We’ve got a little over four hours remaining on this amazingly long, long flight…..a flight of fifteen hours and forty-five minutes to be exact. Yep…that’s right. Over fifteen hours, on an airplan! Add to that: this is the third leg of our journey to the land Down Under, and we’ve still got one more to go. Middle-earth to Houston (uneventful)….Houston to Los Angeles (screaming child in my ear)….Los Angeles to Melbourne….and from Melbourne, a short hours’ hop to Canberra, the capital of Australia.
I’m happy to report that this third leg is simply marvelous. You see, I lucked out and was able to fly business class on this third leg, outbound part….and wowza! Having never traveled first class, this is turning out to be one cool experience! It’s definitely taken the sting out of an excruciatingly long (about thirty hours in all) journey. I was delirious with happiness over the seating. A large, comfortable seat that, with the push of a button, fully reclines! After our first two flights, my knees were not happy from too much sitting in a cramped position. I was ridiculously over the moon about my seat!
Ahhhhh. I might actually be able to sleep during this flight! Okay, well…to be honest, I haven’t been able to really sleep–only dozed– but it has been heavenly to be able to fully recline into a semblance of a normal sleeping position.
As we took to our seats at the start of the flight– before I even had started to pull stuff out of my backpack (book, iPad, headphones, lip gloss) in preparation of situating myself for the long haul, the flight attendant was introducing herself to us.
“I’m Mary. Your international travel attendant. I will be taking care of you during your flight. I am here for anything you need to make your flight comfortable.”
I wanted to say: I’ve got a seat that fully reclines. Your job is done!
Mary provided us a menu and asked us to consider our dinner selections, and she brought us our first drinks: Jack and Coke for Rocket-man, and just water for me….for starters. I couldn’t read the menu as I was stupidly giddy over all the business class amenities which tickeled Rocket-man to no end. I was given a small travel kit containing a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, hand cream, sleep mask, hand wipes, and cozy travel socks. I had a large blanket, a substantial pillow and a large T.V. screen in front of me….and my seat fully reclined. Fifteen hours like this? No problem!
And my dining experience? Wow. First off, we each received a steaming hot hand towel with which to wash our travel weary face and hands. As I handled the hot, wet towel, letting it settle for just a moment over my eyes, I had a childhood flashback. I don’t get many of these! When we lived in Okinawa, it was customary to be given steamed little handtowels in small banana-shaped wicker baskets at restaurants or dinners out with friends. We even had these at home. I can still see a stack of little wicker baskets in our cupboard; my mother would bring them out when she had small dinner parties, a practice that certainly impressed her guests.Our first course was a snack to knosh on while waiting for dinner. We were presented with a small white bowl of warmed nuts along with our libation of choice….in a real glass! (I know. You must think I’m being a bit ridiculous here, but what a lovely little pleasure to be able to drink a beverage out of a glass instead of a tiny plastic cup!). I was ready for wine so my choice was either a pinot noir or a Cote-du-Rhone. I chose the latter and for the entirety of dinner Mary would come by to re-fill my glass (for the record, I allowed myself to splurge….I stopped at three).
Before Mary brought our dinner she provided us with a linen “tablecloth” for our tray tables along with a large linen napkin and not one, but three sets of flatware (one for salad, the entree and then dessert). Another wowza moment for me! How decadent! A tablecloth?! Really!
I chose salmon with a dollop of crab meat, which was all tasty, though just a tad overcooked. Mary also brought a basket of warm bread along with a tiny tub of butter. Dessert was an ice-cream sundae. ICE-CREAM! I nearly fainted with delight!
Yes folks…I could get used to this. Realizing there will be another twelve hours to go, I’m simply going to sit back, relax, recline and set myself up to enjoy and savor the rest of what may be my one and only first class travel experience.