Friday, 23 September 2011

Welcome to the USA!

It was a surprisingly smooth trip to the US! There was hardly any traffic to the airport. The Virgin Australia plane was new and funky with the service infinitely better than Qantas'. More importantly Jonah behaved and slept. Hallelujah!

Our Virgin Australia plane that was to take us to LA

The McDonald's that is becoming part of nearly every trip report...

A very happy child on the plane

We arrived into the Tom Bradley terminal at LAX relatively intact. Although there seemed to be a lot of people, the total time from walking off the plane to passing security at Terminal 5 was only 1 hour and 15 minutes. Due to our incompetent flight centre travel agent, our seats were scattered for our Delta flight from LA to Salt Lake City. Mr Malcolm "Sweet Talk" soon fixed that. The lovely guy at the service desk managed to get us seated together whilst all the Delta staff in Sydney couldn't. Everyone crashed during the 1 hour and 50 minute flight. It was enough to revive them all for our first real day in the USA. We arrived in Salt Lake City with sunny blue skies and at a comfortable 25 degrees!

We were picked up by the shuttle to take us to our rental car, a humongous Chevrolet Suburban. Opa got nominated to drive as he had the most recent experience with driving on the other side of the car on the other side of the road. We made the short drive to our hotel safely and were glad to check into our spacious 2 bedroom suite at the Homewood suites. The hotel has an amazing laundry in addition to providing free hot breakfast and free evening "snacks" on certain days of the week. We figured this "snack" would do us for dinner.

Picking up our rental car

The humungous Chevrolet Suburban

The Utah number plate

The first designated driver

Navigating through freeways into Salt Lake City

We've finally arrived!

We have booked a 2 bedroom suite with massive bedrooms. The children were excited just entering the room

Some of our shopping

One of the bedrooms

View from the hotel. I like the fact that you see mountains in the background no matter where you look

We had a leisurely stroll to the closest mall. Like with most things American, things were big and wide. But so far, we like what we've seen of Salt Lake City. Gorgeous mountainous backdrop, great open style mall, clean streets with cars that give way to pedestrians, and friendly people. We bought the second mobile sim that we wanted, as well as some much needed Ben & Jerry's. I never thought sugar free fat free ice-cream could be delicious. We are our ice-cream in the warm sunshine watching the local children play in the water play area in the middle of the mall.

It was then a quick walk back to the hotel for the free dinner at 5pm. The waiter misheard coke as coors and hence I received light beer as a beverage. I drank it and so far so good. No adverse reactions. We went for a dip in the hotel pool to stay awake for a bit longer in an attempt to acclimatise to the time zone.
The children diving into the pool straight after dinner

Some of my purchases from the Disney Store


  1. As you can tell, sn0apple knows the hotel chains inside out. We love Homewood Suites for their breakfasts, dinner & huge rooms, just as you have found. Of the hotels in the Hilton chain, they are midrange only, but very consistent.

    And as for sitting together on domestic flights? We have not had a single flight in the USA where we've had seats allocated together. Nobody — the travel agent, the check-in computer, the check-in desk, the boarding gate desk, the air host/ess — has been able or willing to do what it takes to get us seated together. Would have been interesting if we had just put The Padawan in his allocated seat & walked away. Every flight, we've had to negotiate with surrounding passengers after boarding. Same on every airline.

  2. Flying United you can choose your seat on EVERY flight yourself :-)
    On the computer...
    For free...
    from the comfort of your home :-) From the moment you book...

    As for everything else. Looking good so far!!! SLC sure is clean...just....errr....boring after a day or two ;-)

    LOVING the suburban!!!! NICE CHOICE!!!
    Homeward Suites...LOVE IT!!

  3. Include me in the list of Homewood suites fan. As for United... ;)

    Louise, hope your one week whirlwind trip went well.