Flight to the UK – Tuesday, 20-Dec-2016 & Wednesday, 21-Dec-2016
We left Portland just before midnight, on Tuesday the 20th.
As always, the days and hours before we left were stressed and filled with craziness – packing, dropping Ollie off at her puppy sitters, dropping Sarah’s car off at the shop, and just getting the ten thousand little things done that needed to be done.
But, as time stops for no one (especially not people trying to make a flight) we were soon rocketing our way over to Washington D.C. on my first business-class experience. And it was an experience! Our first flight (PDX to D.C.) was on a smaller plane, which didn’t have the full Polaris Experience (United’s fancy-awesome service), but it was still definitely something to remember. Drinks were complementary, as was food… but we’d expected that. What we didn’t expect was the conversation that we got to overhear from our seatmates, who were… ahh… ‘taking advantage of the complimentary liquor’, let’s say…
- “There’s a time for diplomacy, and then there’s a time to kill” – a retired Air Force UAV pilot
- “I’m really smart, you know. I used to be a chef major… until I started having sex with my math teacher. But I didn’t start dating him until the end of the semester, after I got my A” – an Insurance salesperson, flirting with said Air Force pilot
- “Marriage is Marriage. But…” – Said salesperson, again flirting with said Air Force Pilot
The second leg of our flight was noticeably less adventurous… possibly because we were sitting together, instead of apart… but possibly because both Sarah and I slept clean through the whole event. We’d stayed up late, and barely got any sleep on the PDX to D.C. flight, and since the D.C. to London flight was so short, it gave us just enough time to have a nice nap before descending into the UK.
(Note: Ben was super bummed out that he slept through the whole flight. He’d loved the fancy champagne and other drinks that started the flight out, and had been really looking forward to the mid-flight meal of Lobster Mac & Cheese, which he missed due to being asleep at the time)
Once we landed, we visited a very rare and unique (read: we saw like 50 of them throughout our trip) cafe named ‘Cafe Nero’… which I had thought was all cool and special when Daniel brought us to back in July. But it was still a nice stopover before London, giving a chance to re-convene and take our bearings. Then a train into London, and a cabbie to our first stop of the adventure.
Our lodging for the first leg of the trip was an organic restaurant that also hosted a Bed and Breakfast in the floors above the dining area.
Our cab dropped us off, and after a whole slew of adventures with credit cards, US Dollars, and Euros, we finally had him paid and got ourselves in to meet the host, a very friendly French Armenian man named Raffi.
Raffi was hospitable. Like… seriously, grandmother-level hospitable. We had to convince him to show us the room so we could put our bags down, because he was so focused on making us plates of food. And the food! Ohh man… when we scheduled this place, we saw that it included two meals a day; one of the reasons we picked it. We thought those meals would be from the shop, but we didn’t realize that this was a top-notch fancy restaurant. As in artfully-arranged lasagna, calamari, shells, quiche, all stylized with fancy presentation.
We checked out the room. We ate. We chatted and learned a bit. We enjoyed ourselves immensely.
Then we slept. The sleep that only tired travelers can sleep. A sleepy sleep.