Friday, April 2, 2010

The Road I Wish Wasn't Less Travelled

The Engineer and I have decided to take our honeymoon early as he starts work in July and will forever be chained to his Goldman Sachs desk.  

And as I can’t do anything in small doses, we are of course going for five weeks.  Much to the chagrin of my hosting/producer partner of my wedding television show.

But a girl’s gotta do what a girls gotta do.

And Rome was calling.

I booked my flight with airmiles.  It’s taken me about 7 years but I finally was able to purchase something from airmiles!  Well, sort of.  I borrowed half of them from my parents.  Shopping at Safeway only gets me so far. 

Have you ever flown with airmiles?  It’s horrible.

Firstly, I was on the phone for nearly two hours booking a flight between YVR and Heathrow.  I gave myself a manicure while the lady at the end of the line figured out the most horrific flight path possible for me.

The winner?

Leave Vancouver at seven in the morning, fly to Houston and the airport named after George Bush (blanket name to cover both senior and dumbass).  Wait for five hours.  Then fly to London.  Yes. That’s right.  Apparently Houston is exactly halfway between Vancouver and London.

But it’s worth it, seeing as the end destination is Italy and France with my Engineer right?

So up I get at four in the morning, say a teary farewell to my sleepy puppies and make my way to the airport.

Only to be bumped off my plane.

This is when I LOVE airmiles.

They booked me on an American flight.  And America flights are notorious for overbooking. 

The girl feels so bad (and I may have snapped when I thought I would miss my flight) that she offers me a direct route later in the afternoon.  First Class.

I practically made out with her.

The trouble is that once you fly first class, you can never go back.

First there is the executive lounge where you wait sipping wine and eating cookies (and soup, salad, sandwiches).  No one talks.  There are no screaming children.  And when it is time to board, a happy voice gently tells you to make your way, at your pace, to your flight.

Then you get on the plane.

As soon as the flight attendant checks your ticket and sees you are a first class passenger, they drop the snotty attitude and call you ‘Ms.  So and So’.  I’ve only been called Ms. Groundwater four times in my life so it’s kind of a treat!

Then you are escorted to your pod.

That’s right, your pod.

A private area where no one sits next to you, or near you.  In fact you can only see the other people if you purposely peer over your pod.

I tried not to show my excitement.  I subtly took a picture of my reclining toes to send the Engineer (my feet have a seat!) but I wanted to look as though I am used to this.  That I travel first class all the time.  You have to dress the part to get the part right?

Then you have people serving you champagne, peanuts, giving you hot towels.  By the time we took off I felt like I had spent a week at the spa.

Due to my early morning, I was super exhausted.  That could also have been the four glasses of Chablis that I had.  Whatever it was, by the time I finished my cheese plate it was time for sleep mask and full horizontal positioning.  I was asleep before dessert (that’s right, there is cheese AND dessert).

I slept all the way past breakfast and one hour before landing.  The only bad thing about the flight was that it was too short.  I ran out of time to watch all (or any) of the movies or partake in the ‘help yourself’ snacks and drinks. 

But it was the first time I ever arrived in London feeling wide awake and refreshed.

The goodness didn’t stop with touchdown though!

You not only get off the plane first, but you also go through a special no line customs!  AND you can go to the lounge at Heathrow to take a shower.  AAAAAAAAAAAAH!  SHOWER! 

It was such a shock to leave the first class behind and get on the underground with the rest of the plebs.  Bleck.

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