Sunday, February 28, 2010

UK Vacation (day 1)

(July 16, 2008)

Traveling to London

The plan was simple…
get to the airport on time,
board our plane,
catch our connecting flight,
sleep on the flight to London (this should’ve been easy since it was a red-eye),
and be fully functional by morning so we could hit the road running.

Ok. Not so simple.

Getting to the airport and checking our baggage was easy. We were catching our first flight from Richmond, VA to Newark, NJ. Once in NJ we needed to change terminals and jump on Virgin Atlantic to get from Newark to London. Our plane was on schedule, but I was pretty nervous about having enough time to make it to the next flight (obviously I’ve missed a flight before) and what’s more…I was really worried about our baggage making it to the next flight (obviously I’ve lost baggage before).

The flight from Richmond to Newark was operated by Continental…an airline I honestly can’t stand.
Service on this airline was a sham, the plane was incredibly small and I swear there was a weird odor coming from the back of the plane. Thankfully, it was a short flight and we were in Newark in no time.

Once in Newark, we rushed out of the gate, went through security again and raced to the next terminal. It was only a 2 hour layover so the whole bag issue was really starting to worry me…so my husband went up to the woman at the Virgin Atlantic counter and asked if there was any way she could check on our luggage. With a smile and a walkie-talkie, this wonderful woman took our baggage tickets and had someone on the ground physically look for our bags.
“Yes, we have your bags.”
I’ve never had good service from an airline employee before…it was amazing!

Relieved that our bags had made it, we went in search of food before our flight.

Newark airport is a craphole.

There was one duty-free shop, one souvenir shop and a bar in our terminal. That’s it. The only food available was from the bar…which meant really bad nachos or really bad sandwiches.

We opted for the really bad nachos and 30 minutes later (I had no idea nachos could take that long) we had our food and did some people watching.

Five minutes later our flight was starting to board. Stupid bar people. Who takes 30 minutes to make nachos!!?!?!?!
We scarfed down the rest of our meal and headed for the plane.

Stepping foot onto the plane was heavenly…for a few reasons:
1. Because I knew where it was taking me.
2. Because the flight attendants that greeted me had fabulous accents.
3. Because the plane was spacious!

Once we got to our seats I was blown away to find an amenity pack (complete with toothbrush and toothpaste, socks AND a cover for your eyes to help you sleep) on each seat as well as a pillow and blanket. Each seat had a built in t.v. screen and there were more than 30 movies (we’re talking new releases) offered in addition to t.v. shows, games and music.
Everything was complimentary on the flight. Headphones, drinks, food, etc. Oh gosh…the food!
Ok wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Once we were seated and the captain started talking on the intercom I just fell into a trance.
Our captain was Scottish and I was in love. =)
I don’t know what he said….but I loved the way he said it.

Unfortunately, we were stuck in a traffic jam on the ground for a good 40 minutes, but once we took off it was gravy.

We tried sleeping for a little while and I think we did actually get a few hours of shut-eye…but there was just too much to do. There were new movies to be seen, games to be played against other passengers on the flight…and food…there was good food!

When the meals came out I was really impressed.
The tray was beautifully set with the main course (I got vegetarian pasta....SOOOO good!) bread, butter, cheese, salad, cobbler, a water bottle, napkin, utensils, coffee cup (an actual cup) and glass (an actual glass.) Wine was served with dinner (complimentary) and it was extremely enjoyable. Coffee and tea were served after the meal.

For a few hours…I completely forgot I was on a plane…

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