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New Zealand: November 14 to December 9, 2014
One of the reasons New Zealand is such a wonderful place is that it is so far away. For our East Coast clients, it is a very long trip, but well worth the journey. Air New Zealand pretty much has the monopoly for nonstop flights from the USA with gateways in Los Angeles and San Francisco. We routed through LAX, and sometimes flight schedules dictate a long layover in Los Angeles. From our point of view, this can be looked at as a positive. There are a number of decent hotels within a mile of LAX and many offer attractively priced day rooms. After flying all the way to California, it is nice to take a walk, grab lunch, rest and shower before the long flight down across the Pacific.
It is tempting to hang out at the hotel for the afternoon, but we highly recommend that our clients take the 15-minute taxi or the $5 Ocean Express Shuttle to Manhattan Beach. This cool seaside community has a lovely pier, awesome restaurants, quaint shops and a beautiful beach. We settled into the small, but trendy Fishing with Dynamite – a gem of a seafood restaurant. At the Raw Bar, we enjoyed Kusshi and Komo Gway oysters from British Columbia, mahi mahi fish tacos with avocado and salsa verde and a bucket of steamed clams with chorizo, tomato and vermouth with the most amazing grilled focaccia bread. All were washed down with a nice California Chardonnay and a craft pilsner beer. It was great to get away from LAX and the monster hotels for a nice afternoon in the sun!
Off to LAX for our evening with Air New Zealand… The flight is on time!
By: Mike Jr. and Kristene Fitzgerald
Photo Credits: Rick Poon & Fishing with Dynamite Staff