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Old 09-07-2012, 03:33 AM   #76
Minnie Sue Oz
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Oh I am so glad you lovely ladies like DD's costume. I can't wait until it arrives!!!! And yes, I thought very age appropriate too

Wow, weddings are so much fun to plan!!! Congrats to your friends, it really is a wonderful thing ( I have been with my DH for 24 years now and I wouldn't have it any other way )

I do hope you got some great bargains at DFO. I love that place. I actually am working from our Sydney office this coming week so I may just have to pop in to see if I can get a bargain or two myself!!!

My BFF has just returned from a trip to the USA and they loved their Grand Canyon tour. I will check with her and let you know who they used
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:35 AM   #77
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Thanks Minnie Sue, having trouble comparing the grand canyon tours!!

DFI was a great day total cost of what I got: $116.75 for a skirt, tee shirt, bra, hoodie, uggs and 6 various kitchen items (mainly gifts). What the original cost of these items were: $268.99 :O savings of $152.84 is good to me you never know what you'll find!
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:24 AM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frangipanisam View Post
Awesome costume for your DD Minnie Sue, very age approrpiate compared to what you see teens wearing for Halloween in movies (ie. Mean Girls )

I'm going to hunt around and see the best deal I can find for Ursula because I want it sent here so I can try it on and see how it goes. I saw it awhile back in the $40's so hoping I can find something similar.

Off to DFO at Homebush today, will have a look at luggage (hoping for a good deal in Ripcurl ) to see what deals they have down there. Other then that mission just going to browse and maybe get some new clothes for the trip

We're having a meeting on Sunday to book our two last flights (LV to SF, SF to LA) and most of our entry tickets. Still looking at Grand Canyon flights from Vegas if anyone has some tips or suggestions it would be much appriciated!

OHHH I forgot to share some exciting news! Bec and her partner got engaged last Friday! So we'll have three single Sam's and one very engaged lady on our trip my two besties are now both engaged (within two weeks of each other) so I'm off to the bridal expo in Sydney with Bec while pretending to be Nikki (whose not coming on the trip) to get freebies for her ahh I love weddings so I'll be in my element once I'm back from the US

looks like September 2013 for Bec and April 2014 for Nikki so lots of fun ahead
Can't help with flights over GC but did do helicopter tour with papillon helicopters. Great experience as we got to land and get out for a while on the canyon floor. Good service too.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:28 AM   #79
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Can't help with flights over GC but did do helicopter tour with papillon helicopters. Great experience as we got to land and get out for a while on the canyon floor. Good service too.
I would definitely recommend getting one that goes to the bottom of the canyon - it's a completely different experience and you really don't get any idea of how far down it is just from the top.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:33 AM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melbourne5

Can't help with flights over GC but did do helicopter tour with papillon helicopters. Great experience as we got to land and get out for a while on the canyon floor. Good service too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by zanzibar138

I would definitely recommend getting one that goes to the bottom of the canyon - it's a completely different experience and you really don't get any idea of how far down it is just from the top.
Thanks Melbourne5 will take a look a that company, good to know you guys had a great experience with them

We're definitely looking for a helicopter trip that lands in the canyon, not just alight over it I'll take a good look at some tomorrow & see how that goes.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:41 AM   #81
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We're definitely looking for a helicopter trip that lands in the canyon, not just alight over it I'll take a good look at some tomorrow & see how that goes.


When we first saw the canyon from the top we thought we could see the bottom and were amazed at how far down it was. However, when we were riding our mules down the next day we realised that it was only half way
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:20 AM   #82
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Just got the link from my friend! They highly recommend it and it looks like others do too!

http://www.papillon.com/popris/show_...125&lang=en-US
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:42 AM   #83
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Thanks Minnie Sue that's the company Melbourne5 recommended too so I'll take a good look tomorrow at work & compare these tours with other companies.

If they are all on par price & experience wise we'll go with them considering people have had good experiences with them
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Old 09-08-2012, 01:19 AM   #84
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Make sure no matter who you go with you google their name and coupons to get a bit if a discount . With the mob we used I booked direct , found a coupon and saved 15% on top, and still booked direct. The coupon was in some Vegas guide book on the net that we never saw once we got to Vegas.....! But the coupon code worked!!!
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Old 09-08-2012, 06:55 AM   #85
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Thanks Melbourne5 I'll keep that in mind

Now I had a good look in Strandbags in at DFO and I think I have decided to buy my luggage in store only costs a little bit more, has a 7 year warrenty and I know its decent.

I'm looking at the following:
a) Dimensions = 151cm, weights 4.95kg http://www.strandbags.com.au/luggage...itcase/3065403
b) Dimensions = 144cm, weights 4.4kg http://www.strandbags.com.au/luggage...itcase/3095435
c) Dimensions = 137cm, weights 4.4kg http://www.strandbags.com.au/luggage...itcase/3065414
d) Dimensions = 126cm, weights 3.6kg http://www.strandbags.com.au/luggage...itcase/3095434

Now all four are cheaper in store then online and I have now got to pick between three different combinations to make the most of the size and weights considering I'm packing the smaller one into the larger one for the trip over.

#1 buy suitcases A and C, matching set combined weight of 9.35kg and largest measurements totalling 288cm. Cost $168 online, can't remember instore prices possibly $150 mark?

#2 buy suitcases A and D, not matching but should nest based on measurements, combined weight of 8.55kg & measurements total 277cm. Cost $144.50 (1 online & 1 instore price)

#3 buy suitcases B and D, matching set combined weight of 8kg and measurements total 270cm. Cost $121 instore prices

Help would be much appreciated in figuring out which ones to buy!

I've already ruled out a third set because it was $220 for two for the same size as option #3 but it was pretty demask style print in black. I figured I'd rather spend money in DL
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Old 09-08-2012, 06:38 PM   #86
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Good Morning Sam!!!

Just wanted to let you know that we actually bought 3 sets of A and C for our month long trip in 2010. They are are extremely durable and we managed to get DD's in hot pink!!!!

They have certainly had some flying time since then and we will be using them again next month! We also got them on a special and thought they were good value for the money

We still managed to go over the weight limit with 2 of our bags on the way back It cost $70.00 US for the excess baggage charge for the 2 bags combined. But, we were theer for a month and we did bring back some heavy/bulky stuff so we really didn't mind!!!! I had considered posting some stuff home, but by the time we mucked about trying to find a post office and then pacakaging up all the stuff, it really worked out cheaper and so much more convenient to pay at the airport.

One tip, grab yourslf a set of luggage scales! It is only a little thing that you can throw in your suitcase and that way you will be able to shuffle weight and keep an eye out if you are going to go over. Then it won't be a shock when you get to the airport
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Old 09-09-2012, 06:56 AM   #87
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Thanks Minnie Sue, definatly still weighing up which option to go mainly regarding weight. Bec is borrowing her mums travel scales so we're set on that front and three of us have already planned on buying a third (cheap) suitcase over there and paying the $100US charge for a third bag rather then any over-weight charges who doesn't want an extra 23kgs

Now we had a great day today, America booking followed by a bridal expo! We booked our Las Vegas to San Francisco flights with SouthWest, our San Francisco to Los Angeles flights with SouthWest and did early bird check in for both, Alcatraz tickets night tour and San Francisco city and Winchester house tour for all four of us.

Then Universal passes and Disneyland 14 day passes for Bec and me and Southern California City Passes for Sam #2 and #3. It worked out $50 cheaper for Sam #2 & #3 to do that and give us the Sea World passes so we could just pay for transport and save $20. I love my friends, they just nod and agree with what I plan

Now we have issues with our TA I didn't know but he put the wrong name on 90% of our forms when the girls went to pick them up a fortnight ago and is now saying he cannot change the Vegas accomdation to have the right names he has become so slack now that he got our booking and payment, going through the paperwork Sam #3 had today we've realised that Sam #2 & 3 are missing their NYC flight tickets I know its a month out but we paid in full in MAY so there is no reason why we should not have all of our paperwork now. I don't think I'll waste my time with a TA next time, I basically did his job for him anyway

Btw has anyone else found the amazing program that is Microsoft OneNote? I updated my laptop this morning and had a play around, I'm in love I'm going through systematically putting in all of our trip details and will scan in all of our tickets, recipts ect to keep track and print off in one pdf document for each of our parents at the end. Genius

39 sleeps
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:01 AM   #88
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Hi Sam, we had the luggage option A. After two trips to the USA we had rips on both suitcases and I didn't keep the receipts. They ripped at the edges not so stuff fell out but still I expected more.

Also my TA was crap. Also couldn't give a stuff in the month leading up to departure. The tickets she issued me weren't even updated and when I arrived at Sydney airport we weren't even on the flight list. Lucky V Australia have awesome customer service and fixed everything.
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:20 PM   #89
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Yep, I agree there's really no need to get a TA for trips to the US. We booked our flights through a TA because DH got me a voucher as a present. We considered booking more stuff through him, but quickly realised it wouldn't be worth it. When we gave him our dates he didn't even consider flights on the previous day, which were a couple of hundred $$ cheaper. We found them ourselves in the end and just got him to book them. I also nearly fell off my chair when he told us that we would need to pay extra to get into DLR at night And apparently he'd been, obviously hadn't been paying much attention!

We did use one for our honeymoon only because we were going to Africa and wanted to make sure we wouldn't get into trouble over there. That TA was a bit better and found us some nice hotel rooms for transit points, but we mainly found the flights and hotels ourselves and just had her book them. If we go again we'll just book the Africa part through a tour company and book the rest ourselves.

I'm afraid I'm not much help with luggage. I already had luggage for our trip, so I didn't put much thought into it. I can almost guarantee that if you're there for a month you'll go over your weight limit even with the lightest suitcases around, and since you already have plans to buy a third suitcase and pay the extra for that, you may as well just get the ones you like and not worry too much about how much they weigh.

I will have to check out this OneNote thing... sounds awesome!
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Old 09-14-2012, 07:22 PM   #90
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Still deciding on luggage, its so hard to pick! Hopefully will be buying tomorrow & I'll probably make a snap decision while in Strandbags lol I just want it already to do a mock pack of all the things on my list so I can start to cull, I know my list is too long

Never again with a TA for the US! We only did it because its our first overseas trip & we were a bit hesitant to do it all ourselves. We're still waiting on the NYC tickets to be ready for pick up, for three forms to have the names fixed up and for him to send through an email with all of the confirmations so we can each have a copy on file if something was to happen how hard is it to email through forms really?

On a positive note, finally organised my travel insurance through OneCover and they have already impressed me. I put in all my details and paid, when I opened the file it had Mr instead of Miss. Quick call to the office, gave my policy number "sure I can fix it right now and email it to you". Sure enough had a new file sent through within one minute of hanging up good work OneCover, at least someone can do their job efficiently
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