Sunday, 8 June 2014

An Introduction and upcoming itinerary

A long, long time ago! well 1990.
Welcome to the new blog for myself and Victoria.

Our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary is imminent ( 24th February 2015) and we wanted to mark it with quite a tour. Victorias' friend Clare had emigrated to New Zealand and my friend Matt had emigrated to Japan, both working as teachers. This got us thinking, we could celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and see our buddies in the process*, visiting two countries we had never previously been to.

In summer 2013 we started our planning. We knew the rough dates that we could travel as we are limited to school holidays with Victorias' job, so we would preferably travel out in late July 2014.

Eighteen years ago, in 1995, I had been on to a conference in San Jose and Victoria and our daughter Jasmin had accompanied me. We had flown into Los Angeles, visited Disneyland and then driven up the Pacific Coast to San Jose. While I was in the conference Victoria and Jasmin had visited San Francisco while I only had the opportunity of a drive out to look at the Golden Gate Bridge and the Embarcardo, I probably only got out of the car for a few minutes. The rest of the photos in this post are from that trip.
Jasmin outside It's a Small World 1995

We thought it would be great if I could actually see San Francisco so we decided to make this the first stop on our tour. After three nights in  San Francisco we will pick up a hire car and have a leisurely drive along the Pacific Coast, staying for a night at Ben Lomond, we stayed here all those years ago, and a night at Pismo Beach.

Arriving at Anaheim, we will have three nights here, with a couple of days at Disneyland then we drop the car off at the airport and board a flight from Los Angeles to Auckland.

Although it is a 13-hour flight we leave on the Thursday evening but do not get there until the Saturday morning, the intricacies of the International Date Line.
Our California Babe in 1995

The original plan was to hire a camper van in New Zealand, but as it is really winter, the weather will be inclement so we opted instead for a hire car and hotels.

We pick up the car in Auckland and then have a night on the Viaduct. Setting off the next day we have a night at Waitomo where we will visit the glow-worm caves. We then drive to Lake Taupo where we plan to fly over Mt Tongariro, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Ruapehu the site of Mount Doom!

Golden Gate Bridge 1995
After a night at Lake Taupo we drive on to Rotarua where we will have two nights and hope to take in a thermal spa and see the sights. Before heading back to Auckland we are going to Hobbiton to visit The Shire and then back to Auckland airport to drop off the car and have a night in the airport hotel as we have an early flight in the morning to Tokyo.

We get into Tokyo late afternoon and are staying on Tokyo Bay where we will spend our remaining days of this tour. Our plans for Tokyo are to have day trips to Tokyo Disney Seas and a visit to Mount Fuji on the Bullet train. Whilst in Tokyo we hope to be able to mooch around town and stumble upon the weird and wonderful delights of Japan, however due to being in Japan during their hottest and most humid month (which is often described as hellish!) we may just head to the nearest air conditioned building!
Victoria & Jasmin 1995

Then its back home to good old Blighty and hopefully - if we're still speaking to each other after that length of time together - to plan our next trip.

I have scanned some very old photos, don't we look young!

Pacific Ocean 1995

* Unfortunately a change in circumstances means that Clare is coming home in July and Matt will be on holiday when we arrive in Tokyo. The lengths some people go to avoid us.