Thursday, August 21, 2008

Part 2

Our flight from LAX to Chicago was smooth and the landing was uneventful. Flying first class is sooo much fun! They start providing food and drink to the first class passengers before the plane is even finished loading. We were offered champagne or orange juice while we got settled in and waited for everyone else to finish fighting over overhead storage spaces. As soon as the plane took off and got leveled we were given small,warmed pyrex dishes full of nuts. Then the beverage cart came around and before we were finished with our drinks we were given our hot meal. The people in economy class were offered sodas and they could purchase snacks if they wanted to eat. It made me feel a little bit guilty but then I rationalized that the cost of all of this food was included in the insanely expensive first class ticket, but nevertheless...I had to quell the desire to go to economy class and slip them some of our food.

After we ate we settled in to the new fully reclinable seats. Here is the control panel for the new seats:

Even though I manipulated my seat in to approximately 4,000 positions I couldn't get it to lay completely flat so I did got as comfortable as I could and Tori and I prepared to watch the in flight movie. Tori never goes to the movies because Jake is still too young to sit still and behave for more than about 30 minutes. The last movie we took him to see; "Horton Hears a Who" was a total disaster. Jake was actually trying to convince us that he needed to sit several rows away from us when Tori had to take him outside and give him a time out. So needless to say Tori was quite ready to enjoy a little bit of grown up, alone time and watch a movie. Imagine the look on Tori's face when the announcement came from the cockpit..."Hello ladies and gentlemen...we're about to start our feature can find your ear bud headphone in the glovebox thingy* in front of you. For our first class passengers we will be passing out BOSE Noise Reduction headphones for your use while on the plane. So, sit back, relax and enjoy..."Horton Hears A Who"! My sister, who never cusses, looked at me and said, "Are you #*&ing kidding me? Horton Hears a Freakin Who...I don't believe this." So instead of watching the one movie she's already seen in the last 4 years we decided to drink Bloody Mary's and read our books.

Reading and drinking alcoholic beverages and flying in an airplane managed to put me to sleep in about 15 minutes. When Tori woke me up to tell me needed to put our seats "in the upright position"...this is what greated her:

Now am I the bravest blogger who ever lived or the stupidest for posting such a lovely picture of myself? But that's what I looked like so that's what you get to see.

Our layover in Chicago was supposed to be for 3 hours so we perused a few of the ridiculously over priced gift shops and then went to the Admirals Lounge to see if we could check our email.

When we got to the lounge we were happy to see that they had a huge room with computer hook ups but they only had 2 computers. So we ate cookies and drank tea while we waited our turn. We both checked our email and then decided to go make sure that our flight time hadn't changed. It was a good thing we did because when we got to our gate we saw that our plane was boarding! THAT could have been a disaster.

Here is Tori lounging in her seat. I don't remember why she is indicating 3.

Once again, we were blessed with a smooth and uneventful flight, and food and drinks offered to us before the plane even hit the clouds. Fortunately we didn't have to watch a communal movie. On this flight everyone had their own monitors in the back of the seat in front of them. We could chose from many different movies, television shows, in flight radio stations and even video games! We each played a few rounds of video black jack but it grew old pretty quickly when we discovered how slooooow the game went. We both decided to watch a movie, (of our very own chosing!), and we also tried to sync the start of the movie so that we could watch the same movie at the same time. This was all well and good until my movie started to fast forward all on it's own. The flight attendant said he could fix it and told me not to touch the remote control or the screen for the next 5 minutes. I did as I was told and my television seemed to be fixed but I couldn't access the movie I had been watching. Then Tori's movie started to fast forward and so neither one of us were able to watch the movie we started out with. When all was said and done we both watched a few episodes of "Monk", "House", "How I Met Your Mother" and "The Office". I've been trying for 4 years to get Tori to watch "The Office" and now she was my captive audience. Fortunately they were showing one the funniest episodes so Tori got a pretty good taste of why I think it's so funny. And maybe when the new season starts I'll have someone to discuss it with.

When we landed in London the separation of First Class/Business passengers continued. We had to clear customs and they have a separate area for First Class/Business and Economy. The 100's of Economy passengers have to stand in a line that looks like the line to get on the Matterhorn at Disneyland while the FC/B passengers stand in a line with approximately 10 people in it.

This is me and Tori just moments before getting our passport stamped. This was Tori's first stamp and it was a very big deal for us. Unfortunately just a few yards ahead of us there was a sign posted that said "NO PHOTOGRAPHY". We were very lucky they let us in to their country.

We walked through the airport and went straight through to the back where the "taxi queue" is located. Unlike California where you might have to wait for hours for a London they are always available. We jumped right in to a **"Nanny Jo" taxi. The taxis in London are all sparkling clean and in good repair. This particular taxi had a television built in to the jump seat.

I warned Tori about how weird it would feel to look out of the windshield of the car and see the on coming traffic on the wrong side of the road. At first she thought I was crazy because we pretty much got on the freeway immediately from the airport. But once we got off the freeway and started driving on city streets she knew what I was talking about. She started bobbing and weaving and ducking when cars would make left hand turns in front of us, or when we would make a right hand turn from a left lane. It is much easier to just look out the side windows. That way every curve doesn't make you think you are heading for a head on collision.

Once we got to the flat I told Tori that I wanted her to meet my old friend, "Jozeph Pahsnip". She looked at my with contempt because I had been keeping a secret from her. She was relieved to find out that said Joseph is simply a voice announcement inside the elevator of the International Man of Mystery's building. I'm still not certain what the real announcement is but when we got in the elevator to go up I swear the announcer says.."Jozeph". And when you reach your destination, just as the door open it says.."Pahsnip". This would turn out to be a constant source of entertainment throughout our entire trip.

We unpacked our suitcases and then took a walk up the street to the local grocery store. I was happy to find that Tori is just as fascinated with foreign grocery stores as I am. A fact that IMOM just doesn't get. We milled about for over an hour before making our purchases heading back to the flat. We put our groceries away and then decided to catch a cab to Harrods.

The first thing Tori wanted to see was the Lady Diana/Dodi memorial. Here she is signing the memory book.

Someone drew a sketch of a man's face in the book.

Here are a couple of mannequins showing what the well dressed (*wealthy*) British child will be wearing this fall. You can't tell but the shorter one is wearing a mink wrap.

In the toy department we found this adorable little stuffed bear. Can you see the price tag?
Here, I'll make it easier for you:

So any of you readers with big back yard who want to make lots of money?? Apparently you should open an alpaca farm. If this 5 inch teddy bear cost 89.95 British Pounds Sterling then it would cost almost double that much in American dollars.
Here Tori is wrestling with an alpaca dolphin.
We ran into the King and Queen of Harrods:
(don't hate us because we are beautiful!)

If you happen to have a child who wants his very own pirate ship now you know that you simply have to go to Harrods to get him one:

And the price:
We spent several hours in Harrods. We had a terrific time taking pictures and looking at rare and exotic things and then we got in trouble for taking pictures so we figured we had worn out our welcome.
We went back to the flat and settled in for the night. What should have been a sleepy night full of television watching turned out to be a night of insomnia because our body clocks were telling us that it was 7:00 AM, and the telly was in rare form because we could only get 3 channels to work. Thank God one of them was the "Hallmark" channel and that's the channel they run "Law & Order" on almost 24/7!
Look for part 3 tomorrow.

*Ok, the pilot didn't exactly say "glove box thingy" but I can't remember the exact name for the location of the ear buds.
**On the TV program "Super Nanny" one of the featured Nannies is named "Nanny Jo". She arrives at each house in a typical English taxi.



Anonymous mina said...

great details of your trip so far!

6:19 AM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Two things:
1. Bill's friends and family always get the biggest kick out of making me sit in the front seat when they pick us up at the airport thinking that they are going to trip me out. It is weird every time I get in then I get used to it by the time we go home. What was really trippy was driving a car. I only got to do it in a car park and trust me, ONCE was enough for Bill! I thought he was going to have a stroke.
2. You must go to bed earlier than me because I studiously watch the "You Too Can Have Your Own Alpaca Farm" Infomercials on late night tv. (ps - my little English Shelby rarely ever says TV, only telly - cute) It's on the books after I retire from my really high paying teaching job (snort!)

Love your trip pics! :)

11:06 PM  

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