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2004 Trip - Getting There

The first three days of our Europe/Cruise trip went by really quickly. Of course, when you lose a good part of a day just by flying from the U.S. to London, time is bound to fly!

Day #1 on Monday started with a flight from SoCal to Houston and then to London, arriving early Tuesday morning. We flew on Continental - they had a sale on First Class tickets several months ago. I am sure a lot of people will think it is a waste of money, but coach class tickets were so expensive at that point, that it seemed worthwhile to me to jump to first class for the sheer pleasure of the additional amenities. Everyone has their own priorities, I guess.

The flight from SoCal to Houston was non-eventful and non-memorable on a 737. The crew was also non-memorable. I can say that because they compared very poorly with the crew on the next part of the trip from Houston to London on a 777, a much larger plane.

Before I forget, I want to mention that the Houston Airport was great - not terribly crowded and very clean. When we arrived from SoCal, an airport employee was available as we walked to our connecting terminal to give us directions. And, he had a darling Texas drawl, so that helped make it a friendly place!

We followed his directions and planned to have lunch while we waited for our connection in Terminal E. We had seen a sign for a seafood bar called Pappadeaux, and it happened to be right across from our gate in Terminal E. What luck! It was up on the second level overlooking the boarding gates - kind of a neat place for people watching. We had a great lunch up there - I had a lobster seafood salad with cashews and Bill had a huge bowl of shrimp gumbo. Both great with Nobilo New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. You winelovers have probably heard of Cloudy Bay New Zealand S.B., which has become very expensive. This was just as good!

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O.K. - on to the 2nd flight! I am really a novice at this because I have never been on an international flight with larger planes. It was a sight to behold when we walked into the front section of this 777 plane! So much space between the seats! When we finally went to sleep, we could almost fully recline. With the help of half an Ambien, I actually slept - I don't know how long I slept because I kind of lost track of time. We had a great flight attendant (Marilyn) - she poured us champagne when we first got on and then lots of wine later with dinner and port with dessert. Ferrari Carano Sauv Blanc and a great Syrah called Exp by R.H. Phillips - both really great!

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Continental also gave us each a little "goodie pack" when we were seated on the plane and a really nice thick blanket (not those crappy thin ones). I can't say enough nice things about that crew - they were wonderful! The funny part was that the plane was late leaving, and the crew ended up congregating where we were sitting in the Houston Airport until the plane arrived.

Arrived in London about 8 a.m. We had reservations on the Gatwick Express to get from London Gatwick Airport into London. I had made the reservations many months ago at a pretty cheap price in the first class section of the train, and it was great! We were the only ones in the car (see more about this later) There were tables between the seats to read/work, and a beverage cart came around a couple of times. It took about 30 minutes to get there. The train attendants were very helpful in getting us to a cab driver who took care of our luggage.

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More tomorrow . . .

Comments (5)

Barb Cabot:

Nancy, I am loving reading this. This makes me think keeping a blog is a really good way for someone like me to finally get something documented about fond memories. Life often deters of from gathering these photos and the notes from travel diaries and doesn't the blogging make it easy to just click away and see your photos. I'm from the old school of just keeping volumes of photo albums or loose pictures in a box. This is so much easier to access. Thank you

nancyhol:

Barb, you should do that! It is pretty easy when you have notes of some kind (emails or a journal). And then match up the photos with the subject.

I am having fun with it because I can relive the whole trip!

Marcia:

I actually set up my blog so that I could journal our trip last summer, but I'm not so sure I could go back and do what you're doing Nancy. I do have notebooks, and some pictures(only got my own camera a few trips back), but I guess I need some time. Good luck, it reads well.

A great start Nancy. I agree with you - first class all of the way!

I started my blog also as a way to document my travels. I ended up having so much fun blogging, that I continued. I was lucky to fly first class a couple of times. Hard to go back to coach after that.

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