Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Day 37 - That is it then - Last day away - Jun 6th

The quieter area of Howard Johnson's

Not a brilliant sleep – which is a shame before a long day/night.  We went out to Denny’s (yes, again...) about 10 am and it was far busier than we expected.   Maybe the early Disney visitors had already done their thing and were taking a break?  Just for a change, we opted for the over 55’s menu and it was a lightweight toasted cheese and tomato sandwich.  Probably not the best choice for me, but bearing in mind the somewhat expanded waistline over the last month, perhaps it was just as well.  We walked the few yards back to HoJo’s to finalise the packing and check out.
The ever helpful reception staff locked our luggage away securely and we headed for Downtown Disney, the shopping street between the two parks.  This was no more than a relaxing time waster and apart from a chocolate brownie from the bakers ($3.95 + tax), we spent nothing.  Lunch was a McDonalds burger, as their establishment was between HoJo’s and the park and was convenient for a snack.  Paula pronounced their  grilled chicken wrap inferior to the one in Skegness...  That means that Skegness scores higher than the USA for a McDonalds...

The reception staff happily gave us a swipe card so that we could get into the secure pool area to chill out whilst waiting for the Disneyland Express coach to the airport.  After a while, we got itchy feet, rescued our luggage and changed into warmer gear, ready for NZ.  Although we had planned on catching the 17:40 coach, we opted for the 16:40 instead, even though we knew that LA airport is one of the least attractive of all the international airports we visit.

A good run and even though we were way early, we were able to check in straightaway (not always the case at LA) and went straight through security at the foot of the escalator and instead of the usual surly guard, we managed one with a sense of humour.  The scanner was the usual shoes off, belt off, Kindle out, computer out deal, and here, I slipped up.  The tray was a bit smaller than the laptop computer and I’d forgotten to remove the wireless mouse transmitter and it snapped off somewhere between popping it into the carrier and getting it home.  Drat.

Maybe we haven't put on quite as much weight as some others...
We then had the usual several hour wait at the most boring of all airports, where a plain sandwich is about $9.00USD and the choices are somewhat limited.  I made do with a Starbucks coffee and a packet of crisps.  I bought a bottle of water for Paula and sachet of lemon flavouring which seemed OK.
What I always find puzzling is why most departure lounges have far fewer seats than passengers and LA is one of the worst.  Then the call...  “Would Mr Green please come to the desk.”
We had seats 24A/B again and they asked if we’d mind moving forward one row so that a family could sit together.  No problem.
This is a bulkhead row and across the way, once we had taken off, they brought out the bassinet for the young child across the way.  Oh dear.
The food was generally OK, though neither of us cared for the main meal starter, of feta cheese and a very dry Italian ham (prosciutto? Parma?) and greens.
Paula looking forward to leaving LA
I opted to go without coffee and put the eyeshades and headphones on but didn’t manage much more than a decent doze until the babies across the way started crying.  One mother on the far side put the lights on, so that didn’t help.  A mug of coffee in the galley went down well. (Top marks to Air NZ for having decent sized mugs instead of tiny coffee cups.)
Arrival in NZ was on time, (5:40am) trouble-free and immigration lightning fast, so apart from a bit of a delay with the luggage, as we had followed another flight in, easy.
Out to a Super Shuttle and as we hadn’t pre-booked, it cost an extra $4 each, but we were home at 7am with no traffic delays.
It wasn’t very warm in the house...
So that is it.  Another trip over and just one summary post to wind up this blog, before we start on the next adventure – back on board the Dawn Princess.  Woohoo!

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