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Unread 28 Apr 19, 03:13 PM  
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Let's go... to San Francisco March 2019 - Day 9 (Long journey home, plus highs and lows)

Monday 1st April 2019

Let’s go…to San Francisco
March 2019

Cast (it’s the usual one!)
Me: Shaun, 50’s, loves travelling, eating and drinking (not necessarily in that order!)
Alison: 50’s, ditto to the above!

Link to Index: Here

We were up with the alarm at 5.15, so that we could have coffee and pack before having breakfast in the lounge for the last time
After breakfast we checked out and asked for a copy of our bill. It was only much later when we looked at it in detail we noticed that it wasn’t ours at all but some German traveller! No big deal, we just kept it and securely destroyed it when we got home.

We walked down to the Powell Street BART station to get the train to SFO airport. Initially we got the Green line train (i.e. the wrong one) but we changed to the yellow line (the right one!) at Balboa Park station further down the line.

We checked our bags in but for some reason we just couldn’t get the TSA pre-check to load onto the tickets despite the best efforts of the check-in lady. We headed through security and Alison’s bra iron work caused problems again so she was pulled over for a short while. We pulled into the lovely lounge which had an avocado toast station so Alison tells me, I just don’t get the attraction of this to be honest.

I had coffee and cake.

We got to the gate just as boarding started for the plane for the short hop to Los Angeles. The cabin crew came round and offered drinks and I wasn’t sure what I fancied until the guy next to me ordered a Bloody Mary. I had the same except that I forgot to stir the initial one and had full mouthful of neat Vodka!

The flight was to the regional terminal at LAX which meant a bus ride to T4 so that we could walk to TBIT for our transatlantic flight back to Heathrow.

We landed at LA on time and made our way to the Qantas first lounge again where we had coffee and charged our devices before getting a table for lunch. Alison had delicious salt and pepper squid to start followed by a burger, accompanied by glasses of white wine and I had a burger and a couple of glasses of red wine.

After lunch we wandered to gate 157 in good time for boarding. As we approached we could hear an announcement asking those who had boarding passes printed by other airlines or who had printed their own passes to approach the desk. We handed our passports over and the gate agent who said “Oh, they are lovely seats on the upper deck, but I’ve got better ones for you at the front of the plane” – she handed over our new tickets and we noticed we’d been upgraded to First Class! Amazing!

We soon settled down into our seats and listened to the crew complaining about the new first class service that was rolled out today! I think we actually knew more about the new product than they did which was a bit of a surprise. We were given the new pyjamas, wash bags and menus before settling down.

It took quite a while after the initial glass of champagne pre departure to be offered a drink – about an hour.

Not sure if this was because we were at the back of the cabin or because the crew were struggling, but we had drinks and amuse bouche sat together which was lovely.

There is a loo with a view

Afterwards, Alison went to her seat so that we could sit separately for dinner

watch TV (Alison watched the remaining episodes of Informer which was an excellent series) then get the bed made up to sleep. I did get to sleep eventually but it was so hot, I toughed it out but didn’t think people would take kindly with me sleeping in the buff!)

I woke up early enough, removed my bedding and ordered my breakfast, just some muesli, pastries and coffee for me.

Alison on the other hand had a different experience waking up with about 45 minutes until landing so she ordered some breakfast then got dressed, packed her bedding and waited for a coffee and pastries.

Several people were being served (very slowly) so she waited in anticipation but unfortunately the crew didn’t get it to Alison before the 20 minute warning (the crew said nothing could be served once that warning had been given). This meant that she couldn’t have any have any breakfast at all! Eventually she managed to persuade them to give her a small glass of juice as she was thirsty, but they weren’t really happy about it. No big problem as we could visit the arrivals lounge but it was a bit disappointing. At least we hadn’t paid for first class!

The plane landed on time and we made our way through the tunnels (we landed at B gates) and immigration to find our bags already on the luggage belt! Quick blast through customs and up in the orange lift for a quick breakfast in the arrivals lounge (we didn’t bother with the CCR breakfast room), then we walked to bus stop 21 where the bus to long stay parking was just pulling in.

After a quick trip to collect the car we were on our way home – very smooth journey home all told!

What a fantastic trip!

Highs/Lows/Overall thoughts

Overall we really enjoyed San Francisco – it was compact, welcoming and laid back.


Inverness – a destination well off my radar but we were pleasantly surprised by this very picturesque part of the country. Loved being able to take the short hop and do Loch Ness

Flights – getting upgraded to first on the way home was a real treat

Alcatraz was much better than I’d expected and the US National Park Service always offers a high-quality experience with their design and layouts of the places they manage.

Disney Family Museum – was a real gem and a highlight of the trip. Really could’ve spent a much longer time here going through all the exhibits and personal artefacts

Cable cars – a real blast hanging on the outside, especially at night

Muir Woods – always good to get out into the countryside


Not really a low, but there was a fair bit of hanging around between flights – we knew it would happen and we relaxed/lounged about fine. I can see how this would annoy some though, who just want to get to their destination.

That’s that trip over – our next one is in July!

1988 ~ Contemporary ~ Honeymoon
1989 ~ Off site
1994 ~ EuroDisney ~ Santa Fe
1999 ~ Off site
2001 ~ CBR (Aruba) ~ Poly (Tahiti)
2003 ~ WL & HRH
2004 ~ Pop Century, RPH, CSR, PBH, Contemporary
2006 ~ DLP ~ Newport Bay
2007 ~ POR ~ HRH ~ GF
2008 ~ All star sports, BCV, RPH, Vero Beach, VWL
2010 ~ OKW ~ BCV ~ HRH ~POP Century ~ Vero Beach ~ VWL
2013 ~ AKL ~ HRH ~ BCV ~ Vero Beach ~ VWL

Edited at 03:32 PM.
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