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Day 1

Journey to Orlando


The day begun early, 04:15am. Packed final last things (So pleased I am such an organised person)! My future son-in-law drove me to one of my former colleagues house and he then took me to Heathrow.
This was the first time I had been to Heathrow without being an Airfield Manager. Such a strange feeling! British Airways were absolutely fantastic and as always looked after me very well indeed. To be met with a tray of champagne to sip whilst unpacking your belongings is such a pleasure.

Whilst waiting for my flight I had some amazing Tweets from Family, Friends and Fellow #GRAIL atendees wishing me a safe and good flight. It put a big smile on my face. Actually shocked to be honest at how many Direct Messages etc I received.

I must say at this point “Happy Birthday Dad” Love you lots and sorry I am not there today to share your day. Glad I saw you yesterday though. (Hugs) x

So here I am sitting drinking champagne on my flight to Miami. What a fantastic way to start my actual trip. Feet up, reclined, just been given my menu to choose lunch from, On the menu today I can choose from the following starters:

  • Smoked Salmon and Trout Roulade with radish and fennel salad
  • Potted Barber’s 1833 mature cheddar with spiced apple chutney (My choice)
  • Fresh seasonal salad served with vinaigrette


Main Courses:

  • Slow braised British beef with rosti potatoes
  • Roast breast of chicken in a creamed tarragon sauce with garlic and sauteed potatoes (My choice)
  • Spinach tagliatelle with a mushroom truffle sauce
  • Chilled main course salad of curry scented prawns with mango and spring onion quinoa


Ok, at this point I must say I have had 3 gins already! Water from now on. (The cabin steward is absolutely wonderful and keeps checking if I need anything, mainly alcohol!)



  • Banoffee torte with caramel sauce (This has to be the only option)!
  • Clotted cream Ice cream
  • Cropwell British stilton and St-Paulin cheese with biscuits
  • A selection of fruit


  • Chocolates and coffee

Wine List!!:

  • Pouilly-Fume 2010
  • Chateau Haut-Mondain 2009
  • Hahn Winery Chardonnay 2009, Monterey. California
  • Chateau Barateau 2006, Haut-Medoc, Bordeaux
  • Vina Hermosa Reserva 2004, Rioja (My choice) - Rude not to have wine with lunch!!
  • Las Olas Malbec/Bonarda Reserva 2010, Famitina Valley. Argentina
  • Champagne cocktails of either Kir Royale or Buck’s Fizz
  • Glasses of champagne - Lanson BLack Label Brut NV Champagne or Ayala Brut Majeur NV Champagne.

So now while I await lunch to be served I thought I would write my blog. As I am travelling alone I brought Bo (Boeing) my teddy bear with me. He has enjoyed the champagne already as you can see by the pics. I got a glass, He was given the bottle! - Typical.... The bear pulls!!!


Lunch is over - OMG! Wow! Amazing! Yum! Perfect beyond belief. I took pics which I will attach before posting this.

I must say the one thing I am really bugged by is the IFE (In flight entertainment) display. Firstly the buttons are hard to press, secondly the screen quality is dreadful and lastly everytime I see Bermuda on the inflight map - Damn Barry Manilow keeps coming into my head.


Feet up now for a while with my coffee and watch a couple of episodes of E.R I downloaded before I left home. This is before afternoon tea!! Oh if you get hungry or thirsty before that. Just have to walk to the galley kitchen and help yourself to drinks, snacks, sandwiches, fruit or just whatever you fancy! I can’t eat again though! Chill time, Recline seat, footstool down and blanket out just like the main beside me.

Will log back on to finish the flight blog later zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

I never usually sleep on A/C but I actually just had 3 hours of sleep, Only 2 hours left of this flight. Everyone is starting to stir and blinds are starting to open. When I get to Miami I have to collect suitcase, Clear Immigration and Customs then check back in. Bag is already tagged and I have my boarding card so really straight forward.... I hope!! 3 hours until my next flight so no big hurry, At the moment we are scheduled to land on time.

Just checked the moving flight map, We are exactly over Bermuda, Is there still a triangle? About to find out! We are sitting at 38,000ft, Outside temp is -63, Time to destination 2 hours. 20 mph head wind and 832 kph ground speed for all my fellow #AvGeeks.

Afternoon tea has been served:
Salmon and cucumber sandwiches, Cheese and tomato sandwiches, Full cream tea and a cup of coffee. Def not going to eat for days!

Everyone on the GRAIL Facebook group recommended drinking plenty of water, starting a day or so earlier of arriving to keep hydrated with the extreme humidity - Thanks guys great suggestion on a 9 hour flight!!!!!!!!

Bo, The bear ended up on the flight deck having his picture taken with the captain and first officer. What a great crew, Really has to be one of the best I have flown with. Have swapped numbers!

DSC_0200.jpg DSC_0201.jpg

Got off the A/C and queued for nearly an hour for passport control, I was questioned when I got there and was asked why I was coming to the U.S. I had great pleasure in telling him that I had been invited by NASA to attend the GRAIL launch. Then proceeded to explain all about it. Ok maybe the people behind were getting a bit annoyed by this time!

Went out of the airport and Oh My God - Humidity, Well, I cannot explain it. It was nothing I had ever experienced before. I put a thin top on and still hot! Hoping I will aclimatise quickly to it. Checked in, Passed through security. No complaints, really professional and polite.

Here I am now on the 2nd leg of my journey, Miami to MCO, Short flight thank goodness as I am now shattered. Just want a shower and freshen up. We are doing a lot of weather avoidance en route to MCO. It is great though as its bumpy as anything and dropping altitude and coming back. Nothing like it! Sad or what that I enjoy it but can’t do roller coasters.

When I finally get to Orlando I decided I am just going to grab a cab to the hotel. Just want to get there and check in and kick my shoes off as I said. I have a few little bottles of gin in my bag thanks to BA so may have a night cap before settling down.

At the hotel and just going to post this with some pictures for the family etc to see my day.
Hotel is fab and room is huge and clean. Going to test the shower out and settle down to watch some TV and sleep.


Night Night from Bo and I

Posted by Fidget 18:57 Archived in USA Tagged flight british aircraft airways grail nasatweetup Comments (3)

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