London is famous for its fog, and it would be a charming setting if you are not trying to travel into or out of it on a plane. The fog decided to blanket both London and Paris the night before I left for NYC and it wrecked havoc with all flights scheduled to go in or out of airports for days. After hours of delays, misinformation, and redirection by the British Airways staff, I finally got on the last Virgin Atlantic flight of the night to JFK thanks to the splendid LHR agent Louise G. This was my "virgin" flight with Virgin Atlantic and they are now my favorite airline. My seat had goodies waiting for me as I boarded, including an eye mask, toothbrush with toothpaste, pen, earplugs, and slippers in a "feel good kit", headphones, and a clever blanket which had a cutout so you could slip it over your shoulders without excess material at your neck! This was standard issue in ALL seats, with extras like pj's in upper class (yes, you get to take the comfy pj's with you)!
The plane also had an ingenious remote/phone combo which accessed the broad range of inflight entertainment which took six pages to describe in the in flight magazine.
The staff was as cheery and professional as I've ever encountered, including one steward who literally climbed up on an armrest to help me get my coat from the overhead compartment because she was as tall (or short) as I am!
I even enjoyed (and watched) the entire safety demonstration because it was so much fun; this scene is about how to properly fasten your seat beat ;)
For an 8 hour flight, there were two meals and two snacks and yes, the flavors were as good as they sounded. The only time I've eaten this well on a flight was on Air France's Business Class, of course Air France had better wine, but then that is a given, non?
Not only was the food fresh and healthy, it actually had flavor!
Arriving at JFK airport, the Airtrain got me from the airport to Jamaica station (where you buy your $5 ticket before exiting), and then I connected to the subway (on the same Metro card, just add a dollar amount of $3 for each ride) which not only runs 24 hours a day, but has technology which updates where you are on the route, as well as the connections and stops along the way! After Rome, this was like being in an altered futuristic universe!
American hotels like the Hilton Midtown may seem small compared to other cities in the US, but by European standards it is huge and full of deluxe features for the price,
like a big TV,
huge shower, and plentiful FLUFFY towels!
The view from the 22nd floor wasn't bad either!
Coming back in the US after more than 2 years in France, and being back in NYC after more than 20 years, I had certain cravings. Katz's Deli was made famous in the movie "When Harry Met Sally", but they are famous to me for their pastrami. There is of course a sign showing you exactly where Sally had what everyone else wanted ;)
Pickles come with every order,
and I urge you to get a knish, which in NYC, is basically a fried bit of delicious mashed potato, either filled with something or plain. This knish was bigger than both my hands:)
Classic fries always go well with a sandwich.
A sandwich is about $20 and sides all cost about $5; this is HALF of a pastrami sandwich, and if you can finish a whole sandwich in one sitting, I bow to your appetite!
The best part of any trip is seeing friends :)