Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sydney to Melbourne to L.A to London !

Catching a three PM shuttle from Collaroy, I got to the airport with plenty of time to brace myself for the next, what ended up being (flights, waiting and transfers) 37 hours in transit.

Our Virgin Blue flight - Sydney to Melbourne, had been held up as wind turbulence made it too hectic to land immediately. Circling for a bit before finally touching down we made it to the gate with around 20 minuets to get to the next flight. Bolting from the domestic terminal to international check in we then had to clear security, customs/boarder patrol, make a bathroom pit stop and get to the gate. I arrived 5 minutes late but thankfully the staff on our flight had notified the staff on the next so they were waiting for us, and the several other people in the same situation. Although the V Australia flight was waiting, the scene that erupted looked like something out of the amazing race. People running to check in, running in the wrong direction, running into each other, several suitcases toppling off their wheels and just being dragged the rest of the way and one hilarious altercation someone had with the line markers (you know those little poles with the elastic ropes that stretch out to the next one). It was minor chaos but extremely funny.

We made it and I had been lucky enough to get upgraded to what they now call Premium Economy. IT WAS LUX. I was offered champagne before we took off (and while we waited for the other stragglers fighting their way through Melbourne airport).

Sooo much leg room, foot rests, headphones that cut out most of the cabin noise, drinks and nibbles before dinner, a help yourself bar of snacks and drinks, pre-ordering dinner (which was better than economy), a wine list selection, night caps of Bailies or Whiskey on the rocks and a toiletries pack that you will want to keep and won’t be embarrassed to use.

I know i sounds like an oxymoron but it was a comfortable flight, aside from the few off smells coming from the people beside me. These people seemed to be under the impression that because the cabin noise is so loud and no one else can hear you, it’s OK to fart.

Two and a bit hours down time in LAX, which has surprisingly only four shops to peruse, and we were on our next long haul to London. Thankfully this leg is just over 10 hrs as opposed to the 14+ we just did getting there.

After landing at London Heathrow we headed our hotel. Even though the last several hours had been sitting down, doing F all, I was exhausted and ready for bed. Catching a train on the Piccadilly Line to Earls Court (where we stayed last trip) then transferring to the district line to Bayswater. After a 3 minute walk we had reached our gorgeous old hotel. Detailed brick work on the outside with dark wood fixtures on the inside. This place is a beautifully maintained heritage building and 4 stars might I add, thanks to our lovely friends at

Our rooms at the Grand Royale are cute. Modern interiors and a freaking comfortable bed (will get some pics up today).

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