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Sun Sep 12, 2010 7:15 pm

Part 2 of the travel blog/trip report follows my journey from Chicago to San Jose, Costa Rica via Houston. It also covers the return part of the journey from San Jose to New York.

Leg 4 Chicago O'Hare to Houston

Due to the very early start for Leg 4 it is probably the least covered flight out of them all. The only positive I took out of the early start was I would still be getting up in GMT so my body clock was still working as if I was at home. Over the course of the trip this was the same pattern I followed most days and nights and it really has made a difference now I am home.

There are only a few pictures due to the flight been so A) early, and B) mostly in the dark:

My ride to Houston, a little light snow on the ground. 

The sun starting to come up, I love early morning skies, the Oranges on the other side of the aircraft were amazing.

An odd breakfast, never heard of a 'Egg and cheese biscuit' before. When I heard the options included a 'Biscuit' I assumed a Chocolate Digestive!


So overall a not very eventful flight but most flights from here onwards should have some nice views! Come back soon to view Leg 5! 

Leg 5 Houston to San Jose Juan Santamaria

Leg 5 was the 'final' flight of my outbound journey and would be my first Continental International flight but not in BusinessFirst, just a regular US domestic First cabin as this was an older Boeing 737-800. That did not stop the flights been very enjoyable and I was pretty impressed with CO's service compared to AA and UA as I have flown very similar services with those carriers in the past. I had planned each seat assignment on this whole trip with meticulous detail which factored in the direction of flight and where the sun would be in relation to my window view to ensure that the views I got were awesome and not blinded by the sun looking directly into my window. This flight provided me with some of the best views of blue skies and beautiful dark blue and turquoise seas which you will see in some images below.

So here are those eagerly awaited images:

In the IAH Presidents Club having a little morning snack, free Wi-Fi was also great.

Photographer mode was turned off here, sorry for the reflections. If there is any doubt IAH is a CO hub that soon vanishes looking out of the window!

Somehow I don't think been on your mobile phone while fueling an aircraft is a very wise idea... 

Very comfortable CO Presidents Club, had 3 levels, reception on Level 1, a large area with seats everywhere and a bar on Level 2, and Level 3 as shown here was a little more private.

Another view of the CO Presidents Club lounge in Houston.

Final view from the lounge which had quite a big business centre.

What a wonderful morning in Southern Texas.

Leaving the CO Presidents Club heading for my gate.

IAH is very modern and airy.

Doesn't look much but I can assure you its more comfortable than coach! 

Nice overview of IAH departing runway 15L.

What a fantastic view, such nice contrasts of Blue.

Nuts to start with a beer of my choice...

...which was Corona! How did they know I would be flying today and to stock the beer of choice for me?

Options of Fish or Mixed Grill, I went with the Mixed Grill of Beef and Chicken.

Coast of Mexico near Cancun visible here, another wonderful contrast of colours.


Drinking Corona flying over Mexico, only thing better is drinking Corona IN Mexico!

I want to be down there!

It just got better and better, I guess this is the Atoll 'Banco Chinchorro'? What an awesome view.


After the above image cloud started to fill the view until I arrived into San Jose, welcomed by rain!

Overall this flight was pretty awesome, especially some of the sights I saw out of the window. Overall I was very impressed with the service I received on Continental and I have to say I will be keeping them on my radar for future flights. The only downside to this flight was no IFE or PTV so I couldn't keep a track of the flights routing but as for watching a program or window beat that any day! Leg 6 will be online shortly which was just as eventful view wise as the flight out.

Leg 6 San Jose Juan Santamaria to New York Newark

After 4 days in Costa Rica it was time to start my return journey which would unfortunately only involve 2 flights. On the plus side I was to spend just under 24 hours in my favorite city in the world, New York! Both the remaining flights were also in Continental Airlines BusinessFirst cabins so the seats were much more comfortable than the outbound journey which would be very welcome due to the next 2 flights been of significant length.

So here are a few pictures from the flight to New York, as well as a few images from that evening:

Departures area in San Jose airport next to Gate 3.


TACA Airbus A320 parked at Gate 3 in San Jose, just before my 757 turned up to take me to New York.

TACA A320 has now departed and the ramp agents get to work preparing the gate from my CO 757.

My ride to New York pulls into Gate 3, just under an hour to go until departure.

Now this is legroom compared to the last 2 737-800 flights! This would be pretty comfy crossing the Atlantic like these birds do daily for CO.

Getting relaxed prior to departure, Corona was served again!

Nice view of San Jose while climbing out of runway 7.

Nuts served while waiting for my next Corona, think I was watching Old Dogs the film here.

Thats better Corona number 2 and we have only just left the ground!

Mixed grill with Beef and Chicken again, not as good as the meal out of Houston.

Cheesecake for desert and Corona number 3, Mmmmm!


 Looks awesome down there, Cayo Largo just off the coast of Cuba.


Southern Cuba.

Varadero Airport in Cuba from the air.

Just passing Miami on the opposite side of the aircraft.

Finally in New York!

Times Square by night, such an awesome place.

Can't visit New York and not have a photo of the NYPD.

Empire State Building at night, went to the top for the first time in darkness.

Empire State Building lobby with that amazing decoration.


No words can really describe the view at night of Manhattan. Looking down towards Times Square.


So that concludes Monday 1st March 2010 which was a very long day of travel and sight seeing, up at 7AM local time in Costa Rica and I eventually hit the sack at 2AM local time in New York. The next day would also mean an early start as I had plenty of places I wanted to visit before I had to head to Newark for my flight back to London Heathrow. Leg 7 will be online shortly, there are not many pictures considering it was a night flight so there will be quite a few images of New York in the day and the sights I saw throughout the day. Hope to see you back soon when Leg 7 is up!

Part 3 to follow shortly and is for the final leg of my journey back to London Heathrow.
Jason Nicholls - v1images

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