Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Hallowe'en Sunset in Birch Bay Village

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Home Sweet Sehome

Two great back-to-back trips, and it still feels good to be home.

Did we ever miss our coffee machine!

Review: Dinner on ANA (NH) 116 HND-YVR

Perhaps we can best describe it as a Japanese interpretation of what the menu calls "international cuisine."

We simply say "itadakimass."

Haneda Airport: At the Gate

The sign reads in English "Please wait for a while."

A lot of employees...

This is an "old" 787, quite a step down...

It will still get us there.

Haneda Royal Park Transit Hotel

We disembarked our SYD-HND flight about 5:00 a.m. Our flight to Vancouver departs at 9:45 p.m.

The Royal Park Hotel worked out really well for us.

We'd made a reservation, and the check-in was quick and efficient. The room is small - very small, like other transit hotels we've stayed at - but it was almost luxurious, and the king size bed makes it look even smaller.

The bathroom is tiny, but includes a combination tub-shower and a "fancy" Toto toilet.

We rented the room for 12 hours. Brian slept 9 or 10, and Kathy wasn't far behind.

We feel great and may treat the next flight like a day flight.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Sunrise From the ANA Haneda Lounge

ANA 787 Bulkhead Business Seats

Tons of room. We slept much of the flight and the ride was much smoother than the very bumpy outbound flight.

Next on the agenda are Japanese immigration, boarding passes for our second flight, security and the transit hotel for some rest on the ground.

After a bit of confusion, we have found our way to the ANA Lounge, and will hang out here for awhile before checking in at the transit hotel.

We're getting coffee and a bite to eat. Brian thought he was choosing some fruit yogurt but ended up with a jello-like concoction.

Last afternoon in Sydney

We tried to nap after breakfast with modest results.

We checked out, left our luggage with the hotel, and strolled down to Darling Harbour on a beautiful afternoon.

Eventually we topped up our Opal Cards and rode out to the airport.

We'd printed our boarding passes at the hotel and headed straight through immigration and security.

The Air New Zealand Koru Lounge was so crowded when we arrived that we couldn't sit together, but the crowd has thinned out.

The journey home has begun. We fly Sydney to Haneda. We're due to arrive at 5:00 a.m. and don't fly onward until 9:45 p.m. Yes, we've booked a transit hotel.

The typhoon has apparently moved onward. If all goes well, we'll land at Vancouver at 2:45 p.m. Tuesday.

We'll see.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sydney Hilton: Breakfast at Glass

We've partaken of breakfast during previous stays, so our expectations were realistic. Their coffee is still weak but it's a nice setting and the buffet breakfast is fine. We skipped the Eggs Benedict because last time they'd been sitting out too long.

Now for some relaxing time, a late checkout, and the beginning of a long journey home.

From Narita to Haneda

Outbound we had to transfer airports. Returning is all Haneda, SYD-HND-YVR, with about a 14-hour layover. This post was misplaced, and we're adding it now in case we ever make this trip again.

We'd like to say our arrival was a breeze, but we did stand in the immigration line for upwards of 40 minutes. Everybody was very polite and friendly, however, and the queues were orderly.

By now, there were five of us from Flyertalk, Fabian, Rob and his daughter Courtney, and the two of us.

Once through Immigration and Customs, we found the line for the bus to Haneda (and we learned how to pronounce it - it rhymes with Canada!), and bought tickets @ US $28 each for the 65-85 minute trip.

The buses run every 15 minutes and almost before we knew it we were all on the 4:45 p.m. bus, not too bad after a 3:30 landing.

We arrived about 6:00 p.m., breezed through security and passport control, and found the lovely ANA Business Lounge without a problem. First stop? Long glorious showers...

Then there was time to enjoy the lounge.

At this point, we still had a long way to go.

At the Sydney Night Noodle Market

This is the last night of this particular market.

We only had to walk two blocks to Hyde Park to try some tasty dishes. Bonus: the rain stopped!

The portions were generous and three stops were more than enough.

The Sydney Tower looms over everything. It wasn't that many years ago we completed a walk on top - outside.

One last snack and it's back to the Hilton.

A Gin and Tonic or two in the Executive Lounge, and a profiterole or two, and then it's off to bed. Tomorrow begins a long journey back home.