Welcome back blog followers, lovely to see you all again!
Well what a day!!
So, the day dawned, the chauffeur in his Jaguar was on time, the same driver as last year and we headed off to Heathrow Terminal 3. The weather was a bit iffy, heavy rain, wind and sunshine.
As we had checked in on-line on Sunday, it was a simple job of just dropping the bags off and on to Security. No queues at all so we were both through in a jiffy. No need to worry about anyone seeing my lumps and bumps, we didn’t have to go through the body scanner!
Next it was off to Duty Free for the perfume purchase of the year and it was a lovely surprise when the lady at the checkout told me I had £15.00 on my Heathrow Rewards card!! I had no idea as I never check my account. Wonder if that bodes well for the visit to Atlantic City!! Fingers crossed.
The necessary goodies for the flight were purchased. Just wouldn’t be the same without Cheddars, some kind of chocolate for me, soft mints, Starbursts and a bag of Haribo for Si. We shall eat our way across the Atlantic. 👍
Talking of eating, it just wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t start off the 2017 blog without a photo of Si’s first holiday meal ……….. so here it is! It was something healthy for a change! Smashed avacado, poached eggs and tomatoes on toast. I had something healthy too, the Pilot’s salad which consisted of flavoured(?) quinoa, creamed goats cheese and various minuscule vegetables. It was delicious. Probably all down hill from here. We ate in the Pilot’s Lounge (not literally of course, it’s just called that) and very pleasant it was too before heading to the Aspire Lounge to wait for the boarding of our flight. I know, it sounds crazy to eat before going to the Lounge but that’s what we do!!
So, next stop Boston where the temperature is currently in the low 80’s so if that keeps up we’ll be quite happy. 🌞
Will finish today’s post once we’ve arrived in Boston. See you ‘across the pond’.
Well, here we are ‘across the pond’.
First of all, we flew on a new Virgin Dreamliner 787-9 called Mystery Girl. Lovely plane, food excellent. We were called to the gate at 4.25 pm with take off scheduled for 5.25 pm. The plane wasn’t full and they had us all boarded so quickly that were ready to go at 5.10 pm, fifteen minutes early. The captain came on the intercom and said how good it was that we were all aboard and ready to go but then a minute later he came back on and said that there was a plane jam due to the weather. We had had intermittent heavy rain showers and we would have to wait twenty minutes before we could push back. Well, we all know what that means! We took off an hour late!!! One good thing was that we were originally told the flight would take 7 hours 5 minutes but now would only take 6 hours 38 minutes. We saw a rainbow just before take-off and that cheered us somewhat. Alas, that was the last piece of good fortune we were going to have for the remainder of the day!
In all of our 30 years of visiting the US our arrrival last night will go down as one of the worst we have ever experienced!! 😱
We landed literally with a very big bang as we hit the runway rather hard. We de-planed very quickly and headed for the Immigration Hall. Well, we couldn’t even get in the hall, we were stopped and separated into red rows and a blue row i.e. US citizens and those who had been here before and non-US citizens. While most of our travelling companions were whisked off down the red row, because we had to renew our passports and ESTA this year, we were pushed in to the blue row. We had to wait for about twenty minutes before there was even room for us to fit into the hall. When we did manage to get in it was like a scene from Wembley Stadium, thousands of bodies everywhere. What a nightmare! We could see twelve gates of which eight were closed leaving only four to process the whole hall. This is allowing for about 30 automated gates that the red row people were using so you can imagine what it would have been like if they were not there to speed the process! We had passengers from two other flights in front of us and more coming behind. Talk about lack of organisation. If anyone ever hears me say we’ll fly into Boston again, please smack me round the head!!
After 90 minutes of standing, we just got to the head of the queue and they opened up four more gates and we were lucky enough to get moved to one of those and be processed.
Given the amount of time we were held in Immigration we didn’t have to wait long for our bags because the carousel ours was on had by know ‘given up the ghost’ and had stopped so any remaining bags had been dumped in a corner awaiting collection.
After leaving the airport we got a bus very quickly to the Car Rental Center. Now you know what happened next ……………….. all those who were in front of us in Immigration are now in front of us at the Avis rental desk!!!!! I’ve got to say all the other car rental desks (Hertz, National, Budget etc) were empty, it was just Avis that had the huge queue with only three people serving! By now I’m ready to lay down and die!!
The guy who eventually served us was very good and efficient. The car had already been booked and paid for (of course, the car we had ordered wasn’t available so they did the usual and upgraded us, so we are now driving a monster truck, a Chevy Treverse) so all that was left was for us just to ‘do the business’ regarding the sat nav, fuel option and now the EZ-Pass too! Massachusetts has decided to introduce non-cash toll roads and tunnels so we had to have the EZ-Pass. Doesn’t matter that we are only here for a couple of days, we’ve had to pay for the whole time we will have the vehicle, although the guy at the desk did set a maximum charge limit on it for us. Thank you Kenny!
The sat nav (for those who have followed us before on the blog, will know that we call it Margaret) was rather slow to connect but eventually got us slightly out of the airport when we went through the Ted Williams tunnel for about five miles with various exits along the way, but of course Margaret is not speaking to us as we’ve lost the connection so don’t know where we are supposed to be exiting!
Eventually, we rolled into the hotel very late and slightly worse for wear. At least the room’s lovely!
So, that’s why we are rather late posting our first day and only have two photos to show for it. Simon did want to take a photo of the Immigration Hall but decided it probably wasn’t a wise thing to do!
It’s now rather early Tuesday morning and we have a full day planned, including going to a Red Sox baseball game this evening (travelling there by subway!) so hopefully things will improve. The weather’s forecasted to be in the 80’s so can’t complain about that at least! 👍 😀