**Sorry there aren’t many pictures to post with this first instalment**
As with previous trips, this one originated at San Francisco International Airport. Being the later British Airways flight to London and on a weekday, I had the idea of puddle-jumping from Sacramento to San Francisco to avoid the potential traffic nightmare that is the Bay Area. However, after checking in for my United Express flight to SFO, I learned that it was delayed for two hours due to an issue with the crew. I’d given myself a very long layover at SFO, but with an international flight looming, I wasn’t comfortable waiting for the delayed flight, so we hit the road to San Francisco…and encountered almost no traffic until we’d made it across the Bay Bridge onto HWY 101, getting there just before the United flight would have had it been on time. So there was plenty of time to check my bag and visit before I made my way through security and to the British Airways Terraces Lounge to wait until it was time to board the A380.
(Takeoff – the moon over San Francisco)
Take off was just ahead of the scheduled 9:35pm departure time and the flight was uneventful (that means ‘good”) except for some quick but terrifying turbulence. I’d upgraded to Club World and after watching Peter O’Toole and Audrey Hepburn fall in love while plotting an art heist in How to Steal a Million – one of my favourite films that just happened to be available onboard – I was able to manage close to five hours of sleep in my comfy little pod (even if the grumpy woman next to me did snore).
After a smooth landing in sunny London and forty-five minutes spent in the UK Border queue, I grabbed PJ (my Paisley suitcase referenced in past posts) and hopped on the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station. C, my wonderful friend and fellow London adventurer (also referenced in past posts, met me there and we caught a taxi to the Chesterfield Mayfair, my hotel for my single night London stay (there’ll be a longer stay before I head home). I checked in and we then walked to Green Park to catch the Piccadilly Line to Earls Court in order to visit The Blackbird – a pub we discovered on our first trip. An evening of food, drinks, and visiting ended with hugs and plans to meet up again later in our respective trips and I made my way back to Mayfair.
Unfortunately, my hopes for a solid night’s sleep didn’t materialise this time and I was awake at 2:30 after zoning out at 11:30. Several failed attempts to find some more sleep and one book later, I decided it was time to face the day. I was packed up by 11am, checked out by 11;15, and relaxed in the lobby until noon when I caught a taxi to Kings Cross for my 2:44 train to Cambridge. Reservations for future journeys and more reading killed the two hours before my departure, but at 3:30, I arrived in Cambridge, the previously unexplored stop on this trip’s itinerary. My room at the B&B is charming and cozy and jet lag decided that was where I’d spend this evening…and I have. Tomorrow morning I’ll set out to explore Cambridge.
(Kings Cross Rail Station)