The Trip — 2016: Part 3

One of the stewardesses asked if we wanted water (bottled water was in a storage cubby with our headphones and other flying items), orange juice or champagne. Charlie ended up with another passenger’s mimosa as the stewardess got the orders muddled. My Jack Daniels-on-the-rocks would have to wait until after we were airborne so I sat quietly and worked CWPs and other puzzles until it was time for drinks and dinner.

The take-off was very smooth and Charlie got a kick out of the acceleration down the runway — a bit more than previous experiences.

Eventually, the drinks cart reached our last Business Class row and I got my Jack. I was more than pleasantly surprised when she put the ice in a nice glass tumbler and poured in two of the mini-bottles of whiskey.

Dinner consisted of . . .

Starter: Flaky Tomato Tart with grilled artichoke heart

Salad: Mixed greens with sun-dried tomatoes and shaved Parmesan and a choice of sour cream and herb dressing or balsamic vinaigrette (and assorted breads)

Entrées: Coffee crusted beef filet (Di’s choice); Roasted duck breast; Spinach ravioli or (my choice) Blackened salmon with Creole rice, broccolini and roasted corn relish.

. . . and was quite tasty.

Dessert: Heath Bar Crunch Ice Cream; Raspberry tart or (my choice) Gourmet cheese plate with Smoked Gouda, Jalapeño Jack and sharp cheddar.

I ignored the rather nice wine list and had another Jack-on-the-rocks. After I finished dinner and our plates were cleared away, I enjoyed a glass of Courvoisier V.S.O.P. Fine Champagne Cognac and watched Zootopia on the in-flight entertainment system. I had to ask the stewardess where to plug in the headphone as the jack was hidden in the cubby facing away from the user. During the film, I had another cognac and had to watch the end of the film five times (as I remember) to actually see the end.

Friday — I woke up just in time for breakfast on the other side of the Atlantic having been blissfully asleep for most of the flight. This is unusual for me as I normally stay awake for the entire flight and just segue into the English day when we arrive in London — no jet lag.

For breakfast our choices were a Fresh Fruit Bowl with granola and Greek yogurt and, my choice, a “Traditional American Breakfast” with scrambled eggs (actually a scrambled egg), Canadian bacon, roasted potatoes and herbed tomato. As with dinner the food was good. Although the portions were not the amounts we might be familiar with in a good restaurant or diner, they were adequate to the flight and left one satisfied but not stuffed after sitting for ten+ hours.

Just before breakfast I took the scooter charger out of the overhead bin, plugged it in and connected it to the battery sitting by my feet so it would have a full charge when we left the plane.

Our landing was an easy and light touchdown, an almost unnoticeable transition from flight to roll. We waited until everyone else had gotten off of the plane to avoid holding them all up, or being walked over by them.

The Trip -- Ducks
Uh – oh, Flo, another Yank with a camera.

A wheelchair greeted us at the door of the plane and began whisking us to immigration and baggage — but, what about my wife’s scooter? Oh, “you shouldn’t have gotten in the wheelchair,” said the porter pushing Charlie. Which was a rather stupid statement as both AA and he had directed her to do so.

He brought us back to the security doors from the plane’s gate into the terminal, and without saying anything, he left us there . . . We asked one of the guards to find out what was going on, and she returned to say that AA was bringing up Di’s scooter and a few minutes later we were off to go through immigration and collect our baggage.

The only hassle in Customs/Immigration was my arrival card, on which I had not entered a local address where we could be reached — I had no idea where we were staying other than with Di’s cousins. Charlie had gone through the checkpoint before me and had disappeared. The immigration officer and I looked at each other helplessly and eventually she decided that having my email address in her records would be sufficient, and I was granted entry to the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) on the verge of Brexit.

(to be continued)