The Lorikeets Have Landed

Trip Start Apr 08, 2009
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Trip End Jun 19, 2009


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Where I stayed
Hidden Valley, Monrovia

Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, April 8, 2009

We are now in Hidden Valley, Monrovia, a suburb on the eastern fringe of LA. Within the cosy, steep-sided valley nestles Bob's ranch, complete with Mayhem the cat (who lives outside). We are here for a week, care of homeexchange.com.

The trip was largely uneventful, although there were some anxious moments at the airport when we realised that we had no paperwork to prove we intended to eventually leave the good old US of A. The Yankees apparently have a problem who check out any time they like but never leave. So we were thankful to the friendly helpful Qantas staff who printed off our return schedule at the airport and let us on the plane.

So what is the shiny new Airbus A380 like, you ask? Well the answer is, not much different to a 747 from an economy passenger's point of view. When the person in front reclines their seat fully, you can't move your knees and the screen gets rather close and personal.
There is are 3 doors to enter the plane - first class, second class and wing class. Naturally wing class is slightly more compact than the business class pictures you see in the advertisements. The really good thing about the A380 is the entertainment console, complete with about a hundred movies, TV, games. and Skycam, a tv camera mounted on the tail of the aircraft so you feel like you are outside the plane, a really good view when taking off and landing (better than the view of the wing out the window). About 10 movies are captioned which Richard really liked.

Richard had previously made a foolish comment about watching movies all night so the junior travellers had determined on all night TV and were somewhat resistant to shut-eye. The entertainment system is so good it was hard for all to have a break. We discovered that if Hannah uses Melanie as a pillow, she can lie down across Dad as a footrest without her feet sticking in the aisle....

Also the food and drink are good. Gone is the pre-dinner (or was it lunch?) trolley visit, so no G&T for Dad, but later on you can a visit by the ice cream tray (Splice) and hot chocolate/peppermint tea tray which is welcome.

Landing in LA was smooth, although the airport is pretty worn out. Avoiding border insecurity, we stepped over the line into - the US of A. The immigration and customs staff were almost as friendly as the Sydney ones, possibly because the kids were in cute mode.
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Comments

billholland
billholland on

Things are different now!
I can hardly believe it! Friendly staff at LA immigration staff.
Glad you have arrived safely and looking forward to your report on Disneyland etc
I used Google Earth and Streetview to check out you house for the next week -looks great
Love
Bill and Fran

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