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Qantas Holidays


Qantas Holidays Global Achievers - USA by LISA WELLS

Qantas Holidays Global Achievers – USA  by LISA WELLS
This year I was fortunate enough to become an International Global Achiever with Qantas Holidays and was taken to experience California, USA.
We flew economy class with Qantas Airways non stop to Los Angeles. It was a very full flight. The in flight service was quite good. The flight attendants were very attentive. The food was average and the entertainment was very good with Movies on demand and plenty to choose from.
After 5 hours in transit, we then flew American Airlines economy class from L.A. to San Francisco. The plane was quite old and the flight attendants were not very well presented. In flight service was OK with a complimentary beverage.
We had access to the Qantas Club in Melbourne and Los Angeles. This is a lovely new Club in L.A. which was fantastic as we had 4 hours to wait after checking in before the flight departed and our terminal only consisted of one small duty free shop and a small gift shop!! We were able to gain entry to the Admiral’s Club in L.A during our 5 hours transit.   This is a very large lounge. Qantas passengers receive a voucher for a complimentary alcoholic drink. There are minimal snacks such as pretzels, biscuits, fruit, complimentary soft drinks, tea and coffee. Other airline passengers have to purchase all food and alcoholic beverages. I made use of the 5 hours and had a shower in the club which was fantastic after 20 + hours!!   
On arrival in San Francisco, we transferred by the Super Shuttle straight to our hotel.
We stayed one night at the Hotel Union Square which has just recently undergone a $10 million refit. It is a “funky” boutique style hotel. The rooms and bathrooms are very small. Not all rooms are air conditioned which was needed at this time of year. They are currently having it installed in all rooms. It was a very noisy hotel as well due to the street noise.
That afternoon we took the famous Cable Car down to Fisherman’s Wharf for a 2 hour Bay cruise taking in all the sights such as Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz etc. We then had dinner at a restaurant at Pier 39.
The next day we picked up our Hertz hire cars and drove 3.5 hours to Yosemite National Park which was a fairly easy drive. We stayed 20 minutes out of the Park at Yosemite View Lodge for 2 nights. Quite big rooms and well appointed. That afternoon we did a 2 hour bike ride around the base camp of Yosemite. The scenery is beautiful however it was a shame that the waterfalls weren’t in operation due to the end of Summer and lack of water. That night we dined at the Fine Dining restaurant at The Ahwhanne Hotel. It is not cheap at an average of US35-US50 per main course.
The next day we did a full day coach tour of Yosemite National Park. We were fortunate enough to see a bear a deer and many squirrels. Whilst it was very informative and interesting and amazing scenery, it was a very long day and we were still very jet lagged. As we had our own vehicles we could have easily drove ourselves around and seen the same things in half a day, however without the knowledge of the tour guide.
That evening we dined at the Mountain restaurant at Yosemite Falls View Hotel. It was an excellent meal and very reasonably priced.
The next day we drove from Yosemite to Anaheim stopping along the way to do a bit of shopping and lunch. Including our 2 hours of stops it still took us 9.5 hours so another long day of driving.
In Anaheim we stayed for 2 nights at Disney’s Grand California Hotel & Spa Resort. I hadn’t been to Disneyland Anaheim for 17 years and I was amazed at all the development with the new “California Park” which has some amazing rides. Also, our hotel which is the best located, joins onto the new “Disney Walk” which has numerous shops and restaurants. Our hotel also has priority entrance at 7.00am to hotel guests.
We spent Friday night, most of Saturday and Sunday between the 2 parks. After my last trip 17 years ago, I didn’t have any desire to go back to Disneyland again anytime soon. However, on this trip I had such an amazing time and enjoyed it immensely, I can’t wait to go back with my family to experience it again.
We were spoilt at the Achievers Gala Awards Dinner at the hotel on the Saturday night.
Richard Wilkins was once again our MC. A gospel choir entertained us and the headline act was “Missy Higgins” who also entertained us.
California is a diverse state offering a bit of everything from theme parks, beaches, national parks, snow skiing, shopping, the desert, wineries, offering many beautiful scenic routes to drive. You certainly don’t need to fly anywhere else in The States if your time is limited. You can experience it all in California.
I am looking forward to assisting my clients with their USA holidays.