Old and New England with Scotland.The cripples on tour.

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RooFlyer

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Looking forward to this TR :)

A friend of mine who had a lot of metal in his leg pinning it together after a bad fracture got his x-rays printed onto a T shirt front & back (with his name etc). Usually got a laugh out of the security boys, but no exemption for extensive 'wanding' (natch) .
 

drron

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So our taxi took us to Rydges at SYD.Now paying the exact same rate we got top floor with an airport view instead of 3rd floor with carpark view.
Had dinner again there and enjoyed it.Helps that we get the 20% shareholder discount.Mrsdrron had the lamb ragout followed by an Eton mess-
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I had the salt and pepper seafood followed by a crispy pork and apple salad with delicious pickled celery-
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the cost with 2 glasses SB and a Pure Blonde was $73.60.Food was very good.
Later a couple of old friends from Maitland arrived so we had a long chat.

Up at 0500 then the short but slow walk to the JAL checkin.The agent was dressed in a QF uniform.Great service again.Mrsdrron had the wheelchair to the lounge.At the Fast track Immigration there were 4 young men of middle eastern appearance.The officer grilled each for some time and all were taken away for further questioning.
At security mrsdrron was taken through a gate and wanded plus an explosives check.I asked to go through the body scanner-the way to go for those with extra metal in the body-straight through.Then up to the Flounge via the lifts.I must say I had never before noticed the lift next to the escalators.Arrived at 0600 just as the sun was coming up-
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Had breakfast here instead of Rydges.I had the eggs benedict wit salmon,mrsdrron the corn fritters.The corn fritters and bacon were overcooked.Only had OJ and a cappuccino each.
The only time I saw someone famous was when I looked in the mirror :p:p.Just kidding.........maybe!
The problem with wheelchair assistance is that you leave really early for the Gate.
The flight next.
 

drron

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On arrival at the gate we were told 3 needed assistance.There was 1 woman there sitting in a wheelchair in high heels with a wrist splint on.Hmmm.The third was paged and she came running to the desk-said she had a sprained ankle.She was not preboarded.Once again great service by all.
SYD-NRT. JL772. ETD-0815. PB-0815. TO-0836. Seats 2H,K
ETA-1705. Landed-1643. At gate-1649.
A newer 777 than our last flight in August.Shell seating in J.2-3-2 seating in 2 cabins.Only saw 1 empty seat.Seats ony~160 degrees but OK for daytime flight.Not as lumpy as the Skybed which I also don't like for overnight flights.
The seats,Row 1 has great leg room-
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No pre take off drinks but champagne as soon as in air.Service as good as ever.So the wine list and menus.
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So comparing JL with QF on the SYD-NRT sector JLs timing is streets ahead of QF for us.This means the seat is not as important and for me with the timing JL does not loose out,others probably prefer the Skybed.Food-a big win for JL here if only because there are no NP mixed leaves on the menu.IFE would go to QF but when getting older that is not as important.Service-again JL a definite winner.
Just one thing that meant a lot.At SYD we were told that we would be at a remote pad at NRT and bussed to teminal.A couple of hours out the Purser came and told s a change of plans and we have now been allocated a gate.Wonderful.
More of the flight next.
 

RooFlyer

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I too have come to prefer daytime long haul flights when available. I've always slept poorly on planes and on a day flight you can get a lot of work done if so minded, or a lot of 'relaxing' if not.

One of my main day long haul activities these days is sorting and naming the large numbers of digital pics I take (and discarding about half)!
 
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drron

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One other thing I forgot which would favour JAL over QF for many on here.After being seated the purser came to mrsdrron and pointed out the female only toilet.And this in J.
Very soon after taking off it was time for lunch even though only 1000.We both picked the Japanese option which was a feast for the eyes as well as palate-
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However the FA had placed my tray the wrong way around.So here as it should have been placed-
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Then came the main course served on visually appealing plates-
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I listened to English pop from the 70s and 80s whilst reading the papers,doing a few sodukus and downloading my photos.Then watched Monument Men after a short shut eye.Really enjoyed it.Then watched Anchorman 2.Lame is a good word to describe it,pun intended.
About 2 hours out from NRT the snack was served.Again we both had the Japanese version but I switched to the French red which was very nice-
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Can you believe the placement of the peas in the rice?Even the packaging of the fruit added to the visual appeal.
Going into NRT there was lots of cloud and smog so still no view of Mt.Fuji.One day.I do like the nose cam which you get on approach-
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Deplaned by 2 doors so we were only last J pax out rather than last pax.However I then found out the fellow in 3K was a fellow I started medicine with in 1964 and we were in the same student group at RPAH for the last 2 years.Small world indeed.Lucky for mrsdrron she had the wheelchair as now a long way from Annex gates to Immigration as the train has gone.
Next.Overnight Japan.
 

drron

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With mrsdrron in the wheelchair we went through the assistance gate so no queue.By the time we reached the baggage carousel our bags once again were just disappearing.Whilst waiting in the customs queue noticed 3 young Caucasian males who were clean shaven having all their bags inspected.This was in 3 different queues.Thank goodness I am grey and bearded.
The wheelchair ride continued to the Hilton shuttle stop.The fellow was an older guy with very limited English but very efficient.

On arriving at the Hilton it was lining up in the general line as this is a points stay on mrsdrron's account and she is now silver.Still got the 10th floor but a courtyard view.As the checkin was completed I got out my gold card and asked if we could get complimentary Internet but stated we didn't want any other benefits.He said he shouldn't but did grant the request.Again proves if you never ask you will never know.
We were reasonably full so I just went and bought a couple of cakes downstairs as our supper.A quiet night and slept reasonably well.As usual with Japan no problems on checkout and off to the airport on the 0900 shuttle.

I had filled out the online assistance form for a wheelchair for mrsdrron but had not heard back from AA.However the request was in the system.A very cheerful fellow Mr.Watanabe was the pusher.Talked all the way.A little time going through security as I also had to be wanded and patted down.The efficiency of the Japanese meant this took longer than usual.Just headed for the AC which we feel is quite pleasant.No point going to the JAL Flounge as no massages this time and I am not a fan of the brown Japanese curry.

Next-off to NYC via DFW.
 

drron

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Sorry flash we wont be going into London.We were on a day time flight into LHR and were going to stay at the airport and pick up the car in the morning.That flight got cancelled so now we will be arriving in the morning and driving straight up.Hopefully we get a bit of sleep.

So now back to the report.At the AC there was an interesting sign on the plane outside-
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It is actually monitoring CO2 in the atmosphere but I bet a few would take it as proof contrails are to be feared!Some OK food in the lounge.There was a sparkling out but I chose the tomato juice.Good for the prostate.Mr.Watanabe came back 10 minutes before boarding was to start to take mrsdrron to the gate.Noticed a few looks from the line up of wheelchairs as mrsdrron was taken to the front of the line-the perks of flying F.As well when boarding as she went down the airbridge at the steeper parts she was turned around and taken down backwards.Didn't happen with anyone else.
To our seats-3D,G.On boarding we noted that once again the Purser was Dano-our 5th flight with him.

NRT-DFW AA176. ETD-1130. Push back-1115. Take off-1145.
ETA-0905. Landed-0852. At Gate-0856.

Offered champagne or OJ before take off so this time took the champagne.Given a second glass before take off.The Captain was definitely a Texan as he started with-"this is your Captain speaking.I just wanted to say a big howdy to y'all before us up here in the front office roll on our flight to the big D".Just before take off he came back with-"Well folks we have just about completed our grand tour of Narita International airport.We only have to watch 2 more airplanes trying to take off before it is our turn to give it a try".

For this flight I had preordered the Japanese meal.Mrsdrron the pasta.So here is the menu and wine list-
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Still more of the flight to come.
 

drron

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So now to the food pics-
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I really enjoyed my Japanese meal.Particularly good surprisingly was the sakura tofu.The beef with soy and wine sauce was also very good.What better way to finish than with a traditional Japanese dessert-an ice cream sundae-
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Now for mrsdrron's meal-
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Sorry for the fuzzy salmon-I blame turbulence!:)
Dano tried to put mrsdrron on the spot.They only had a reisling and a chardy as white wines.neither her favorites.He brought 2 glasses and asked her to pick what they were-too easy.She decided to go with the reisling.I had their special selection red which was a Californian cab sav.Contra old vines.It really was nice.Lots of tannin yet really smooth.A very good drop.Later I switched to the Malbec when the cab sav ran out.

I read all the papers they had,downloaded a few photos,had a 2 hour nap and then watched August:Osage County.I really enjoyed it.Then watched the Wolf of Wall Street.OK but I am glad I didn't pay to see it.After that it was snack time.I passed on the noodles to have the chicken sandwhich.A mistake it was very ordinary.
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The UNO's pizza was missing.On this trip I had remembered to bring my AA appreciation certificates-I had 3 years worth.As there were 3 in the F cabin and the service was very good I handed them all over.Dano made an executive decision to share with all the staff on the plane.I had no problems with that in fact thought it a very good thing.

About an hour out of DFW we were served brekkie.I had what was called Eggs Benedict-a bed of spinach with potato roesti as the bun.Scrambled eggs and shredded ham covered with hollandaise sauce.Nothing like those in the SYD Flounge.

We arrived into DFW a little early but our day was to get a lot longer.That next.
 

drron

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In the US we found that just because you have a wheelchair waiting you don't have to wait in the plane.We were the last of the F pax off and mrsdrron was put into the first of 6 wheelchairs waiting.We were taken to the lift where we were told to wait.Later found out that every wheelchair pusher at DFW is expected to push 2 wheelchairs at a time.So only 3 pushers for the 6 wheelchairs.Unfortunately the other wheelchair being guided by our pusher(sounds good doesn't it) was an older Chinese woman accompanied by her husband.They couldn't speak English so we had a long wait for them once we were through Immigration so I went ahead and collected our bags.They had just come out when I got them and were in the first lot of bags off.In a wheelchair you are taken to a dedicated agent so avoid the long lines hence why I was one of the first to the baggage carousel.

Of course having collected our bags we had to wait until the other couple collected their bags.Turned out to be 2 large cardboard boxes heavily taped.Our pusher said at Immigration the interpreter had told him they were staying in the US for 3 months.Once again though you bypass the lines at customs.The agent tried to question the Chinese couple but obviously got nowhere.Probably because we were with them he just let them go.Smiled at me and shrugged his shoulders as I passed and I commiserated with him about his difficult job.

Next our pusher delivered both lots of luggage to the transfer station as the 4 of us had BPs for our next legs though they were off to the South.Passing the departures board I had a look and there was those terrible red letters against our flight-Cancelled.So of to the ticketing desk.Once again you go straight to the front of the line.Our DFW-LGA flight was at 1138.The agent says there are no F seats on any of the directs and the first flight with Y seats is the 1730 flight.However he offered F seats DFW-RDU-LGA which would get us in to NYC at 1715-only an hour late so it was an easy decision.Off to a new airport for us it was.

The RDU flight was from the C terminal and we had arrived in the D terminal.The flight was at the C19 gate where the AC is.However as there was only 45 minutes to departure time we decided to just wait at the gate.To get to the C terminal we were put in a people mover.The lifts at the walkways between terminals fit one just perfectly.Once again though on our ride you just feel so frustrated at the stupidity of some people.They have a people mover coming at them so put down their bag and stop to answer their phone or line up at a gate blocking off the through way.

Next-the day gets worse.
 

marki

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I too have come to prefer daytime long haul flights when available. I've always slept poorly on planes and on a day flight you can get a lot of work done if so minded, or a lot of 'relaxing' if not.

One of my main day long haul activities these days is sorting and naming the large numbers of digital pics I take (and discarding about half)!

Having experienced day time flights recently I totally understand why you would choose daytime flights. Weirdly I enjoyed them. My computer was also put to good use. Later acting as a drool stopper when inevitably one falls asleep.
 

drron

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About 20 minutes before scheduled departure a gate change was announced.Fortunately just to gate 20.The Denver plane was still at the gate and left about 10 minutes before our scheduled departure.As soon as it was out our plane came in.Was a very quick turnaround and pushback was only 5 minutes late.Before boarding the gate agent announced the plane was oversold and wanted 1 pax to wait until the 1400 service and receive a $300 voucher.Several obviously thought it was a good deal.
DFW-RDU AA332. ETD-1120. push back-1125. Take off-1133. MD 80.Seats-4F,5F.
Eta-1500. Land-1447. At gate-1450.
Uneventful flight apart from the carry on problems with boarding.Mrsdrron was trapped in her seat by a POS.Served lunch.Mrsdrron had a chopped chicken salad though the chicken was in 1 piece on the side.I had the turkey salad with a hot cole slaw.Both ordinary.Nice country as we came into RDU.
So off with everyone else.Wheelchair was waiting with a lovely,talkative African American woman as our pusher.Unfortunately the plane to LGA which was to depart at 1540 was showing as now leaving at 1440 so we went to the AC.A standard non exciting lounge with basically no views.But at least comfortable seats and used the drink coupons.At 1410 our pusher came and took us to the gate.We were starting to fatique by this time.Our plane was at the gate but nothing was happening.The plane at the next gate was to JFK.Shortly after we arrived at the gate the JFK flight was announced as having a 2 hour delay due to the storms around NYC.Didn't sound good but no announcement from our gate.We had checked the weather forecast for NYC when at NRT and it said a 30% chance of light showers-on the ball again.
At the gate diagonally opposite was an AA772.Off to LHR at 1800.Again we heard that it was overloaded and they needed 2 people to get a later definite seat to LHR or their final destination(presumably the next day) + a $1000 voucher.Dont know if they got volunteers.

At 1715 with the gate display still showing a 1640 departure we were pre boarded at 1715 and we felt things were going to be OK.Little did we know.Had to "valet"check mrsdrron's carryon.Those in Y where told they had to gate check their bags!
RDU-LGA. AA3305. ETD-1540. Push back-1746. Take off-1913. CRJ. Seats-1A,3A.
ETA-1715. Landed-2016. At gate-2022.

Yes push back was 30 minutes after we boarded.The Captain was obviously anxious and we nearly backed into a Jet Blue plane going past.On the way out the Captain announced we were going to have to wait 45 minutes before taking off.So we sat there.Started moving after 45 minutes but we turned away from the runway.A lot of pax including me thought we would not be in NYC that night.The Captain then said we had to wait another 15 minutes.In fact it was 90 minutes from push back to take off.An hours flight.3 hours on a puddle jumper is not pleasant.:evil::shock::(
Had a QFlink type service.We both had a white wine.Just drinkable.About 30 minutes out of LGA at 31000 feet we went into thick cloud and came out of it about 100 feet off the ground coming in to LGA.Fortunately not much turbulence.

Had to wait a little while to collect the carryon-was the 3rd one after Captain and First Officer.I got ahead of mrsdrron as our bags had taken a direct flight to LGA.Fortunately as soon as I entered the baggage hall I saw them standing there.So as soon as mrsdrron arrived it was out to the taxi.It was raining so the longest line of pax and shortest queue of taxis I have seen at LGA but fortunately the line moved quickly so soon we were off to the Hilton on 6th Ave.

NYC next-but short of the normal tourist things as we worked out with this stay we have been in NYC for 9 months of our lives.
 

RooFlyer

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drron, if you had the choice, side-by-side, would you use CX or JL for a long haul in J or F? I do 1W Circle Pacific at least a couple of times a year and have been going CX for the Asian sectors of late, mainly because I like HKG more than Tokyo for the overnight stay. Should I change to JL for the trip itself?

(This sounds like a 'Dear Abby' question :shock: )
 

drron

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Havent done a long haul on CX for a while.For their shorter routes prefer CX J to JL J.But that is because I know the flights which have the new seating eg HKG-BKK always go for the flight that continues on to India.
 

drron

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Fortunately it was only when we were in the cab that the rain really came down.You could hardly see going over the Tribeca bridge.Arrived at the Hilton on 6th at 2050.Checkin on the 37th floor.and in our suite at 2100.So some shots of our digs.This is a Hilton Club 1 bedroom suite.They have recently undergone a soft refurb which is good except that they have removed the coffee maker and fridge as well as the wine glasses.
first the living room-
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Then the huge bathroom with a great tub and separate shower-
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And the bedroom with a real king bed-
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We didn't even unpack,it was straight to bed.
I had to be up early as the first session of the conference was at 0715.It actually started at 0600 every day but that's for the birds.

The conference is on high blood pressure.Extremely interesting and the changes will almost certainly come fast some time in the next few years.The human genome studies are throwing up some new ideas on the causes and hence treatment.For example in Olmsted county(the Mayo clinic) they worked out a new candidate gene for high blood pressure by Genome Wide Association studies and went looking for it.They found though a family with a mutation that altered the cardiac peptide ANP so that it was broken down very slowly.This family was thin,had low blood pressure and virtually no heart disease or diabetes in the extended family.
That then led the search to Sicily where several more families were found.So the cynic in me started thinking is it the Mediterranean diet or genetics that is responsible for less vascular disease.The team at the Mayo has now replicated that peptide and pilot studies are very encouraging.
Taking of diet Australians have a longer life expectancy than any of the Mediterranean countries.If we change our diet it should be to a Japanese traditional diet of rice and seafood as they are always on top of the life expectancy tables.

Next-eating in NYC.
 

RooFlyer

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Woe betide the presenters in the 6am-9am time slot on the final day of that conference ;)
 
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