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2007 Road Trip Adventures – Pre-planning

JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE – –

Along comes another travelling adventure with Loz; this time exploring the big cities and wilderness areas of South Western USA including a stay at Disneyland – back in time and childhood dreams come true.  How excited YOU ASK?  SO EXCITED. 

Who’s the leader of the club that’s made for you and me?

M-I-C – – – – K-E-Y      M-O-U-S-E.

Hey there – hi there – ho there – you’re as welcome as can be –

THAT EXCITED !!!!!!!!!

But I digress – – – – – my daughter Kylie and her husband Tyler have been living in the USA for two years now – so I be thinking it’s time for me to pay a visit to see them (read catch up on some free accommodation & check out the good ole U.S. of A) .  They live in Oregon which is in the top left corner of the USA – just under Washington State – and sort of close to Mt St Helens – you remember the dirty big volcanic explosion a few years back – well, THAT Mt St Helens – but they are not close enough for it to pose a problem. (I hope!)

After much discussion, emails and internet explorations – we have decided that the best time for me to go over will be their late Summer – somewhere around August and right smack dab in high season – (read more expensive) so with this in mind and enough Qantas Frequent Flyer points saved up I decide to bite the bullet and go ahead and commit myself. I also check and make sure my passport is still OK. To get into the US, I will be on a Visa Waiver Programme which means that I do not need a visa and that my passport must be machine readable – which it is, so no expense there.

Instead of doing every day of the pre-planning separately – I have lumped them all together. Makes it easy for me and after all isn’t that what life is all about???

Thursday 5th October 2006The Journey Begins –

I call Qantas from work with a query (how can that hurt?) and end up getting carried away and diving right in as usual – – I only have enough points for the Qantas parts of the journey so I will have to pay for the Alaska Airlines legs from Los Angeles to Portland and return. Still a bargain! After spending nearly an hour on the phone – finally it is all done. The nice Qantas lady has even given me the details for the connecting Alaska Airlines flights from Los Angeles to Portland and return so that I can book them with my tried and trusty travel agents – Lea’s World Travel at Panania.

I print out my e-ticket and file it away until time to go. Next up – ring my travel agent Melanie and let her know my Alaska Airlines flights so she can book them. I will call in this afternoon and pay – – that is done. Here are the details :-

SydneyLos Angeles – QANTAS

Sunday 5thAugust – flight QF 0107 (747-700) departing Sydney at 10.50am – window seat 47A

arriving Los Angeles 7.10am on the same day – I have gained a day going over.

Los AngelesPortlandALASKA AIRLINES

Sunday 5thAugust – flight AS415 departing Los Angeles 11.01am – window seat 11A

arriving Portland 1.13pm.

Coming home –

PortlandLos AngelesALASKA AIRLINES

Friday 31stAugust – flight AS 110 departing Portland 6.55pm

arriving Los Angeles 9.17pm – window seat 11A

Los AngelesSydney – QANTAS

Friday 31st August – QF 150 (747-400) departing Los Angeles 23.55pm (yes midnight) – window seat 39A arriving Sydney 7.30am Sunday 2ndSeptember.

I have lost the day I found on the way over!

Thursday 23rd November 2006Money makes the World go around – – –

With the exchange rate getting better I decide that buying some US dollars is a good thing. Travelex have an exchange rate of 0.7635. (I remember when I first travelled it was 0.54) So, with the money saved so far I buy some USD that I have to pick up from them on Saturday 2nd December – – plan is to buy some more later on when the bank balance recovers. I’m on a roll so may as well go the whole hog –Travel Insurance is next on the list – that is bought over the net. Everything major is done so all that is left to do is countdown the weeks – at this stage 35 to go.

Tuesday 6th February 2007A change of plans – – –

Just by chance – well not really – being such a tragic tourist – I am always checking the QANTAS website to look at my booking – and as fate would have it the departure time has been changed on the way out – 30 minutes earlier now 10.20am and the seat number changed on the way back to 47K. A very quick calculation, still have plenty of time so ring QANTAS and tell them to confirm and also can they please confirm they have my connecting flight details from Los Angeles to Portland. Just as well I mentioned it because they had no note of it anywhere. They also made a note of the connecting flight back. 23 weeks to go! All is well in the world!

Thursday 5th April 2007Show me the money – – –

The exchange rate has gone through the roof – 0.7994 – so it is that time again where I commit more of my heard earned holiday savings. I will pick up my USD on Saturday 14thApril.  17 weeks to go!

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