A Long Day of Traveling - South of France Spectacular Day 1

August 4, 2012 (I think)

On the map, it looks like we are halfway between London and Nice. At this point, I'm ready to get to the hotel. We started out at 4pm (Chicago time). The flight to London was at 8pm. And according to the iPad, it is only 7am. Well, in Chicago. It's 2pm in France. Considering I had about an hour worth of sleep on the first flight, I'm lucky to even acknowledge the other time zones at this point.

British Airways has been a delight so far. We had plenty of room on the flight to Heathrow. Wine was served. I had a decent Chicken Curry for dinner. Though I have to admit, I don't understand the logic in serving curry on a flight. I know we're going to London, where curry is king, but curry reminds me of the line in Gilmore Girls, "You're going to have to burn the house down to get rid of the smell.". Yeah. On a plane. We all knew the curry was coming before it even came to our section.

I also appreciated the in-flight entertainment. I started out watching "Friends with Kids", a movie I was thinking about downloading on the iPad anyway. I followed it up with "Wanderlust," but faded slightly in the middle. I woke up to a string of profanity by Paul Rudd and expected I would try to revisit the movie immediately upon the flight back to Chicago due to my love of Paul Rudd and profanity. Though I just remembered that the flight back home is on American Airlines. Dammit. I was also going to watch "2 Days in New York.". I guess I need to fix my Blu Ray player at home to start getting Netflix movies returned faster.

The biggest problem was that other than a slight sleep during the movie, I was awake for the whole flight. Not that it was long, but now I'm a zombie. We ate a second time on the flight (this time a dry sandwich. Meh.) and soon enough landed.

Terminal 5 at Heathrow is supposed to be the new big thing for the airport. It eventually was gorgeous, but it was very confusing to find out where the heck you were going. Confusing enough that the terminal had people stationed along the way to tell you that you were going in the right direction. Once we got into the main area, it became a lovely place where we could waste time. Unfortunately, this was the visit where we didn't have time to waste.

By the time we made it to the main area, we had about 15 minutes to screw around. But we did a quick scope of the terminal to see where we would want to visit on our layover going home. We are in London during the best time. Well, the best time for a layover. The Olympics are happening!! In London!! We may not be able to see anything, but we can buy crap with an Olympics logo!! Excellent!!

Mom and I were separated on the second flight. She was in the seat in front of me. Or she was supposed to be. As we walked on the plane (the fully packed plane), she said, "Oh, no". It looked like someone was in her seat. It was only a tiny person that was going to spend the flight on their Mom's lap. I can't stress enough how happy I was that Mom got that row. But she started talking about Evan (apparently, Evan and this little one are very similar in age) and everyone was happy as a clam. Every time I looked up at the row in front, Mom and the woman were chatting. The baby was being entertained with an iPad. I have to believe this means an iPad is a possibility in the future now for Mom. Or at least the idea of putting "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" on her Kindle.

I ended up in Lucky Row 13. I should have had a window seat, but a mom and a kid had staked their claim. I didn't care enough to fight. As long as they weren't going to make me stand up in any way, I didn't care.

The flight to Nice didn't start out as smoothly as the first flight. First up, there was a 40 minute delay. Bright side, this is the last flight to get to the destination, so it is what it is. The really fun part came on the takeoff. As the plane starts gaining altitude, there was some heavy turbulence. Lost-style turbulence. We all did a bit of clutching on the armrests when a dude a few rows behind me yells, "Don't worry!! This is normal for this flight!!". Ok then. I mean, I wasn't planning to worry much, but still. Lost-style turbulence.

It looks like we will be about 30 minutes late. I see another person on this plane is on our trip (saw her luggage tag), so Mom and I won't be the only people driving to Cannes this late. I think we're going to miss the walking tour of Cannes. Oh well. I think at this point, it'll be all we can do to get to the hotel, check-in and be ready for dinner. I'd guess one glass of wine will be enough to knock me out tonight. I'd also guess that I will sleep well tonight.

When we checked in at O'Hare, we jokingly asked about any upgrades, "Why, we'd be more than happy to take an upgrade". The agent said she couldn't if the flight wasn't sold out, but that we could get an upgrade for $250 each. It wasn't the bed-type of seats, but just bigger ones. I can't deny that made me pause slightly. (it also made me wonder if we'd get more frequent flyer miles). I've already told Mom...we are asking the question on the way home too.

10 minutes to go. Fingers crossed the Customs process will be a simple one. I'd like to get to the hotel soon...

Later that night...

Dinner is over. Our one obligation of the day is done. If you don't count arriving in France as an obligation. There wasn't much to say about the dinner. It was the Welcome to Cannes dinner with buffet. The food was fine. The dessert was excellent. The cheese and butter and bread...the best part. Well...that and the Fois Gras (aka Meat Butter). That was excellent.

I'm not going to go much into the hotel yet. Mainly because I am tired. It may only be 230p Chicago time, but it's 930p Cannes time. This should be the time when we all party (hah!!), but I haven't really slept in the last 36 hours. I need to sleep before I...zzzzzzzzzzzzz...

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