Wednesday 8th August, 2001
Today we said our goodbyes to Honda and Mark and then Choya and Aaron took us to the Dallas Fort Worth airport. This is a big airport. Another farewell as we said goodbye to Choya and Aaron.
We were dropped off at terminal one and caught the train to terminal two. Our luggage was becoming quite extensive by now.
At 10:45am we boarded the AA2413 flight to Los Angeles, we took off at 11:13am.
At 11:17am (LA time) we started our descent and landed at 11:42am. We docked at gate 48A and this was a big moment – finally we will meet our pen pal Amy with who we have been writing daily for nearly 6 years.
Amy wasn’t there as we disembarked and so we went to get our luggage. As we were waiting there was a message over the PA ‘could Gary Hartman please pick up a courtesy phone’. Gary picked up the phone and the message was that Amy was running late and to give her a call. No number given so that meant looking up her cell phone number which took time. Then we have no coin to use the public phone and how do you make a call to a cell phone? So we get the coin together and try to call but as we feed the phone it is full of coin so it rejects the call. This was all getting a bit stressful (OK a lot) and we eventually managed to track someone down who allowed us to use his cell phone but we couldn’t get through. All this had taken over an hour when all of sudden there was Amy along with her two kids Katie and Daniel. Phew.
There was a big greeting and explanations and then we were off to Amy’s car which was very full with luggage and 6 people.
We drove to a Days Inn in Buena Park, not far from Disneyland and walking distance to Knottsberry Farm. We chatted for a while and then it was off to Knottsberry.
A good time was had by all and even Gary got in the Roller Coaster. We eventually got back to the hotel at 11:30pm.
Thursday 9th August, 2001
8:00am start at the Burger King next door to the hotel.
It was about an hours drive to Universal Studios where we arrived around 10:30am.
There was quite a group of us, Rayls and her two kids Gary and Scott as well as Amy and her two kids Katie and Daniel.
The rides included Jurassic Park, Back To The Future, ET, Backdraft and then there was the Waterworld show and the Studio Tour which Gary really enjoyed.
Italian for a late lunch which may not have been a good idea as we then went on the Back To The Future ride.
This was another great day and we arrived back at the hotel at 9:10pm.
Friday 10th August, 2001
Once again up at 8:00am. At 10:20am we started out for Scott McKenzie's house just near the Hollywood sign. We arrived there at 11:30am.
We chatted with Scott for about 2 hours and it was sad to leave. We all headed down to a nearby McDonalds where we chatted and as we left Scott called and we returned to his house and picked him up.
We drove back to our hotel where we changed and then off to Edison Field in Anaheim, still with Scott McKenzie, and watched the Anaheim Angels play the Toronto Bluejays - good game, Angels won 8-7.
After the game we drove the kids back to the hotel and then took Scott back to his house. Much quieter on the road at 11:30pm at night.
Rayls, Gary and Amy arrived back at the hotel at 0:15am.
Saturday 11th August, 2001
This morning we rang Scott McKenzie and arranged to see him again in 2 weeks time.
At 9:30am we had a short drive to the Disneyland. On the way we stopped at a K Mart and a Teddy Bear store in Anaheim.
Arrived at Disneyland at 11:00am and spent the day there, once again Gary and his walking stick were popular with the younger ones of the party.
It was a long day on the rides. We stayed and watched to the parade at 8:00pm.
Left Disneyland at 9:30pm and were back at the hotel by 10:00pm.