First Day of Travel: Long Beach

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This is a continuation of our cruise to Hawaii.  Click here to start from the beginning.

Here we are getting closer to the start of our trip and I've gotten a lot accomplished.  All of the travel arrangements are made and I've chosen my books and movies for the 15-day trip.  Now I need a new camera.  Yep, I said a new camera.  This was 2014 before camera phones became competition for real cameras.

I have many hobbies. Photography is not one of them. I enjoy taking photos, but I want it to be easy. A quality photo is not something I want to put a lot of work into. Having said that, wouldn't it have been a shame to use my very old Sony Cybershot with 7.2mp to capture the beauty of Hawaii? The least I can do is purchase a more updated camera, right? I mean, how often will I get to Hawaii?  After some research and comparisons, I came up with a Canon Powershot ELPH 150 IS in blue.  It's still a pretty good camera, just not as convenient to carry as the camera on my iPhone X.

Now, I will say that my Sony Cybershot had served me well. There really was nothing wrong with it and it still works perfectly. It's just outdated. Here are the features that sold me on this camera:

From the Canon website:
*10x Optical Zoom helps ensure outstanding optical performance and versatility.
*20.0 Megapixel sensor combined with the DIGIC 4+ Image Processor for outstanding performance.
*Shoot 720p HD video with a dedicated movie button.
*Smart AUTO intelligently selects the proper camera settings based on 32 predefined shooting situations.
*Intelligent IS automatically chooses from eight different modes to optimize image stabilization for the shooting condition.
*Scene Modes such as Fisheye Effect, Toy Camera Effect, and Monochrome provide creative freedom to capture your photos.
*ECO Mode helps reduce power consumption for longer battery life.
*Help Button provides simple explanations and easy control of your settings.

I played around with it and it took some really good pictures. I hope you agree that it did Hawaii proud when I share my photos with you.

I also needed new luggage and with a quick search, I found this American Tourister Pop Spinner 3 Piece set.

I got the set in that exact color so it would be easy to spot at baggage claim.  I gotta say, I still use this luggage today.  It's a little dirty, but not worn or torn.  And we know how gently baggage handlers treat your luggage.  I highly recommend this set.

Now we are ret to go!

Since I was going to be gone for so long, I decided it would be more cost effective to leave my car at home. I used the Curb app to schedule a taxi. It will only let you schedule for the current or next day, so I had to schedule a reminder to remind me to schedule a taxi. Lol


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Curb is really easy to use and you can even pay for the trip (including tip) right from the app. They give out discounts for referrals, so if you're using the app, share with those you know so you can get a little money too.

Once I made the reservation, I received an email to confirm. In my city, Curb contacted the Yellow Cab Company. I arranged for the taxi to arrive at 10:15, but he was a little late. When I called to find out where he was, the automated system knew it was me and told me that he was 0.2 miles from my house. Right after I hung up, the driver called to ask for directions. He had passed the house. He was a really nice guy and got us to the airport in no time. I'm only 3 exits away on the interstate, so it was a quick drive.

We flew on the then-new American Airlines. Our trip west was on US Airways and was a direct flight. Check-in was a breeze. My bag weighed 52.5lbs ?, but they didn't even blink an eye. I guess they charge for overweight bags if you are significantly over the mark. Mom had TSA Pre✔ and was able to breeze through security in less than 5 minutes. I, on the other hand, was stuck in a long line. I told the officer that was monitoring our line that Mom had time to take a nap while she waited for me. Lol

By the time we got to the gate, our flight was boarding, so our timing was pretty perfect. I will say, the flight was way too long. I mean, I wanted a direct flight, but who wants to be stuck in one spot for 5.5 hours straight? I have no idea how people make this trip on a regular basis.  I would prefer connecting flights if I have to go this far again. Luckily, that's what we had coming back.  The flight was uneventful and I was able to watch the movie God's Not Dead. I thought it was going to be a sappy, religious movie, but it was actually pretty good. It helped while away the hours.

Once we landed and got our luggage, we headed over to Super Shuttle to catch a ride. I also reserved this prior to our trip. They got us checked in and I immediately received a confirmation text letting me know they had a van coming. We only waited about 10 minutes before the van to Long Beach came. We had a good ride and driver. It took about 30 minutes. I passed exits of some of the famous streets I've heard of like Crenshaw and La Cienega. The amount of traffic on the 405 was interesting and California has an interesting way of merging traffic on to the highway: they have a traffic light. Each green allows three cars to merge. Interesting.

As we pull up to the hotel, there is so much going on.  People checking in and a Winter Festival.  Stay tuned to hear about our stay at the historic Queen Mary!

 

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