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Because of my prize to Santa Barbara, USA....(Grand Canyon Pic 1/9)

posted 19-2-2010 @ 01:32 PM www
Because of my prize to Santa Barbara, USA....(Grand Canyon Pic 1/9)

So, I was thinking that I might take my fellow Lottoers along for the journey towards, the journey that is, “The Santa Barbara” journey.
As you all know, I’ve won a trip to Santa Barbara, USA.

Usually, I post replies to specific questions others post in relation to travel, but this time, I thought ‘Why not take you all along,’ on the journey that is organising a Winning Trip?

This way, others get to experience what it’s ‘like’ (sort of!) to win and organise a winning trip and some of you might get some tips along the way, or find a website that you didn’t know about!

What do ya think??:)
posted 19-2-2010 @ 01:35 PM www


I like it! I'd be thrilled to live vicariously through you!! Consider me on board :D
posted 19-2-2010 @ 01:35 PM www


sounds good to me misskittykat :) i like to live vicariously through others! :D and some tips would be good! ;)

edit: snap GinaG :D




Wins for 2009 $9284.57
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posted 19-2-2010 @ 02:07 PM www


count me in!
posted 19-2-2010 @ 02:27 PM www


Great idea thanks :)
posted 19-2-2010 @ 03:27 PM www


Great idea!
posted 19-2-2010 @ 04:08 PM www


Looking forward to hearing how things go!!:)
posted 19-2-2010 @ 06:47 PM www


I love hearing about other peoples holidays & planning the trip is half the excitement!!!!



posted 19-2-2010 @ 06:56 PM www


really love to hear about your adventure!
dolphin12
posted 19-2-2010 @ 06:59 PM www


That's a great idea misskittykat, would love to come on the "Santa Barbara" journey with you.

Congratulations on your fantastic win.
posted 19-2-2010 @ 07:16 PM www


Count me in!!!!! We all love adventures!!!!:):):):)



posted 19-2-2010 @ 07:19 PM www


Fantastic idea misskittykat :):):)
posted 19-2-2010 @ 08:41 PM www


Gee, what a response:D I was only out a few hours! Thanks gang!

Okey dokey...so, here’s the plan:
Every time something ‘new’ happens with the journey (now shrunk down to: ‘TSBJ’), I’ll update this post. This way you’ll see how organised (read “obsessed”!) I am, when arranging a trip!
For those that have forgotten/didn’t know, the winning trip for two, consists of:
Flights to LAX, 7 nights accommodation(with brekky), Car rental for duration of stay, One day of pampering in Hotel Spa, Guided Jeep Tour of 4 Wineries, 1xDinner for two in Hotel Restaurant and spending money!

LET THE JOURNEY BEGIN:
So, after the excitement of winning another trip, (I know...you may hate me now, but in the nicest possible way, please!), I consulted my list of possible travelling companions. Yes, I have a list! Have to share, can’t be the same person coming with me all the time! The next person on the list was my good pal from Cairns. He initially agreed, but was then hit with bad news from his Doctors, that he would not be well enough to travel, after another operation he has to have. A fellow Lottos member, good friend and workmate, Elisso, is now joining me on this adventure and we have nicknamed ourselves, Thelma and Louise, because a rental car is part of the prize! Two crazy gals, on those US Highways!
I’m Thelma, she’s Louise!:P:P:P
So far, I’ve decided to possibly extend our stay (subject to Promoter’s approval) to take in the Grand Canyon (GC) and surrounds, after our initial stay in Santa Barbara (SB). Always wanted to go there and it IS one of the Seven Wonders of the World! Fingers crossed, that we can extend our stay a few days more!
I’ve already checked the following things, via various sites on the ‘net, (with Google the fave site!):
Hotel’s rating on Trip Advisor, which I have always found very reliable: http://www.tripadvisor.com/
Driving routes on Google Maps: http://maps.google.com/
Santa Barbara Tourism, via various ‘Googled’ websites. (I’ll get back to ya on the best ones!)
Grand Canyon Tourism (ditto as above).
Weather conditions: http://www.worldweather.org/
Tips via Trip Advisor and Virtual Tourist: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/nl/

Early days, but already it’s exciting, learning all these new things about SB &GC!

I have started a ‘USA folder’, both on my computer and in a real folder. The one on my computer is a working document of ‘Things to do’ and ‘Must’ do’s! There’s another folder, in my email Inbox, for any communications between the Promoters, Travel Agent and myself. I always keep copies of everything, just in case...! The real folder becomes our own little Travel Itinerary, with hard copies of any important documents we need to take, like bookings, receipts for anything I purchase over the internet and the like. Also got a ‘scribble’ note book, for any genius ideas and working stuff out, like travel times and what not. Still have to rely on the old pen & paper, every now and then!

Stay tuned for the next action packed episode!:P
posted 24-2-2010 @ 04:25 PM www
Episode Two!

And so, the journey continues:

Elisso and I have had a couple more conversations about our exciting trip and this morning I received confirmation, that we can extend the trip! Yippeeee....Grand Canyon, here we come!:D:D

I’ve spoken to the Travel Agent once and we are now communicating via email.
Required forms filled out, with personal information required prior to trip and I also asked a few relevant questions to which I received prompt answers.

In the past half hour or so, Agent and I have been emailing (in between comping!) and I have now sent off our requested dates, with 4 different choices (in order of preference), so they’ve got a few dates to play around with. Only requirement by them, our stay must include a Saturday night, which wasn’t hard, because it’s a 7 day/night trip!

So, now we play the waiting game as to whether our dates are okay, but considering I was only notified just over two weeks ago now, we’re buzzing right along!

Already picked the Hotels we’d like to stay at near Grand Canyon and in L.A. and we'll just have to pay extra for 7 days more travel insurance and 5 days car rental. Not too shabby...very cheap trip!

We’ll be dreaming Grand Canyon dreams, tonight!;)
(Oh..and I did promise them that we won't be driving the rental car over some cliff at Grand Canyon, aka: Thelma and Louise style!:P:P:P)
posted 24-2-2010 @ 04:43 PM www


hahahaha!! Misskittycat!! Nice of you to share your journey. The Grand Canyon was the most awesome thing I've ever seen...you will LOVE it!! Looking forward to 'going along 'with you!!:D:D:D
posted 25-2-2010 @ 09:20 AM www


Hey Misskittykat - thanks for sharing!!

Look forward to reading much more about your trip! :)




posted 25-2-2010 @ 12:27 PM www


Sounds so very exciting, bet you can't wait. I will be checking in here to read up also, it'll be just like sharing the experience with you.

Yes, I have a list! Have to share, can’t be the same person coming with me all the time[b/]
I trust my name is on that list:P
posted 13-3-2010 @ 05:55 AM www


EPISODE THREE:
Well, I’ve received an email from the actual travel agent, who is based in the UK! Our first preference selected dates look like they were good ones and she is just waiting on the hotel to confirm our selected dates, then we should be set to book our ‘extra’ itinerary! This should happen in the next week or so.
And we are flying Qantas, so I’ve just checked their website/flight times and we’re hoping that we’re booked on the Melbourne/LA direct flights. All return flights leave late at night, so we WILL get that bonus extra day, in LA, to wear ourselves out shopping, then we’ll be able to sleep on the plane and dream, sweet dreams, on the way home!:D
posted 13-3-2010 @ 09:42 AM www


Great to hear that plans are going smoothly. Waiting for episode 4.:):):):):):)



posted 18-3-2010 @ 10:32 PM www


EPISODE FOUR:

Journey dates confirmed!! Yay!
Heading off, in August, for 2 weeks.
We were allowed to pick which days we wanted the other components of the prize, so:
Winery Tour on the Friday, getting ‘pampered’ on the Saturday afternoon (so we can look bootiful for Saturday night partying :D!!) and Dinner in the posh restaurant, on the Sunday night, (our last night in Santa Barbara), to celebrate what I’m sure will have been (by then) a wonderful winning trip!

Also confirmed the extra car hire, so we’re definitely driving to the Grand Canyon, Monday and staying overnight.
According to my calculations, we should arrive in plenty of time for Sunset and hopefully, we get up early enough to catch Sunrise, the following day!:cool:

Today, my GP recommended stopping in Palm Springs for lunch and a stroll! Better do what the good Doctor tells me:P

So, to end this chapter, by this time next week, we will hopefully have the extra accommodations booked!
Not bad, considering it was 4 weeks and 6 days ago, that I was informed of my win!

Fabulous Promoters make a huge difference!;)
posted 19-3-2010 @ 07:37 PM www


glad it's all gone so smoothly for you, miskittykat. It really takes the shine off a win when the promoter makes it difficult.

I can endorse your GPs suggestion about Palm Springs - a very nice place!:)
posted 22-3-2010 @ 11:46 PM www


if it helps to know, when we went to america in january/february, we drove to las vegas instead of flying too and it was such a great idea!
we drove from anaheim (disneyland) to vegas and it took about 5 hours of driving straight there. The south rim of the grand canyon is about 2.5-3 hours from vegas so it would have been about an 8 hour drive for us.
where are you staying when you head to the canyon?? are you going to stay in vegas and head out just a for a sight seeing trip or are you staying somewhere near the canyon? it would be a shame to drive all the way and not enjoy the bright lights of vegas!! we actually got married whilst we were there and it was beautiful, no elvis, just a perfect religious ceremony with no fuss..i would do it again in a heart beat!!!
palm springs is beautiful, but its also hot and very out of the way unless you are headed there specifically to stay for a few nights...
your updates are making me want to go back again even more!!! i absolutely love the states, with disneyland, las vegas and west hollywood being my all time favourite places i have travelled now!!
keep us updated! i am living vicariously through you!!
ps...if you really want to do some shopping in the states, the best outlets i have been to were in vegas!! there are three right near the strip and two of them were simply mind blowing!! its worth allocating two days (one for each of the great outlets) just to shop! you can do it in one day though as they are open til late anyway, but we had to buy three new suit cases to travel back home with after going there!! the outlets are better than all the ones i have visted in california, including camarillo, the citadel and barstow!! wowsers!!! my husbands sneakers cost him $240 aus a pair to buy here and there he bought 6 pairs for $230aus...it was insane!!!
posted 23-3-2010 @ 05:13 AM www


Thanks for the tips, jokaboobie!
We're driving from SB to the South Rim and staying at one of the 'lodges' on the rim, just for a night. Won't be heading to Las Vegas this time, going to Disneyland and LA for 4 days instead. (I've got friends there from last trip.) Going to hit the clubs on Sunset instead and try some of the LA shopping outlets.
I'll get to Las Vegas another time...another place on my never ending list of places to get to, but I'll just be happy seeing the Grand Canyon this time:) Next time, I plan on taking one of those riding/camping treks thru the Canyon!
(These trip wins have put a stop to another couple of semi -planned trips, which were at least one month in France and South Africa) but I'm NOT complaining:P:P)
posted 23-3-2010 @ 11:46 AM www


Great to hear plans are going smoothly!!!!!:):):)



posted 23-3-2010 @ 01:21 PM www


I adored the canyon.........but there are so many places to see in the US....if anyone ever gets the chance to drive up to Utah and see Zion National Park I swear it is even better than the Grand Canyon........yes, dare I say it........a local we met in Vegas recommended we go see it so we did and it was brilliant..... the grand Canyon is on the touriest "to do' list....we love finding the not so touristy places to visit

man I wish it was me going over.




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