ragani: (Pen-Hey!)
FYI to my LA, CA area friends, Will & I will be finishing up our honeymoon with a trip to Anaheim to stay at the Disneyland Hotel starting on Friday, and a day trip to Southern Faire on Saturday. For those who missed seeing us for the wedding (an even those who made it), we would love to see you in person while there.
ragani: (Pen-Red Faced)
We have been planning a trip to LA this coming weekend for some time now, but are now realizing our intended plans might now work as, well, intended.

I got tickets for us to fly into Long Beach because we are staying at a hotel in Anaheim ([livejournal.com profile] 00smittenkitten  pointed out that it makes more sense anyway since it is the closer airport, and that way we can take JetBlue from Oakland). Our flight arrives Friday at 8:30 pm (JetBlue). Only problem is there does not seem to be any easy way to get from the airport to the hotel that is not on the expensive side. It turns out that none of the Anaheim hotels have shuttles to Long Beach Airport. At the moment, the best option seems to be taking a taxi (anyone know how much that is going to cost?). Does anyone know of a better way to make that journey?

Our current plans once we get there are to go to Disneyland on Saturday, including staying late enough for the fireworks. Sunday is more flexible since we were hoping to be available to visit with friends. Of course, in trying to avoid having a rental car, we are at the mercy of what ever transportation is available, and friends who are willing to come meet us where we can get to easily. 
Also, we will need to return Sunday night for a 8:25 pm flight home (see similar problem above about transportation).

So, are there suggestions for transportation, and interest in seeing us, either at Disneyland on Saturday, or making plans to hang out on Sunday?

ragani: (Pen-hmm)
So, we have not committed to anything specific for Saturday evening, figuring we would play it by ear, maybe hang with our hosts or other friends as opportunities presented themselves.

Well, there are too many cool sounding opportunities presenting themselves to us before we have even arrived!

[livejournal.com profile] chaosloom found out that Richard Cheese is playing at House of Blues in Disney Downtown, which looks like a lot of fun.
http://www.richardcheese.com

Then I got ahold of a friend from waaay back who lives in LA and he pointed out that he is going to go see some friends do a Pink Floyd tribute show in Hollywood at The Key Club.
http://www.keyclub.com/
ragani: (Meez at RenFaire)
So, [livejournal.com profile] chaosloom and myself are catching a flight down to SoCal this weekend. Our plans include a visit to Ren Faire on Saturday and Disneyland on Sunday. Anyone going to be around for either? (I already know about [livejournal.com profile] waywardbound and I expect to see some of the ren-regulars - just not sure who all that includes at this point.)

We are staying with the lovely[livejournal.com profile] 00smittenkitten and her puppy at their new home down near Anaheim. Since we are leaving on a very early flight Monday morning, it might make sense to stay at a hotel near LAX on Sunday instead. Any inexpensive suggestions?
ragani: (Floating)
For those that are interested to hear how we managed to do this, I will give a brief listing of the various legs of the trip, from my perspective.

1: Walk to BART
2: BART to SFv ($3.30)
3: MUNI to CalTrains station (N Judah,$1.50)
4: MegaBus to Union station ($0.50 for all of us) which came in over an hour late because we had to take a different route because of the snow-in at the Grapevine
5: Flyway bus to LAX ($4)
6: Hertz shuttle to Herts rental area (free)
7: Compact rental car to Anaheim Hilton, with some confusion along the way because of road works along our route (~$105)
8: At 2 PM, arrive at hotel to find that: yes, we have a room, but we cannot use the water for the next 4 hours because they are working on the pipes (they gave us each a bottle of water to tide us over)

Oh, and we have to pay for the wifi.

BTW: Supper Shuttle from Union station would have been $78 a person which was why we did not do that in the end. It might have been cheaper from LAX, but at that point we knew the arrival time was up in the air and we had not idea when we would get there.

%$#@!

Jan. 24th, 2008 10:45 am
ragani: (Pen-Red Faced)
There are NO viable transportation options from Union Station in LA to Anaheim after 10 PM tonight.
I hate the idea of taking a cab, which will probably cost about $130.

Arrg!!!

Our original plan involved a friend picking us up, but she backed out after we had already booked the bus, and it was too late to change at that point.

Edit: We HAVE looked into:
- taking the train (10 minutes to catch a train is not enough, especially when you are not sure the bus will arrive on time)
- having a shuttle pick us up (cost $78 a person because it is not a standard route)
- taking the Metro (unless I am wrong, it stops running at 8 PM)
- renting a car (there are no rental places still open that late in that area)

Hey!

Jan. 23rd, 2008 03:25 pm
ragani: (Pen-Hey!)
Perhaps what I should be asking is if any SoCal friend want to join us this weekend?
ragani: (Pen-Huh?)
If I get the Southern California discount tickets to Disneyland using a so-cal friend's info, will I have to prove my residency when we enter the park the first time with said tickets?

They look like the best price for what we want, but I worry that I will be asking for trouble since I have no way to prove my residency.
ragani: (Pen-Hey!)
Well, things are looking good for the Disneyland trip.

• Travel to Union Station in LA from SF and back: Check
• Inexpensive reservation at a hotel where we are happy to stay: Check (nice job, sweetie!)
• Tickets to the Happiest Place on Earth: Check
• Transportation from Union Station to Anaheim Hilton on Thursday evening: ...hmm... any suggestions?
• Meals: ongoing planning...
• Friends to enjoy the trip with: various...

We have some friends joining us, although I am bummed that [livejournal.com profile] mvwrose is probably not going to make it. At least it looks like [livejournal.com profile] gardengirl_34 will make it, and I think a few others.

Anyone else?
ragani: (Pen-Hey!)
We were actually wavering on if we would be able to afford the trip to Disneyland at the end of this month for [livejournal.com profile] chaosloom's birthday, but it is looking like we might make it work. The key now is finding the cheapest lodging option. I don't think I know enough people in the area to put us up (unless there is someone offering), so that leaves cheap hotels.

Priceline, here I come!

Ugh!

Dec. 20th, 2007 01:59 pm
ragani: (Ugh day)
I have been looking forward to this trip for months and now that I am a day away from getting onto a plane with my family (and boyfriend!) to spend a week in Italy... I get SICK!!!

Arrrrg! I want to cry! I have managed not to catch the plague that was going around Dickens Fair. I even got my flu shot. I was feeling fine until yesterday. Today I have some work to finish-up, lots of laundry and packing to do and errands to run, and what my body most needs is sleep and liquids. The liquids I have been doing (Throat Coat, chicken soup, etc.) but the sleep is not just going to happen until I am on the plane.

What fun!

Ugh.
ragani: (Miss Muffet)
After saving so much by taking the Megabus to LA, you would think we could afford the other expenses easily enough, Well, it turns out that January is one of the hardest months for me work-wise, and so the hotel and park tickets are somewhat prohibitive even without the cost of travel. At this point we have a rather pricey hotel booked for Friday and Saturday nights (1/25-26), but we are actually arriving Thursday night. Staying with friends could work, although we are limited in our transportation once we are there, and I want to make sure that at a minimum, [livejournal.com profile] chaosloom, his brother, and myself are taken care of for lodging, if not [livejournal.com profile] msvwrose and [livejournal.com profile] gardengirl_34.

I am thinking that if there was a way to find a cheaper hotel situation or at least offset the cost of the hotel by not having to buy park tickets, it would help make this much more feasible.

Anyone have access to free or deeply discounted Disneyland tickets? I know that [livejournal.com profile] chaosloom would like to visit both parks while down there, so some 2-day park-hopper tickets would be ideal.

Can you help me make a birthday wish come true?
ragani: (GEN butterfly logo)
In late January we are celebrating the birthday of [livejournal.com profile] chaosloom by taking a trip down to Disneyland. We are going the last weekend of January, and welcome our friends joining us there.

While weighing our options for travel, we ended up deciding on taking the bus. Although the travel time is still as long as driving ourselves, and without the flexibility of having our own car, the price sure was right. Will had been telling me about the great deals you can get at Megabus, which offers typical rates of about $10 each direction from SF to LA. So yeah, that is already a great deal right there. Additionally, they even have $1 fares for some of the off-peak times that are booked far enough in advance (they only have booking open 45 days in advance so you have to plan around that). Well, I ran across a promotion code that ended up costing me a whopping 0.50¢ for four round-trip tickets to LA from SF. Yes, you are reading that right, less than 0.13¢ a person!

I like the idea behind why they are doing this:
"Megabus did the math and calculated that if they take 56 cars off the road with each bus trip filled to capacity, it will result in 3,850 fewer pounds of carbon emissions for every 100 miles traveled. If they fill 1,786 buses with this promotion, they will reduce CO2 emissions by 6.9 million pounds for every 100 miles traveled."

Hey [livejournal.com profile] dalisair, you might consider taking the bus up to SF for the remainder of Dickens Fair as I suspect the price at Megabus fits into your budget (even without the promotion) better than those flights you have been having so much trouble with.

Portland

Apr. 12th, 2007 03:16 pm
ragani: (reflection)
Until a week ago I had never been to Portland. It is someplace I have been interested in checking out for some time, especially recently with more friends being connected there. Although [livejournal.com profile] egonbrauer moved to Olympia, WA, which is about 2 hours away, it still counted among my reasons to visit, since talking him and his lovely wife to come down for a visit to Portland for the weekend turned out to be easy. Additionally, since Eric has friends there, and did his masters in Portland, he was a good companion to go with. I thank his friend [livejournal.com profile] corva for being a great host. Thanks again for putting us up, and showing us around!

The Saturday was spent doing touristy things, most notably, after yummy dim sum, visiting the Chinese Garden which is a city block that, only 6 years ago, used to be a parking lot, and is now a very lovely garden experience. That turned out to be where I took most of my pictures, having forgotten to bring my camera along the next day when we went to the Portland Zoo.

Water drops on evergreen needles, in the Chinese Garden

The rest of the day included Powells, after a quick trip to Voodoo Doughnuts, which all out of the legendary maple bacon bars I was supposed to try. The doughnut I got was a butter fingering bar, which was decent, but not something to write home about.

Powells was nifty, although I only ended up getting one book (some might count this as lucky). The Powells Technical store had lots of neat stuff too, and I did end up getting a couple of non-book items. Overall my impression is that Powells is a very busy store, and gave me a serious case of option paralysis, especially since we had too many people to coordinate so I ended up not getting to be very leisurely.

I would love to go back sometime, and the prospect of living in Portland is not an entirely unpleasant one, although I don't see myself moving there any time soon. There is more rain than I enjoy, but I suppose there are trade-offs that go with that, like lots of green year round.
ragani: (Default)
OK, this is more like the Portland I expected. Drippy.

Full day ahead: dim-sum, Chinese Garden, Powells, Voodoo Doughnuts, Japanese Garden, a brew pub or too, and maybe even some Tyko.
ragani: (Default)
So, after a delayed flight - that ended up having almost no one on it, which meant we got to move our seats to near the front, instead of almost the last row near the playful children - we arrived in Portland last night safe and sound. This morning, late, we went for a walk down to Mississippi St. (Rd.?) to acquire breakfast. The walk there featured some lovely blooming plants, and cute houses along the way.

And a lot of sun.

Nope, not a cloud in the sky, and I was regretting not bringing any shorts. Or, a light weight jacket or shirt to cover my arms (the cardigan was quickly removed to prevent overheating). Our host even noted how odd it was that there was not even a cloud in the sky, and that on Monday she was scraping frost off her car window. We stopped by a fancy botique which had some lovely over priced stuff, so I did not get anything there. A block later we walked past a coop bookstore with a freebe bench out front. After some digging I was able to find a white linen long sleeve button-up hoodie shirt thingy, that although a tad tight in the arms, was the perfect protection for my pale arms.

Seems to me Portland is trying to tempt me. But I suspect it is a bait-and-switch job.

Oh, and the brunch food was fabulous.
ragani: (reflection)
Just a taste of what we have been up to here in Puerto Vallarta.
Details of the tour can be found here:
http://www.canopytours-vallarta.com/tour.htm

Canopy tour Canopy tour

Cruising the zip lines on the jungle Canopy Tour near Puerto Vallarta.

ragani: (Floating)
I am sitting on an airplane to Puerto Vallarta next to my grandparents; my uncles and their families in the rows behind us. The effort to get this far seems Herculean on my part, so it is with much relief that I finally am almost there. I am not sure when i will be able to post this, but I have time to finally put some of this down.

On how Ragani finally escaps and the mayem she endured to get there... )
Ahhhhh!

Later I will see if I can get some photos up of this fabulous place we are staying.

Oh, and as you may have guessed, it turns out to have DSL, so send me those photos after all.

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