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Old 12-14-2010, 05:57 AM   #1
PrincessInOz
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PTR OCT 2014: Save the Date Mad Dash: Honest-to-Goodness Plans #968 (09/01)

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!



Oct 2014 Trip

Save the Date! It's a Family Ceremony that pushed me into making another Mad Dash. And as there's space on this thread, why start a new one, right?

The Quick Links in the second post should take you through the various sections/days of each trip.






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Walt Disney World - Jun 2005, May 2010 (POR, BCV) PTR || TR, Oct 2010 (CSR) PTR || TR, Oct 2013 Anyone Game? PTR || TR in progress
Hong Kong Disneyland - Mar/Apr 2012 TR

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Old 12-14-2010, 05:59 AM   #2
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Quick Links


JAN 2011 PTR/TR links

PTR section
Introduction
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



TR section
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

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Day 2 at Disneyland Resort

What Happened to Our Must Do Rides? A Swingin, Hangin and Shootin Mornin at DCA
The Happiest Place on Earth
Games of a Different Kind equals Mischief
Soarin towards Lunch

Disneyland at LAST....
Across the Promenade and into Disneyland and Score Two to Me
Club 33 YES, THAT Club 33
Club 33 Food Porn - Part 1
Club 33 Food Porn - Part 2
Life Outside Club 33
Our DL afternoon Must Do Rides and then some
Disneyland and California Adventure at Night
World of Colour Part 1
World of Colour Part 2
World of Colour Part 3
World of Colour Part 4
Final Moments at DLR

Day 3 - Road Trip: DLR to Solvang

On the Road to Solvang
Solvang by Night
Another Culinary experience Root 246, Organic and Local

Day 4 - Road Trip: Solvang to Monterey

Solvang Gardens Continental Breakfast
Solvang by Morning
Road to Pismo Beach Chasing Wildlife
Road to Piedras Blancas What are those Rocks, Mum?
Road to McWay Falls Impossible Natural Beauty
Road to Monterey Usnuzuloose Part 1
Portola Inn and Spa
Usnuzuloose Part 2 - Corn and all the Fixin's

Day 5 Road Trip: Monterey to Silicon Valley
Monterey in the Morning
Cannery Row
Road to Silicon Valley
A Tale of 2 Nissans

Day 6 NorCal: Silicon Valley
Half Moon Bay
Relaxing Afternoon On Vacation finally!
Bird Watching at The Inner Bay
Palo Alto

Day 7 NorCal: Silicon Valley again
Winchester Mystery House
Driving Rings around the Parkway
Coyote Point Part 1
Coyote Point Part 2
Dinner for Two

Day 8 NorCal: Downtown San Francisco
Heading to Downtown
Pier 39
Fishermans Wharf and another DisBoard winner
San Francisco Maritime National Park
Clang, clang, clang went the trolley&Ding, ding, ding went the bell
More Food Porn

Day 9 NorCal: Downtown again
Getting to Chinatown
Chinatown morning
Still in Chinatown
Yerba Buena Gardens
Easy Afternoon and Night

Day 10 NorCal: Final Day
Our last morning and the Cabrillo Highway
Final Afternoon and on the way Home

OT A weekend in the Life of Melbourne
If it is March in Melbourne, it must be Moomba Madness
Madness! Just plain Madness! In the name of Charity
Moomba Parade Part 1
Moomba Parade Part 2
Moomba Parade Part 3


Final Thoughts - The End



NOV 2012 PTR/TR links

PTR section

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?


TR section

And. So. It. Begins (Get Ready and Sub in Now)


Day 1: A very long day
And So It Starts
Flying by the Numbers
The Plane Porn Facts

Day 2: GroundHog Day
Dis Connections (DisMeet #1)
Where even an ordinary activity transforms to magical delight
The deliciousness of being unencumbered by the routine of everyday life - Time for Proper Food Porn

Day 3: Disneyland
Life in the Slow Lane
Making Rope Drop - Hooray for Hollywood
Life Imitating Art
CarsLand by Day
In Manual OverDrive
Radiator Spring Racers - Must Do #1
What are the Astronomical Odds? - Must Do #2
A Quick Hit and Run; Off-Target Shooting Practise
A U-turn in the Plan
Where In the Land? - DisMeet #2
A Year after the Turn of the Century; Parts 1, 2
In a Genie Galaxy Far Far Away - Must Do #3
More from the Hyperion
My only shopping time in the Parks
Night time at DCA
A little Danish Culture - Must Do #4
Kaleidescopes of Colour Must Do #5 Parts 1, 2
Day's End

Day 4: SoCal to NorCal Changeover Day

Saying Goodbye to franandaj
An uneventful reunion over lunch
Our home away from home
Chinese Dinner in NorCal
Mental Shopping


Day 5: NorCal - Around the Bay in a Day

Resort Ch-ch-ch-changes
Around the Bay....to Half Moon Bay (In Search Of....Photoscavenger hunt items)
All the Beautiful Morning trimmings....and more corn
Around the Bay.....to San Jose (Do you know the way?)
Santana Row
Around the Bay.....to Great Mall Drive
Around the Bay....to the East Bay (Seeing a Star and Flashing)
Around the Bay....via the City by the Bay (Bay Bridge)


Day 6: NorCal - Cruzing the Cabrillo

Ham it Up!
My Plans for the Week - a recap
Life in the Fast Lane
The Butterfly Enclosure
I wanna live on this Drive
In Search of Five People
Heaven Can be Found in the Most Unlikely Corners
Closed on Monday
Of Vivid Colours and Where Falcons Swoop
A California Historic Landmark
More International Cuisine - It's Thai Tonight
Out-Shopped Again


Day 7: NorCal - San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf

Hitting the Breakfast Snag #1 - Still no Bacon!
Hitting the Breakfast Snag #2 - Life in the No Go Zone
The Travelling Public
The Crabby Patty #1
Musee Mecanique
Around Fisherman's Wharf
Maritime Museum, of sorts
NOT the Maritime Museum (Ghirardelli Square)
A San Francisco Icon Trolley Ride
Tipping the Shopping Scales
More International Cuisine Italian


Day 8: NorCal - San Francisco: DisMeets and Parks

Bacon! Bacon! Bacon!
Life in the Go Zone
An Oldie...but a Goldie...Gate Park
An Unexpected Freebie - The Japanese Tea Gardens
Poster Gals and Guys of the Lasting Kind - DisMeet #3
Crabby Patty #2 - A Lasting Lunch in Sausalito
Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay, Sausalito
Taking the Right Fork for a change Castillo de San Joachin
More Cheesy Food Porn


Day 9: NorCal - Around the Santa Cruz Mountains

A calm breakfast service despite the snag
Wonderland in Alice
Walking in the Shadow of Giants - Big Basin State Park
Sitting out the Rain in Boulder Creek
When you gotta go....rain or shine! Hakone Gardens
Lick the Screen time - Sweet and Bittersweet Delights
It really is a Work Trip - More of DHs colleagues


Day 10: NorCal - In Search of my Final Day

A Calm Morning on the Back Bay
More Shopping - Stanford Mall
It's About the Food at Stanford Mall
About Bronze Statues
Bag Stalking
An Amazing Collection
The end of my time at Stanford and San Francisco



OCT 2014 PTR/TR links

PTR section

Save The Date
The Great e-Paper Exchange
Honest-to-Goodness Plans



Thanks for reading!



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Walt Disney World - Jun 2005, May 2010 (POR, BCV) PTR || TR, Oct 2010 (CSR) PTR || TR, Oct 2013 Anyone Game? PTR || TR in progress
Hong Kong Disneyland - Mar/Apr 2012 TR

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Old 12-14-2010, 01:41 PM   #3
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Yay! I'm first! NOT LAST!
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Old 12-14-2010, 06:59 PM   #4
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Excited to hear your plans - love Australian trip reports!
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:01 PM   #5
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Hurray! I'm third and not some other insignificant number!!!
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:38 PM   #6
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And I'm fourth and I'm here!
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Old 12-15-2010, 12:25 AM   #7
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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!
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Old 12-15-2010, 04:47 AM   #8
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SUBSCRIBERS!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by franandaj View Post
Yay! I'm first! NOT LAST!
Right words; wrong thread....

Quote:
Originally Posted by maryr1oz View Post
Excited to hear your plans - love Australian trip reports!
I love Australian TRs too....especially if they are MINE!

Quote:
Originally Posted by shushh View Post
Hurray! I'm third and not some other insignificant number!!!
You're NEVER insignificant. I'm touched that you're subbing in when you're on holiday at the WORLD!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyFirefly View Post
And I'm fourth and I'm here!


Quote:
Originally Posted by franandaj View Post
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!)
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Old 12-15-2010, 05:29 AM   #9
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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.

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.




Our kitchen.




The master bedroom, King Bed.




Sink area.




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?


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Old 12-15-2010, 06:45 PM   #10
franandaj

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post

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.
If you stay onsite you can get your WoC FPs starting at 9AM rather than 9:30when they open up that part...unless you do one of the dining packages (which I'm sure you will still be still stuffed from lunch!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post

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.

Any thoughts and comments on my proposed travel plans and itinerary?
You're staying in Belmont right? I'm sure you've been to Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf...have you been to Fort Point? We have done CW reenacting so we loved that. Have you been to the Exploratorium? Your DS might really enjoy that. The museums in Golden Gate Park are always nice too.

Sounds like fun!
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Alison ~~~~ Sleepy and Grumpy Visit Tatooine | Our Disney Dream Home|Keep Your Eyes on the Road | I do get to go to WDW this year! | Expo 2013 | ...It's How You Play the Game | We need a little Magic... | TR - Pinch me... | Destination D-75 TR | It'll be a WONDER ... | Cheating on Mickey w/ Harry, PTR | D23 Expo 2011 TR | D23 D40 WDW in Detail | DCA F&W Review | Jan 2010 DR Visits 2015: VGC, VWL, DCL 2014: VGC, CSR, VGF, DCL 2013: VWL, BCV, DCL, AKL, BLT, VGC, 2012: VGC, DCL, 2011: VGC, BLT, OKW 2010: THV, AKV, VGC, 2009: BWV 2008: SSR, 2007: AKL & GF, 2001: AKL, BC & DCL 1997: DXL & WL 1993: GF, DL Too many to count since 1973!


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Old 12-15-2010, 08:15 PM   #11
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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!
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Old 12-16-2010, 12:37 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franandaj View Post
If you stay onsite you can get your WoC FPs starting at 9AM rather than 9:30when they open up that part...unless you do one of the dining packages (which I'm sure you will still be still stuffed from lunch!)

Update on where I'm staying coming up....next couple of days...

You're staying in Belmont right? I'm sure you've been to Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf...have you been to Fort Point? We have done CW reenacting so we loved that. Have you been to the Exploratorium? Your DS might really enjoy that. The museums in Golden Gate Park are always nice too.

Sounds like fun!
I started a thread on things I've done around San Francisco in the Aussie section. (Link included if anyone is interested) Pretty much yes to all the above and then some. Fort Point is my favourite end of the Bridge and we've always tried to get to GGP with every visit.

Which reminds me....I now have photos of Stamford and Half Moon Bay..so I should probably update the SF thread too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shushh View Post
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!
The hotel room is one reason why I keep going back again, and again, and again!

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.
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Old 12-17-2010, 03:47 AM   #13
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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.
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Old 12-17-2010, 04:00 AM   #14
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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?


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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Last edited by PrincessInOz; 12-17-2010 at 04:09 AM. Reason: Adding title
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Old 12-17-2010, 04:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jade+3 View Post
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.
Hi Jade! Thanks for stopping by. Pismo Beach is nice and I wouldn't turn up the opportunity to stop there. But we wanted DS to see something different on the road. He'll have lots of opportunity to see the beach driving up and Solvang is so quaint and different. Maybe you'll get to stop on your next trip
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