Final salmon sandwich trip tally: 17
Distance flown: 10,702 miles
*apologies for this post being a day late – I was completely shattered after a VERY long day of travel*
I woke up on Day Twenty-Three on my last morning in London, wishing I could pause time and stay a little – or a lot – longer. Sadly, I couldn’t, so I said goodbye to the flat just before 10am and made my way to Paddington one last time with PJ in tow where I grabbed the last salmon sandwich of my trip and then caught the 10:25 Heathrow Express to Terminal 5. After checking PJ and going through security, I headed to British Airways’ South Lounge, curling up in a comfy chair with a cup of tea for an hour or so before I caught the transit out to Gate C65.
It wasn’t long before it was time to board and the A380 pushed back from the gate pretty much on schedule, although runway traffic at Heathrow meant an inevitable wait to take off. But we were eventually airborne. Settled into my Club World pod, I watched Sing during the main in-flight meal, rewatched How to Steal a Million (because I adore it), and then managed three hours of sleep. A Call the Midwife episode, Ratatouille, and a light meal later (part of which was smoked salmon), the Airbus touched down in a rainy San Francisco nearly eleven hours after taking off from London Heathrow.
After a short wait in customs and baggage claim, I caught BART to Concord where Dad was waiting to drive home through the heavy rain.
It never gets any easier to say goodbye, but I’ve had another absolutely amazing adventure that added more stars to my travel map. A massive “Thank You” to everyone who has followed this latest round of wanderings. I so appreciate you taking the time to read and comment on this little bliggity blog.
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.