Logistically, the flight was amazing. I never thought I’d be one of those people who opt to pay a little more for a decent flight (and I mean little – it worked out that the best possible times for our flights were also the cheapest), but after experiencing Discount London Airlines two years ago, I’ve gladly jumped at the chance to fork over more cash in exchange for budget luxury. We’ve flown to London twice now via Virgin Atlantic, and both times it was great with this trip in particular being extra great:
- The flight was far from sold out, meaning we were able to snag an empty row of three seats of Ed to crash out on (take THAT, guy who tried to reserve an entire row for himself via throwing his iPad onto the seat only to have the sky waitress instead give the row to the 8.75 month pregnant lady two rows ahead of me)
- USB PORTS IN THE SEAT BACK my phone was never less than 80% charged all flight and it was heavenly
- Wifi was available, but for £14.99 ($28CDN) the Instagram pictures of my dinner could wait until we were on the ground
- Speaking of dinner, it was quite good and served as soon as we were in the air, so no weird smells were being carted down the aisle while we were trying to get some sleep
- Free entertainment on demand – tons of movies and TV shows, and a small selection of video games that were all free to view/play
- Alcohol for some reason! Ed opted to try self-medicating with cognac and wine with dinner, and it was both complimentary AND complementary
- Tons of leg room! Even with our extra bucks we still flew super cheapo economy style, but there was ample amounts of leg room for me to flail around in
- No babies! While we were checking in, a family with three screaming children were in line next to us and brought on all the trepidation – boy was I relieved when I snuck a look at their boarding passes and realized they were flying to Germany
- Free socks! You get a little care package on Virgin flights that contain a sleep mask, earplugs, a toothbrush and tiny toothpaste, a pen, and socks. These were very helpful, because I actually lost my socks on the flight (don’t ask) so I was able to put on fresh socks for the rest of the journey
There was very little turbulence on the flight, and we landed in London at 2:45pm local time. We were so early that we had to take the scenic route in:
Unfortunately, even with all the extra space on our flight, I couldn’t sleep at all. I had just enough room to myself to be awkward – I couldn’t lay down without contorting my legs Cirque-style, and I flopped about restlessly when sitting upright. I was too hot, then too cold, and my underwear was giving me an atomic wedgie. Even after I threw decency and caution to the wind and allowed my nethers to be exposed to anyone who dared peer at them in the darkness, I couldn’t catch any sleep .. so by the time we landed, I was a loopy mess. Luckily, I had some backwards foresight* into the situation, and had opted to go Balls Out Fancy by booking a car service to deliver us unto our AirBnB, so after a brief waiting period (before which we figuratively waltzed through Customs and our bags were coming ’round the bend when we pulled up to the carousel) we were in a car to take us to where a bed was waiting.
.. eventually. See, this was my first time actually driving across London and not just for a short cab ride – we literally went from West London to East London, cutting directly across the city. It took almost 2 hours to arrive, because London traffic is somewhat of a nightmare (and terrifying holy crap) .. but once we got in, we were golden.
The AirBnB I booked is nice and functional, and situated at the base of a gondola for some reason. I rented the whole place (other people scare me), and later this week, Heather and Renee are flying in from Vancouver to join us for a week so the extra room made sense (and also Ed has to work a bit while we’re here, whereas I am a shiftless bum with no job hahHAEHhaehEHA). Today is our first fully conscious day in London, and we have a small but essential list of errands: get UK sim cards for our phones, explore the area, and officially start our London adventure.
EXCITED. If you want to follow along, I’m tagging all our photos and Tweets with #ekuk2!
*: Ed rarely sleeps on flights, and can be somewhat cranky and incoherent without sleep .. so instead of dragging him through London via public transit with all our bags, I ordered a car. This was somewhat flipped, because I was the one incapable of stringing a sentence together and really needed to not rely on my brain to get me all the way across London – but either way, it was a good decision and only slightly more than taking the Heathrow Express halfway to our destination and hoofing it with three transfers the rest of the way.