Well it's all done! Had a great time in New York with Celia, Sue & Bernadette (and Sally for a short time)
I have more appreciation for Sue and Celia's frequent trips here (though they do go Business class).
Celia on 48th street
I left the apartment at 11am Wednesday and caught a taxi. Twice now I had got caught out! I hailed the cab as the light was illuminated on top, but then said to Sue " No, they have a passenger" Turned out to be the driver...on the 'wrong' side of the car!
Had a quick trip out to the airport and was dropped at the door where First class people board. Am I not a first class person? So rocked up to the window and said I had not been able to get a Business upgrade (freq flyer flight! from the very generous Celia!) but wanted to check my Premium economy seat was right (I knew it was).
She then said I could BUY an upgrade to SFO (5.5 hrs) and Sydney to Melb for $240 so I said yes. So I waited at JFK in the Red Carpet Lounge and had a very good flight, and then waited 4 hours in the Red Carpet Lounge at SFO (courtesy of Celia and Sue) as I had Economy flight to Sydney.
Arrived in Sydney after getting 5.5 hrs sleep then 2 more so not too bad. Only had 90mins to wait in Sydney and then had a seat with the people next to me from SFO flight!
This was the full lie down model, but I only reclined for 55mins. Arrived in Melb with view of the loooong line going through Customs, but once luggage arrived (they must have had only 2 baggage handlers on!) Wendy met me and dropped me home at 830pm Thursday NY time. (12md here) That was door to door, 33+hours. So pleased you make the effort for us Celia!!!
The only criticism I have is that United food is awful. The Business class lot was better, JFK to SFO but not great.
Managing meals is one of the biggest challenges of international travel.
I arrived at airport 1145 and flight wasn't till 230. So I had lunch at a bar recommended by C & S. Delicious Steak strips and avocado on lettuce and salsa. Lovely.
Then when we took off they offered lunch at 3pm!! After some discussion I was told I could have it when I wanted as long as it was 45 mins before landing. So I watched a movie "Animal Kingdom" till 5pm then asked for a glass of wine and some nuts "certainly ma'am" and watched an episode of Monk to cheer me after the movie.Then had dinner Roast chicken breast and veges rated 7/10 and ice-cream and hot fudge 10/10 at 6pm.
We landed at 730 pm (NY time) So perfect. If I had been in economy I guess I wouldn't have eaten at all.
Then I had to wait for a flight at 10 pm but it was only 5pm SFO time. So I had a snack in the red carpet lounge but didn't need another meal.
Once we boarded at 1050 they served dinner. I had some water and watched some TV then went to sleep. My relaxing pills worked OK as I slept for 5.5 hrs then had some water (resisted the turkey sandwich being handed out) and then napped again for 2 more hours. Lost track of time now (flight was 13+Hrs.) but we had breakfast pancakes and a Danish at 7am before we landed at 8am Sydney time.
On the trip to Melbourne 10am to 11am I had some iced water and a small pkt of pretzels. They only had coffee or ordinary tea, no food service offered. Would have killed for some bickies and cheese!
Flying in to SFO I was amazed at what looked like a flat sea of snow, but too big to be that.
It was too low to be cloud (see land mass in photo)
I think it must have been fog or VERY low lying cloud.
Tried to sleep when I got home as I felt awful, but after 45mins was still awake so got up and had a cup of tea and some English muffin and vegemite. It was 33 degrees as well so heat may have been a factor.
I went to Wendy's for dinner to pick Spencer up . He was very pleased to see me, but I am a bit worried about him today. We ate about 730 so I had really had nothing from about 7am. and before that 15 hours No wonder I was feeling a little light headed!!
Wendy was thrilled with the black and red satin PJ's I bought and loved the poster of Martha's that she immediately hung in her room.
I had a great visit and so grateful to Celia's generosity and her and Sue / Bernadette hospitality.
Must go again!!
Re Spencer; when I got back from the hairdresser at 1pm he was waiting patiently at the back door! and has been just lying around all day. Even when I was getting his dinner he just waited and then ran out to the verandah.
Maybe Wendy has done some serious training, but if he's still the same tomorrow I will take him to the Vet. It is 33 again today and windy but that never stopped him!
Just went out to bring the washing in and a big branch has come down from the Wattle over the clothes line. Need to check the rest is safe.