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In flight entertainment

On my recent trip from San Francisco to London (and back), I had 10 hours to kill. I was tempted by the prospect of taking a Zzzquil and waking up refreshed (if a little hungry), but in the end, I had a cocktail and wine with dinner and missed that elusive window (and then suffered the rest of the journey, kicking myself for not taking the Zzzquil and being so weak!).

To pass the time, I had a couple of go-to’s: Read the rest of this entry

Happy 2017!

Hello and happy 2017!

I’ve recently returned from a trip back to the United Kingdom — our last trip back was in 2013 — and have much to share about our travels. We had a fabulous visit, spending nearly three weeks seeing family and friends in the U.K. and France — with stops in London, Birmingham, Bedfordshire, Colchester and Paris. It was quite a whirlwind trip, but a fun mix of places we were familiar with and new spots we hadn’t been before.

I’ll share more in the coming weeks but wanted to just wish everyone a happy new year and hope that you had a wonderful winter break!

Here are a few shots from our flight over to London on Virgin Atlantic – we traveled economy this time (at about $800 per ticket before Christmas!) — and there were some new features, including purple lighted cabins, no more window shades (but the option to darken your window with a button) and electronic chargers! And check out our clear view of London from the sky!

window view

Charge up

Purple lighted cabin

sky view of London

Views of London

Richard Branson’s commencement speech

Check out Richard Branson’s inspiring commencement speech to the Class of 2013! I feel inspired!

Richard Branson

The best advice I could give any graduate is to spend your time working on whatever you are passionate about in life. If your degree was focused upon one particular area, don’t let that stop you moving in another direction. If college hasn’t worked out for you, don’t let that put you off. Virgin’s expansion into so many different areas is borne out of my insatiable curiosity to enjoy new experiences and pursue fresh challenges.

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Virgin Atlantic’s response to my GU complaint

I’ve blogged before about my bout with food poisoning aboard my outbound Virgin Atlantic flight last month – which I wholeheartedly believe is from the GU mango and passionfruit cheesecake pot (I ate two of them) that was not properly refrigerated.

They responded by asking me to fill out a questionnaire listing every thing I ate in the last 72 hours (“I feel like such a heifer. I had two bowls of Special K, 3 pieces of turkey bacon, a handful of popcorn, 5 peanut butter M&M’s and like 3 pieces of licorice.” – Cher from “Clueless”) The full questionnaire can be viewed here.

After submitting my questionnaire, here is their response:

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Flying to the U.K. with extra leg room

Hello! I am happy to report that we are back from our whirlwind trip to the U.K. and Paris and had a fabulous time!! I have so much to blog about for the next few weeks and lots of photos to share so stay tuned!

First things first! The plane ride! We flew Virgin Atlantic out of San Francisco Airport, which required a morning drive from Sacramento. Best thing we did? We booked long-term parking at Millbrae BART station, which was $6/day! So much cheaper than any park-and-sleep package I could find and a lot cheaper than long-term parking by the airport. My husband dropped me and the kids (and our luggage!) off at the airport first and then parked and took the BART to the airport (so we wouldn’t have to lug all of our luggage and stroller and kids with us on the BART, and we saved money on three BART tickets in the process). Win!

Now about that flight … well, we flew economy and splurged on extra leg room seats, which Virgin offers now for an added $50.

Was it worth it? Well, it was hard for me to tell (but I am 5′ 3″). My husband appreciated the extra legroom.

littlemore

shoes

knees

We haven’t flown internationally in a couple of years now and I was most startled not by the lack of leg room, but by the lack of food! My 3-year-old daughter ate an adult sized portion of pasta and bread, and was starving, as were we all! She refused the Gu mango and passionfruit cheesecake pot that was her dessert and so I quickly ate hers and mine.

Big mistake. Huge.

Within a couple of hours – in the complete serenity of our turbulence-free cabin – I became decidedly unwell. I actually vomited into my empty water glass and had to climb over the poor sleepy stranger victim, who was unlucky to be sitting next to me (and who was none too impressed and looked like Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) to get to the bathroom. My husband and son were sitting directly behind us since there weren’t a four-seats-in-a-row available to us in the extra-leg room section.

My husband asked if I had eaten the Gu. He hadn’t touched it since he thought it smelled spoiled. Neither did my son. Thankfully!

There wasn’t any ice cream, or after dinner Bailey’s (which I think of wistfully, when I think of flying Virgin years ago. The water and juice tray came around a couple of times. It actually didn’t matter since I couldn’t stomach anything after the Gu. Not even the skimpy muffin top breakfast that they brought around with coffee and tea. I was sick again.

But it didn’t matter. After ten hours or so, we touched down in London and I wasn’t going to let any Gu stop me from enjoying my holiday!

More tomorrow!

How the Virgin Atlantic credit card let me down

So let me begin by saying I LOVE Virgin Atlantic. It’s a fantastic airline that has never let me down (well, until now. Read on …). For years we have been faithful followers of the brand.

When choosing a credit card, it made sense for us to go with a Virgin Atlantic American Express card. We could earn Flying Club points (we’ve become Silver members) and have continued to rack up enough miles to take the family to the London. Or so we thought.

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