Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Off to London to visit the Queen...

After I convince Lorenzo that he couldn't go to Europe with me I managed to get packed and no sooner had I zipped up my suit case...this arrived at my door step:
A chauffeured town car. How cool is that? My driver, Scott, was a very nice guy. He had the car all stocked with soda and bottled water, mixed nuts, gum, breath mints and 3 different types of Altoids. We talked all the way to the airport and I found out that he spent some time in San Francisco and got to meet Todd Rundgren, and was invited to his house. It is so rare that I ever run across anyone who is familiar with his music and of course it is much more rare to find someone who has actually met him face to face. I was very excited and thought we could talk about Todd's music however Scott was unfamiliar with his music. He was invited to Todd's house to, purportedly, talk about computers and watch Todd do computer hacking. Nice.

This trip to Europe was a upgrade from my last trip. I got to fly business class. When you fly business class/international you get to share in the secret fun that is otherwise known as the Executive Lounge. Call me simple but I never even knew these places existed. I had to ask where it was because the entry way is so stealth that you wouldn't know it was there unless you knew what you were looking for. I had to walk through an automatic, frosted sliding glass door, then go up in a private elevator and then through a bit of a maze and then I saw nirvana. I had to show my boarding pass so they could confirm that I was not a mere coach class passenger trying to infiltrate this secret hide-away.

There was a room full of easy chairs.

This was a radio with noise reducing Bose headphones attached.

For my pre flight snack I had a glass of Merlot, cheese & crackers and pretzels. The food and drinks were inclusive upon entry to this grotto. There was a whole smorgasbord of snacks and drinks. There was a room with a big screen TV, a room full of massaging chairs, a reading room, a rack of newspapers and a rack of current magazines, a computer room, showers, restrooms, a children's room. It was amazing to see what they had back there. Who knew?

Pictured above is the Business Class cabin. I got to board right after the first class cabin and before the 100's of coach passengers. The seats are huge and there is enough room in front of the seats that you could dance if you felt so inclined. Each seat reclines almost completely, they have adjustable foot/leg rests, a tray table that comes out from the inside of your arm rest, your own personal television and Bose noise reducing headphones. We each got our own hermetically sealed quilted comforter and pillow and in the pocket of the seat in front of me we all got a handy dandy "valet". The "valet" turned out to be a soft canvas bag that was rolled up and held together with snaps. After you unsnap and unroll it you find that it has mesh pockets filled with goodies. There was a nice ink pen, tissues, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a sleep mask, lotion, the most amazing lip balm EVER, a "refreshing facial moist towelette", and sleep socks. The bag opened up so that you could put your shoes in it and close it with a draw string. I LOVE SWAG!

After I got settled in to my seat I was offered champagne, orange juice or water and this was before the plane even took off. While the people in coach class are still fighting for overhead storage space I was relaxing with juice and warmed mixed nuts. Once the plane got in to the air we were offered pretty much anything we wanted to drink. I had another glass of wine. The glasses were small and I thought that would just hit the spot. As soon as my glass was almost empty there was someone there filling it up again.
The Stewardess, oh wait a minute, "flight attendant" called my by name, Mrs. Wyatt, every time she approached me. She asked me where I was going and how long I was going to stay. She told me about all the best places to shop in Paris and the best places to eat in London. You'd have thought we'd known each other for years by the way she was talking to me.

This was my appetizer. I'm glad it was a heavy appetizer because I didn't care for any of the three choices they were serving for dinner. After dinner the flight attendant came by and gave everyone a piece of Lindt chocolate. It was yummy!!! They also served "Cherry Garcia" Ben & Jerry's ice cream. It was served in a sundae cup and the scoops were huge and frozen solid as a rock. I asked for some amaretto and I poured it over the top of my ice cream hoping that it would help to melt it but it didn't work like I had expected it to. The top remained frozen but the bottom quickly turned in to a cherry amaretto milk shake. Might sound icky but it was really tasty.

I was very happy to see that "The Bourne Identity" was playing but I could never manage to tune in at the beginning of the movie. I watched "How I met your mom", "The Office" and parts of "Shrek 3" and a little bit of cartoon network. I spent the majority of the flight listening to my iPod with the noise reducing head phones. It was hard not to sing along to the music on my iPod. The noise reducing headphones made it easy to forget that I was in a public place surrounded by people. I was lucky enough to have no one sitting next to me so I suppose I could have sang a little bit but seriously, who needs to hear me attempting to sing along with The Partridge Family?



Anonymous S t a c i said...

Wow - I had no idea that you were traveling in such luxury! Isn't it fun?

Most of my trips back and forth to Europe were because of Chris' work, and his company has a policy - any trip over 7 hours is business class. It's easy to be comfortable across the Atlantic when your champagne glass is never empty...

Can't wait to see more!

5:58 AM  
Anonymous Mother said...

It's fun to learn how the other class lives! Sounds like you were Queen for a Day (or two)

11:45 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home