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Old 17 Sep 23, 02:54 PM  
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HEMANCLOFTY
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Huxwolds California Dreaming (Aug 23) - Travel Days

Huxwolds California Dreaming (Aug 23)
Pre Travel Days (Weds 16/08 & Thurs 17/08)


Index
Pre Trippie

Pre Travel Day (Weds)

Welcome to Pre Travel Day - the obligatory boring bit before the good stuff happens…

Rich and I both had the day off work. We’d booked the Travelodge at Heston M4 West for tonight, but Tom was working until 6pm and we weren’t planning to leave until after the rush hour traffic had died down, so we had loads of time to do our pre-travel day jobs. Despite this, I’d set alarms for 6:30 and 7. I got up at about 6:50.

I had fed the cat (Sooty), made a brew and had some breakfast whilst watching a bit of breakfast news, then put on the first of 4 loads of washing.

Rich went out around 8am to get his hair cut and to do a 9am work call from the car, and Tom messaged to say he’d arrived at work (he’d stayed at his girlfriend Lola’s last night).

I stripped our bed and cleaned the kitchen, living room and bathroom, stopping for a break to watch a couple of vlogs and and episode of Modern Family. At around 11ish I re-made the bed and hoovered all the upstairs rooms and down the stairs.

Once all the big (ie sweaty) jobs were done I put a toner on my hair and then had a nice relaxing bath, whilst Rich popped to Asda for some picky bits for lunch and at take with us to the Travelodge.

My toner came out a bit darker than it showed on the box for my shade, but I was hopeful it would look ok once I dried and straightened it later.

We had lunch - sandwiches for Rich and quiche with salad for me.

Rich went to have a rest upstairs for a few hours, and I did my makeup and straightened my hair - I quite liked how my toner turned out in the end…



By the time I was done, it was around 3pm and we still had loads of time to spare, so I put on some more Vlogs and managed to doze off for a bit, only waking when Sooty gave me a gentle tap asking for a bit of attention.

I put his blanket on my lap and he had some head rubs before settling down for a lap nap. I dozed off on until Rich came downstairs at about 4:45pm.

I finished off the final wash, changed Sooty’s litter tray and then hoovered the kitchen and living room and mopped the kitchen.

Tom got home from work at 6:30, and gave me his final bits and pieces to pack before popping to see Lola for a bit (as we’d decided we’d now leave at about 8:30)…



Rich sorted out the cases that were going in the boot, and I made us some ham and cheese rolls for later and had a final wipe down of the kitchen. Then we just chilled for a bit (I watched a couple of episodes of Modern Family).

Tom was back by 8pm. We gave Sooty some fresh wet food and some final snuggles and we were in the car by around 8:15.

We stopped at the local shop to get some drinks for the journey and in usual Huxwolds tradition, I played Holiday Road as we set off properly.

Google Maps said we’d arrive at Heston by 10:15. We had a little detour for some roadworks near the motorway junction, but otherwise it was a straightforward journey, and we chatted California plans most of the way.

We stopped at Cherwell Valley on the M40 for a loo / smoke / vape break, and arrived at Heston Travelodge about 10:20pm…





Our room was a bit dated but clean, and there was a fan that was already switched on (but it was still very warm all night).

We had our picnic on the bed (ham & cheese rolls, sausage rolls and tortilla chips with sour cream dip) and it was lovely…



I had another a go at Online Check In (I’d tried last night but American Airlines wouldn’t accept our Passenger Contact info). This time, British Airways did accept our info but then it transferred us to the AA page which was erroring again, so we decided to just do manual Check In at the airport (as per online advice that this is a common error).

We settled down to get some sleep at about midnight, with alarms set for every 10 mins from 5:30 to 6am

I couldn’t sleep, so watched 2 full episodes of Painkiller on Netflix and finally dropped off during episode 3 (so around 2 am).

Travel Day (Thurs)

I woke up thirsty at 5:10am. I had some water and got back into bed but couldn’t sleep so got up at 5:20 and made a coffee for me and a tea for Rich.

I started getting ready just after 5:30 so was all done by 6am...



Rich and Tom were ready by about 6:15 - we watched some crappy American infomercials on ItV2 in between, which was quite apt for our destination.

We double checked the Holiday Extras parking email - we had to call 20 mins before arriving to let Purple Parking meet and greet know we were coming, so I rang once we’d loaded up the car.

We left the Travelodge about 6:45 - with Holiday Road playing again. It was really straightforward to follow the signs to T3 Short Stay / Meet & Greet on floor 4…





Dropping off of the car was easy, we just had to give them our key and carpark ticket and then took the down the lifts to T3, walking through arrivals.

We stopped for Rich and Tom to have a smoke / vape outside departures. It was sunny and quite warm for just before 8am…



Tom’s final college results email came through at 8, whilst we were still outside - he did really well and got what he was hoping for and we are really proud of him…



We did check in at the American Airline desks - there wasn’t much of a queue and we were served by a lovely young lady who asked about our plans and told us she was going to Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm in September - we had a really nice chat.

Our cases were well under at 18.1 / 17.3 / 13.4kg

We went back outside for another smoke / vape, then went to see what the food options were pre security. There wasn’t much choice (M&S and a coffee shop), so we chilled outside the terminal for a bit longer, then Rich and Tom had their final nicotine fix and we went through Security at about 8:30am.

Security was really quick and efficient and we were all through in 13 mins, even with Rich being selected for pat down and his bag being pulled aside (due to a rogue can of Pepsi Max ).

We had a mooch in Duty Free…



We got some cigarettes for Rich (£60 for 200). I really liked some Haviannas sunglasses but they were no good for me as they didn’t fit over my normal glasses and I can’t go long without my glasses anymore (I really should get some prescription ones).

We ended up choosing The Curator for breakfast. There was a 5 min wait to be seated, but they gave us menus so we could choose whilst we waited.

We all ordered the English Breakfast with Whilte Toast. Tea for me, OJ for Rich and Coke Zero for Tom..





It was quite nice and Tom treated us by paying the bill - £64

We decided to get a meal deal each for the plane. Rich and I got Boots ones - BLT for me and Triple Chicken for Rich (£4.99 each)

Tom didn’t fancy any of the boots options, so he nipped to the loo then came back to get his from WHSmiths (Falafel I think). He said the meal deal promo didn’t work at the self scan till, so he ended up paying about £7.

By now it was nearly 10:30 and our Gate (40) was a 10-15 min walk so we speed walked to the gate. I quickly took a photo, but this didn’t end up being our plane…





We got to the gate at about 10:40 - it was still boarding so there was enough time for Rich and I to pop to the loo.

We got our first Kitty Angels update whilst we were queuing - Sooty was doing ok…





We boarded without any issues, and the pilot announced we were on track to depart on time at 11:15, but it was 11:30 when we started taxiing, then there was a queue of around 6 planes at the runway so it was about 12pm by the time we were in the air. Rich and Tom both dozed off during taxiing.

I was surprised to see loads of people getting out of their seats whilst the seatbelt sign was till on - a couple of them even went to the loo.

I put SuperMario Bros on and dropped off for a bout 20 mins based on what I missed of the film. I rewound it but wasn’t really getting into it, so I decided to leave it and try again later.

Lunch service started quite quickly (about 12:40). Tom woke up and thought he’d been asleep for hours, but it had only been about 45 mins.

His ear buds had fallen out during take off - one was on his seat and one underneath, so I had to get on the floor and stretch right under to retrieve it.

It was around 1pm when the flight attendants got to us. The choice was chicken or pasta. Rich could see that the chicken looked a bit suspicious so we all played it safe and had pasta…





The pasta quite nice - Rich and Tom ate ours. I swapped him my chocolate cake for his crackers. Tom didn’t like it so left everything.

We liked that it was full sized cans of pop instead of the usual mini cans - Coke Zero for Tom, Coke for Rich and Ginger Ale for me (was nice for a change)…



I promise that’s not a bag of 🤮, we used it for the lunch rubbish

We all had a stretch and loo break after lunch - which was good timing as we hit a bit of turbulence and the seatbelt sign was on for a bit. More people were ignoring the seatbelt sign again though.

The attendants came around offering more drinks but we were all ok for now as we had our meal deal drinks, and I had my water bottle too.

I got comfy with the nice fleecy airline blanket and pillow and put Bring It On on, as I haven’t seen it for years (I used to watch it on video all the time when we lived in our first flat).

I think I dropped off for a few mins in the middle, but I didn’t miss much, and it still holds up after over 20 years.

At around 4pm we all had another stretch and loo visit.

I put on The Goonies whilst writing yesterday and todays notes (up to this point), then turned it off off as hadn’t been concentrating so has missed most of the start.

It was now 4:30pm UK / 8:30am LA - we were just over the islands to the north of Canada and had 5 hours 40 left to go.

I put on Are You There God It’s Me Margaret, and watched it all. It was ok - I’d read the Judy Blume book back in the 90s but couldn’t remember the plot (Forever was always my favourite).

Little pots of Vanilla Icecream were served at 5:20pm, which were nice. Followed by another drinks service (Coke Zero for Tom, Coke for Rich and Ginger Ale for me)…



Rich and Tom ate their meal deals at some point and I think I might have dozed a bit more after the film finished.

At 8pm (12pm US) I was feeling peckish so had half my BLT and a few Pringles. It was just on the verge of being too warm, so I left the 2nd half.

At 8:45 they served afternoon tea which was a choice of Veggie or BBQ Chicken wrap. We all had the chicken…



It was ok, but very saucy / slightly mushy. Tom didn’t like it so left his and had Pringles instead. I was surprised that there were no extras like crisps or cake served with the wrap (like on Virgin).

The Flight Map said we were over Grand Junction (Colorado)…



I watched about 20 mins more of Mario, but still couldn’t get into it so turned off again after Bowser sings Peaches.

9pm (1pm US) - we were somewhere over Utah / Arizona - it was clear skies so we could see the amazing terrain below…



I hoped we might see The Grand Canyon or Vegas Strip, so watched the Flight Map for the rest of the flight. We skirted near to Hoover Dam, but didn’t see anything notable, just more desert…



A final drink service came round 9pm. Ginger Ale again for me, Coke Zero for Tom and Coke for Rich…



9:45 - We could see the desert transitioning to a bit more green below and we passed near what I think were the Santa Ana mountains..



We landed at 10:10 - once again there were lots of people up standing up whilst we were still taxing to the gate - one lady had to be told over the tannoy 3 times to close the overhead bin.

We were off the plane by 10:30 (2:30pm US)…



NB I will revert to US time from here…

There was quite a long queue for immigration, but it moved quicker than Orlando and we were had our bags by 4:05pm (so not too bad) and by 4:10 Rich and Tom had replenished their nicotine levels.

Arrivals was busy…



The smoking area was right by the LAXit shuttle stop, and one came within a few mins. We arrived at the Ride Share lot by 4:30pm…





Tom checked his emails, as he was waiting for news about a recent interview. Great news, he’d got the job offer so was really pleased. It was really good day for him.

I ordered an UberXL to Anaheim - it was $131 and would get us there by just after 6pm…



Traffic was slow (as expected) - I was so glad we didn’t have to drive in this after such a long flight. I really struggled to stay awake on the journey, but the time went quite quick.

At around 5:45pm, I spotted the coaster skyline of Knott’s Berry Farm, and a few mins later we were off the Freeway and passing the Disneyland monorail / entrance...





We arrived at the Clarion Hotel at 6pm (2am UK), tipping our driver $15…





Check In was quick and straightforward, but I was really tired by now so I had to ask the reception guy to repeat a few things. He explained there would be a $75 deposit held on my card and that housekeeping was by request only.

Our room was on 9th floor, overlooking the pool. It was one of the bigger “suite” rooms with an extra sofa bed and table area, fridge with freezer compartment and a microwave too, which was a nice surprise. We really liked it…















We all had a quick change and headed out just after 6:30pm, turning right onto South Harbour Boulevard (in the opposite direction to Disney) for a mooch…









We were surprised and really impressed with how clean everything looked. There were lots of nice looking hotels, motels and food places. Like a better, cleaner International Drive in Orlando….







After about 30 mins walk, we ended up at Target, so popped in for a mooch…



We got some Temptations (Dreamies) for Sooty, a 4 pack of Kraft Mac n cheese pots, a Pepsi Max and a bargain $7 Pound Puppy toy for me (for the 80s nostalgia) - Total $19.12…





NB - The Puffcorn was purchased the next day, which is when I took the photo

7:45 (3:45am UK) - We we’re all really tired now, so decided to save our planned visit to Dave’s Hot Chicken for another day and to see what we fancied on the walk back to the hotel. We’d seen a Carl’s Junior on the way, so that was our selection if nothing else took our fancy…



8:15ish - We got to Carl’s Junior…





DBL Western meals for Rich and Tom and a Big Carl meal for me (Go large for Rich). I had a Pepsi Max, Rich had Powerade and Tom had Dr Pepper - $37.87..



I was really struggling with back ache, so took some Ibruprofen whilst waiting for the food…





The burgers were really good. Like Maccy’s and Burger King had a baby, but better.

At around 8:40 we made our way back to the hotel and were in the room by 9pm….



I got into my PJs and (with Toms help) sorted out the extension cables so that we could put our devices on charge, and we were in bed by 9:10pm (5:10am UK) so a full 24 hours after waking up this morning!

I decided that Community would be my go to fall asleep series of this trip, so put on Episode 1 on dropped off pretty much instantly.

Day 1: Disneyland Park

Edited at 01:07 PM.
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Old 24 Sep 23, 01:08 PM  
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HEMANCLOFTY
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A few extra pics from the camera now added 📷
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Old 30 Sep 23, 09:19 PM  
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katnav
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A pretty smooth travel day for you all. We are looking at the west coast for next summer so Reading along with great interest. Must say the 9 hour flight too Florida feels so long, not sure how I feel about the extra over to the west coast.
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Old 30 Sep 23, 09:36 PM  
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cornishfrogboy
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A great start and I am really looking forward to seeing more!
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2005 onwards.. lots of times!

Index of all my Trip and Pretrip reports..https://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/sho...6#post15662196
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Old 29 Nov 23, 03:34 PM  
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dismamx2
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A nice easy travel day, you did so well to stay up and running for so long
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Old 29 Dec 23, 06:48 PM  
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Cinderella
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A great start, what a long day of travel.
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Old 3 Jan 24, 11:13 PM  
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Holiday time
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A great travel day. Never been to Carl jrs but will look out for it as those burgers look lush.
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