…and ascended the staircase to enter. I stayed at the Harrington House, a bed and breakfast owned by a very friendly couple. The house itself was built in 1889 and overlooks Boston Harbor. They neglected to mention that the sitting room had a nice view of Logan and that my room had a perfect view of the traffic utilizing Runway 9/27.
The house was silent except for the heavy footfalls on the old wooden floor. I went into the dining area where I found this waiting for me:
So I called the number and had a look around while I waited for Maggie to show…
A few minutes later, somebody hurried up the stairs and through the door; it turned out that her husband Joey came over to welcome me and show me around. After getting the hang of the place, he went back downstairs…then came back upstairs to tell me something else…then came back upstairs again to tell me another thing. Finally, he exhausted his information and went back to whatever he was doing. Feeling thoroughly at home, I settled myself before venturing out to find something to eat.
Looking through my window
You can see the lights for Runway 33L in the distance
Here, have a sunset
I walked down the street towards a couple of Italian restaurants I read about: Alia and D’Parma. I settled on the latter because Alia was packed and D’Parma was less packed. I received a menu from a waitress and looked it over…my first impression was that it was awfully ambitious for a restaurant of that size. The choices were nearly infinite, but I went for the swordfish puttanesca (anchovies, capers, basil, olives, and tomato sauce; also with a pasta side). Here it is. Please excuse the dark ambience.
I hadn’t had swordfish before, but that dish was pretty tasty. The flavors were distinct while not overpowering. The fish was cooked well and nicely-flavored, at least it seemed to me. With still a little room in the tank, I inquired about dessert. I ordered and received what they called a chocolate truffle, in this case a ball of gelato within gelato topped with cocoa powder and hazelnuts served on top of some cream. See below:
All in all, I give my royal seal of approval. I paid up and stepped outside for a little shot of the restaurant…
...and proceeded to just walk around for a little while as the night descended around me. Those lights in the sky are attached to a plane.
I returned to the B&B and took a seat in the sitting room, where I looked across the water at the herd of flashing beacons at the airport. A couple of times, I heard a great roar as some 747s made their way to Europe. The rest of the evening was spent making the rounds of the social network and watching the Celtics game along with the rest of the city. One night of sleep later…
Sunday, May 27
Good morning, New England!
Once again, I emerged into a silent house. I went downstairs to find breakfast waiting on the table: croissants, Greek yogurt, blueberries and strawberries, strawberry jam, and bananas. Some cereal was also available, but I did not partake. Oh, and note the cookies for the journey back.
After consuming an appropriate amount of tasty breakfast items, I went back up to my room to wait for the taxi. In the meantime, I looked through the window at the jets departing Logan:
The cab arrived 10 minutes before the scheduled time, so I hurried up and went on down. Maggie, ever the bundle of cheer, wished me a pleasant voyage. It was thus that I made my way to Logan again. With the recent addition of a smartphone to my arsenal, I gained two handy abilities: the mobile boarding pass (which worked nicely for both security checks and all four flights) and additional picture-taking capacity (which came in handy as my camera battery died again). Anyway, here be the much-heralded Terminal A, the first terminal in the country to be LEED certified for eco-friendliness:
Plaque recognizing the eco-friendliness
Terminal A is split into two buildings; this tunnel connects them
Overall, A was pretty slick-looking. There weren’t cathedral-like ceilings all over the place, but that was alright. The key was that I didn’t feel like I was in a cramped dungeon. Even if it wasn’t a quiet Sunday morning, I wouldn’t mind spending some time there. (And did I mention the tech-friendliness? You will have no problems being in a state of wireless, charged-up bliss.)
The calm morning allowed me to take a look in the bathroom unopposed
There’s my jet, sitting there all by itself…
Getting to my departure gate
Plane again, still shy
And just like that, I was finished. The last airport of my grand challenge was under my belt, but I couldn’t celebrate just yet. There still stood the matter of getting home…
Delta Air Lines 3413 BOS
(operated by Pinnacle Airlines dba Delta Connection)
Actual: 10:07-10:43 (wheels up/wheels down); (gate to gate) unknown—I do apologize for that
-600-2D24 Regional Jet [CRJ-900 NextGen] (N600LR)
You may remember the last time I had the pleasure of riding on a CR9—I had a great deal of disappointment over the misaligned windows. This flight was no exception. I didn’t feel that breaking my neck for such a short hop would be in my best interests, so no pictures here. Besides, there would be plenty of time for pictures on the IAD
So, we pulled into Terminal 3 under the canopy. If I was on Pan Am a few decades ago, that might have been more exciting. This time, it just meant that I returned to the dump that I saw when I wrote my report on JFK
. However, with a few hours to burn today, I could look around the rest of JFK
, even if most of it was landside. So, consider the next portion a continuation of my first look at Kennedy—and a potential shot at redemption.
The joys of T3
I went outside to ride the train to the other terminals. As you will see, I skipped around a little…
Another typical AirTrain station
Oh, if I had known, I would have flown TWA…
Terminal 5, home of JetBlue
Singapore A380 in the background
Terminal 8, home of American Airlines and friends
Terminal 1, home of Air France, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, and Lufthansa
This is as close as I’m getting to an A380 anytime soon…
Finally, Terminal 7, home of British Airways and United, among others
And now, here’s a look at T7
airside. Honestly, I thought it might be more of a crap-shack based on its outward appearance. It was a pleasant surprise to see that it looked okay.
A couple of British 744s
I went to a nearby restaurant for a bite to eat before my little trip to Washington. Note the real utensils.
My order: a brioche chicken sandwich with parmesan fries. It took a little longer because the chef forgot to cook the fries with it.
The food went down, and I got up to seek my CR2…
I looked through the windows, and all I saw was steel. I figured out that we would have to go down the stairs and board outside. Something to look forward to…when the plane got there. Turns out that ATC was trying to smooth things out at JFK
, so that translated to a late-arriving aircraft. Still, I had plenty of time to make the next flight. We were eventually sent downstairs and I saw my jet:
United Airlines 5740 JFK
(operated by ExpressJet Airlines dba United Express)
Actual: 15:20-15:56 (wheels up/wheels down); 14:59-16:22 (gate to gate)
-600-2B19 Regional Jet [CRJ-200ER] (N877AS)
Once again, I was greeted with a misaligned window on a short flight. Once again, no pictures here. Once again, I figured that I could make up for it on the long flight to Denver. We picked our way to IAD
and landed without incident. However, we taxied close to the terminal and stopped. The captain then informed us that the ground staff had screwed up somehow. There were planes all over the place with no place to go. Indeed, there were two Airbuses in front of us, a ‘Bus and a 737 behind, and two CRJs on an adjacent taxiway. There was nothing we could do but sit there until things cleared up. In the captain’s own words, “we’re pretty much screwed for right now.”
I just had to take a look at the mayhem around us…
Look closely and you’ll see two jets patiently waiting
Fortunately for the 50 of us aboard, the situation was resolved sooner than expected. We finally took a stand and deplaned using the stairs. That’s something I’ll never get tired of—walking across the ramp, even if it was a bunch of regional jets in our immediate area.
In another stroke of luck, my next departure gate was just across the hall, so I went there to get a shot of our 757, still sporting the old UA
They called for boarding to begin, so I took the expedited grand tour of the airport:
In a word: blah. I have to say, I haven’t been in an area that stuffed with people in a little while. It looked the part inside and out: passengers and planes occupying every possible space. The tour completed, I prepared my mobile boarding pass. As I joined the line, I noticed that my seat assignment had magically changed. I went from 30F to…10B. After the nanosecond of joy I had for gaining Economy Plus and the precious legroom therein, I realized that I would be in a middle seat for over three hours. So, all of those pictures I planned on taking? Poof.
United Airlines 937 IAD
Actual: 18:12-19:36 (wheels up/wheels down); 17:53-19:40 (gate to gate)
Boeing 757-222 (N530UA)
The only thing I could manage
I take it that somebody got wind of the drama I encountered during my Detroit trip and decided to up the ante. The events of the next four or so hours were quite the roller-coaster ride of emotions…
As we sat on the ground after the safety demonstration, the captain informed us that there were some thunderstorms that required our route to be modified…to the tune of about 300 miles. We therefore needed to take on more fuel before we left. The delay minutes quickly accumulated as we fueled up and waited for the paperwork. After that, we still had to navigate our way through the traffic mess on the ground. With that in mind, the captain said that he would put the pedal to the medal as much as he could to make up some time. Indeed, as we tore down the runway, the 757 made a noise that I don’t think I’ve ever heard a plane make before. It was just raw power and speed.
As we hurtled through the skies, I was a bit calmer than the last time I was against the clock—I knew what to do if the worst came to pass, and I had Channel 9 tuned in so I could hear exactly what was going on. With each sector we passed through, the pilots kept requesting route changes. Each time we were told to stay where we were for a variety of reasons. Finally, after hearing other traffic being assigned a shortcut, we used that story with Memphis to lobby for a route change of our own. After a little bit of waiting, they let us take the shortcut—the two up front had just bought me 20 more minutes!
All of a sudden, I felt that the evening would work out just fine, so I sat back in my seat a little easier. Oh, and I didn’t mind the middle seat much anymore, either.
We landed and I started to make my way to the gate, but not before a shout-out to the plane (and the pilots) that worked so hard for me and the others (there was suddenly something charming about this plane with the one two-tone engine nacelle…)
On to B25 I went, stopping only to take this picture of the plane…
The gate area was empty except for the agent who was on the phone. She activated the scanner so I could be on my way, and I was. I saw one more person trickle on after I took my seat; I don’t know if he was on the plane with me from IAD
, but he was another lucky camper.
United Airlines 247 DEN
Actual: 20:07-22:11 (wheels up/wheels down); 19:57-22:16 (gate to gate)
Airbus A320-232 (N452UA)
Sun setting behind the tail of a neighboring Airbus
Just like I did for the last flight of my previous series, I watched the evening fade to night and reflected on my experiences as the peaceful final flight sailed along. As a whole, the series did prove to be more challenging. But, through the good and the bad and the ugly, it was just as fun as the first time around.
Regarding the airline, it was easy to see why JetBlue receives such high marks for customer satisfaction: free drinks and snacks and music and television go a long way towards keeping the people happy. Other than that, they didn’t really distinguish themselves from any other airline. (This obviously doesn’t take into account baggage policies, fares, etc.) Granted, after all of the free stuff, many people don’t care a whole lot. I merely noticed that beyond those things, there wasn’t anything special. As always, it will take more than one flight to paint the entire picture.
Good night, and keep watching the skis. Uh, skies.