TR Nov 2012: Another Aussie mad dash - Day 10: Final posts, TR finished #932 (02/21)
Jan 2011 Trip - Introductions
Hello fellow Dis-ers and lurkers alike. Welcome to my first ever DisneyLand PTR/TR.
That’s not to say that this is my first ever visit to DLR; nor is it my first ever PTR or TR – it’s just that this is my first PTR for Disneyland! A great lasting Dis-er friend of mine (franandaj) and DLR expert asked me to start this PTR/TR. It is about 5 weeks to my trip; so I thought I'd procrastinated long enough.
I've been a lurker on the DisBoard since 2004 and got heaps of great info about how to go commando style for my World trip in 2005. I finally decided to de-lurk in February this year; when my extended family of 9 decided to invade the World in May 2010.
As you can see from the number of posts I’ve clocked up since Feb, I’m clearly a shrinking violet type.
This is me – taken at the Epcot Flower and Garden festival in May.
I call the above picture - The Goofball and the Golfball. No prizes for guessing which one is the Golfball!
Due to circumstances beyond my control, I have been very fortunate to visit the World twice this year. My second trip coincided with the Food and Wine festival and Mickey's Not so Scary Halloween Party and the title for this PTR/TR was inspired from this trip. I flew 2 days from Australia to spend 3 days at WDW and am now doing another mad dash of flying 14 hours (one way) to spend 1 day at DLR. But more on this later….
PTRs and TRs of both 2010 trips (of mine) can be found in the standard location below.
Here’s a photo of me – taken at MNSSHP. So that there are no mistaken identity issues, I’m the one on the left.
Another great lasting Dis-er friend of mine, DisneyFirefly, took this photo. If it looks strangely vaguely familiar, that’s because Firefly has a PTR/TR started in this section of the Boards and there is her version of the photo (taken by me) in her introduction. She’s heading to DLR to celebrate her birthday. For the record, Firefly’s version of her photo has her standing on the right (so that there are no mistaken identities either!).
The full Mad dash Traveling Cast include my DH and DS10. This is a picture of us in May, trying to stay incognito, complete with Men In Black sunnies.
BTW - Those eagle-eyed amongst you might notice that DS is wearing a Soarin' T-shirt. That shirt was purchased at DCA in November 2008; during our last visit to DLR.
I hope you stick around for this PTR/TR – no seat belts required, feel free to keep your hands, feet and head or any other part of you outside the car – and remember….no liability will be assumed by the writer at any time!
Nov 2012 Trip
I was fortunate enough to make another Mad Dash back to California for November 2012.
You may find that this PTR/TR has continued to grow since the Jan 2011 trip as I decided to extend on this thread rather than start another one.
Don't worry - it's not you; it's me.
The Quick Links in the second post should take you through the various sections/days of each trip.
Thanks for reading!
JAN 2011 PTR/TR links
My travel plans
ESTA and APIS
Details Schmetails SoCal
OT Dinner at Maze (Food Porn)
Details Schmetails Central Coast, California
Car Hire and other DisOrganisation
Details Schmetails NorCal
2 week countdown
Friends In a Box Meets
1 week countdown
5 days countdown
2 day countdown
Get Set for TR
The Dash across the Pond is always Mad!
Day 1 at SoCal: Downtown Disney
Bad Line Karma and Settling into Anaheim!
DTD at night Rounds off Day 1
What Happened to Our Must Do Rides? A Swingin, Hangin and Shootin Mornin at DCA
Disneyland at LAST....
Across the Promenade and into Disneyland and Score Two to Me
Day 3 - Road Trip: DLR to Solvang
Day 4 - Road Trip: Solvang to Monterey
Day 5 Road Trip: Monterey to Silicon Valley
Day 6 NorCal: Silicon Valley
Day 7 NorCal: Silicon Valley again
Winchester Mystery House
Day 8 NorCal: Downtown San Francisco
Heading to Downtown
Day 9 NorCal: Downtown again
Getting to Chinatown
Day 10 NorCal: Final Day
OT A weekend in the Life of Melbourne
If it is March in Melbourne, it must be Moomba Madness
Final Thoughts - The End
NOV 2012 PTR/TR links
Another Mad Dash And so it Begins
About e-Tickets, Credit Cards and ESTA
Converting 2D friends-in-a-box into 3D friends-for-life
About Whatnots and My Travel Plans
The Double Waa-aah Mummy
The Three-legged Dilemma
TWO Weeks sounds better than FOURTEEN days
White and Black is not always Shades of Grey
Seven Days of One; One Week of the Other
Three Days and Two Work Days to Get Through!
Nearly time to go and what's in my bag?
And. So. It. Begins (Get Ready and Sub in Now)
Day 1: A very long day
Day 2: GroundHog Day
Dis Connections (DisMeet #1)
Day 3: Disneyland
Life in the Slow Lane
Day 4: SoCal to NorCal Changeover Day
Day 5: NorCal - Around the Bay in a Day
Day 6: NorCal - Cruzing the Cabrillo
Day 7: NorCal - San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf
Day 8: NorCal - San Francisco: DisMeets and Parks
Day 9: NorCal - Around the Santa Cruz Mountains
Day 10: NorCal - In Search of my Final Day
Thanks for reading!
:yay: Yay! I'm first! NOT LAST! :yay:
Excited to hear your plans - love Australian trip reports! :cool1:
Hurray! I'm third and not some other insignificant number!!!
And I'm fourth and I'm here! :yay:
So I'll spill the beans about at least one thing...I have a friend who is a Club 33 member and I was able to get her to make a reservation for us so we'll be having lunch there at I think 1:00PM with my DP and PrincessInOz's family. I have a feeling that the boys will not be able to take the laid back pace of Club 33. They may be dying to get out into the park while us gals sit back and enjoy the food!
Someone's going to Club 33!! It's ME!!!!
(franandaj - thank you! thank you! thank you!)
My Travel Plans
When: I’ll be departing Melbourne on January 19th and because I’m crossing the International Date Line, I’ll be arriving Los Angeles on January 19th. The expected flight time is 14.5 hours.
(Melbourne city at dusk)
We’ll be departing San Francisco on January 28th and arriving home on January 30th. Yup – another 14.5 hours home.
What the?: To put this 14.5 hours into perspective, this is like getting on a plane in Los Angeles and flying to New York, turning right around to head back to Los Angeles, turning right around and heading back to New York again.
If it sounds like a Mad Dash to you, then that would be because it IS a Mad Dash - one that all Aussie travelers do if they want to get to MouseLand.
Where: I plan to stay 2 nights in Anaheim followed by 2 nights of itinerant travel up the PCH and ending up somewhere in Silicon Valley for 5 nights.
How: I’m still working out how I’m funding this…suffice to say, it barely borders on legal.
Why: DH has yet another business trip to make to Silicon Valley. He needs to be there for the week commencing 23rd January until the 28th January. As this corresponds with school summer holidays in Australia, DS and I thought it would be fun to tag along.
We also plan to add a couple of days at the start of the trip as pure holiday, which is why we’ve ended up with a couple of days in Anaheim and the road trip up PCH1.
Our Itinerary looks like this:
19th January: Depart Melbourne and arrive Los Angeles. Pick up car hire and head to Anaheim (accommodation to be advised in a later post). Hopefully catch up with my aunt and try not to fall asleep.
20th January: DLR/DCA. Lunch with franandaj at CLUB 33. Catch World of Colour at night and try not to freeze. This is my ONE DAY at DLR; so I hope to make the most of it. Careful planning is required if I'm going to meet DH and DS needs for wild rides vs mine for wild rides and also catching up for a long lunch with franandaj. :scratchin
21st January: Start driving up. Possible stop options – Santa Monica, Farmer’s Market, Camarillo, Ojai.
Another possible option was to meet up with Shushh. Yes – strange to think that I’m doing a DisMeet with a fellow Aussie all the way in Los Angeles; but it was a distinct possibility for a while. But we have worked out that it probably isn’t practical as she is disembarking from a Disney cruise on this day and we really cannot plan to meet as anything is possible during disembarkation.
We plan to stay in Solvang and arrive there around 3 or 4 pm in the evening.
22nd January: Continue driving up. Possible stop options – Hearst Castle, Big Sur and every turn along PCH1.
We plan to stay in Carmel or Monterey on this night. It all depends on whether my accommodation of choice will allow a one-night stay on a Saturday night. I hope to have this sorted….sometime….preferably before we arrive in Carmel or Monterey.
23rd January: Arrive at our Silicon Valley home. This is where we choose to stay when in Silicon Valley.
Our lounge room.
The master bedroom, King Bed.
Master bedroom ensuite Bathroom.
There is a walk-in robe to the side of the sink area; but I don't have a picture.
If we’re really lucky, we may get allocated a 2-bedroom suite. This way, DS will have his own bedroom. If we’re not lucky, then DS will be sleeping on the sofabed in the lounge room.
Either way, it will be fantastic to be back in the Bay area.
24th – 28th January: I don’t have any real plans for how we are going to spend our time from the 24th – 28th of January.
I know I want to go to the Walt Disney Family museum in the City (Presidio) and DS will probably want to take a trolley ride, a bus ride, a ferry ride, a train ride and any other modes of transport possible.
We will probably catch up with my cousin and DH’s uncle and cousins that live in the Bay Area.
I’m also hoping to catch up with another Dis-er who lives in Northern California. We haven’t made any firm plans yet; but she knows I’m heading her way.
Oh…and I want to SHOP!
28th – 30th January: Depart San Francisco and arrive back in Melbourne on the 30th January. After I get home, I'll probably crash out on my bed!
Any thoughts and comments on my proposed travel plans and itinerary?
Sounds like fun!
Wow, what a great hotel room. I'd be more than happy to stay there! DH thinks its hilarious that I'm making plans to meet up with other Aussies overseas. Also planning to meet up with Jade if we end up going back to the States in September...
Anywho, I've got your number. Will call on the 21st if a meet is remotely possible and to see if you're still vaguely in the same area! I suppose we could always come down to Melbourne again or you to Sydney. Would be easier I suspect, or maybe not!
Oh and always keen to hear what you are up to, no matter where I am!
Which reminds me....I now have photos of Stamford and Half Moon Bay..so I should probably update the SF thread too.
I'm glad to see that I'm not the only Aussie who thinks it's not strange to meet up with other Aussies in the US. :laughing:
I thought I had replied the other day, but obviously I hadn't.
Shushh, you have to return in September!! But you need to decide now so you can get free dining.
Princess, that is a great hotel room. We stayed in Pismo Beach rather than Solvang. It seemed quite nice but we did not have time to explore the town. I really wanted to call into Solvang, but once DH is on the road he does not like to stop.
ESTA and APIS
Today I found out that there is yet another bit of new travel bureaucracy to deal with.
For the last few years, the US have re-introduced the equivalent of a visitor's visa. The visitor's visa used to exist more than 15 years ago where Australians wishing to enter the US had to complete a form (paper....remember those days??) and then send the form, passport and money to the US embassy for them to put a visa entry stamp into the passport. Then the visa waiver came into effect between the US and Australia and we didn't have to worry about a visa...it was all done when we entered the US through customs.
The new equivalent of the visitor's visa is called the Electronic System Travel Authority. You go into a website (run by the Department of Homeland Security) and complete the form online. In return, it spits out an alphanumeric number of way too many characters for me to count! But that number becomes your ESTA for the next 2 years; or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. ESTA used to be free...it now costs about $14 for the pleasure of filling in your details online.
I now find out that in addition to the ESTA, we now have the APIS...Advance Passenger Information System. The airline collects this information for travel to and from the US. It is apparently used to screen people against the US Watch List.
Do you think it might be worth suggesting that they screen the ESTA against the Watch List????
Or...that they should screen the person's ESTA application against the Watch List before they approve the entry?
Hmm...wonder how long it will be before there is a charge for APIS? :lmao:
I'm also guessing that this is a one-way thing and that US travellers coming to Australia don't have to worry about anything like this...or maybe you do. If anyone knows, please enlighten me.
I'm also guessing that Oprah did NOT have to worry about a visa...given that Australia threw incentives in her direction to come on Downunder.
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