Day 1 - Sun 09 April 06
My pals gave me a lift down to Heathrow, got there just after 10:00 due to a lot of traffic on the Heathrow spur. I checked in at Business class, but the lady wasn't very happy about it. However she did have a star-alliance silver sign above her desk! Heathrow is mobbed, I guess it's due to the Easter break, the line for security was out past the shops. It seems the flight is full, so the chance of an upgrade is slim.
The plane is a 2x5x2 config, a real pain if you're right in the middle, but I've got 17B which is an external aisle, with a private screen, and a good bit of leg room (even though it's in front of a bulkhead).
I'm about one third of the way through the flight, I've filled in my I94W, so that excitement is over with.
There are smells in Japan that assault the senses, my pal Charlie can vouch for that, but someone on this plane seems to be able to generate a stench so obnoxious that it clings to your clothes. It reminds me of the train trip I took between Kiev and Odessa with the guys that could fart for the Ukraine.
The plane landed at 14:50 I was one of the first through immigration. The officer spotted my Yemen visa and asked "What was the purpose of your visit to Yemen?". Honesty is the best policy: so I told him that I was collecting the alphabet of countries. At first he didn't believe me, but when he spotted all the other visa stamps in my passport he mellowed out, stamped my passport and let me into the USA!
I skipped baggage claim (travel light) and was on the air train by 15:18 - I got to Penn. Station with no problems, but getting my voucher exchanged for an Amtrak railpass was a bit trickier. The woman had no idea what to do, but luckily her pal did, so after a bit of a delay I got my railpass. Got something to eat, and then caught the 17:15 to Philly. Spring hasn't sprung over her yet. Arrived in Philly at 18:30, got some Amtrak time tables, walked down to my hotel, checked in, and vegged out in front of the TV. It's been a long day.
NextView my route through the USA here