refurbished room overlooking the pool. The walk in shower was lovely and the LCD tv fitted the bill nicely.









Last time we arrived in SF we decided to have a doze, big mistake as we slept til 3am and woke up starving so this time we made the effort to stay awake and go and get a light dinner. Not wanting to venture far we settled for Knuckles Sports Bar at the hotel.

Not wanting much we shared a plate of Buffalo wings and I followed it with the BLT and Nathan had the BBQ chicken pizza, which was huge, all washed down with a Bud Light or 2. Soon after we head upstairs and fall asleep.

Claire


{ From the VA website a description of the treatments }

The following treatment includes their signature shoulder massage and takes 30 minutes, which includes consultation and changing time. So relax, sit back and enjoy the ride. Treatments must be completed at least 45 minutes before your flight departs.

FRESH AS A DAISY

An express facial pick me up, designed for people who need a refreshing and energising lift or have been travelling and find their skin dehydrated. Included in the treatment:
Shoulder massage
Double cleanse-exfoliation
Hot towel infusion
Eyebrow tidy

FLOATY COW

A 15 minute treatment on the massage horse concentrating on your back, shoulders and the pressure points on your neck and head. Oil- free, it is a quick fix to relax you for the flight.
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Old 10-02-2008, 12:10 PM   #2
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nice room
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Old 10-02-2008, 12:37 PM   #3
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Great start, I look forward to reading this, as I am interested in the road trip thing, I will be interested in your travels through 'real' America, and how you avoid the dodgy places etc,something that would always bother me.

Fantstic picture of te SF GG bridge.

Also did you et the Virgin Lounge as apart of the PE tcikets? or was that extra, cause if it was in with the ticket, it makes PE a bit more worthwhile, not sure what happens when you return though...
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Old 10-02-2008, 01:26 PM   #4
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I hope the lovely start is an indication of a wonderful vacation. Thanks and I'll be reading.
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Old 10-02-2008, 01:40 PM   #5
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Great start!
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Old 10-02-2008, 01:48 PM   #6
Claire L
Enjoys a good broadway show
Likes a nice cold glass of White Zinfandel
Has been known to have a blonde moment now and then
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin_cambs_uk View Post
Great start, I look forward to reading this, as I am interested in the road trip thing, I will be interested in your travels through 'real' America, and how you avoid the dodgy places etc,something that would always bother me.

Fantstic picture of te SF GG bridge.

Also did you et the Virgin Lounge as apart of the PE tcikets? or was that extra, cause if it was in with the ticket, it makes PE a bit more worthwhile, not sure what happens when you return though...
As we had booked a flydrive through VH added the CH on as extra but it was well worth it

Claire
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Aug 90 to Mar 98 - 6 visits to US and 20 states visited, inc 2 trips to WDW and 2 trips to DL Jun 01 - WDW Grosvenor DTD 2wks + TIG St Pete Beach 1wk Jun 02 - WDW WL 2wks Feb 03 - New York 4nts Jun 03 - West Coast 3wks SF to LA & DL for 3 days Oct 04 - WDW AKL 10nts + RPR 2nts Jun 05 - WDW YC 10nts + HRH 4nts + TIG St Pete Beach 1wk! Jun 06 - SF to LV inc Lake Tahoe, Yosemite + the Grand Canyon 3wks Dec 06 - NYE at WDW POFQ 11nts inc RPR 1nt Oct 07 - WDW SSR 2wks inc PBH 1nt May 08 - WDW AKV 15nts inc PBH 1nt + VB 4nts Feb 09 - WDW SSR 1wk + BWI 1wk Jun 09 - Washington DC for 1wk Dec 09 - New York for 6nts Oct 10 - Miami 3nts & WDW AKV KV 13nts inc HRH 1nt Jun 11 - LA to Seattle for 3wks inc 3 days at DLC Oct 12 - WDW AKV KV 2wks inc PBH 1nt Oct 14 - WDW AKV KV 2wks inc PBH 1nt
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Old 10-02-2008, 01:50 PM   #7
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love the photo's from the plane fab room.
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Old 10-02-2008, 02:30 PM   #8
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Great start
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Old 10-02-2008, 02:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire L View Post
As we had booked a flydrive through VH added the CH on as extra but it was well worth it

Claire
was the club house much extra? and was it worth it?
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Old 10-02-2008, 02:34 PM   #10
Claire L
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Has been known to have a blonde moment now and then
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin_cambs_uk View Post
was the club house much extra? and was it worth it?
£60 each minus the FVC 10% discount and out of that we got two meals and a treatment plus use of a lovely relaxing area for 3 hours.

Claire
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Aug 90 to Mar 98 - 6 visits to US and 20 states visited, inc 2 trips to WDW and 2 trips to DL Jun 01 - WDW Grosvenor DTD 2wks + TIG St Pete Beach 1wk Jun 02 - WDW WL 2wks Feb 03 - New York 4nts Jun 03 - West Coast 3wks SF to LA & DL for 3 days Oct 04 - WDW AKL 10nts + RPR 2nts Jun 05 - WDW YC 10nts + HRH 4nts + TIG St Pete Beach 1wk! Jun 06 - SF to LV inc Lake Tahoe, Yosemite + the Grand Canyon 3wks Dec 06 - NYE at WDW POFQ 11nts inc RPR 1nt Oct 07 - WDW SSR 2wks inc PBH 1nt May 08 - WDW AKV 15nts inc PBH 1nt + VB 4nts Feb 09 - WDW SSR 1wk + BWI 1wk Jun 09 - Washington DC for 1wk Dec 09 - New York for 6nts Oct 10 - Miami 3nts & WDW AKV KV 13nts inc HRH 1nt Jun 11 - LA to Seattle for 3wks inc 3 days at DLC Oct 12 - WDW AKV KV 2wks inc PBH 1nt Oct 14 - WDW AKV KV 2wks inc PBH 1nt
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Old 10-02-2008, 03:09 PM   #11
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Lovely room+great plane pic of Golden Gate Bridge.x.
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Old 10-02-2008, 04:13 PM   #12
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Great start with fab photos
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Old 10-03-2008, 06:20 AM   #13
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Great start to your report and wonderful photos.

Great pictures of Virgin Lounge - what a wonderful way to start a holiday

Next time we go to San Francisco we definitely want to stay in Fisherman's Wharf and your hotel looks ideal.

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Old 10-03-2008, 05:06 PM   #14
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Brilliant start to your trip report! Love your photos of the great Virgin lounge and from the air over San Francisco!
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Old 10-04-2008, 10:26 AM   #15
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It was so peaceful doing that and I loved it!
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Great start and lovely photos
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