Friday, June 5, 2015

Southern California Trip 2014 Day 1 Saturday October 25 Victoria to Los Angeles to Downtown Disney in Anaheim



This is the 1st of a series of posts dealing with my fourth trip to South California. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports. Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of a ¾ year later or to add further clarification.  These are indicated by “NOW”. After I booked the trip I unexpectedly had to move and during that had an Eastern Canada trip that didn’t go that great, so I was already pretty tired before the trip began.

At the airport killing time. Didn't get a lot of sleep but got some.  Used up my remaining milk. Was going to take the transit buses to the airport but opted instead to take the Airporter to clear security faster and avoid the body scanner. YYJ Airporter replaces Akal Airporter. The shuttle is about the same, but the stops are more scheduled, so you don't need reservations from the hotels but you also won't get to the airport much faster than scheduled as the driver maintains timing points. I was told to go to James Bay Inn, but Royal Scots Inn is right across the parking lot from my place so I'll know that for the future.

[NOW: The airport is Victoria International Airport in North Saanich.]

I found out that Air Alaska's baggage fee has tax on top of the fee but that's okay because while they charge for every bag they don't charge for advance seat selection, which is normally more expensive. After checking in I grabbed breakfast at Tim Horton's before passing through security. They now show wait times. I think they overestimate to get people to go in faster because it didn't seem even close to 20-25 minutes as indicated.

The body scanner I wished to avoid didn't appear to be on. Even so after noting it I resisted the urge to keep looking at it and got into a row a little away from it. Just before I noticed someone get hand swabbed but that seemed to be it for extra measures while I passed through. Then I turned on my mini-notebook, finally found the connect button for the airport's free internet, and here I am! Turning this off to conserve power now. More later. Have a great day, everyone!

[NOW: The above was written in the morning. The rest was written in the evening.]

I think the partial insomnia of past few days is catching up to me. There was a slight delay at Victoria International Airport. While waiting I surreptitiously took a couple of pics of the infernal body scanners. Hopefully someday they'll be photos of a relic of an unfortunate era. Cloudly for a lot of the flight to SeaTac but most of Seattle was clear at least. Got photos of the Space Needle etc.

[NOW: The first flight was a Horizon Air plane (run by Air Alaska), the second an actual Air Alaska plane. SeaTac above refers to both SeaTac International Airport and the municipality it’s in, the name a reference to Seattle and Tacoma.]

Lots of steps at SeaTac. First I walked to a self-serve passport kiosk. Then I took a receipt from that and gave it to a Homeland Security representative. Then I got my baggage and went through Customs. Got flagged and had to answer a few questions while my bags got searched but the security officer seemed friendly enough and she sent me on my way shortly. I then returned my luggage to a carousel and had to go through security again, this time having to take off my shoes. They also removed a few of my items from the tray as it went through the x-ray. Between my sleepiness and having things taken off the tray I think I left my coat behind there. A nice light one too.

Getting to my next flight was complicated. First I had to take a train to another gate. Then I had to take another train from one terminal to another. Then I had to take another train to another gate. I did a quick bit of exploring before getting on my plane. It turns out that both planes had no maps so I'll have to do more detective work than expected when I get home.  Paramedics arrived around the time I got on. There was also a delay as we had to wait for some maintenance issue two seats to the left of me.

[NOW: When looking at photos later I never did figure out for certain which were taken in Oregon.]

The flight to LAX was cloudy about half the time. I'm pretty sure I saw Tacoma and the Tacoma Dome but not Portland.   It was upon arrival that I discovered that my coat was gone. My bag arrived promptly. I was going to have lunch at LAX but I was starting to cut it a little too close to the hourly Disneyland Resort Express due to that delay and needed to find the stop. It took a while but I finally found the unmarked (at least as Disneyland resort Express) stop.

[NOW: LAX of course is Los Angeles International Airport.]

It was a bit late but the bus finally arrived and I got off at the first stop, Disneyland Hotel, and walked to Downtown Disney. There I ate lunch at the first place I found. Earle's pop was too much for me to get but the sandwich was good.

[NOW: Disneyland Resort is in Anaheim.]

I wandered around taking photos and looking for a new coat (was unsuccessful here and elsewhere today and finding a coat at a price I wanted to pay).  In some photos the Monorail came and went and some places you could see Disney's California Adventure park.  ESPN Zone there had an ad for Gotham, which was odd because that show involves Warner/DC characters, rivals of Disney/Marvel.

[NOW: I never did end up getting a replacement coat this trip.]

I decided to see if I could cut across the resort to Harbor Blvd. I could though I had to get my bags checked and then get escorted part way. Still, I got photos of Disneyland Park and Disney's California Adventure. I walked down south and got three five-use passes (I probably should have just bought two; ah well) and had dinner at McDonald's, not sure if these were in Anaheim still or Garden Grove. I finished walking alone Harbour Blvd and walked a ways east along Garden Grove.

[NOW: The passes, bought at a convenience store were for Orange County Transit buses. That McDonald’s was in Garden Grove.]

I missed one turn-off but finally made it to Orange Mango Hostel in Santa Ana, house based. Workers a bit noisy here and someone's phone makes that really noisy whistling when texts arrive. But I shall make the hostel work. Cute dog here named Smokey.

[NOW: I briefly crossed over from Garden Grove to Orange before entering Santa Ana.]

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