Day two part one

Day two… Part one – The morning drive

We started out today, Sunday, with a drive to Newport Beach, Balboa Island and then down to Laguna Beach and a little further south along the Pacific Coast Highway, Route 1.

It was a great drive. Really nice weather after morning clouds allowed us to see a lot of the coastline without a bright, hot sun beating us down. Crowds were small and parking was a snap.

We stopped at a couple of places along the way, a park, a public beach and then a pier at the end where we had lunch. Phew… what a lunch. Seafood at the coast is the best. Just go to Nova Scotia and eat mussels and lobster.

Took a lot of pictures and hope to post them tonight or tomorrow as I can.

We drove straight back so we could have some downtime before Marias sister and her kids arrive. That’s next.

Stay tuned.

Mikey

Newport Beach trip… The Flight(s)

Well, we got off yesterday morning fairly on time. Left the house in the capable hands of my Nephew and headed for the Airport.

Philly International is a POS of an airport. It really is. It is a pain to navigate to, through and get out of, not really enough different stores or things to do at all. So waiting for a flight can be, well, downright boring.

We got to the Parking lot and handed over the keys and then rode the shuttle to terminal A, for American Airlines. We are flying First Class today and on the return, so this is something we will be scrutinizing for the differences between the classes.

Boarding was a snap. We got into the Priority Access line and were boarded quickly. Our seats were large and really comfortable. Tray tables folded up from the armrest, nice little beverage tray available from the center armrest and the headrest was configurable by bending to hold your head if you desired to rest.

No video on these planes, the MD-80S. So it was up to us to entertain ourselves. No problem, got my Mac out, turned off wireless and played games.

The food was really good. We had breakfast served. Maria had an omelet, I had cereal (yeah I know… boring) with fruit, a bagel with cream cheese, and coffee. Nice, warm, fresh. Really good.

A short while later, we landed in Dallas-Fort Worth where we had a 2 hour layover until we flew out for Santa Ana/Orange County/John Wayne airport (way too many names for that airport if you ask me).

On this leg, we had a movie (this was a Boeing 737-800, although the interior was identical to the MD-80S), but they showed it on really bad, old school displays. Seats were again very comfortable and the flight, like the first leg, was very, and I mean VERY smooth.

Food on this flight was lunch. Maria and I both had a cold beef salad. It was really good. Fresh, the beef was tender and seasoned perfectly, and it was accompanied by 2 different dressing, 2 different style chips to put on top and was just great.

Oh yeah, India was with us, but pretty much listened to her iPod and I could not see what she was eating.

The planes, both of them, were a little too loud for me. Especially for being in First Class. I would have thought the noise would have been suppressed a little more, but, oh well.

We landed in Santa Ana and after quite a long wait, got our bags and headed for the Enterprise rental desk for our car. This is an experience no one should have to endure. You wait in line to talk to a rep at a desk about renting the car in the airport. Then, you go to the underground lot to wait in line to talk to rep about getting the car. Then, you wait until a rep comes out, calls your name and tries to upsell you into a bigger car, the insurance scam, the whole nonsense. Maria was not amused and pretty much told the girl, in a nice way, to fuck off.

We drove off in our little Dodge Caliber, a nice fuel efficient car, and found our way 2 exits down 55 to the Embassy Suites.

The hotel is a big, very southern style hotel. 10 floors, we are on the 8th, and the rooms are fairly well appointed. The bathroom is tiny. Kind of surprised there, but hey, the toilet flushes, the shower works pretty well, and all is right in the world.

This morning I am doing laundry, waiting for the free brekkie to start at 7am, and then off to some sightseeing until Marias sister and her family arrive. This is good for India, as she is celebrating her 13th birthday and so is one of her cousins. She will have plenty to do.

Me? I am meeting most of these folks for only the second time. So I’ll try to get to know them. Other than that… Photos with my new D70. Can’t wait to see how the trips pics start coming out as this will be my first digital photo trip.

Another update tonight.

Mikey