Holiday to Las Vegas in Dec 2013

Spent Christmas in 2013 driving around the US South West: Las Vegas, Palm Springs, San Diego and Death Valley.

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A BA A318 waiting to take us to New York JFK
A BA A318 waiting to take us to New York JFK
A BA A318 waiting to take us to New York JFK
A BA A318 waiting to take us to New York JFK

Holiday to Las Vegas in Dec 2013: Day 2 – Amsterdam (AMS) to London City (LCY) to New York (JFK)

By Nige on Fri 20 Dec 2013 at 07:38
Type: Post
Story: Holiday to Las Vegas in Dec 2013
Tags: AMS | Amsterdam | British Airways | Hilton | JFK | LCY | London City | New York

We turned off the light fairly early (I think it’s our age!), and slept ok – fairly hard bed. Breakfast was the typical Hampton fayre which didn’t suit Vick that much.

Got the Shuttle bus back to the airport at 8am and had the same driver – the one that almost killed us on the motorway on the way from the airport.

An interesting switch at London City airport
An interesting switch at London City airport
An interesting switch at London City airport
An interesting switch at London City airport

Schiphol was busy but we navigated our way through without too many problems. Got into the BA lounge – not a very good welcome from the two members of staff who were more interested in talking to each other in Dutch. Lounge wasn’t very impressive although it was only a Galleries lounge.

At the gate (D31) the gate dragon asked whether we would mind putting our two cabin sized cases into the hold and I checked with her explicitly on at least two occasions that this meant we would get them back at the steps to the plane when we disembarked. Later this proved to be a lie. No one else agreed to put their bags in the hold, and we won’t be doing so again in the future.

The flight back to the UK was great actually. It was a smaller aircraft than the one we flew on, on the way out, and so there was less space in the cabin, so I could understand why the gate dragon was asking people to put their cases in the hold. We were provided with a menu with two courses on it, which surprised us a bit since we would only be in the air about 45 mins. Anyway, we got a festive terrine and a mince pie which was nice.

Arrival at London City was quite exciting – there are clearly a number of people on the flight who are transferring on to BA001, so we were all advised about how to transfer etc. It was great to see our plane at gate 24 waiting for us as we came into land.

Sushi starter on the way from London City to Shannon
Sushi starter on the way from London City to Shannon
Sushi starter on the way from London City to Shannon
Sushi starter on the way from London City to Shannon

We got through customs and then waited for our baggage (which of course wasn’t going to be left at the bottom of the steps as promised), and at one point we had got one of our cases, but the other one hadn’t come through and there was a lull in delivery of cases to the carousel. It finally came through and we posted the letter I had been carrying around with me for days, and then went through security to gate 24 and the lounge.

Took a few photos of our BabyBus out on the apron, and we are smiling widely now.

Looking forward to getting on board, settling in, and out next stop will be Shannon.

Vick's salad main course on the way to New York JFK
Vick’s salad main course on the way to New York JFK
Vick's salad main course on the way to New York JFK
Vick’s salad main course on the way to New York JFK

Finally got on board and it really is as impressive as everyone makes out. Seats are comfy; service is attentive; food is great. Initially provided with our starter – I had canapés and Vick had sushi – both excellent. Main course and pud will be served in the second part of our flight.

First stop Shannon and found out GE actually works! We were first through and within 5 mins of getting off the plan we are waiting to get back on. Vick’s already flaked out having had a snifter of my champers.

Flight took off from Shannon and it was drizzly. Soon into the clouds and it was fairly bumpy. Initially we were provided with iPads for entertainment, and then our main course was delivered. I had beef and Vick had salad – again both excellent. Further champers followed – started to feel a little light headed!

Me at the Rockerfella Center
Me at the Rockerfella Center
Me at the Rockerfella Center
Me at the Rockerfella Center

The pud was unbelievable. A real dream, and then Vick ask’s me what we are going to do for dinner in New York! Well it has to be Chop’t for a salad I think (if we need anything).

So we are now four hours from New York – it takes longer to get to NYC this way than it would do on a bigger plane from Heathrow, but this is so much more exclusive. Vick’s “resting her eyelids” and indeed I’m thinking of doing the same. In about 90 mins we will be up again for afternoon tea, and there’s treats in the galley whenever we want them just in case we get hungry!!!

We both had a sleep on the flight – Vick snored for a good couple of hours. Afternoon tea didn’t include scone, cream and jam so was a little disappointed about that but it did include a hot chicken and leek pie which was gorgeous.

Ended up landing about 15 mins late – I guess the jet winds were stronger than normal. Flew through the airport (no immigration – yeah!) and caught the AirTrain to Jamaica. Took a while to sort out tickets for the subway, but it wasn’t long before we were on the E train to Manhattan.

It was a little tense on the train since there was one guys blasting his rap music out of his phone (why he didn’t have any headphones I don’t know), and then another guy came through from another carriage and forced a girl who was sat down to get up and move to another part of the train. He wanted to sit next to her, but clearly she didn’t want to sit next to him!

Vick and I at the Rockerfella Center
Vick and I at the Rockerfella Center
Vick and I at the Rockerfella Center
Vick and I at the Rockerfella Center

As soon as got into Manhattan, the train filled up so it was jam packed and this lightened the atmosphere. Proved difficult getting up from our seated positions and getting to the door.

As soon as we got out of the subway we could see the HGI and within a few mins we were into our room.

We grabbed a quick shower and headed out to Rockefeller Center to see the ice skating and get into the Christmas spirit.

Skating in New York
Skating in New York

Well was it chocker down there! There was a beautiful very tall Christmas tree and thousands of people all with the same idea as us.

Highlight was when the ice rink cleared and a couple were left, and the bloke proposed to his girlfriend. It would have been funny if she said no, but on this occasion she said yes. Big cheers all around.

Headed over to Chop’T but it was closed so we tracked down a Starbucks and had a late coffee before heading back to the hotel for some shuteye.


Follow the whole story here: Holiday to Las Vegas in Dec 2013


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Author Bio: About Nige

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Nige is one of the co-founders of The Billingham Blog and works as a freelance management consultant. He loves to fly in his spare time!

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