It was finally here, Neha & Pooja were super excited up at 5am. Had planned to meet at the Airport @ 7am. check-in, immigration was uneventful other than the slow speed @ Brisbane, it seems to be getting worse!
Buying dutyfree was interesting, I had enquired beforehand on how to carryon dutyfree alcohol if also travelling via a domestic flight transfer. Essentially if the alcohol was placed in Secure Temper Evident Bags (STEB), then carrying them on US domestic flights was ok. Well this information was being contested by the sales girl who was 100% sure based on her numerous travels to US that it was not possible and the alcohol would be confiscated. After numerous checks on the websites, I decided to purchase the dutyfree and get it packed in the STEB. Well it worked fine and there was NO issue in the US domestic flight, well actually the local domestic providers were not even aware of the rule which was on their own website!! For all travellers to US, you can buy alcohol dutyfree and take it as carry on in a domestic flight as long as the bottles are in a STEB and the bag is not damaged.
Quick breakfast @ Windmill Café in the departures lounge, this place is very good! Nothing like Beer breakfast
On the flight, we had two 4 row seats, kids were in one and we took the other, well that did not last too long, the shuffling started soon after. By the end, everyone had changed seats including the adults! Flight was LOOOONG, and it was a relief to finally land @ LAX.
Out of immigration, collected our bags then off to Southwest Airlines to transfer onto San Francisco. Landed in San Francisco close to 2pm.
Getting out of the arrivals hall, we could definitely see the American difference by the size of the cars that were there, everything is BIGGER!! The UTEs were bigger, the Cars bigger, the shuttle buses were bigger, could definitely see the “American Muscle” attitude in the vehicles.
Drivetime to our Hotel @ Fisherman’s Wharf was around 45 minutes, passed some great sights and got to see the Wharf area very well. I had thought the area was small with just one or two piers, the place went for a LOOOONG way, with over 20 piers!
Arrived @ Radisson just after 3 pm, unfortunately the rooms were not ready, apparently in US check-in time is @ 4pm. It was then off for a leisurely walk around the Fisherman’s Wharf area which was literally behind our hotel.
(Madame Tussauds @ Fishermans Wharf)
4:30pm we were in our rooms, quick shower, freshen up and out again at 6pm, everyone was excited to see the surroundings and make the most of it, Meeta was keeping us on schedule to cover all the sights!
After more than 18 hours of total travel time, the kids were still energetic to get out and see it all.
Some of the highlights…
Dinner was easy, Priya Narsey had recommended the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co, food and drinks were both top notch!! This place serves some amazing seafood, everyone including kids stuffed themselves well
Thanks Priya for suggesting that, starting our first US dinner on a very positive note.
Post dinner stepping outside, weather was very very chilly, the bay breezes also did not help. A bit of a change from the Brisbane weather!