I started the day off with walking Toby. Diane, my Sister-in-Law, and her husband Tom were here to look after Toby while John (my partner), Anna (John’s Niece) and I, were going to be in New York. We were all very excited by the upcoming flight and getting to New York later that day. The only thing I was not looking forward to was trying to stay awake at the other end, given that New York is five hours behind the UK and with the flight landing at five in the afternoon, we had to make sure we were not going to fall asleep the moment we got to the hotel.
Now we were very lucky with the flights because John had managed to save enough Air Miles over the last one thousand years to get us seats in Upper Class. Wow, what a treat, plus there was a car on its way to collect us from the house. After a quick breakfast and last-minute packing, while Anna watched ‘The Snowman’ on TV (I just love that cartoon), we were all ready. The car arrived to collect us and we were whisked away up the M23 and M25 motorways to Heathrow airport.
John had already known that when we got to Heathrow because we were travelling with Virgin Upper Class, we had our very own check-in. I felt like a celebrity as we were greeted by two very attractive ladies dressed in their red Virgin airline uniforms and who smiled at us with gorgeous whiter than white teeth. Our bags were collected out of the car and were down the conveyor belt before I had time to find my sunglasses to take away the bright shine coming off all those white teeth. Then we were through security (for once I was not frisked which was quite disappointing as the man doing the frisking was rather nice) and were in the duty-free shops dodging the assistants trying to spray us with various fragrances of what I thought would have been better in the downstairs toilet. Both John and Anna had to buy a few items, where all I wanted to do was to get to the Upper-Class lounge.
Having finally made it to the Club lounge, I was taken aback by just how big the whole lounge was. A glass of champagne was thrust into my hand and after asking if we could have a table for three and that we had not made a reservation, I was told we could sit where ever we wanted. Wow, now that’s service for you I thought as we found a table and spent the next hour drinking champagne while choosing some rather mouth-watering delights from the menu. However, John told us not to eat too much as there would be at least two meals on the flight as well. My waistband was already starting to expand and going on a diet before Christmas was now looking a distinct possibility.
Once onboard the flight we were treated to more drinks and another menu offering us delights such as roast beef, chicken with sun-dried tomatoes and a salted chocolate caramel pudding amongst other things. I settled into the on-flight entertainment and started to watch the first of three movies. However, I and the rest of the passengers in our part of the cabin were treated to rather more entertainment than we had bargained for when two of our fellow passengers started to hold hands, tell each other they loved each other very much, and then proceeded to get on top of one another on one of the seats which had now become a flat-bed. Fortunately, one of the cabin crew saw what was happening and asked the man to remove himself from the lady he was laying on top of.
Settling down to continue to watch ‘The Inbetweeners 2’ movie, it was not long before the couple were at it again and the same member of cabin crew was once again tapping the man on the shoulder asking him kindly to go back to his own seat. Wow, was this the kind of thing that went on in Upper Class I asked myself? By this time, Anna was fast asleep and I was concerned that the guy might come over and try to get on top of her, but fortunately, it seems he only had eyes for his new wife. Before the end of the flight, the couple had to be removed from each other another two times.
The seven-hour flight seemed to whizz past and once inside JFK airport, we had fun with the newly installed passport checking machines where there was a great game of trying to get four of your fingers within a certain part of the screen before you got a ticket to say you had passed the security check. John and Anna both failed, whereas I was very proud to have passed and, while they were directed to a queue of rejected security failures, I joined the line of those that had passed. However, they were both at the baggage collection belt before me, but I put that down to there being fewer people in their queue rather than the nice long conversation I’d had with a uniformed officer who was asking me all sorts of questions about why I was visiting New York. It wasn’t until he refused to allow me to try his cap on for the third time that I thought I’d better get moving fast rather than get arrested.
With bags collected, we were whisked away in a rather nice car to the hotel and were sipping our first cocktails at the bar in our New York hotel. We managed to stay awake until nine thirty before sleep finally took us over and we duly retired to our rooms. Day two was fast approaching and there was a whole city out there to explore.
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