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Old 09-14-2012, 06:49 AM   #46
Ms. Shuttergirl
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Passport - check
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everything else can be bought
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Old 09-15-2012, 12:35 PM   #47
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I'm starting this on the plane. We have about 2 hours to go until we reach Los Angeles and I've had enough of the inflight entertainment for now.

Our first experience of Air New Zealand has had its ups and downs, but on balance we've been pretty happy with them. our taxi had arrived promptly and we arrived with plenty of time at the airport but were a little rattled by the news that greeted at checkin. Our Sydney-Auckland flight was delayed by an hour and a half which meant we would miss our connecting flight in Auckland. However the ANZAC spirit is alive and well so Qantas came to our rescue. The 20 odd passengers affected were to be placed on a QAntas flight which should get us to Auckland in time - just...

One bonus of the new arrangement was when the checkin clerk told us that we'd be able to claim Qantas frequent flyer points for the Sydney to Auckland flight

The Qantas flight was ok, nothing special - the meal was a rather tasteless lamb curry but the Mango Weiss ice ream bar was nice. *The small plane was well configured with both A.C. And USB power ports. Excellent in flight entertainment selection.

We had a quick flight across and pulled into Auckland 10 minutes early. This was just as well because we were galloping as soon as we left the plane! We had to dash all the way up one end of the terminal to the international transfer area and go through security again before we had to go upstairs and dash all the way back again to reach our flight. At the transfer area an AirNZ official was waiting for us with a slightly anxious expression and crossed our names of his list before advising us to hurry. Of course, the customs people then chose me for their random pat down and explosives swab test!
- it seemed that everyone was already on board when we arrived breathless at the gate BUT as it turned out they were also waiting on a delayed flight from CHristchurch so we did have a little time up our sleeves after all.

I just hope our luggage also made the connection - we'll find out in a couple of hours I guess!

We are all pretty impressed with the AirNZ 777-300 . The seats are comfortable and there is plenty of legroom, even for DH. The entertainment system is good (I watched "Brave" and "The Avengers") *but they did have to reboot mine early in the flight after the system froze.*

We've all managed 2 or 3 hours of fitful dozing. I did have one uncomfortable moment when I opened the door of one of the toilets on an unfortunate gent who had neglected to lock the door. I don't know which of us was more embarrassed!

Later....

Our luggage was waiting for us on the carousel, yay! The queue for immigration was pretty bad, even for LAX but we eventually hit the head of the queue. The officer was happy to have a chat, we swapped notes about children at college etc etc. L.A. Was covered with its normal haze as we flew in well to the south of our previous routes, we came in over Long Beach and could see the Queen Mary in her permanent mooring . She is now a luxury hotel.

A brief wait for the shuttle and we finally arrived at our hotel. Our number one priority was to get our phone sims and my iPad sim working. It was a bit of a rigmarole but with the help of some free wifi in the lobby and a Starbucks cappuccino (also available in the lobby) we now have our American phone numbers up and running and my iPad is now getting 4g data, I'll be able to access google maps wherever we go ( or at least wherever I can get AT&T...)

Andona
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Old 09-15-2012, 03:40 PM   #48
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Great to hear you have arrived safely
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Old 09-15-2012, 05:15 PM   #49
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Glad you made it safely - missing a connection is pretty high on my nightmare list!
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Old 09-15-2012, 05:40 PM   #50
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Glad you made it safely.

And it sounds like you got the special "live peep-show" in-flight entertainment at the restroom.

I was wondering if you had to pay extra for that.....
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Old 09-15-2012, 05:59 PM   #51
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You made it! Always good to have some excitement provided you still get there at the right time cant wait for more
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Old 09-15-2012, 06:02 PM   #52
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I am so glad it all worked out with the flights. Enjoy your trip !
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Old 09-15-2012, 06:29 PM   #53
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Hi Andona!

I have just found your report and am in all sorts of awe over your trip right now! The trip just looks simply amazing and I can tell you have had fun in the planning and organisation! I love planning too and your DH and my DH sound like twins!!!! He loves nothing more than being behind the wheel, in fact, we have our retirement planned as a whole year in the USA driving from one side of the country and back again! And as for Disney, well let's just say the last trip was enough to last him for the rest of his years, hence the mother daughter trip for DD and I next month!

I can't wait to hear all about your trip and see all the pics to go right along with it!

Stay safe, drive careful and have fun!
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:20 PM   #54
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Glad you have arrived safely! Nothing like a "peep show" to wake you up on a long haul flight!! ;-)
Looking forward to hearing more as you go!!
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:10 PM   #55
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Yay, you arrived! Lucky you with the extra special in flight entertainment.
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:32 PM   #56
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Glad you arrived safely. Looking forward to your road trip reports.
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:41 PM   #57
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Oh Andona, what a stressful start!! I'm so pleased to hear you got there okay though and hope you are now having a wonderful time
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:26 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnie Sue Oz
Hi Andona!

I have just found your report and am in all sorts of awe over your trip right now! The trip just looks simply amazing and I can tell you have had fun in the planning and organisation! I love planning too and your DH and my DH sound like twins!!!! He loves nothing more than being behind the wheel, in fact, we have our retirement planned as a whole year in the USA driving from one side of the country and back again! And as for Disney, well let's just say the last trip was enough to last him for the rest of his years, hence the mother daughter trip for DD and I next month!

Stay safe, drive careful and have fun!
Minnie sue, your DH's idea would be a hit with my DH. When we collected the car this afternoon and hit the road he had a grin from ear to ear!

Hey guys, the in flight peep show was a little more in flight entertainment than I really wanted!! I spent a long time in the toilet because I really did NOT want to meet the guy face to face when I left

We had a pretty boring day today, the whole day was occupied with the flight from L.A. To Fort Lauderdale. I avoided the toilets altogether on this flight!

Another slight hiccup when we got to the Alamo counter, they had 2 cars booked for us! DH and I were not planning to do this trip In a convoy so we assured the guy that we only needed one car and we left the airport in our Mazda CX7. We only had a short drive to the hotel but it was 8 pm by the time we had checked in and dumped our bags.

It was really warm and humid still even then. Had a nice dinner of Cajun pasta and a Californian Sauvignon blanc and now we are trying to persuade our body clocks that it is 11.30pm at night, not 8pm or 1.20 pm tomorrow

Tomorrow is the start of the real road trip, next post should be from Key West.

Andona

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Old 09-16-2012, 12:22 AM   #59
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Good luck for hitting the road tomorrow Andona. I hope your CX7 is nice and comfy for the long miles ahead.
At the moment I m reading a Jack Reacher book that starts out in Key West, so I can picture you there Sweet dreams
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Old 09-16-2012, 12:48 AM   #60
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Hi Andona
just found your TR - that's a massive trip! looks amazing - and you will be having a wonderful time.

My tip for the Florida gulf coast - when you get to the area around Tampa - go to Tarpon Springs - it is this Greek sea side village that is the sponge growing capital of somewhere! Have grilled Greek seafood for lunch!

and check out the manatees - you can go swimming with them - there are numerous places - Crystal River / Springs and Blue Springs Homosassa Springs - and heaps of small little operators who will give you a private tour.
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