I’m not really a morning person, and so the only time I wake up at 5.20 am with a smile on my face, is the day I am going on holiday. We had given ourselves a 40-minute deadline before leaving and breakfast was first on the list (note to readers: it’s never to early for me to eat!) The bright lights of Heathrow welcomed us like a long lost friend and in double quick time, we checked in our bags and breezed through security. By 7.45 am we have a Starbucks in one hand and a pastry in the other – well, it had been two hours since our original breakfast!
We have a good couple of hours wander before boarding and taking off right on time. The excitement of being airborne is tinged with the realisation of a 9 1/2 hour flight time to Dallas in our two-part journey to Palm Springs. With this in mind, we both go down the inflight movie route – Other Half chooses ‘Terminator: Salvation’ whereas I opt for the lighter end and pick Jim Carrey’s ‘Yes Man’ based on my love for the original book by one of my favourite comedians Danny Wallace. Half an hour into the films, both our TV screens go on the blink and tell us to “try again later”. There is no need for any words as we both roll our eyes upwards and wish we were flying Virgin (as we did to New York), instead of American Airlines. Logistically, AA can get us directly to Palm Springs and Virgin can’t, so we just have to suck it up.
Lunch arrives at 12 pm and the choices available for my third meal of the day look pretty good – chicken with tarragon or pasta and spinach, bread bun, salad, crackers and cake. After finishing, there is already a feeling we have moved onto American-sized portions. Movie time part two: ‘The Proposal’ for me and ‘Angels and Demons’ for him, we both manage to watch the entire films uninterrupted – yay! Afternoon snacks materialise in the shape of shortbread, cheese biscuits and mini toblerone, pretty sure they come onboard during the British leg of the journey! Some dozing and more film
watching passes the hour to 7 pm teatime (also known as dinner or supper depending where you come from), and a doughy, very cheesy pizza, grapes and biscuits appear on our fold-down trays. My worry about starving on the plane is unfounded and my emergency hand luggage stash of mini cheddars / mentos / oat bars remain intact for the journey home.
For the final half hour of the flight, I stare out of the window, looking at the lush green fields of the Texan countryside below, marveling at how much it looks just like home – a slightly weird thought, as somehow I expect ‘America’ to look totally different than from where I’ve just come from. Ten minutes later and my American expectations reveal themselves in the form of hundreds of houses that almost all have their own swimming pool – immediately I wonder if we might ever move to this country and embrace that same lifestyle. Does my pre-conceived better quality of life equal a great house, own pool and lovely weather, or are we already living that dream being so close to our families? I am wondering a lot these days if a daring adventure in a foreign country would satisfy a recent feeling of wanderlust bubbling inside of me, or would it simply feel empty with our loved ones thousands of miles away..?
So, what do you think of aeroplane food? Is it one of the things you look forward to or do you take your own emergency snacks? Are there any special dietary requests that guarantee you a great meal? If so, please tell me the secrets! 😮