Discovering Another Mad Dash (Oct 14): Santa Monica Pier and Band Performance #1518 (04/05)

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by PrincessInOz, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

    Feb 8, 2010
    Flying by the Numbers

    23 lbs at the weigh-in

    I posted about what was going to be in my bag and was curious to know what it would weigh in at. When I got to the counter and put it on the scales, it came in at 11’ish kilos or 23 pounds. Aside from my clothes, there were also some 1 or 6 packs of Tim Tams and gifts for family and friends in the bag.

    I figured I was doing well at weigh in.

    $10 per hour

    I was flying The Friendly Skies on this trip.


    After some internal debate, I decided to upgrade my economy seat from Melbourne to LAX to an economy plus seat. The cost of the one-way upgrade? $138. For that, I got an extra 2 inches of legroom, which didn’t look like much to me.


    For the 14 hour flight, this works out to close on $10 per hour rental for the extra couple of inches. I had debated over the economics of this decision as it had looked like there were two empty seats next to me in the economy section. Turns out it was a good decision.

    The extra legroom didn’t fuss me one way or the other. But I did end up with an empty seat between me and this very nice American girl heading back to Washington DC. So there was plenty of space to stretch out.

    The good decision part? I went to check on ‘my’ economy seat. It was empty…..but the seats around it were all full. And even worse – there were two crying kids behind the row I should have been sitting in, and they seemed to be crying for the entire trip over.

    If nothing else, I am glad for the peace and quiet and for that alone, it was worth the $10 per hour space rental.

    ZERO in-seat entertainment

    As I was flying The Friendly Skies on this trip, there would be no in-seat entertainment to be had. Sure; there was the old-fashioned movie screen at the front bulkhead wall but with heads between me and the screen, visibility was not good. In addition, every time I got up to take a walkabout, there was no pause button and I would come back to a movie that I could not rewind and catch up. Coupled with the fact that people would be getting up and blocking the screen, entertainment on this interminable flight was hard to come by.

    A big fat ZERO is what I would score United on….this lack of in-seat entertainment borders on inhumane cruelty!


    I counted 25 i-pads, 5 e-book readers, 10 laptops and 3 DS game consoles in the cattle pen sections during my walkabouts. Assuming that an i-pad costs an average of $650, e-book readers $200, laptops at $1000 and DS at $300, the total entertainment alternative devices inflight comes to $28,150.

    I can fund 2 or 3 trips with this amount of $$$$ !

    C’mon United. You really need to install iSE on the Kangaroo route!

    700 calories

    Did you know that walking burns off calories at a rate of about 80 to 100 calories per mile for an average person?

    With not much entertainment to be had, I resorted to taking a turn around the plane a fair bit. I worked out that if I took small geisha steps, it would take me 150 of these to complete the circuit. I figure I walked about 15,000 steps on the flight over. That equates to about 5 – 7.5 miles.

    I figure I burnt between 600 – 750 calories on that flight.

    Counting *sniff* *sniff* to go to sleep

    I didn’t get any sleep at all on the flight. The man across the aisle from me *sniffed* the night away.

    One sniff, two sniff
    Fried green eggs

    Yup. The most annoying soft decibel noise I heard all night at 20 second intervals was *sniff* *sniff*. I did try counting them to go to sleep.

    No. Such. Luck.
    *sniff* *sniff*

    (Continued in Next Post)
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  3. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

    Feb 8, 2010
    (Continued from Previous Post)

    The Plane Porn Facts

    Using the finger

    A very dear 3D friend of mine loaned me her Kindle complete with over 400 books loaded. The majority of the books turned out to be of the Shade of Grey kind. But there were about 5 or so titles that I was interested to read.

    Aside from the porn type of books, the arrangement worked out very well for me in that I now know that I do NOT want nor need a Kindle anytime soon.

    Turns out I was using my finger a fair bit and I would be (f)licking the screen every 20 – 30 seconds.

    My first digit (finger) is a still a little sore and sorry for itself.

    The Laughing Place

    If you followed the PTR, you’ll know that Uncle Remus requested that I take some pictures of the food served in-flight.



    As I’ve said before, there is food porn and then there is just porn. So……just for you, Uncle Remus, here’s my on board Laughing Place!

    Lunch was served at Melbourne dinner time. I chose the chicken and rice option. The sauce was pretty tasteless and the rice at the bottom of the tray was caked solid. The alternative was a tortellini. I figure the pasta would have been stuck to the bottom of the tray as well.

    The salad dressing was reasonable and the chocolate cake was edible. Of everything I was served, I remember finishing the chocolate cake.


    The food carts came out again at midnight Melbourne time. The choice was a beef roll or a vegetarian roll. I had originally chosen the vegetarian roll and then realised it was a processed cheese and lettuce roll; so I settled for the beef instead. The bread turned out to be another caked solid option.

    The Pecan cookie was the best thing served so far.


    Breakfast choices were fruit and yoghurt or cooked eggs. Surprisingly, the eggs were soft and fluffy. But it needed a heap of salt! The NOT croissant was too bread-y and sweet. A taste of things to come.


    Are you laughing at the porn yet? Believe me....I. Was. NOT!

    I had to eat it.

    By this stage, I was ready to get off this plane!

  4. rentayenta

    rentayenta <img src=

    Feb 28, 2007
    I love UncleR requesting plane food porn. :rotfl2:

    I agree, when it comes to entertainment United is terrible. I don't like United for many reasons and that's just one of them. Unfortunately when DH travels to Africa it's on United as their prices come in significantly under the other airlines.

    Sniff, no sleep? :sad1: Glad you got that extra legroom and a different seat. $10 an hour is a bargain to not have to sit by crying kids. :scared:

    I'm glad you posted this update. It's 3:30 am here and I'm up with the after effects of food poisoning. I almost hurled again at the plane food. ;)
  5. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

    Feb 8, 2010
    I'm sorry you're up hurling. Hope you feel better soon.

    BTW - I got pictures in San Fran that might interest you (the Marriott in FW from the outside and I just so happened to drive past O Co on my way to Oakland. Happy to post them if you're interested to see them....only where? Your TR or another thread on the CB?
  6. rentayenta

    rentayenta <img src=

    Feb 28, 2007

    :goodvibes Thank you. At this moment I'm okay, I think my stomach is literally empty and I'm craving a Popsicle in the worst way. We always have Popsicles and all we have are fudge bars. :sad1: As soon as Michael wakes up, I'm going to make, er ask ;) him go to the store.

    Please post them, I'd love to see them. My thread would be great, thank you!

    I can't believe your luggage only weighed 23 lb. :thumbsup2
  7. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

    Feb 8, 2010
    Done! :goodvibes
  8. Uncle Remus

    Uncle Remus Raconteur / can't name 'em Jeb

    Jul 23, 2006
    Oh, lordy, lordy, lordy, PIO, those eggs don't even resemble eggs! :scared:

    Ya know, one of the nice things about a TR is ya get to relive the trip while sharing it with others, well, I'm so sorry although I do think the *sniff sniff* is worse than the food aspect of your flight. :rotfl:

    There should be a rule that when PIO is in flight she should be provided fresh lychees! :snooty: ;)


    I hope you're feeling better. :hug:

    ACDSNY I love my job! I love my job! I love my job!

    Jun 14, 2005
    I can't even go for a weekend with a bag weighing 23# I don't know how you did it. The plane food looks nasty.
  10. KCmike

    KCmike Never have fallen asleep on any

    Jul 4, 2007
    Glad you made it back safely. Great start Princess!
  11. hjd0411

    hjd0411 DIS Veteran

    Jul 14, 2006
    Great start!! :thumbsup2 Although the airline food does not look or sound tasty at all!! What a shame there is no IFE - that makes for a very very long 14 hours!!!
    Looking forward to more! :coffee:
  12. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

    Nov 15, 2009
    I didn't help you with your bags, :sad2: but knowing now that it only weighed 23 lbs, I would have probably hurled the thing picking it up off the ground had I tried! We carry a scale with us on trips (ever since the New Zealand trip when our bags weighed in at lover 60 lbs a bag, luckily we had and extra backpack to thin them out and this was before extra baggage charges). My bags usually are 48.2, 49, 48.6 and 47.9 or something like that. If it's a road trip, I don't even worry, but they are HEAVY!

    You know we fly mostly American and I know they don't provide meals in coach any more, but the meals we get on our American flights have actually been pretty good on our last few trips. Although it's been a while. :rolleyes1 But the fresh baked cookies that they serve in the last hour are sure tasty! I'm surprised that the United food sucks so bad.

    Oh yeah, the "beef roll". We call that a sandwich. :rolleyes1


    Thanks for the update!
  13. zanzibar138

    zanzibar138 DIS Veteran

    Jun 30, 2007
    Note to self... avoid United at all costs! Well, unless maybe it's a free flight or something :rotfl:

    But seriously, I'm not sure I could handle a flight to the US with NO IFE :faint:
  14. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

    Feb 8, 2010
    My experience in United was pretty low this time. They sent me emails for on-line check-in but after I did that, I got a message saying that I needed to present myself at the check-in booth at the airport. Wouldn't even let me print out a boarding pass. I get it. It's an international flight and I have luggage to check in and security to check. But why ask for on-line check in when it is obviously not??

    Oh well....

    I totally agree. At least the eggs were edible.

    The *sniff* *sniff*??
    No. Thanks.!

    A-men. to. that! :thumbsup2

    I've flown United before. This is the first time that the food was really nasty. I'm not sure why; it was reasonable the other couple of times. :confused3

    Thanks Mike! Glad you're here!

    I did get on a little prepared for the no inseat entertainment, and had the e-book reader and puzzle books. However, I won't be choosing United if I'm ever flying with DS. That is not just intolerable cruelty; but insanity as well! Can you imagine it?

    14 hours of..."Are we there yet" and "I'm bored"???? :rotfl2:

    A rose by any other...

    (unless asking for which case, remember to pronounce it as war-der. :rolleyes1)

    Sadly, I suspect that if there were to be another such opportunity of travelling with DH like this in the future, I will probably be on United again. :sad1:
  15. TigerKat

    TigerKat DIS Veteran

    Apr 29, 2006
    I made it!:wave2: Now I need to catch up...:hyper:
  16. mvf-m11c

    mvf-m11c DIS Veteran

    Jun 28, 2009
    That was a good idea to upgrade to an economy plus seat during your trip from Melbourne to LAX. I would go crazy if I were in your seat during the flight and hear those babies cry during the trip.

    I don't like airline food since they are not really good. I always try to bring as much snacks as I can in my bags and eat enough at the airport before we leave so I wouldn't have to eat that stuff.

    That is crazy that there is no IFE during your flight. Mostly I don't pay attention to those since I have my iPad, iPhone, DS, etc. with me during the flight. I always bring a battery charger just in case if my devices are low on batteries.
  17. Caroline NZ

    Caroline NZ DIS Veteran

    Oct 11, 2008
    Oh gosh, that Airline food looks positively hideous.
    I am impressed at the amount of walking you did on the flight. I normally manage a couple of trips to the loo, and that is it. I will try and make more of an effort next time
  18. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

    Feb 8, 2010
    :yay: You made it! On this thread, just head straight to the November 12 TR section. Won't take you long to catch up as I only just started. :thumbsup2

    Bret - I normally pack food for domestic flights when in the US or at least get something to take on-board in the terminal. But this was an international flight I was on and food is usually edible. This was about the worst I've been served.

    But I did have a muesli bar and some Starbursts with me. And there was plenty of water being served; plus help-yourself to additional cookies and pretzels in the Aft section.

    Hi Caroline! Nice to see you here.

    As I don't sleep on the plane, I tend to get up and walk a lot. I also like to keep active to reduce the risk of DVT.
  19. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

    Feb 8, 2010
    DIS Connections

    I feel like I might need to explain the title for my next little vignette as it might get lost in translation at a later stage.

    Every so often, that most elusive member of Dis comes flittering out of the closet to bring little bundles of joy to a Dis-ser. Yes, I AM talking about the Tag Fairy. Those of you that are regular hit-and-runners of the Dis Community Board will know that every so often, a thread will appear dedicated to that TF. You’ll also know that there are some members of the Dis that are natural TF magnets. Last year, the TF decided to embark on the Scrollie and Bacon War (hereafter known as TagGate) with one of those magnets.

    This year, the same magnet decided to start a pure snark with no dedications thread to the TF. As a result of a couple of day’s work for the TF, there are a number of us sporting Boo Boo tags (sadly, it IS in homage of Honey Boo Boo) as a strategically placed post heading in the left-ward direction of Alberquerque was made and the TF decided to run with it. Alas, we remain in Boo BooLand until the TF decides otherwise.

    And with another leftward turn of direction as a result of another one of those strategically inopportune posts, some of us are also sporting Moo Moo avatars and milk run references as well.

    This year’s entertainment will remain known as Boo Boo and Moo Moo.

    Moo Moos and Boo Boos

    Mass travel of any kind always brings the reminders and comparisons of cattle trucking to my mind. Afterall, we don’t call it cattle class for nothing. And despite the indignities of cramped quarters on board, in some regards that is more humane treatment than the treatment we seem to get in any customs hall of any country.

    Still….I always find something to amuse me whenever I am being processed.

    This trip was no exception.

    Today’s amusement came courtesy of a cattle….er….crowd controller in the customs hall. This one lady was herding us into one of 3 rows:
    • V for Visitors
    • US Citizen Kane
    • Agent Orange (For those needing fast processing to make a connecting flight, you are given an orange speeding ticket)

    Being on a plane from Australia, it stands to reason that the busiest line was always going to be the V-line. And given the time of day we arrived, there was always going to be another group of arriving passengers from another plane ahead of us. So it turned out to be on this morning. As the V-line was really full and overflowing, another crowd controller decided to move some of us into the US Citizen Kane line. The first crowd controller came along 5 minutes later and practically had a meltdown! She pretty much screamed at us and I suspect that there were a few people in danger of deportation for that 30 second period. A stand-up fight nearly ensued as the passengers closest to her spray were arguing back only to find the crowd controller yelling at them to “calm down”.

    Fortunately the second crowd controller came back to cool everyone down.

    I don’t think either crowd controllers were happy that day; and I guess someone made a mistake. The question remains….which crowd controller made the boo boo with the moo moos in the hall that morning?

    (And in the unlikely event that the TF is doing a drive-by reading, I think some of us would like to lose the boo boo tags!!)

    DisMeet #1

    I always bless the day that franandaj decided to post a response on a thread I created about where to go eat in Long Beach. From those rather humble beginnings and through the Dis, a pretty lasting friendship has developed.

    Alison and I have already completed our first DisMeet last year and as with every DisMeet I’ve done, our conversation just picks up from where we left off on the Dis when we finally meet in 3D.

    This DisMeet with Alison was really about the continuation of our 2D-friends-in-a-box conversations on the Dis. But this was more than a DisMeet.

    When I had originally floated the idea of possibly heading to NorCal with DH with my friends-in-a-box, Alison tempted me with the offer to head to SoCal to check out CarsLand as a stopover. The offer included a place to stay and her coming to pick up/drop off at LAX.

    Alright. I. MIGHT. Have. Pushed. That. Boundary. To. 2. Nights.

    Let’s just pause and unpick this a little, shall we?

    Despite the fact that we’re all aware of stranger danger and the fact that anything is possible over the internet, the measure of this friendship is as such….
    1. Alison invited a comparative 3D stranger from a foreign country to go stay with her for 2 nights.
    2. I accepted an invitation from a comparative 3D stranger to stay at her place in a foreign country for 2 nights.
    3. All of this was going to occur a day after Halloween.

    It only took us about 15 minutes for the details to be ironed out on the Dis and before anyone could say Freddy the 13th!

    Moving right along.

    I had texted Alison when we were taxi-ing on the tarmac that my plane had landed. That pretty much was her cue to start the taxi up and head on down to LAX. I don’t know how long she waited; but it took me about an hour to get through the hall, be processed by The Face of A Nation and grab my bag.
    I know she had to wait a little for me but when I headed out of the terminal and got cell phone reception again, we had arranged a spot for her to drive by and pick me up.

    So it was. Our DisMeet happened over the front seat of her SUV. I didn’t see any chainsaws in the back when I was throwing my bags in.

    (Continued in Next Post)
  20. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

    Feb 8, 2010
    (Continued from Previous Post)

    Where even an ordinary activity transforms to magical delight

    Small things amuse small minds

    I’ve always been amused by the quirk of an International Dateline that results in Aussies arriving in the West Coast roughly about 3 hours earlier on the same day than they started out in Oz.

    The small side effect of this quirk is that if you haven’t had any sleep on the plane, you might end up having to go without sleep for about 36 - 40 hours so as to beat the jetlag thing.

    It does amount to a long GroundHog Day!

    My Home for the next 2 night

    Alison took me home and this was to be my room for the next two days.


    My bathroom facilities were spotless!


    On arrival and with a small-to-none amount of sleep, the only small thought my small mind could think of was to lie down to go to sleep. So, I ran out of there as quickly as I could so as not to fall asleep standing.

    For the record. It would prove to be a very comfortable bed and I slept great for both nights.

    WOW in 20 minutes

    For the Aussies reading this, my philosophy to the telecommunication question is a pretty simple one.

    Take my unlocked Australian smart phone with me, walk into an AT&T shop and purchase the $2 per day Go Phone unlimited talk and text prepaid option.

    First order of the day was for Alison to take me to the nearest store.

    The AT&T shop provided me with a (micro) SIM card for free and allowed me to select my number from their available pick list.

    About the only thing I did before the (micro) SIM card changeover is to send a text message to my nearest and dearest in Oz with my American number.

    For this 10 day trip, my telco costs came to $20.

    I could have bought a data plan on top of the Go Phone plan but as I am on holiday, I really want to disconnect as much as possible.

    I was WOW (walking out working) within 20 minutes.

    Riding Shotgun

    I always like riding shotgun with a local; particularly when on holiday.

    Afterall, I have nothing better to do than to take in the holiday air and am completely freed from the tedious activity of keeping to a schedule or having to deliver some sort of output.

    Alison had a bunch of chores to attend to that day and as the whole reason for my visit was to spend time with her, it made no difference to me what we did as long as we got to catch up and chat.

    So, whilst it may have been ordinary everyday activity to Alison, I was in magical delights to help her run her errands, pack up books, feed the cats and make sure Fran was fine. It gave me lots of time to enjoy the little insight to the daily life of my 3D friend.

    And……it kept me awake.

    (Continued in Next Post)
  21. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

    Feb 8, 2010
    (Continued from Previous Post)

    The deliciousness of being unencumbered by the routine of everyday life - Time for Proper Food Porn

    Is there a Tandoor in the Kitchen?

    In planning for these couple of days, Alison and I had thought we would be eating foods of the exotic kind. We had thought to be eating Shabu Shabu as Alison had told me of a place opening up in Long Beach. Sadly, it was not to be…..despite the Opening Soon in October signs clearly plastered all over the front of the construction zone, the Shabu Shabu place was definitely not in any state to be serving delicate morsels of thinly shaved protein for cooking in a delicious broth.

    Where to eat for lunch?

    I guess Alison was going to take the opportunity to eat a cuisine that we both loved and in keeping with the exotic notion.


    We sat at a table with a view similar to this. The only difference was that we were about 3 meters further in and there was a glass window in the way.
    It was a lovely place to lunch and do the girly gossip and chit-chat.


    The view 180 degrees the other way looked like this.


    Did I forget to mention that this was an all-you-can-eat Indian buffet?

    At $9.95 per person, this place was a bargain in my book. There were appetizers, 3 types of chicken dishes (tandoori, butter and a curry), loads of vegetarian options, rice salads and Indian condiments in the buffet. My plate looked like this.


    Alison and her plate looked pretty good too.


    Our server brought out the naan for us to enjoy.


    I asked him if they had a tandoor in the kitchen and it turns out that tandoori cuisine is something this place is known for. If the naan and the tandoori chicken that I tasted was anything to go by, I would certainly agree with this claim.

    It was certainly a delicious way to be unencumbered by the routine of everyday life!

    Say Cheese!

    After riding shotgun with Alison and by the time 5 pm rolled round, any brain activity that was still ticking over was becoming increasingly smaller. I suspect that Alison took pity on me……we headed out for an early dinner.

    We headed out to a local joint…Kafe Neo. It was billed as an American Kitchen with Greek Soul. The menu certainly lived up to the billing; with all things Greek on offer.


    Time for me to come clean. I have to own up now to the fact that every year for the last 10 years, October has been a month of abstinence for me. During this month, I go on a mini-detox and avoid eating processed food, wheat, milk products, sugar and caffeine. I find that I just need the break from these food groups prior to the silly season in order to make it through the rest of the year.

    This trip had ticked over into November and all bets were back on the table for me!

    So despite the wonderful promise of calamari, gyros and spanakopita, all I saw on the menu was saganaki. The menu indicated that the saganaki cheese was kefalograviera. I was CRAVING cheese. And so, when the food arrived, I completely forgot and started to eat it straight away. You might notice that the cheese looks a little messed up in this picture. Sorry.


    I couldn’t fault the cooking and presentation. I did find the cheese a little on the salty side; but that might have been my taste buds needing to readjust back to a normal diet.

    Alison ordered the gyros. It looked delicious.


    We also had some spanakopita to share.


    I liked the spanakopita. It was delicious.

    By this stage, I was ready to sleep and when we got back home, that’s exactly what I did. It had been a long groundhog day for me!


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