Day 1 - Fri 12 Nov 04
I managed to get a lift into work and did a bit of work, before the taxi picked me up and took me to the railway station. The taxi queue at Kings Cross was huge, so I elected to walk over to Paddington (after checking directions with an A-Z in WHSmiths!) The whole of the Euston road was jammed, so I assume that's why there were no taxi's to be had. Got a return ticket from Paddington on the Heathrow Express, and jumped on the 14:10.
Checked in with no problems, but the flight is full, so no chance of an upgrade. In fact they were offering $800 if anyone was prepared not to fly. I was tempted, but I did have a hotel booked!
I used up my last business class lounge voucher, and got a shower, and a few drinks before boarding.
On the plane now - in the end they managed to get everyone who turned up on the flight. It's a 2-3-2, and I've got my usual internal aisle seat. There's a tiny LCD TV in the head rest of the seat infront. I watched "I Robot", and then had a chat with the guy next to me. He's an Australian Rules footballer, who has been called up to the next league, so he's heading back home to start training.
It's 5pm NY time, and 11pm London time, so I should be sleepy but I'm just about holding on! That eternal question, Why am I doing this trip? Just for the Miles and More points? Not even for Countrybagging!
The flight is quite bumpy, and I watched the Bourne Conspiracy again to try and take my mind off it. Well, we landed about a half hour late due to stacking - I was listening in to the cockpit chatter on Channel 9 - very handy, you get to hear all the announcements a few minutes before the Captain does it over the PA.
Through Passport control with no problems (but was photographed and finger printed this time), and skipped baggage reclaim (packing light again!). Got a mini-van into Manhattan with a couple from Vancouver and an Ozzie with no luggage (as United had lost it all - another good reason to travel with just hand luggage!). Onto Manhattan island by 22:15. Booked into the Hotel, but my room hadn't been made up so had to wait for that to be done.
The room is SO hot, and there's no way to turn the heating off - I had to leave the window open, but the noise from the street is HUGE, Honking taxi's, police sirens etc. This is the city that never sleeps. I'm glad I have my ear plugs. Knackered, so off to sleep now!