Welcome Vacation (day one- the trip down/arrival)

Home again, home again, jiggedy jig. :(

Ok, not entirely sad face as this was one rather action packed vacation. We all agreed that it wasn’t like leaving Aptos where we interspersed a whole lot of lazing around with the odd jaunt to a touristy destination. This vacation was pretty much all touristy destinations with a touch of evening lazing around. Early mornings to beat the crowds and long days does not exactly equal relaxation but it has been 6 years since we last did the theme parks so it was overdue and really the kids are pretty grown up now so may as well do the family oriented stuff while we still can right?
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The flight was smooth and uneventful as good flights should be. I had taken along my new toy, watched a movie which pretty much took up the entire flight where you’re allowed to have electronic devices in use and the time passed incredibly fast.

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Our luggage arrived at our destination too (score!) so we moved on to the rental car shuttle and that’s when the smooth came to a bit of a bumpy detour at Hertz where Tom was faced with a very long snakey line-up. The boys and I hunkered down in a seating area where poor Tom shuffled his way up a foot or so every couple of minutes…
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He called it theme park line-up practice.

You got some killer views of planes coming in for a landing from the rental car place though…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Plane flies overhead at LAX on Flickr…“, posted with vodpod

Once he reached the counter the counter person hemmed and hawed about whether or not our selected large car would fit four suitcases and a couple of carry-ons. In the end they talked Tom into upgrading to a larger vehicle..
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a Ford Flex which looks rather like a “Munster” mobile to me but it was a good call, fit everything ok and Tom got used to driving it pretty quickly. It has some good pick up too, it just be kinda fugly (to me).

We had been pre-warned by reviews on Trip Advisor not to try and check in before 4:00 pm at our resort (people are forced to stand by and wait or give their cell numbers for a call back when a room is available) so we figured screw it, we’d kill some time and also grab a bite at a In-N-Out (yummmm) for lunch. Tom had scouted for a location before we left but when we got there it turned out to be a drive-thru or walk up only. It was slooooooooow too. Though we had to eat in the car the food was gooood. Oh boy had I missed their burgers and fries.

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The traffic heading to the resort was shall we say a bit stop and go but we got there eventually. We had requested an ocean view suite but as we figured there weren’t any left so we asked for a place high up and away from the small children (apologies to those of you with small kiddos but those of us who’ve been there done that don’t want to be around them anymore now we’ve raised up our own) and the chaos of the pool (cos teenagers ain’t much better dammit!… ooh I sound like one of those cranky old ladies.. oh wait I AM ONE.) and they accommodated that request.

Despite having missed the 4:00 PM check-in madhouse it was still fairly busy and a little disorganized though they were trying to help. We got sent outside to a key collection stand to check in (and speed up the remaining lines) and it turns out the dude out there couldn’t actually check anyone in without an override from the Manager but they fixed us up and were very pleasant.

In hind sight I think next time we will request one of the units in the high 4000’s as those are the furthest away from the main resort building and that has its appeal because after we wandered around we noticed that “ocean view” is a bit of a stretch as the resort is somewhat back and away from the actual beach and ocean would be the horizon with some water showing if they aren’t obscured mostly by trees. We’ve been spoiled by a real ocean view at Seascape.

Here is a little video tour of our suite, it was very nice though the pull-out couch in the living room turned out to be a tad saggy and had seen better days. All in all though the place is pretty darn nice and in a good location so we could hit all the touristy spots and have a really nice place to come “home” to at night without being stuck in regular hotel rooms and could do our own coffee/breakfasts in a real kitchen or do a comfortable eat in.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Marriott Newport Coast Villas on Vimeo“, posted with vodpod

The road wasn’t as noisy as it seems on the video and it was a lot less busy at night. The place was pretty soundproof though and we had air conditioning which was NICE. Just after I shot that video I discovered that the sliding doors to the balcony were off track and wouldn’t close all the way (I had wondered why the door wasn’t completely shut when I did the video). Tom called maintenance and they were there pretty quickly to deal with it, to which I give them a big thumbs up.

When the sun started to set we quickly headed out to try and find a good place to photograph it and ended up finding out that would be a bit more difficult than it sounded. Had we headed down the road from the resort to the hills above the beach it would have been perfect but there wasn’t any one place we could find that would afford a really good sunset shot without something being in the way on the property grounds. This is the best I could do.

Marriot Newport Coast Villas

We grabbed pizza from the local ZPizza (totally recommend by the way) and chilled for the night. The plan for the next day was to explore the area and give us a day to get over the whole ‘TRAVELLING’ part of the trip before we hit the first park.

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2 Responses to Welcome Vacation (day one- the trip down/arrival)

  1. Tom says:

    Don’t forget about our Mandatory Pit-Stop at Bevmo! They might consider expanding their South Australian Shiraz selection, but at least they had your Riesling!

  2. americanuck says:

    Oh how could I forget! Yes we love the Bevmo and they need to expand their Australian section period.

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