Such an amazing trip and I want to get some memories down that are about the trip and not about family history before I forget them.
We originally planned this trip when Jay was fanatical about basketball and we were going to come to some NBA games. We put a rough budget together and a savings plan. Then times changed and cricket took over and basketball took a backseat. We kept saving. Then we weren’t sure if we would put in a pool and travel and decided to have no pool so we could make sure we travelled. We had a family meeting, made the decision and did a fists One, Two, Three “No Pool”. Times changed, we missed our pool terribly during the hot summer, we rethought and decided to put the pool in and still do our US trip. However, we realised we couldn’t do it in October as first thought – that was the beginning of cricket season, and Jay had just been accepted in to the Cricket Program at Adelaide High School as well as been invited to play for Adelaide Cricket Club under 14’s. So we rethought and decided that it was to be in April, May 2018. We would have the extra six months of savings and if we were lucky we could catch a basketball game at the end of the season. So, it was on. Just had to actually make it happen and book some flights.
We all had input on what we were on our must sees – Jay wanted San Diego, Bruce and I wanted New York, I wanted to drive the West Coast, Bruce and I wanted Grand Canyon and we all wanted Niagara Falls. I dropped a considerable sized hint to Jane that if I was going to be as close as New York, maybe I could come visit. She jumped in enthusiastically and I suggested the idea that I go to Montreal from New York and the boys might like a few days in Miami and then we all meet in Hawaii. That was our rough plan.
Once I had that, it was almost like it was organised and months went by. I spoke with Stacey, my cousin’s wife who lives in Ohio and had invited us to come and stay and they could take us to Niagara Falls from there – they do it with all of their visitors. This sounded great and so I added it to the wish list and then she said “made sure you stop off in Hawaii on your way home to break up the flight”. I realise what she meant when I saw that New York to LA is 6 hours and LA to Melbourne is about 14 hours, so 20 hours of flying – Ugh. I discussed this with Bruce and Jay and it was added as a “must do” to the trip.
I kept saying “I must book the flights” and then finally in January 2018 whilst holidaying at Victor Harbor (where our best holiday planning usually eventuates), I booked the major flights. Adelaide – LA (Virgin) and Hawaii to Adelaide (Jetstar). The trip was on!
More time went by – “I must book more flights” was said a multitude of times again and then finally in about March I booked New York – Montreal (Air Canada), Montreal – Hawaii (American via Philadelphia and LA), New York – Miami (American), Miami – Hawaii (American via Chicago and LA).
Ok, now we had the bare bones of the trip organised.
I had always had dreams of San Francisco and LA is pretty close, would that factor in?? Grand Canyon is near Las Vegas – none of us are particularly keen on Vegas on it’s own, but our dream was a helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon, if funds permit. Not sure if we wanted to see it just from the ground.
We got closer. No more flights or any accommodation had been booked, but I discovered that the basketball fixture was out and look at that, we were landing in LA on the 7th of April and the season finished on the 11th. There was a game LA Lakers vs LA Clippers in LA on the 11th April, which I looked at, but that would mean that our first part of our trip would be in LA. What about San Francisco. Then I found Golden State Warriors vs New Orleans Pelicans at Oakland (near San Francisco) on April the 7th the day we arrived.
Discussions with Bruce and decisions made – flight from LA to San Francisco, tickets to the Golden State Warriors game and accommodation for two nights in Oakland were booked (I had the forethought to realise we would need to sleep once we got back from the game). I was right, we ended up sleeping 15 hours that night – thank God we didn’t have to check out.
On the 6th of April we dropped our two four legged kids, Stella and Turbo in to their holiday camp (which they don’t LOVE, but they are safe and well looked after).
The night before we left, I had trouble sleeping (no surprise) and was concerned that we didn’t have the night in San Francisco booked or the car, so I booked them.
On the 7th of April we headed off, armed with our major flights booked, the Golden State Basketball game, three nights of accommodation and a car for 10 days. The rest we would figure out as we went (much to my Mother-In-Law’s horror who was desperate to know our itinerary in advance). What a trip this is going to be!