15th April 2014 - Going home
We landed in Sydney pretty much on time, 6:30am. No complaints with Virgin, I think I prefer Qantas but if the price is right Virgin is fine.
Immigration was as easy as it can get, the epassport system is great, wish the US had that. Bags were slow but OK. No damage, Ryan was concerned about his 16-year bottle of whiskey but it seemed to make it OK.
The area where you enter Customs is a shambles but we got through OK, they even provided Rayls with a band-aid when she ripped a fingernail opening one of the bags.
The transfer to Virgin is only a matter of 20 metres from he Customs exit so it was easy to transfer the bags and then catch the shuttle bus to the domestic terminal.
We had a four-hour lay over so it was pretty easy paced. We sat in the large restaurant area for a couple of hours and then walked to the gate.
All got on the A330 flight, VA555 and we arrived in Perth at around 1:40pm. Scott was waiting with a Diet Coke for me and a Coke for Ryan. He had a trailer so the luggage was easy enough.
Nice to be home, Hunter was very excited, a bit slower than Harley and Molly but we love him all the same.
So another trip is over.
Loved seeing the taping of a Big Bang Theory and meeting Jerry Mathers in De Soto was awesome.
However as an unsocial old grumble bum it was fantastic for me to spend time with Amy and Steve, Eileen in St Louis and Maria and Charlie in LA. They are all such wonderful people and made us all feel so welcome. Thank you guys and hopefully we can see you all again soon – we certainly will if I get my way.
Many thanks for ready, see you next time.
14th April 2014 - Huh
It didn't really exist for us.
13th April 2014 - Going home
Our last day was another quiet one, we enjoy spending time with Maria and Charlie. Harley and Molly also keep us occupied.
Apart from a short trip to a Walmart and a Home Depot, and lunch at Omega Burger, we stayed close to home. Rayls packed, Ryan packed his stuff - there is a distinct difference in packing dales between the two but I should not comment as I don't have to pack. I do have to hold the bags up so the weighing doovie can tell us how much they weigh. The three big bags were less than a kilo overweight each. There needed to be some adjusting but we headed off at 3pm with high hopes that check in would not be a problem.
I dropped Rayls, Ryan and the luggage at terminal 3 and then parked the car.
There was one person ahead of us in line and after a few minutes wait we got those bags weighed and onto the conveyor belt. We have to transfer them at Sydney but the worst is done. This was a much easier check in process than the last time we flew Virgin from LA.
We drove back to Maria and Charlie's and chatted for another 3 hours or so. We all had showers, our last for 30 hours or so. Shannon's sister Lisa was there, as was her son Ethan. There was some playing ball with Ethan and throwing the ball for Harley, he never seems to get sick of that.
After our goodbyes and thanks to Maria and Charlie we left for the airport at 7.30pm. The car was fuelled and dropped off at Alamo. The car, a Jeep, was a bust as far as I was concerned. No one will ever be able to say to me "you bought a jeep!"
Shuttle bus to the airport, 5 minute job and then through security. Always a tough part but it went as smooth as you could hope for. There is much work going on at LAX and hopefully in due course the security area will be located in a better location than it is now.
We got to the gate just over an hour before departure. Virgin are good in that they board earlire than other airlines I have flown With. 40 minutes or so allows for a more leisurely boarding and a better chance of an on time departure.
Our flight, VA2, is a 777 and by no means full. After we got to cruising altitude Ryan managed to get 4 middle seats to himself and was not seen again. Rayls was scrunched up in two seats.
I write this as we are 3 hours from landing. we have just flown just north of Port Vila and approaching the northern tip of New Caledonia. The plane is on a direct course for Brisbane. That would be fine, except we are heading for Sydney.
There is no babies on the plane, that's a bonus. However there is a couple of young children a few rows behind us that are a bit rowdy. They want to go out and play, if I was there mum I would let them!
12th April 2014 - LA
Last full day, enjoying our time but ready to go home.
Today we had to take Ryan's rental Camaro back to Alamo and LAX, I managed to extend the Jeep rental for one more day.
After dropping the Camaro off Ryan and I went to the In-N-Out Burger at the end of LAX runway. We just got a drink from the store wich would have to be the busiest fast food outlet I have ever seen. There was at least 20 staff and 50 customers. We took our drinks over the road to a park and watched the planes landing. They are about 200 feet directly over your head as they pass over and about 10 seconds from landing. I have waned to go to this spot for ages and really enjoyed a half hour there, couple of 747's came in - just awesome to watch. Next trip a couple of chairs and half a day at this place.
We had a late lunch/early dinner with Maria and Charlie. We were joined by Shannon's sister Lisa and Charlie's Mom Ruby. We hadn't met Ruby before, lovely lady and we had a nice chat over a great meal.
Later us Hartmans went to a Best Buy and Wal Mart.
11th April 2014 - LA
Another good day, went to the movie with Maria and Charie to see Draft Day. Really good movie.
Ryan went and did his thing, taking the Camaro up the coast to Malibu and back.
After the movie we went to BJ's for lunch.
Back home for a quiet afternoon. We watched Oblivion on TV.
Ryan and I took the Camaro for a spin to get some dinner. Plenty of choice but came back with nothing and ordered a pizza.
Last full day tomorrow, both rental cars have to go back given my stupidity in thinking that we flew tomorrow night.
10th April 2014 - LA
A nice day with Maria and Charlie in Carson.
Ryan spent the day driving from Phoenix to LA, around a 6 hour drive.
Charlie has done a lot of work in the back yard, we enjoyed time out there just chatting.
We did have tickets for the taping of a show - we decided not to go, too pleasant just taking it easy,
Rayls has Maria into some sort of craft, sorry about that Charlie! To get the ball rolling we all went to a couple of Wal Marts, one in Long Beach, the other wasn't. i think they got what they needed.
We had lunch at a Chic Fil A,
Ryan arrived around 6pm and after a big greeting from Harley and Molly we chatted for a bit. Maria was very impressed with his car.
We did Outback for dinner, we had to wait for a table which gave Maria and Rayls time to visit a nearby JoAnn store.
When we got home we watched Big Bang Theory, the episode we saw recorded a couple of weeks ago. Good episode and made us all laugh again.
9th April 2014 - Back to LA
Here we are back in LA for the last few days of the trip.
We started the day in Vegas. After checking out of a hotel we won't stay at again we headed towards the Hoover Dam and the town of Bouler City.
We were delayed when I realised that I didn't have my mobile phone. After a search of the car and a return to the hotel room for further searching, the phone had not been located. Rayls then sent a text to my phone from her phone and my phone was located. It was in Rayls back pocket!
Boulder City is a nice town, very arty. The Maccas car park has numerous statues of children playing various sports. There is statues all around the town. These mainly seem to depict the hardship felt by those involved in the building of the nearby Hoover Dam.
Rayls enjoyed an hour or so at a Quilt Shop called Fiddlesticks. Next door is the historic Boulder Theatre run by Desi Arnaz Jnr and his wife. Desi of course is the son of Lucille Ball
Then we hit the road for LA with an hour or so stop at Barstow along the way.
Got into LA around 5, a visit to Calico House, which was closed but Rayls managed a 20 minute shop anyway.
Dinner was with our friend Lidia at Denny's in Garden Grove and then onto Carson where we will stay with Maria and Charlie for the next few days.
8th April 2014 - Cedar City to Vegas
40 years ago today I started out as a 19-year-old recruit at the police academy. Hard to believe it was 40 years ago.
Beautiful day in CC today, just magnificent, cool, just 1C but the sun is shining and the sky is so blue. I am in shorts as I expect it will be a lot warmer when we get to Las Vegas later today.
As always a wonderful stay here with Amy and Steve. As much as I love it here, it will be nice to get back to sea level. This 5000+ feet altitude is tough going. I should have drunk more water!
We fueled up and hit the road, I15 all the way to Las Vegas. We are spending the night at Fiesta Henderson. OK hotel. It is probably mid 20'sC in Vegas.
So…….. Scott asked a while back what time we got home on Monday. I found that we don’t fly from LA on Saturday but on Sunday night. So we get home Tuesday afternoon. Opps. Now have to extend the car rental 24 hours.
Rayls did a Joann store and then we had dinner at the hotel buffet.