Mandymouse's Return to Paradise ~ Sept '18

mandymouse

Bahama Mama Time !!
Joined
Mar 8, 2003
Joining in....now going back to the beginning to read. :yay:
Way too much to catch up on and comment on it all but it's looking like a really nice and relaxing trip so far. Naps, drinks and food...you can't get any better than that. :thumbsup2 It sounds like you were ready for your port days, it's a shame that the hurricane and volcano had some things closed down but there still looked like there was plenty to see. Any day in Hawaii has to beat a cold, rainy day at home! :laughing: I'm very proud of you and Paul for doing your utmost to make the most of the drink package. :rotfl: Right up my alley. :drinking1
Haha Jenny, you can always count on me and Paul to keep up with the drinks packages :drinking1:rotfl2:
 

mandymouse

Bahama Mama Time !!
Joined
Mar 8, 2003
Monday 24th September

I had an awful nights sleep, I’m always the same on the last night, but waking at 2.30am was way too early even for me. I dozed till 6.15am then started getting ready. Paul woke soon after then we began to pack. We were going to disembark with our luggage which began around 7.15am

I think we left our room about 7.30am and the whole process was straight forward, no long lines on the disembarking deck or at security once we were off. We took a taxi to the Waikiki Resort Hotel and we were able to check in but our room wouldn’t be ready till 3pm

We left our luggage at Bell Services then exited towards Waikiki Beach around 8.15. It was already a beautiful morning, around 27°c. The beach was busy and the surfers were out

We wandered up to Starbucks for a latte and lemon loaf for Paul and choc chip cookie for me then we spent the next couple of hours wandering along the beach taking photos till we got to the Hilton Hawaiian Village. It was a lovely walk. We stopped along the way, just to rest in the heat and people watch, it really was a beautiful morning

























Around 11 we called at the pool bar at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and had a pina colada to cool us down





We were starting to feel a bit hungry, so walked on towards the Hard Rock Café where we shared onion rings, chicken tenders and flatbread. It was all very nice, and our lager and cider were very refreshing





We walked along Kalakauna Avenue, the main street for shopping, restaurants and access to the beach, popping into the various shops and where I treated myself to a new top and a couple of Christmas decorations





We returned to the hotel about 2.20pm and were relieved to hear that our room was ready as we were shattered after our walk and the heat

I quickly took a couple of photos of the room then we lay on the bed and were asleep within minutes











I woke at 4.30pm, had a shower and washed my hair then we headed back to the beach for the sunset. It wasn’t a pretty sunset, but what a lovely backdrop in the warm evening watching the surfers

















We weren’t particularly hungry so we had a Mai Tai at Duke’s then continued down to the Hard Rock for a cider and lager. We slowly wandered back in the direction of our hotel and stopped for the end of happy hour at the Cheeseburger in Paradise bar where the cheap Mai Tais were very good






We had a quick McDonalds, then it was time for bed, though we just had time to spot from our balcony the Carnival Legend leave the port at 11pm on its way to Australia





Tomorrow – More Honolulu then flight to LA
 

ukintheus

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 3, 2009
Just catching up as I haven't been on the boards recently to see this last post. Another lovely day in paradise with an appropriate amount of drinkies and lots of walking so you can say that you technically "earned" them. :lovestruc
 
  • mandymouse

    Bahama Mama Time !!
    Joined
    Mar 8, 2003
    Tuesday 25th September

    I slept really well .. yay!! I woke around 6.30am and Paul woke just before 8. We didn’t really have any plans for today other than to go the beach in the morning and check out at 11am, so that’s exactly what we did, we sat on Waikiki Beach about 9am and couldn’t believe our luck, what a lovely warm morning in paradise it was







    We stopped off at McDonalds for a quick breakfast then went back to the room at 10 and got showered and packed for check out at 11. We left our luggage with Bell Services, where as we had checked out had to pay $2 per case and $1 per carry on bag. Here he advised us about a shuttle service to the airport which would be $13 each so we booked that for a 6.45pm pick up too



    So we just had the day to ourselves, so once again wandered down the main street cutting through to the beach and shopping centres along the way. We stopped for a drink at Duke’s, and one at the Hard Rock Café too and once again we walked as far as the Hilton Hawaiian Village where we both had the best Mai Tai of the holiday























    As the afternoon went on we had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory where we shared their lovely bread and buffalo wings and both had the shepherds pie, the whole meal with a couple of diet cokes came to about $53







    We then bought a few bits on our way back to the hotel then sat by the pool in the shade and dozed till it was time to retrieve our luggage



    I sat with the cases and Paul nipped down the road to photograph the sunset at the beach. The shuttle arrived a little late and it was a bit of a farce as 5 minutes after being picked up we were switched to another shuttle so that both buses wouldn't need to do the airport run. The driver picked up a friend, we went into other hotels and he dropped his friend off, it felt like it was taking forever but we still got to the airport by 7.40pm







    We self checked in and handed over our luggage. It was a fair old walk to the terminal which looked like it had been done up since our previous visit, then we sat near the gate with a Starbucks



    Our flight began boarding about 9.20pm and we pulled away on time at 10.10pm. I pretty much put my blanket round me and my eye mask on and dozed for the 4hr 40 mins flight

    Tomorrow – Santa Monica
     

    mandymouse

    Bahama Mama Time !!
    Joined
    Mar 8, 2003
    Wednesday 26th September

    We landed at LAX around 6.15am and as we exited the plane it was pigging freezing, and there was me in my shorts and strappy top :rotfl: We retrieved our luggage then took the shuttle over to the Alamo car hire. After a short wait we were driving away and within no time hit the freeway and traffic

    The drive to Santa Monica was straight forward though we arrived hours before we were able to check into our hotel. We parked at the shopping centre around 9ish but it looked as though the folks of Santa Monica don’t open their stores till 10. We sat outside Starbucks with a couple of lattes then went in search of breakfast

    We wandered out of the shopping centre and up a main road where we found Johnny Rockets. We both ordered 2 eggs sunny side up with sausages, mini potatoes, toast and jam and it was delicious as well and a blooming bargain, less than $17 with an orange juice for Paul and I just had water



    We now had to keep ourselves busy for a few more hours. We called into our hotel, the Wyndham Santa Monica pier and the receptionist said to return in a short time and he’d have a room ready for us

    We wandered down to the pier and although it was a sunny day there was quite a cool breeze. We went for a wander and found a British pub. There was a couple of League Cup footie games on, so we settled down with a couple of pints till the games finished











    We returned to the hotel just after 2pm. The hotel was in a prime location, right opposite Santa Monica Pier though it cost $43 a night for valet parking (rip off). We checked in then headed to the room. The room itself was nice, but they were sold as beach views, which I guess it did have, if you could see through the dirty windows :rotfl2:











    After our lack of sleep due to our overnight flight, we settled down and had a nap for a couple of hours. When I woke the sun was shining so we got ready and went down to the pier. Well once again I only had a strappy top and shorts on and it was blooming chilly in the wind



    I don’t know why, but staying here wasn’t as great as I had hoped it to be. There was the overpriced hotel with the lack of a view, it was chilly, there seemed to be so many people loitering around, lots of yelling and police everywhere, you even had to have your bags searched to enter the pier, I just felt unsafe. After going back down to the pier we took some photos, and even though I was cold I made Paul go on the Pacific Wheel with me












    We had a drink at Bubba Gump till the sun set. We took more pics then dropped our cameras back at our room. We decided to go back to the British pub for dinner as it seemed so popular. We enjoyed a lovely meal of steak & guiness pie for me, chicken & mushroom pie for Paul and we shared an apple pie with custard and washed it down with a couple of pints each. It was all very nice and came to just under $80























    We had a busy day tomorrow and really didn't fancy wandering the streets in the dark so we headed back to the hotel and had an early night


    Tomorrow – California Science Center & Disneyland
     

    mandymouse

    Bahama Mama Time !!
    Joined
    Mar 8, 2003
    Thursday 27th September

    I had a great nights sleep .. yay!!

    I started moving around about 8.30am, then got showered and changed. Once Paul was awake and ready we walked over to the shopping centre where only Starbucks was open and we had a couple lattes and shared a choc chip cookie

    We returned to the hotel and checked out around 10. This morning we had tickets to see the Space Shuttle Endeavor at The California ScienCenter. We took the much quieter freeways there and arrived in plenty of time. Although the exhibit isn’t very big, both Paul and I were thrilled to see it because we had both been lucky enough to see this particular Shuttle take off twice. We first saw it take off on December 5th 2001 from Cocoa Beach pier as a family, then just the two of us saw it on 16th May 2011 on its final space flight where we viewed it from the Jetty Park at Port Canaveral













    After getting our science geek on, we then got in the car and drove towards Disneyland. First stop was Wal-Mart for some kind of extra case for travelling home and for some other bits and bobs and essentials

    We then headed to our hotel, the Best Western Plus Park Place Inn, right opposite the Disneyland entrance. We registered, but it was too early to check in, so we dropped our luggage off. Next we returned our car to the local Alamo car hire, though had to have a final minute hunt for a petrol station as we forgot to fill it up oops

    We arrived at the Disney California Adventure Park around 2pm. We didn’t have a plan, just wander around taking some photos and taking in the atmosphere





    The park was all decked out for Halloween though it was the Disneyland Park that would be hosting the Mickey’s Halloween parties. We wandered through Cars Land then stopped for a late lunch at the Lucky Fortune Cookery, where we both enjoyed Asian rice bowls, Mmm, they were good












    We wandered over to Pixar Pier to see the Incredicoaster ride. This used to be California Screamin’ which was my favourite Disney ride, so I wasn’t happy about the changes, but I would give it a go. We grabbed some FP’s for half an hour later and while we waited for the FP time to come round we had a drink at the Alfresco Tasting Terrace bar. Paul played around with the Disneyland app so we could view our FP’s on his phone then we went off to ride it. It was cool, it seemed faster and we did enjoy it, but I prefer the original (I’m really not good with change lol)















    Next we beaded over to Cars Land and did the single rider for Radiator Springs Racers (love this). We carried on around the park and saw what they had done to Tower of a Terror. We would ride this tomorrow, but I really didn’t like the idea of changing it to a Guardians of the Galaxy ride







    We rode the Incredicoaster again then returned to the hotel to check in and put our luggage in the room. The rooms had had a bit of a face lift which was nice. After a quick freshen up we went back to California Adventure













    We just chilled around taken photos of the sunset and enjoyed another drink before it closed at 7pm









    We exited the park and strolled through DownTown Disney popping into the shops and enjoying a drink at the Uva outside bar

    We then headed over to the Disneyland Hotel for a drink at Trader Sam’s there. It’s a cool Tiki Bar and luckily we were able to find a table where we just had one Mai Tai each. It was a fun place with volcano noises and lights going off around us





    As we re-entered DTD we stopped for a burger and fries to share from a food van there, then headed back to the hotel

    Tomorrow – More Disney
     

    ukintheus

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 3, 2009
    Good update!! Shame that the Santa Monica Pier hotel and area were disappointing but at least you weren't there for long so it could have been much worse! Good first day at DL with lots going on. No wonder you are sleeping so well. Ha ha.
     
  • mandymouse

    Bahama Mama Time !!
    Joined
    Mar 8, 2003
    Good update!! Shame that the Santa Monica Pier hotel and area were disappointing but at least you weren't there for long so it could have been much worse! Good first day at DL with lots going on. No wonder you are sleeping so well. Ha ha.
    Thanks Jenny, can't believe it's taken me so long to get this finished lol, I'd completely forgotten about it with Christmas etc, but I'm on it now and just a couple of updates left to do :)
     

    mandymouse

    Bahama Mama Time !!
    Joined
    Mar 8, 2003
    Friday 28th September

    I was hoping to be up at 7am so we could get to the parks for opening at 8, but sadly I didn’t wake up till closer to 8 so that plan went out the window

    We got showered and ready for the day and made our way to the California Adventure Park

    Paul downloaded the Disney Maxpass to his phone which cost $10 each, we weren’t impressed at first as we couldn’t make more than one FP, but when the time for our first FP, Guardians of the Galaxy- Mission BREAKOUT came round we could make another one

    Anyway I wasn’t looking forward to seeing the changes made to Tower of Terror, it’s such a classic, but I came off thinking it was ok, I just needed to ride it again









    Our next FP was for the Incredicoaster where yet again we were right at the back, it was sooooo fast :hyper:





    We did the single rider again for Radiator Springs then had a pit stop at a cookie shop. We then rode GOTG again and both agreed that the actual ride part of it was good, lots of drops and the 80’s music was cool too, I guess they’ve made the ride less scary and more family friendly













    While deciding what to do next we had a drink at the Alfresco Tasting Terrace, then after another go on Incredicoaster we had some lunch at the Lucky Fortune Cookery again of Korean BBQ chicken for Paul and Chicken Coconut Curry for me, which once again was very nice





    While Paul was playing with the Maxpass app he said there was a FP for Star Tours in Disneyland if I fancied it, so we hot footed it over there and before riding it we snagged another FP for Buzz Lightyear

















    The parks were very busy today. Disneyland had a Halloween party on tonight, so that was pretty busy and once the party had started everyone else would be heading over to DCA

    We would be returning to Disneyland in the morning, so had a wander around and before leaving the park we rode the Disneyland Rail Road around the park then we exited towards DTD for some last shopping and a glass of cider and lager at the bar













    We returned to the hotel around 5pm and the queues to get into the parks were immense. We chilled for a while, then freshened up and headed back out

    As we entered DCA it was rammed. We had two FP’s, one for GOTG and one for the Incredicoaster. While we waited for our time slots to arrive we had a glass of wine and lager at the Alfresco Tasting Terrace. People were already settling down waiting for the parade, it always amazes me how they can be bothered to find a spot an hour and a half before a parade, but that’s what they were doing. We made our way to the Incredicoaster which was cool to ride in the dark then we fought our way through the crowds to GOTG. Not sure if they always run different shows or if it was because it was the evening, but it was really good where we were being used as a distraction to the baddies while Rocket rescued Groot :rotfl:





    We exited the park and wandered through DTD. We shared a burger fries and onion rings and enjoyed a Prosecco and lager or two at the Uva Bar. We sat next to a couple of English guys and were privy to a couple of obnoxious American young ladies being rude to the barman there, and one of them just had to have the last word, so this went on for a good half an hour, it was gripping to watch lol, free entertainment, though we made sure to talk to the manager afterwards and put them right on the young ladies story



    After that excitement we made our way back to the hotel and started the sad task of packing

    Tomorrow – Disneyland & flying home
     

    mandymouse

    Bahama Mama Time !!
    Joined
    Mar 8, 2003
    Saturday 29thSeptember

    Well our plan for an early start went out the window when we slept in again. Paul was fast off and I just couldn’t bring myself to wake him when I knew he’d have a long drive home after our flight tonight, so it was gone 8 when he woke

    We got changed and finished off our packing then checked out and left our luggage with reception

    We made our way to the Disneyland Park where once we entered we bought the online Maxpasses and straight away made FP’s for Star Tours. We wandered through the shops then took some photos outside the castle. When our FP time for Star Tours came round, we made another one for Buzz Lightyear







    After riding both Star Tours then Buzz we wandered around the park. It was heaving and we couldn’t get any decent FP’s until a lot later that day, so we exited the park and headed over to the California Adventure where we spent our last few hours riding GOTG, the Incredicoaster and having one last drink at the Alfresco Tasting Terrace









    We had one last look around DTD then headed back to the hotel where our shuttle was waiting for us to take us to the airport

    It took about 35 minutes to get to LAX. We checked in and dropped our luggage off then joined the short line at security, then through to departures

    We had a Starbucks coffee and cake each, then enjoyed one last drink at PF Changs. We wandered down to our gate, and our flight was on time. Once onboard the captain announced that our flight could be around an hour early back into Gatwick due to tail winds though it might be bumpy at times

    I had Beef and rice for dinner and Paul had chicken (no pic as his was blurry),and tried to sleep but I just couldn't settle and just dozed on and off all the way home



    We were due to arrive in Gatwick at 2pm, and I think we got in about 1.10. Thankfully Immigration was quiet and we were straight through and didn’t have too long to wait for our luggage

    We took the shuttle to the APH car park and picked up the car. Paul was shattered straight away, we ended up stopping at the first services on the M40 for a coffee but it didn’t help, in fact we ended up at Warwick services where he promptly had a half hour nap. When he woke he was absolutely fine and then a short while later we were home

    So there you have it, what a wonderful trip we had. Sadly we have no plans to return to Hawaii in the near future, and if we did we would probably fly there and take a cruise around the islands, I really don't fancy 5 days at sea when the weather can be unpredictable. I also realised how much I really don't like crowds. We went to Disneyland during the week on our first trip but with it being the weekend this time it was just too busy, I really didn't deal with it well. We won't be back to WDW this year as we're holding on till all the Star Wars stuff is open next year. I can't wait and will have to man up as it will be super busy (though Epcot and drinkies around the World are only a bus ride away :rotfl:). This year Paul and I will be flying to Miami to take two Carnival cruises. We're sailing on the Conquest for 7 nights then the Horizon for 8 nights, both around the Caribbean (bring it on !!!!)

    Thanks for reading along and apologies for taking so long to type it up :wave2:
     
  • btab

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 5, 2001
    Thank you for taking the time to write this up, I always read the reports you write, but haven’t commented before. We have recently taken to cruising and been on a couple of celebrity cruises, a transatlantic and Caribbean one which we enjoyed a great deal. Most people tend to find a cruise line they enjoy and stick to it don’t you think ?
     

    ukintheus

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 3, 2009
    Just now getting around to finish reading this one Mandy. :lovestruc I'm with you on the crowds - I just don't want to deal with lots of people and the crowding and the waiting in line. I guess I'm getting old. :rolleyes1 You still managed to pack in some stuff though, and taking drink breaks always helps. Ha ha. Looking forward to your next trippie with your back to back cruises in FL. I know they will be amazing and you will have great weather. :flower1: I'm finally getting myself organized to get my trip report started. We had almost 3000 photographs....uggg...seems like a good idea at the time until you have to whittle them down for a trippie! :crazy2:
     

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