OK, Flight BA
174 Continued....(sorry about the above typos)
I am on BNLN, waiting as plane #13 in Queue for the planes departing on runway 4 L. So, yes, we were late.
Finally, our 744 spools up and we start turning onto the runway and without stopping, we were at full throttle, hustling down 4L underneath a blanket of heavy clouds.
After a few very loud bumps on the runway, we lifted off and I keep looking east out my window as Long Island (LI) fell away from us. We quickly pierced the clouds and BNLN began banking starboard. My Airline Map showed us turning south to cruise along the south shore of LI
. (This is a relatively normal flight path for European bound planes from JFK
and in fact is very similar to the path that TWA 800 took.)
A few London Dry Gin and Tonics later, and I was watching "two weeks Notice" and "Catch me if you can" and playing video games on the PTV. This was all in a colossal effort to get me sleeping. I did end up sleeping a little bit on the flight.
Food time. The FA
says to me, "would you like Delightful Chicken or Fantastic Beef?" Talking no interest in this bloke's attempt to humor us, I chose the salty chicken breast.
It was a chicken breast in a salty tomato like sauce with green beans and stuffing.
There was a small side salad as well. All I ate was its tomatoes and cucumbers. Then I was a dense apple pie like dessert, which was a very nice ending.
After now having 2 more glasses of red wine, I slept about 2 hours until a light breakfast was served. It was yogurt, and a roll. How exciting, eh?
The overall flight was nice but here is my one bone with ALL
flights that I had had to date in wither coach or coach plus:
For Northwest, American, Southwest, Qantas and British Airways (airlines I flown in last 5 years), there is NEVER enough padding for my butt. I swear! I am not being funny!
I mean, I have a big butt to begin with and no matter what, the area near my tailbone (cocyx) always gets annoyed on those longer flights and all I try to do is keep adding more blankets and pillows to sit on.
C'mon, you plane makers! Forget about pitch! Pamper my pooper!
Finally, we began our descent into LHR
. I awoke to the beauty of Britain's patchwork quilt of farms and properties. I kept my eye on the southern sky and spied 3 flights that just left LHR
and seemed to be heading back west.
The sky was clear with some light clouds that would late give way to a very warm day in London. As we approached the piano keys at LHR
, I began to already pray for my return home!
We landed on 27R and taxied past a large line up of BA
777's near terminal 4. These were not at any gate but were aligned in the apron, just chillin.
It was now Saturday April 5, 0700hrs.
Time spent waiting until Tuesday's outbound BA001 flight
-I met an AArmy pilot in Customs who happened to also be in my hotel. Also a NYer, we spent the day taking in London by foot. Saw the changing of the guard,etc. I walked from my hotel in Kensington Gardens to the London Eye and then back to the hotel!
-Back at the hotel by 2 pm, we went our separate ways. I took a shower and went out again, this time with my camera+journal. It was unseasonably hot in London! I was sweating while walking around in a t-shirt and getting a tan....in Kensington Gardens!
Making small talk with locals relaxing in the park, just chillin in London with my journal and camera in hand.
- I was supposed to go to Speaker's Corner but forgot and instead went to London Bridge. Took in more sights. Then went to Camden street and mingled. It was barely noon and I was having a burger and beer , conversing with locals in THE ELEPHANT'S HEAD BAR.
Then took the tube to Hammersmith where I met Ben
a proud airliners.net member!. As I have said, this trip was planned and fell through twice. So it was serendipity that when I finally got to go to London, the race was the same weekend! And it was apparently the best and closest ever!
After the race, Ben and I had a drink at the Fox and the Trout (right Ben?) Some older British ladies began flirting with us after we asked them to take this photo.
Ben and I made plans to meet tomorrow. On to Leiscester Square to meet Barcode, another proud airliners.net member!
-I was late meeting Barcode, so I ran full throttle up the stairs out of the underground so I would not miss her. (meanwhile, I just had a few beers with Ben). Long story short, Barcode meets Mirrodie after he runs up and then bends over in dire breathing pain as the lactic acid mixes fury with the alcohol he just consumed.
I was panting for a good 20 minutes. Made a great first impression on her (impression of a beached whale's lasts gasps for air, that is.)
We had a drink in a cafe then headed to SOHO (my first time). Had another drink (more alcohol as I stopped panting). After an hour, Barcode had to go. I couldn't go with her b/c, um, well, I wasn't anatomically prepared
(but I REALLY REALLY REALLY WANTED TO
Would have been my first time too!
-walked past Leicester Square to find that it was opening night for a new Rowan Atkins film. So I saw him walk out at the end of the premiere. ate greek that night and slept.
-woke up to ride British Airways "London Eye" at 0900hrs then met up with VC-10
. He drove past the BA
and Virgin Hangars at LHR
where I saw BOAC waiting for me tomorrow! Then we decided to see the RAF Hendon Museum and that was just AWESOME.
(I can't thank you enough!) the highlight for me was seeing the Vulcan (HUGE is an understatement) and video of the Vulcans taking off.
It was awesome to finally meet another crew member and have a good time.
View Large View Medium
Photo © Caz Caswell
for size comparison!
-10 couldn't join us for the rest of the evening. I went to Paddington and met GDB
! What a great guy and we love the same movie! (Sexy
Beast). Thank you so much GDB for the book and the gift! We were both laughing, drinking, eating and BSing for 3 hours until Ben
showed up to ruin it all! LOL The 3 of us cackled a while, exchanging stories about flying and women and what not. good times! too bad it ended early as I wanted some sleep for the next day...I-I
photos to follow....
How is it going so far? Any details I should add before I venture forth, besides the return flight??
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