Monday, December 02, 2013

More time at LHR

So, like much of America, I took some time off for Thanksgiving with family. Unfortunately, the demands of my job had me flying out of DC on the Sunday night after Turkey Day...meaning that our 14+ hour drive back from Florida would be increased due to all the other holiday traffic. Originally planning to leave Florida on Friday and get home on Saturday, our little one had a bad night and we stayed in town another day to let her bug pass while making sure we weren't going to be on a road trip with a vomiting kid in a car seat. But that basically meant that I'd be getting home, changing clothes and hoping in a cab to the airport. The only thing that made it possible was that I'd pre-packed before leaving for the holidays.

My flight out was one of the latest ones I could schedule, just in case we needed more time due to traffic on the drive home. Seriously, DO NOT DRIVE I-95 THE WEEKEND AFTER THANKSGIVING. There were like 5 accidents between Richmond and DC. So we took US-1 and avoided much of the delay. After executing my turn-and-burn plan, the cabbie picked me up and it was actually a quick ride to Dulles while discussing the politics of Ghana (his homeland) with him. The check-in line was ridiculously long and immobile. I got there 2.5-3 hours before my flight, and while standing in the line to check in, found it easy to download the app, only discover that code-share flights are a pain to check in on a phone. And the line still hadn't moved. But having now checked in, I just walked up to the priority desk (thanks to my recent Oneworld status upgrade) and asked them to print my boarding passes for me. And, since it's a code share flight operated by a foreign carrier, I couldn't use the TSA-PreCheck to get through security. But still, after all that potential for delay, I made it to the gate in about an hour. A little while later, I heard folks talking that it was taking ~15 minutes per person on the On-line check-in queue. So much for fast and convenient.

One of the first things I do when I'm booking a flight is check SeatGuru.com to see whether or not I can get a see with a power outlet (many seats on international flight have one). And, lo and behold, this British Airways jet does have a power outlet under my seat. For a British plug. Seriously? What good is that to anyone? Especially someone like me that didn't find it necessary to bring the bulkiest adapter ever along with the slimmer two-prong Euro plugs?
On the left: What the outlet wanted me to plug in.
On the right: What I had to plug in.
So discouraging was this discovery, I put my charger back in my jacket pocket and stored it in the overhead. Only to realize after take off that there was also a USB port in the back of the seat in front of me (just below the LCD screen) that my adapter would connect to. But by then, it was too late to get out the charger and I'd already gotten hooked by the movie I'd started watching --Elysium. However, this flight over was the first in recent memory that I was able to fall asleep after watching a movie and a few episodes of Modern Family. Don't get me wrong, it was a pretty good movie, and it kept my interest throughout as I wasn't sure what was going to happen. But I do think that the space station reboot should have also interrupted whatever atmospheric retention system there was (but the design engineers probably had included back-up generators for just such a contingency)...

Anyways, my slumber was likely induced by the double-whiskey I'd had to try and kill whatever cold or flu seems to be gaining ground in my throat. I also tried to burn it out with the curry chicken dinner on the plane and the firecracker chicken at Wagamama in Heathrow's Terminal 5. Both were good, but I'm actually looking forward to my return connection through LHR on the way home to try some more dishes at Wagamama.

Nothing really eventful from LHR to CPH, but my hotel room is ridiculously drafty. It was an "upgrade" with floor-to-ceiling glass doors looking out on the harbour, but the Scandinavian winter is clever about getting through the floor-to-ceiling door hinges. Brrrr.

What is this, a greenhouseboat?

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