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Old 29 Dec 20, 12:56 PM  
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Stewboy
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Wonder on the West Coast: Day 15 - LA to London and Summary

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Monday 4th November 2019

Itís the final day of our holiday; no final few hours to be spent in the parks or doing something fun - unfortunately this day is all about travelling homeÖ

So if youíre still reading and want to know how the day went, here we go!

We woke up at 8am and as there was tea and coffee in the room we made the most of those and relaxed in bed for a bit.

Jo checked in to the flight online, I apparently wrote up my notes from yesterday, but if youíve read yesterdayís day youíll know I obviously didnít do a very good job!

Once those tasks were done and we were out of tea and coffee we got showered, woke Isabella and repacked.

We decided we may as well check out of the hotel now before going to IHOP for breakfast.

The hotel had been basic, but super convenient - worth staying in if youíre only doing a couple of days but for a longer stay like we had at the beginning of the trip the Homewood Suites was the better choice - and not as expensive.

There was an IHOP literally next door - we knew it would be busy and expensive but for convenience sake we went anyway. Fortunately we were able to get a seat quickly and ordered the usual combinations of breakfast pancakes and sausages, eggs etc.

Isabella decided to go for the Junior Churro Pancake Combo - she does love a churro!










IHOP - not great

The food didnít turn out to be very nice which was a disappointment - I think the only reason itís so busy is due to its location directly across the street from Disneyland!

We had to drop the car off by 1pm so we finished up our breakfast, headed back to the car (which weíd already loaded up) and set off.

We bade a fond farewell to Disneyland and Anaheim and made the short, uneventful drive to LAX. The drive took about 30 minutes to the Avis rental lot and once the car was dropped off, we loaded our bags onto the waiting shuttle and then we were off again.

From the Avis lot to the airport is about a two minute drive, but due to the traffic it took considerably longer than that - fortunately we had plenty of time so we werenít worried. If youíre ever travelling to/from LAX itís definitely worth taking into account the amount of traffic!

Once we arrived at the airport we headed into the terminal building to check in. It was fairly quiet inside and checking in was straightforward - as Jo had done it in advance we were really just doing bag drop but these self service machines arenít ever as hassle free as they should be!




Remembering when we were the Three Caballeros

After bag drop going through security was also quick and straightforward - so far so good.

Our Air New Zealand flight home was due at 4:15pm and the time was currently 1:20pm so we had a few hours to kill in the airport.

After a little wander round we decided to head up to PF Changs to get some lunch and have a sit down - who knew when weíd get the chance to sit down againÖ.

Jo had a Strawberry Margarita, I had a beer, and Isabella had some milk. The food we ordered (which I havenít made a note of!) was really nice and it was a really nice place to eat away from the hustle and bustle of the main airport.


Scary eyes


Strawberry Margarita






Delicious lunch

After a lovely lunch we browsed the shops for a bit, bought some water, and then before we knew it was time for us to head to our gate.

We were onboard the plane quickly and it wasn't long until we were on our way. We had paid extra for SkyCouch seats - essentially the same as normal economy seats, but extra seating area can be folded out so that the footwell area is flush with the rest of the seating, making a Ďcouchí. You also get extra bedding, and Isabella did later get some better quality sleep than she usually would as she could lay flat.

The flight home was uneventful; we watched some TV, we ate some food, we had some drinks - unfortunately I neglected to make a note of any of what those things are, but I'm sure you can imagine!

















Both New Zealand Air flights were really good - the food, the entertainment, the planes, the crew - but unfortunately soon after this they cancelled this route, so we won't be able to do it again

We arrived back at Heathrow at about 10:40am and unlike previous years there were no long queues through passport control. It wasn't long before we had collected our luggage, got the shuttle back to the car park, and were making our way home via the M25.

We arrived back home to a chilly house: Isabella was hungry and decided she wanted beans on toast. Despite the fact we were all tired, we stayed awake, Jo even had tutoring that afternoon from 4-7pm!

And that was the end of our trip: everything would be back to normal tomorrow; back to school, back to work.



Summary

Looking back on this trip now over a year later, I think itís one of our favourite ever holidays. Weíve often thought that breaking up the trip into bits and moving around is too much effort, but it turned out to be a lot of fun.

Disneyland was amazing: being able to experience it for the first time when everything is so new but also so familiar is brilliant. It has a very different feel to Walt Disney World too. I canít wait to return as there was so much we didnít get to see our experience - although we tried our best! And being there for Halloween and the Oogie Boogie Bash was a lot of fun.

Our few days in San Diego were brilliant too. Having Kimberly come down and visit was great, and I loved visiting the Karl Strauss Brewery! The city itself is pretty small and weíd love to visit again and maybe spend a few more days experiencing what the city and the surrounding area has to offer.

The cruise was absolutely fantastic. We loved the Disney Wonder - and just like Disneyland/WDW it was so familiar (being the sister ship to the Magic which weíve been on multiple times) but also so different. Mexico was lovely - the bits that we saw anyway! And we just love Disney Cruise Line and canít wait to do it again when the world is normal once more!

And finally Dapper Day in Disneyland was the best way to end the holiday - despite the heat!

Jo did an amazing job with the hotels - some of which she booked, cancelled, and rebooked multiple times to get the best deals! Isabella says that Homewood Suites is the best hotel sheís ever stayed in(!) and I must agree that itís definitely up there (not sure it beats Animal Kingdom Lodge or Cabana Bay though!

So there it is. Another trip report finished. It took a long time to complete - 1 year 1 day since it began - but the circumstances over the last year havenít lent themselves to writing about fun trips abroad; weíve also booked and cancelled about 4 holidays since we finished the last one

Anyway, thanks for reading, stay safe, and hereís hoping by this time next year I have another one to write about.


Bye
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Old 29 Dec 20, 08:47 PM  
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Cutiepie
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Thanks for finishing the report. I have really enjoyed reading along. We loved The Wonder (Alaska). We really wants to do the West Coast and had planned for 2021 but nothing booked with the current situation. Canít wait to get there some day.
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Old 29 Dec 20, 11:41 PM  
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Thanks for sharing, I love your trip reports!
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Old 30 Dec 20, 08:46 PM  
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Excited83
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Thanks so much for persevering and finishing this. I love your reports so was really interested to see what you thought of Disneyland. Fingers crossed you get another amazing holiday soon. X
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Old 1 Jan 21, 05:12 PM  
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Thanks

I love reading your trip reports and especially this one. It is trip I had been planning for our family before the world turned upsidedown! Maybe one day I will be able to book it and I shall take advice from your trip.

Thanks so much for a little slice of Disney Magic when I so need it!
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Old 1 Jan 21, 06:52 PM  
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mrsdjh
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Thanks for the report - a great read as always. We were hoping for a West Coast trip this year but are going to wait a bit longer. In the meantime Iíve picked up a few tips by reading along.

Fingers crossed for a new report from you sometime. Happy New Year to you, Jo and Isabella.

Diane
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Old 2 Jan 21, 09:29 AM  
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Thank you for finishing this report, an enjoyable read as always ❤️
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Old 2 Jan 21, 02:10 PM  
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Thanks for finishing the report, it was great as always
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Old 10 Jan 21, 06:25 PM  
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Just enjoyed catching up. We had the same experience at that IHOP. Thanks for the time put into this. Hoping there will be more trip reports in the not too distant future!
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Old 17 Feb 21, 12:13 AM  
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Iíve only just caught up with this and Iíve really enjoyed reading it. Thanks for taking the time to share in such detail, makes me even more homesick for Disney.
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