Date : 25 May 2013
Here we go again. Another bucket list trip underway.
Couldn’t sleep last night. Not that I was feeling that excited. Just couldn’t get things out of my head. Was up and about by 4 am and out for a last walk with the dogs by 5. They can tell when something is going on. And the bags stacked by the front door told them it was ominous. We do miss them when we are away. Don’t miss the kids though, sorry kids . This is only our second holiday without the kids. But at 22 and 18 they are old enough to book their own holidays now. Daughter has asked Wifey to go on holiday somewhere in Europe later this year. That’ll be fun for them both. Suggest not Stockholm with all the rioting going on there at the moment.
After the things that have happened this week decided to wear my Help for Heroes t-shirt just to show a little solidarity and to make a statement I suppose.
Dale picked us up at 7:30 and we had a nice empty run in along the A303, M3 and M25. Last night the traffic on the A34 and A303 had been true bank holiday traffic. Nose to tail and people not allowing me to filter in the inevitable slow sections. Wind and rain didn’t help last night either. Nothing this morning though. Nice and dry with fluffy clouds. A bit nippey though for May, and virtually empty roads. So empty that it took less than an hour to get to Heathrow, Wasn’t expecting that. We were 50 minutes early for check in so had to wander around the Departure hall until official check-in opened at 9:15.
One half of the Departure hall was absolutely heaving the other half empty so we chose the empty half. Once in the queue were at the front of it in a couple of minutes. The girl on the BA check in desk was far more fun and chirpy than the one we had with Virgin Atlantic during the Route 66 trip. Didn’t even ask about hand luggage and no mention of the helmet even though it was clear I was carrying one. Chatted about where we got the photos on the passports done. As quick and effecient check-in/bag-drop as I can remember. Did warn us that the flight was 7 minutes late. I’d checked before we left and it was showing a 5 minute delay. That’s bearable.
After hearing the apologies over the Tannoy for the congestion in Departures I was expecting a big queue in security. It was as empty as I’ve ever seen it and we got straight to the front with no queue. Still think some of it is overkill, but I suppose better safe than sorry. Even had a bit of a laugh with the security guy about being cold and him having a pulley, could he share.it. As my bag was full of wires, chargers and cameras I was expecting it to be searched, but it looked like they already had a backlog of about 4-5 bags so mine got through miraculously.
So, check-in, bag drop and security among the fastest that I’ve ever seen and on Bank Holiday/Half-Term Saturday morning and after the engine fire that cancelled 200 flights yesterday. Surprised but happy by that.
Dove straight into Dixons. On a flight to Dusseldorf about a month ago I noted that they had a sSony e-fit 10-18mm lens at £579 rather than the £680 on the High Street, well on Amazon cos, let’s face it, the High Street doesn’t exist any more. Father’s Day present bought. The 10mm will be perfect in the mountains later in the trip. Thanks kids.
Quickly wandered around the shops. Not much else attracting the fancy other than the Breitlings. One day, oh, yes, one day. So stopped and had a coffee and cheese and ham croissant while Wifey had a tea and a slice of carrot cake in the quietest cafe in Terminal 5. Must look up the name but it is on the lower level in the far right-hand corner and never gets full unlike all the other food outlets. Out of sight I suppose. And the service is pretty good to boot.
After the second breakfast we had another wander and I was dragged away from the pens. Soon enough the flight was called. Thankfully it was an A gate and so we didn’t have to catch the awful train to the B and C terminal. However, there is a much longer delay than the 7 minutes we were told at check in. Boarding started 40 minutes late. Saving grace here was, as we had booked premium economy tickets, we got to use the fast lane. Flew through yet again. Liking this and the ticket price wasn’t hugely more than cattle either, think only a couple of hundred quid. Well worth it for priority boarding and the much greater leg room I think.
Push off was again 40 minutes late and take off was further delayed so it was almost an hour later than the scheduled departure time that we actually launched into the sky. Not that we have anything to rush for. No connections to catch, nowhere to be until we meet Nancy tomorrow at 11. So chill, relax and get into the holiday spirit. Feeling like it could be a good one.
So her we are on the flight, typing away on the Smart PC. I do like it. Having fun already. Will break off from the writing now and do some reading and film watching, it is an 8 hour flight after all..
Well, just had lunch and the beef was very tastey. Wifey had fish and although she didn’t like the sauce the fish was good. After the diet of the last 18 months that lunch was one of the biggest meals I’ve eaten. Air line food seen as a big lunch, you heard it here first.
Bloke across the isle is really knocking them back. Three whiskeys from the first trolley. That’s going some.
Now watching Broken City and trying to work out exactly where the film is going.
Battery on the Smart PC is showing over 8 hours life even after writing all the above for an hour. I have to admit it is an impressive bit of kit.
Can’t really believe that we are on this trip. Can’t work out how this came around so quickly. Worked pretty much solidly since the the last holiday in 2011 and so am having difficulty adjusting to the fact that we are on it, It’s an almost surreal feeling. Can’t quite describe it. Going to be good once it does click though, of that I have no doubt.
Landed only 30 minutes behind schedule which wasn’t too bad. Straight off the plane as we were at the front of the premium economy section to be met by immigration officers at the top of the ramp. Not had that happen to me since a flight from Bogota to Miami. Strange.
Wait at immigration was very short. A flight from China had landed just before us but nearly all the immigration desks were open and we flew through. Baggage reclaim was as bad as I remembered Pearson. Took an absolute age. Feels like there is only one person throwing the bags through every minute or so, Eventually got them and charged out to the limos.
$60 for a limo from the airport to One King West not to shabby I thought. Wifey appreciated the comfort that Lincoln provides. Roads into Downtown were gridlocked. Blue Jays playing this afternoon and there were cars and fans everywhere.
Check in at the hotel was very slick and we were quickly up on the 34 floor in our room with a view. Room is a bit dated and has TV’s with ‘boxes’ on the back. But it’s a suite. A bathroom, a reception room / kitchen and a bedroom. It’ll do for three nights.
After a quick unpack we headed towards the CN Tower very much against the flow of fans departing the area after the game had finished. All the bars and restaurants were absolutely heaving. Walked under the CN Tower towards the Whistle Stop Brewery and the Roundhouse Park looking at some of the trains as they play a big part of the trip.
Walked up Lower Simcoe to King and headed past the theatres to John Street where we found an Indian restaurant for dinner. As usual, a non-descript and out of the way restaurant came up trumps. Wifey couldn’t find Madras on the menu and went for the next ‘best’ thing, butter chicken. I whimped out on the Lamb Vindaloo asking whether it was North American or Indian hot and had the Lamb Rogan Josh instead. Lamb was beautifully tender and the Rogan Josh just hot enough. One pilau rice did for the two of us. Wifey had a mango which works so well with hot curries and I had a bottle of Kingfisher. Very good meal, with tip, $60. Mmm. I like curries.
Then straight back to the hotel through much less crowded streets. A lot colder now and explained why so many were wearing thick coats and jackets. I just had my Help For Heroes t-shirt. Started to feel it by the time we got back to the hotel.
Tired now as it actually past midnight at home but only half eight here.
Can’t believe that I’ve just seen an advert for a certain Wonga.Com – now available in Canada!