Flying 2 days for 3 days at WDW is a SNAP! Final Thoughts 01/02

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by PrincessInOz, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    When we came out of It’s A Small World, we stopped into Snow White.


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    I’m not quite sure why we stopped in here. I suspect that it was the lack of a queue that enticed us in.


    It was then time for us to head towards a spot to view HalloWishes. I was keen to head down to the center of Main Street; but Firefly wanted to stay away from the crowds. DH was also keen to view the fireworks from Main Street, so we headed down whilst Firefly found a spot to settle in Fantasy Land. I took some shots whilst we were walking from Fantasy Land to Main Street.

    As I have a DS, this is probably the closest I’m going to get to CRT.


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    We walked round the Hub towards the TomorrowLand entrance.


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    My tripod made the 10,000-mile trip from Australia to Florida. Aside from my camera gear, this was about the only other camera gear that I had and I figured it was worth bringing it despite it taking precious bag space and adding weight to the luggage.

    I hadn’t planned on taking the tripod with me for the first party and had intended to bring it along for the second night.

    Unfortunately, in my zeal to pack this afternoon, I’d packed the tripod away in my bag, leaving it behind to enjoy the resort whilst the rest of my gear was with me at the park. I’d like to say that this was due to being obsessive compulsive; but really, it was plain stupidity.

    I tried to console myself by thinking that I was a rank beginner in photography anyway and that I probably wouldn’t have known what I was doing.

    In any event, I deliberately set myself near Casey’s in Main Street, right smack bang in the middle.


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    To the right of me was a guy shooting with a Canon 5D Mark II.
    To the left of me was a guy shooting with a Nikon 700D.

    Both had tripods.

    Turned out Mr Canon was the silent grunting Neanderthal type and Mr Nikon was the silent grunting Cro-Magnum type. But I’d gotten enough out of them to figure out that BOTH of them had NEVER taken long exposure shots of the fireworks before.

    If you ever take a tripod to the World, remember to USE IT!

    My apologies for those of you that are reading this and are not interested in the details of the photographs. But based on the first HalloWishes posting earlier in the TR, I figure I need to dedicate some time for those photographers out there who will be heading to the World.

    I’d pretty much started out taking shots the same way as the first time – by setting my camera in No Flash mode.


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    I was also determined to try out the other modes on the camera; despite not having a tripod. So, I set the camera into Aperture Priority mode.


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    f/18, ISO 6400, 1/5 sec.


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    f/13, ISO 6400, 1 sec.


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    f/4, ISO 100, 0.8 sec


    I also set the camera into Shutter Priority mode.


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    f/2, ISO 100, ¼ sec


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    f/2, ISO 125, ¼ sec


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    f/2.8, ISO 100, ¼ sec


    Sure looks like I need that Tripod or perhaps I was a little bit more unsteady in my hands for the above shots…But I had a few that were reasonable without tripod.


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    f/4, ISO 100, ¼ sec


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    f/5.6, ISO 100, ¼ sec


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    f/3.5, ISO 100, ¼ sec


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    f/4.5, ISO 100, ¼ sec


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    f/4.5, ISO 100, ¼ sec


    The above shots show that I should have taken multiple steps back; or brought a wider-angle lens to the park. And I hope this helps those of you out there planning to take firework shots with your dSLR. For the rest – I hope you enjoyed the pictures and normal TR blogging will resume shortly.


    Up Next: MNSSHP Parade second time round


    princess::upsidedow
     
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  3. queenie82

    queenie82 Queen of the 5 Castles

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    As a very naughty girl I will start by saying I have only read post #260 and #261.

    I would ordinarily read at least a bit more before commenting but I notice you didn't take any photos of the *cough* Australia *cough* section in the American Girl Doll Shop.
    I believe there are colourful creatures you can get as accessories for the dolls to play with if they ever get unstuck and move more than turns left and right.

    Great Wishes shots :thumbsup2
     
  4. DisneyFirefly

    DisneyFirefly DIS Veteran

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    I actually wound up in a shop in Frontierland looking at pins and talking to a CM for the whole length of the fireworks :lmao:
     
  5. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Thanks!

    :rotfl: I can't remember - did you exchange any new pins during this time??? :rotfl2:
     
  6. queenie82

    queenie82 Queen of the 5 Castles

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    THAT

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    Is a RAINBOW LORIKEET!!!
    I know because many live in our backyard...

    This is my favourite photo of a wombat.
    I bet you've never seen one run this fast.
    Scenario...keeper goes to burrow and picks the guy up to show him to us and let us pet him. Once we finish patting...keeper puts him down but knows this boy very well...and his fun game...
    CHASE THE KEEPER. I wish we had a shot of the keeper running and jumping over the fence.

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  7. Jade+3

    Jade+3 DIS Veteran

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    I wondered if I was on the right TR! Miss a couple of days and all of a sudden I feel like I am at the zoo.

    Your firework shots are great, even more great for being hand held.

    What days (nights) of the week did you do MNSSHP? Was one less busy than the other?
     
  8. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Thanks! Rainbow Lorikeet. I was close...Rosella family, multicoloured. Don't mind me. I was having one of my 'amnesiac' moments. Cool shot of the very active wombat. Don't think I've ever seen one move that fast (I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt; rather than thinking it's you moving the camera!! :))

    I went to MNSSHP on the Sunday and Tuesday nights. I didn't think it was busy at all. On both nights, most rides were walk-on (or a very short wait) except for Peter Pan and Dumbo. Most people were queueing to take pictures with the characters; which is something I didn't do on both nights. It was also busy at the first Parade down Main Street, which we avoided and went to the second Parade instead. I noticed the crowd at HalloWishes; but families with very young kids mostly disappeared after the fireworks.
     
  9. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    After HalloWishes, we caught up with Firefly. DH and I wanted to head into PhilharMagic. Firefly decided to sit this one out and opted to wait for us outside.

    DH and I had seen PhilharMagic once before – in 2005 and had absolutely loved it. Tonight reinforced the memories we had of the attraction. Disney music is just fantastic and the Imagineers that work matching the imagery to the music are sheer genius’. Or is it the other way round? Either way, the outcome is pure artistry.

    We caught up with Firefly outside and realized that we needed to find a spot for the late parade.


    “Where do you want to go
    “I do know…how about we head in this direction
    “I do know…how about we head in this direction

    Uh Oh! The substitution of What to Do for Where to Go resulted in the first fracas that Firefly and I had in the last 2½ days together.

    Turns out she really didn’t like crowds and wanted to head away from the Hub and Main Street to see the parade.

    Me? I had only hours left at the World and in my mind; I had figured that I would be heading back to that same spot in Main Street to address some of the missed photo opportunities from the First Parade.

    I’d worked out that a theme park was a great place for photographers to go to; particularly when learning how to shoot in low light conditions because you get to shoot, check out your shot, determine what to do differently next time. I’d been able to go through my photos from the first party and had a mental list of shots I was going to get!

    Going somewhere else did not figure in the equation! AT.ALL!

    So, we did the natural thing that a threesome would do…..



















    Got you thinking, didn’t I?

    We turned to DH to see where he wanted to go. He was pretty happy to watch the Parade from anywhere…..as long as there weren’t too many people around. Yup! Unfortunately for me, DH was happy to stay away from the crowds as well.

    I have to divert here – I’d pretty much ignored him during HalloWishes. I’d taken prime position between the Cave Men during HalloWishes; DH moved out of the way and I had no idea where DH had ended up. I figured he probably ended up somewhere on the footpath outside Casey’s…..maybe….hmmm.
    So, he was not keen to repeat the experience for the Parade.

    I knew that I was outvoted; so I kept my opinions to myself. For.now.

    So, we headed in the direction of FrontierLand and ended up near the bend to the Mountains. This was our view.


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    It was probably less crowded than the Hub but still 3-deep. I was in the second row, with PEOPLE in front of me. To say that I was less than satisfied with the position was an understatement. I was not going to have the gorgeous castle as a backdrop!

    I think it was here that Firefly turned round to talk to me about the position or something.
    I don’t even remember what she said….but I know she kept it clean.
    I don’t remember what I said…but I know I kept it clean.
    I do remember DH butting in.

    I’m pretty sure that neither of us were understanding…then.

    I have already publicly stated in Firefly’s TR that this 5 minutes of conversation was the only thing I really regretted in all my time at the World. I am truly sorry for the disagreement we had that night and am really glad that we’ve cleared the air and made up. It’s just a pity it happened in our last hours together.

    So, knowing that there was not going to be Repeatable, Predictable and completely Consistent shooting opportunities, I made the best of it.

    Afterall, as both Firefly and DH had pointed out to me, a photographer should be able to take shots in any situation from any angle. Yes, they have a point…but I still consider myself as an L-plate shooter.

    As it turns out, I got some shots that were better than the first night and some shots that were not as good as the first night.

    I completely missed the Headless Horseman!

    And the shots of Mickey and Roo were not as good from the first night.


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    BUT Peter looked my way!

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    And the Pirate ship worked out much better.

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    It was a close tie for the Croc shot.

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    I still missed the Pirate dancers.

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    The cute looking Pirate was still cute looking. Another close tie, although I think the one with the Castle as the backdrop is a little more interesting to look at.

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    This series of shots were the highlight for me. I didn’t even come close to getting a good shot of the gravediggers on the first night.

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    The shot of the Haunted Mansion dancers and float was definitely better the first night.

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    And I just couldn’t get Horace right on either night!

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    (Continued in the next Post)
     
  10. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    (Continued from Previous Post)

    The Cowboys were a disaster on the second night!

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    As was Clarabelle.

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    My favourite band was still my favourite band. The shots were equally as good on this night as the first; possibly a shade better.

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    And the villains? Definitely a much better set on the first night….

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    With Jafar being the only exception. I love this shot!!

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    I didn’t even bother with Goofy’s Candy….I was too busy filling up my Trick or Treat bag.

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    And for the record, I’d improved on 5 Parade shots; so I ended up happy.

    I was in a better mood after the parade but unfortunately the little hissy fit between Firefly and myself resulted in an awkward feeling between us. I don’t know if Firefly felt it that night but I certainly did (and it may have only be me!). It wasn’t until we both got home and back on the Boards and aired the moment before I felt over it. As I said before…to have spent 2 ½ days in each other’s company and to only have this “moment”…well, I thought we had gotten along really well!

    After the end of the parade moved past us, we moved towards the Mountains.

    We looked at Splash Mountain and all 3 of us decided to give it a miss. None of us felt like walking around in wet clothes for the rest of the night.

    We decided to hop on BTRMM. It was pretty much walk on; given that the rest of the crowd was still waiting for the parade. Big Thunder is a hoot at any time of the day but there is something special about doing the ride at night!

    DH still had not experience much of Trick or Treating and there was a Candy Stop right near Splash and with the crowds still pretty low in this part of the park, we stopped in twice!

    Our bags were still rather pathetically unfilled at this stage, so Firefly and I decided to hit the ToonTown treats and the Alice Trail. By this stage, the parade must have finished as we walked into a sea of people…all of them seeming to head in our direction.

    As Firefly knew all the shortcuts and less busy routes, we followed her and pretty soon, we had collected candy from all the Alice stops….and we were in Tomorrowland.

    We headed to Space Mountain and got on pretty much within 10 minutes. DH and I just love this ride and for some reason, DH always screams like a girl when he gets on. I’m almost sure he does it deliberately!

    We then ducked into Buzz Lightyear and fired off at Zurg! None of our scores were particularly stellar…but I got the highest score out of the 3 of us.

    At this point, it was close to midnight and my feet were killing me! Firefly and DH still wanted to collect some more candy and Firefly suggested heading to the candy stops in Adventureland. Both Firefly and DH wanted to fill their bags so that they could share it with work colleagues.

    I decided that I would walk down Main Street (slowly) and meet them round the main entrance. I also had a couple of things that I wanted to check out at the stores. I still hadn’t found the backscratcher nor had I completely given up on the Dooney and Bourke leather bag.

    So, whilst Firefly and DH headed off, I walked in the Emporium. Sadly, I couldn’t find the backscratcher anywhere and had given up hope of picking this item up on this trip.

    But THAT bag still nagged at me. I walked across the street and found it!

    I put the bag on my shoulder and walked around the store with it; all the while having a real good hard think. It still was $220; and somewhere deep down inside me, I still craved the bag.

    In the end, I put the bag back on the rack and settled on this picture.

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    And the story of this bag is not quite over yet….I have a trip to California coming up and plan to go to Disneyland for one day. Who knows?

    DH called me at this stage and I arranged to meet them at Guest Relations. I headed over to City Hall and got my wristband cut off. I was not going to go to sleep with the band on tonight! Before too long, DH walked in.

    “Where’s Firefly?”
    “I don’t know. She was right behind me but lost her somewhere in Main Street.”

    I sent her a text…whilst DH got his wristband cut off.
    Turns out she was at Guest Relations…outside the gate.

    So, we quickly walked out. Given the hissy fit we had that night, I was anxious to see her before we left. It was our last night at the World and I wanted to say goodbye in person; rather than by text message.

    Firefly was waiting for us and we walked back towards the bus stops.

    I really hate saying goodbyes – even more so when it was with a person that I had come to like as much face to face as I did on the Ethernet. But goodbye it was…we promised to get on the Boards when we got back and to exchange photos. I still have to send her a DVD of all my shots. I have the pictures ready – I just need to copy to a DVD.


    DH and I headed to the CSR bus stop; and Firefly headed off to her resort stop. Goodbye it was.


    Up Next: The Conclusion


    princess::upsidedow
     
  11. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Any misgivings I might have had about attending two MNSSHP in three days were quickly swept away. Disney sure know how to throw a party and the fireworks and parade was equally as fantastic to experience the second time round as it was the first.


    I really enjoyed being able to take photographs with a lens capable of shooting in low light conditions. I may not have taken the most incredible photographs in the World; but I’m very happy with my snaps.


    For those who wonder what sorts of treats Disney handed out in 2010, here is a selection of candy that came home with us.


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    I still don’t know how I’m going to eat all that candy!


    Up Next: Heading towards San Francisco


    princess::upsidedow
     
  12. DisneyFirefly

    DisneyFirefly DIS Veteran

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    Yeeeeaaah, that little argument aside, I still had a great time hanging out with you :) But that happens sometimes :hug: I just really don't like being on Main Street during fireworks or parade unless I get there early enough to beat the crowd. It's just a thing with me, especially from working there and from going to high school where I went. :confused3

    Anyway, I definitely had a good time hanging out with you those couple days :teeth: Also, I bought the mailer for the Photopass disc today, so I'll be popping that into the mail soon :) :hug:
     
  13. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    :grouphug:

    So where's the CA TR? popcorn::
     
  14. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    :hug: It was great. I'm still hoping for a lottery ticket win so I can join you for your birthday! :goodvibes

    I'm thinking about it.....
     
  15. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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  16. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    After the late’ish night last night at DTD, I was deep in DreamLand when the alarm rudely went off at 6.40 am…..again! I was ready to throw that alarm across the room!

    DH planned yet another early start as Conference kick-off was 8 am.

    So, I faced the perplexing conundrum of….
    Do I try and sleep-in or do I get up, get ready and head towards Animal Kingdom?

    What the heck was I thinking?!!!

    The sleep-in won hands down. I’d spent the last 3 days, after flying for a whole day straight, pretty much commando at the World and here was an opportunity to stay in bed and catch up on some much needed sleep.

    Unfortunately, I didn’t get back to sleep….and after tossing and turning for about 20 minutes, I gave up. I decided that I would get up and wander around the resort. I also needed to organize to get our bags to the main complex so that we could catch ME to the airport.

    So, after grabbing a shower, I called Bell Hop and arranged a suitable pick-up time. Problem was….that meant that I wasn’t going to have enough time to get to Pepper’s Market, have breakfast and get back to the room. So, breakfast got delayed that morning. But, I took the opportunity to take a few more shots of the resort…and the results have already been posted in a very early post.

    I waited for Bell Hop to arrive and when they did, the bags and I got a ride back to the main building.

    As an international traveler and someone who had already experienced the resort check-in earlier in the year, I had worked out that I was NOT going to check the bags all the way through from CSR. The reason was that CSR would have charged me the baggage fees; and with two bags, the fees were $50. As an international traveler, we don’t get charged for the first bag each. With two bags, our fees would have been $0.

    Try explaining that to the CM working at resort check-in!

    After 15 minutes of ever decreasing patience in explaining the same thing in 101 different ways, the CM gave up. I know he didn’t understand but as I was holding on to the line of “airport check-in = $0”, he figured that I wasn’t worth wasting any more time on.

    So, with that sorted, I headed to Peppers for breakfast. I knew I had time for a leisurely breakfast, so I decided to sit-in and pay the 10% service fee.

    And because this was a later breakfast time for me than normal (it was already close on 10 am), I decided to order this for breakfast.


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    Yup – the Eggs Cooked to Order breakfast, complete with Muffin, Hashbrown and Bacon.

    (And if a certain ball giver is lurking about my TR, you’ll be pleased to know that I thought of you at this point. I moved the bacon up to the top so that I could take a shot of it – just for you!)

    The hashbrowns were particularly good and the bacon was delicious.


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    I needed about 3 cups of coffee that morning before my brain finally kicked into gear. DH had texted me during the morning to let me know that he would be heading out of the conference sometime near 11 to catch ME.
    I still had 20 minutes to kill; and it was turning out to be another one of those unseasonally hot and humid October days for Orlando. In fact, I’d caught on the news that morning that the Meteorologists were expecting that day to break the hottest day in October record since records were kept! It was going to be in the 90’s.

    So, I wandered into Panchito’s Gift Shop. I saw the votive candle holders and the CD in the shop. Turns out I could have done most of my shopping at Panchito’s without needing to go to the parks.
    And then it hit me! Maybe…..they would have the backscratcher…..


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    YES! :cool1:

    Armed with my prodding stick, I headed over to the Convention center and waited for DH.


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    It looks like a nice place to attend a conference.

    There was a Mears bus waiting outside. Turns out that there were a bunch of conventioneers booked on ME. DH and a whole bunch of people came out and we started to board the bus. I know a bus is a bus; but it sure wasn’t Disney Transport to me!

    We didn’t get the standard CD telling us where to go when we got to the airport; nor were the seats decorated with Disney motif.

    But it left on time and because there were so many of us, we didn’t stop at any other resort.

    DH and I grabbed our bags and checked us in…no charge.

    MCO must be about the only airport in the world where something like this does not seem out of place!


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    Then we had time to meander through the shops at the airport and to grab lunch. We decided on S’barro. I got the Pepperoni pizza – my first pizza slice for this trip.


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    DH got the salad…and the bread.


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    And it was time to board our flight.


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    We flew American Airlines and were heading to Los Angeles LAX before transferring to a flight to San Francisco SFO. So, we knew we would have time to have dinner at LAX and didn’t purchase extra food for the flight as we normally would have done.

    The flight was thankfully uneventful. DH and I spent the time going through my photographs. He had been so busy with the conference that I hadn’t yet been able to share the detail of my time at the World with him. I was pleased to learn that my photography impressed him!

    The benefit of flying American for us is that we get to use the American Eagle lounge. DH is a Qantas Club member and has reciprocal rights in partner airlines. So, when we arrived in LAX, we headed for the lounge and grabbed some free drinks and nibblies. We also decided to order a sandwich and a soup in the lounge. The lack of pictures is an indication of how unporn worthy the food was.

    And then it was time to board our flight to SFO.


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    We landed on time, got the car hire and headed over to our hotel.


    I love being in San Francisco and there is always a sense of homecoming whenever I see the bay. This is where we choose to stay when in Silicon Valley. You could almost call this our home in the US.


    Our lounge room and TV.

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    Our kitchen.

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    The master bedroom, King Bed.

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    Sink area.

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    Master bedroom ensuite Bathroom.

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    There is a walk-in robe to the side of the sink area; I didn’t take a picture.

    Second bedroom, Queen bed.

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    Second bedroom sink area.

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    The second bedroom ensuite bathroom is pretty similar to the master bedroom.

    We were staying here for the next 2 nights!


    Up Next: Around Silicon Valley


    princess::upsidedow
     
  17. DisneyFirefly

    DisneyFirefly DIS Veteran

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    That hotel room is so pretty! :)
     
  18. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    Hmmm I'm experiencing deva vu, somehow I feel like I've seen those pictures before.... :lmao:
     
  19. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    I love it. It's a nice place to chill out and relax.

    :rotfl2: I'm guessing that you've been to my new PTR/TR....:rolleyes1
     
  20. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    After the long’ish travel day from DTD to San Francisco, I was deep in DreamLand when the alarm rudely went off at 6.40 am. We might have been in a different town – but DH still was on a work trip.

    DH had a full day of meetings planned and he needed to get up and about. I decided that I should at least get up and join him for breakfast. Afterall, he was working and I wouldn’t be seeing him again until the end of the day.

    The place we were staying at includes a hot buffet breakfast. There is usually an egg option, a meat option (bacon, beef pattie or sausage), a cooked veg/fruit (tomato or mushrooms) and a potato accompaniment (diced or hash brown). And there is also the sweet selection – waffles or hot cakes, the various assortments of pastries, fresh fruit, yoghurt – as well as oatmeal. I didn’t take a picture of the breakfast we had on any of the morning we were there because there is usually a whole host of business people – some of which are my DH’s work colleagues – at breakfast. It just doesn’t seem appropriate to do so.

    Our home away from home is a great base for Silicon Valley and the Bay Area. It is close to a number of shopping malls, warehouse outlets, tourist traps and great restaurants. Plus, it is really close to a CalTrain station for that easy access into the Downtown San Francisco area.

    So, after dropping DH off at the work campus, I had the car and the whole day to myself. The only plans I had for the day was to catch up with my cousin, who was planning on catching the CalTrain down to meet us. She would call me later in the morning to confirm which train she would be on and I would pick her up at the appropriate station.

    It was barely 8.30 am. I decided that I would head to Stanford University to check out the Rodin statues. I had been to Stanford many years ago – when a friend was working at the Linear Accelerator. We got an insider’s tour then but in those days, digital photography had not been invented.

    The visitor information at Stanford was very helpful. They provided me with a map and pointed out some areas that I should go visit as well as the statues.

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    There are about 40 Rodin statues on the campus. Such amazing treasure just available for anyone to walk up and admire the craftsmanship of his very visual work.

    FYI – The last time a Rodin statue sold by auction was in about 2008. It fetched nearly $20 Million. It really is something to think about, isn’t it? Especially when Stamford just has their 40 statues just displayed out and about in the open.

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    By this stage, my cousin had called me to say that she had been delayed and was going to be catching a later train. We’d arranged the appropriate station and time to meet and I found that I still had about 90 minutes to kill.


    Up Next: Silicon Valley Food


    princess::upsidedow
     
  21. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    97,345
    With time on my hands, I decided to head next door to the Stanford Shopping Mall. I didn’t have a big shopping list with me this time. But I couldn’t resist the opportunity to take a look in my favourite stores. DH had also told me that I should get myself a Pandora charm (or two) for our wedding anniversary, which was (then) about a month away.

    But when I got there it was after 2 pm, I realized that I still hadn’t had lunch and was starving! I did take some time to take a look inside some of my favourite stores but my heart wasn’t really into the shopping. Have you ever tried shopping when your tummy is growling at you? Well, I find it really hard to focus on anything else.

    So, I headed here instead.

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    Lunch comprised of a hearty pumpkin soup. That bread stick was just delightful and dense. Plus, I didn’t taste too much added sugar; so I was really happy with my choice.

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    I know I’ve just talked about not having too much sugar in the bread, but this was my chosen snack. Hey – take a good look at the shop! It IS French.

    The snack was just chocolaty and rich and packed with calories! But SOOOO worth it.

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    And I decided to go the whole hog and had this to drink with my meal.

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    The best thing about that lunch was the company! As I sat down with my lunch, an older gentleman walked up with his golden labradour. He was looking for a seat and as I had a larger table with 4 chairs, I asked if he wanted to share the table with me. He was delighted to share the table and asked if I would hold on to the dog whilst he went inside to get his afternoon tea. The dog’s name is Prishka and the older gentleman is “Edward”. Edward and Prishka were fantastic company. It turns out that Edward was retired and came into the Mall at least 3 or 4 times a week to enjoy an afternoon treat. Edward used to own his own business in Stanford and lived up in the hillside. I wished that I had taken a photograph of him and Prishka. I am hoping that when I head back to San Francisco in January that I may bump into him and Prishka again.

    In the end, I spent way too long chatting with Edward and completely lost track of time. I missed out on some shopping time and had to fly to go pick my cousin up. I ended up being 15 minutes late!

    Lucky for me, my cousin hasn’t got a choice – I am family (and still her favourite cousin); so late or not, she didn’t complain and we were really happy to see each other again.

    I took her to my favourite bakery and pie shop for more snacks and to catch up about family news.

    This is part of the goodies on display…

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    My cousin decided to select these items. Both were yum!

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    And I went with my favourite American pie.

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    I also had a pot a tea to drink. Our bill came to under $10. Such a bargain!

    My cousin and I had a great time chatting and catching up on family news. But we still had over an hour to kill before DH would be finished with work. So, we headed over to a nearby suburb to browse the shops. After being at the World, it was almost a relief to come back to Earth and see normal shops and normal prices. Don’t get me wrong, I would have loved to still be at the World; but as I wasn’t, I still had to adjust to reality. My cousin had a great time with the shopping, as she needed to work out her costume for a Halloween party she was going to.

    Me? I found it hard to look at stuff that did NOT have Mickey ears. I really had a bit of an issue adjusting to reality that day!

    It was soon time to head back to pick up DH. We headed back to our suite to meet up with DH and when my cousin realized that we had an extra room, she decided to stay the night with us. If only we had realized this earlier, she would have packed extra clothes. As it was, we worked out that her needs were minimal and she could pick up what she wanted if we went shopping that night. What a hardship that was going to be!!

    DH and I didn’t have a lot of shopping time on this trip and this night was always going to be the night that we would get some shopping done. We’d decided that we were going to spend the night looking for…toys for DS. The nearest Mall had a Lego shop and Games Stop. We hit the mall and did enough damage on the credit card in a very short period. We also needed to find Bakugan for DS and after the mall, we headed to the nearest Toys R Us and Target. Sadly, neither had any the Bakugan DS wanted; but we picked up clothes and other toys for him.

    And we made sure that didn’t forget to eat. We went to an old favourite Malaysian restaurant for dinner and just made it in before the kitchen shut for the night.

    We started with Roti (flat bread) and curry for appertisers. This was pretty good.

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    We then moved on to the fried noodles (Char Kaoy Teow)…

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    a spicy fried vegetable (Sambal Okra)…

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    and a stir fry seafood, tofu and vegetable dish.

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    We also had a soup based noodle dish. The soup is a spicy tamarind based fish stock (Assam Laksa).

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    The food was not as good as we remembered it. I’m not sure that we would go back there again. But the company was the BEST!


    Up Next: Day 6 - Half Moon Bay, last minute shopping and time to go Home


    princess::upsidedow
     

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