Leaving on a Jet Plane…
It was a lovely, sunny afternoon in San Francisco when our 747 took to the air. Heading west out over the peninsula before banking back to the east, it flew over San Francisco Bay, providing beautiful views of downtown, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and the surrounding area. Before long, I could glimpse Lake Tahoe as the plane headed northeast and we were truly on our way. Dinner was served over Montana – the mushroom rigatoni was very good – and then the window shades were all closed to help – and probably encourage – passengers to sleep. And apparently, you are not allowed to open them, even if you’ll be staring at a dark, star-filled sky for hours. A nervous flyer, but one who can’t help but fall asleep on planes, I was looking forward to catching some winks during the 10.5 hour journey, but just couldn’t seem to…which made for a very long flight.
The breakfast snack was served, the window shades went up…and we were over Ireland! I alternated between eagerly watching the progress of our plane on the seat-back television and plastering my face against the window and soon, we were making a wide loop over London on our approach to Heathrow, allowing me the first breathtaking views of all the sites I’ve longed to see, spread there along the Thames.
Heathrow was a bit overwhelming (probably due to lack of sleep and nerves), but everything went smoothly – with the exception of the gentleman in customs who checked my passport, who wasn’t friendly at all – and soon we were aboard the Heathrow Express to Paddington. A cab took us to our Earls Court flat from the station and the busy pace of everything – especially the traffic – was more than a bit overwhelming.
We took the Tube to Knightsbridge (and I managed not to get us lost or look like a tourist) and wandered around Harrods (where we did sort of get lost and I’m pretty sure we looked like tourists) and then made our way back to dinner in a pub a couple of blocks from the flat. We’re planning on eating there again before we leave, so hopefully, I can try the smoked fish pie that they were out of last night. Finally, after being up for 32 hours, I went to bed and enjoyed a fantastic night’s sleep.