Two Nights At The Russell

The Russell Hotel is a unique and historic boutique hotel with 30 individually designed rooms, offering warm and friendly service located in the heart of The Rocks, Sydney. All guests at The Russell BoutiqueHotel receive access to our sitting room and private rooftop courtyard, complimentary continental breakfast, complimentary wifi, and one of the best locations in Sydney.

The entrance, however is not at the doors below the hotel name, it is near the top of the sidewalk.

After almost 24 hours of travel, we arrived at our temporary quarters in the “Russell”.

For travel of this length I will have to say that the process of getting 4 bags plus carry-ons, looked to be challenging at the onset.

Rocket Transportation driver, Stewart, picked us up at home at the appointed hour and safely deposited us just outside of the Delta terminal at SeaTac. Checkin went probably as smooth as it ever has, processing through YSA was swift and we were on our way to the new Delta International gate F14, about a mile away. In times past we have departed via the satellite terminal, but this is in a new part of the airport.

Soon we were winging our way to LAX, or Los Angeles, for a plane change and, sadly, a terminal change!! Much to my surprise, we did not have to go through TSA again as the transfer to terminal 2 was accomplished by an airport shuttle bus that remained completely on airport grounds. That went well.

Similar to our experience with clouds at Disneyland (in years past) it seemed that everyone in the city of LA was flying somewhere from terminal 2!!

When we made the airline reservations for this trip, I insisted on booking the next level of seating above “cattle-car”. We were now traveling in “Sky Zone” seating, which meant we would be the second group to board, however, experienced travelers have learned how to “work” the boarding system, by feigning mobility conditions, and are therefore boarded first, along with a slate of people other supposed conditions. IT is pathetic how the gate people let them get away with it. I suppose at my advanced age I could request a “wheeled-chair” with Barbara pushing me and go the the head of the line.

On the flight of 14 hours and 55 minutes, we were fed about every 5 hours and given water at a regular intervals, the only problem with this much consumption is …. you get the picture. The restrooms at the Sydney terminal very very busy.

Going through immigration and customs was pretty much accomplished with out a face-to-face with officials. We scanned our passports at a kiosk, went through a facial recognition “exit door” and proceeded to baggage claim and out the “nothing to declare door” and that was it!!

Welcome to Australia.

I had planned to use Uber to get us to our hotel, however none of our credit cards were accepted, so we found a taxicab. Trusting that the driver was legit, we booked him for the nine mile, 20 minute drive. As we learned upon talking with the hotel clerk, our “taxi” was semi-legit, and could pretty much set his own price. He dinged us for twice what a legitimate taxi could charge. But we arrived safe and sound and that has to be worth something.

So here I sit on the morning of 20 December in the very nicely appointed “sitting room’ of our hotel, ready for a nice day to explore Sydney.

Next: Day two of “Two nights at the Russell”

3 thoughts on “Two Nights At The Russell

  1. I love the architecture of this hotel. I bet the rooms are fabulous. Glad you both made it safely to the hotel. Too bad about the semi-legit taxi cab driver. I am surprised that your credit cards didn’t work. If the guy was a crook that may be a blessing in disguise. I don’t know how you two manage those long flights! Soon you’ll be on the beautiful cruise ship being waited on hand and foot. Love you guys, Lisa

  2. Love your detailed and interesting accounts of these exotic places. One note on your observation of the “early plane borders” who need some extra time. Up until this year I felt the same as you still do. However, after two heart surgeries this year and many heart hospital encounters, I’ve changed my perspective. Since my last surgery was just a couple of weeks ago, even tho I physically appear the same on the surface, my interior cannot function so well. For example, if I move too quickly, or try to lift a suitcase to an overhead bin I go into a wild and debilitating heart rhythm and get short of breath, etc. Because of this medically focused year we have had to completely change our lifestyle. Such a surprise to me. Yesterday when I took early boarding, while tho I carried along some medical equipment and hubby on a cane, I heard people ask me, “so are you a cripple?” I averted my eyes and walked on. Hence, one of my learnings reinforced this year is that one cannot always tell about a book by its cover. In other words what may appear fresh and healthy on the surface may actually be suffering and disabled inside. Thus, for me, I try to be grateful for just what I have and neither envy nor too harshly judge another without knowing their whole story. Consequently I now see “early boarders” from an entirely different perspective. As always, Lynn K

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