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Old 20 Jun 22, 06:42 PM  
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#11
liz-paul
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Great tha KS, will have a read of some your trippies over the next few days 😁 it's not the end of the world if we don't get to the tramway and I don't want to go if no one else wants to as it's a lot of driving just for me!
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Old 5 Jul 22, 12:14 PM  
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#12
liz-paul
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There isn't really a lot of development with my plans as yet - I might have been early with a pre trip!

Current considerations: luggage - should I buy another suitcase or 2? We have 2 large cases, a mid size case and various holdalls/backpacks. Part of me is thinking that 3 big cases would be good coming back in case we have a lot of shopping... But a new case is probably going to be £100 upwards and will we need it again any time soon?

hand luggage - we can each take a 10kg hand luggage case as well as a small backpack/handbag. Now I'm thinking that 4 hold bags, 4 carry on cases and 4 small bags is going to be far too cumbersome and completely unecessary no matter how much shopping we do! But I am wondering about bringing one carry on case with a full change of clothes each and some mini toiletries in case our bags go missing/get delayed.

Another concern I have is with prebooking activities. We are supposed to be having a relatively relaxed holiday and we don't want everything scheduled in advance. However, a lot of attractions such as museums etc need to be prebooked because of covid and I'm in a bit of a quandary as to what to do. Current thinking is I'll sit the family down one day soon and go over our list of possible activities and prebook anything that is a real must do. I'm hoping I'll be able to prebook some things the night before, once we are there but I don't think we'll have much luck with deciding on the day what we want to do...
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Old 20 Jul 22, 09:10 PM  
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#13
liz-paul
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Slight change of plans for our Disney days: SIL realised she had in fact made reservations for DL on the Sunday and DCA on the Monday! Luckily I was able to change my reservation to DCA and its all good!

Still no reservations for Ogas cantina, haven't actually looked every day, just when I think of it.

Am getting a practice run at Dublin airport this weekend as I'm heading to Boston (alone) for a long weekend to visit a friend. On the one hand this is good practice for our family trip in August, on the other hand I get quite bad anxiety when I travel (especially alone) and I've generally had some quite bad anxiety for several months now so I'm having to work quite hard to control it! I have my ESTA, got my vaccine certificate app on the phone, passport is packed and I can check in tomorrow online. Not sure what exactly I think can go wrong 🤷🏻
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Old 30 Jul 22, 03:39 PM  
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Not long to go now - we're close enough that my pre travel anxiety is starting to kick in! This has not been helped by the fact that my husband has been having a nightmare time at work recently so is even more stressed and busy than usual. I'm hoping he'll be able to take a day or two off work before we go but we'll see.

Last week I went to Massachusetts for a few days to see a friend which was great and also gave me a practise run through border control in Dublin airport. We live in NI but previosuly have gone to the USA from Belfast or via London. It was really nice to get off the Plane in Boston and walk straight through to arrivals/baggage claim having done immigration before boarding. The flight was fine, this was my longest flight alone but it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be and I got incredibly lucky and was beside what I think was the only empty seat on the plane (no such luck on the way back though!).

For anyone interested I felt the gluten free meals on the plane (Aer Lingus) were fairly poor, I got a veggie curry on the way out with a loaf of GF bread that was both hard and crumbly and possibly the saltiest thing I ever ate! For context Walkers ready salted crisps have 1.5g of salt per 100g and this bread had 4g of salt per 100g Got an ok gf scone later in the flight. On the way back I got a very dry salmon fillet with chickpeas and spinach and nothing in place of the muffin that other people had for breakfast. I'm sure I could have asked for something but I wasn't hungry so I didn't bother. One of the issues I've found with gf meals on flights is that they combine several dietary requirements together so often my meal is also dairy free, veggies, low fat etc. Will definitely pack some snacks for our flight to LA. esp as Dublin airport seems to have nothing gluten free apart from things like crisps and chocolate. Boston airport on the other hand has a branch of Legal Seafoods where I got GF calamari, fries and a lovely glass of wine before my flight home.

I used a payg 3 sim in Massachussetts that I will use again in LA (and my OH & kdis will get their own too). It worked well for data (I paid £15 for 30gb) but I wasn't able to make phone calls and I don't know why. It wasn't an issue as I just whatsapp to make calls but I'd like to sort it out before LA so I can call my parents if needed.

No major things to do before we go, jsut stuff like packing, cleaning, a tiny bit of shopping and getting my nails done this week.
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Old 30 Jul 22, 04:34 PM  
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spenners
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Have you checked your car hire price since you originally booked? We originally booked a car, through Costco, and it was £1500😳. I have cancelled and rebooked 5 times and it is now £693, might be worth a look.

The Palm Springs tramway is worth a trip if you can make it, looking forward to your updates for LA.
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Old 31 Jul 22, 11:41 AM  
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liz-paul
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I did cancel and rebook the car once and saved about £200 which was nice
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Old 5 Aug 22, 08:17 PM  
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Last post for the pre trippie. We're mostly packed, car hire stuff, insurance, boarding passes etc all printed out.

The bad: OH's car failed it's MOT on wednesday For a bit of context: in NI the MOT system is totally effed. OH booked this MOT in April and it was an 1hr, 30 mins away. He did tthis because that was the first one he could get Luckily his mechanic will fix and MOT it for us while we're away (trade can fast track somehow). But unfortunately we now have to take my tiny car down to the airport, whcih means we've had to pack a bit lighter as we cant fit all the cases in!

The good: despite many stresses, including the car, over the last few weeks, I think we're about ready to go! Just some hand luggage packing to do in the morning and we should be set!

See you in my trippie
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Old 5 Aug 22, 08:47 PM  
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Just caught up with this and sounds a fab trip!

We loved Santa Barbara and would really have liked more time there. Iíd recommend going to the courthouse - the grounds are beautiful, the architecture is really interesting and you can go up to the top of the tower for great views of the mountains and SB. Best of all is that itís free!

Did you decide to stop at Solvang? Itís very cute. Thereís a Thomas Kinkade gallery there for a quick Disney fix too

Look forward to hearing about your trip. Have a great time
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Old 5 Aug 22, 08:56 PM  
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liz-paul
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Thanks, I'll def try and check out the court house!

I'm hoping we might get to solvang for a day trip but not sure yet 🤞
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Old 6 Aug 22, 08:55 AM  
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We've just recently returned from our west coast road trip and loved Santa Barbara.

The courthouse clocktower has some great views. One of the Kardashians got married there in June apparently. Parking all around the central area (State Street etc) is generally free for the first 75 mins, which was very handy. The chromatic gate is good for some photos. Loved all the beaches. East beach and Leadbetter beach both have large car parks next to them. Sterns wharf is best for sunset, as it sets behind the mountains, so is hard to see it unless you are out in the sea.
There was some beach volleyball going on in the evening and a baseball field near our hotel. Loads of people renting bikes during the day. We got some good mexican QS from La Super Riga, who were on Man vs Food years ago. Cash only and always a queue.
Have a great trip.
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