A perfect layover!

December 27, 2010 1 Comments A+ a-

My airline offers those of us on Reserve a "Wish List" every Christmas.  This is a list of four cities where you'd like to be for a layover during the Christmas holiday.  I battled within myself as to where I'd like to be, since many great cities were within a wish's reach: Zurich, Munich, Moscow, Dubai, Tokyo... After changing it several times, I decided on London (LHR), Paris (CDG), Dubai (DXB) and San Diego (SAN).

I reasoned that I knew London and Paris very well, and if no one wanted to go out and do anything, I'd be just fine on my own.  I chose Dubai, because 1.) I've never been 2.) it would be warm and 3.) since it isn't a Christian country, I'd find most places open on Christmas Day.  Finally, I picked San Diego because it would hopefully be warm and I like the hotel.

On December 22nd, the first of 5 Reserve days in a row, The Voice called and gave me a London trip!  I was shocked and excited.  Even better, it was the morning departure at 9:45 a.m. that arrives in London at 10 p.m.  This meant we'd get to our hotel around 11:30 that night, tired and ready for bed--no real sleep issues to deal with-a perfect trip!

The flight was a 767 with 9 Flight Attendants working.  There are only 8 jumpseats on that plane--and I have never worked with 9 before!  (I was the #9 Flight Attendant, so I had a passenger seat as my "jumpseat".)

At the briefing, I saw Jason and Jessica, two Flight Attendants I've flown with before.  (It's always nice to meet new colleagues, but even nicer to fly with people you know and like to work with.)  The flight was non-eventful, and we all know that is good.  There was no drama, no issues, no whining, no complaining--and the passengers were good, too!  ;) Seriously, a perfect flight!

After receiving our hotel room keys, I said to everyone "If you want to go shopping, meet here at 11 a.m. and for dinner, meet at 6 p.m."  And off to our rooms we all went.

The next morning, 8 out of 9 of us met in the lobby.  That is almost unheard of!  I would have expected 3 or 4 of us to show....but 8?  That was great!

Our first stop was the 414 bus to Harrods, since a couple of the crew had never been there before.  We all ended up staying together as we shopped the gifts and Food Hall.  Of course, we had to see the Diana and Dodi Memorial.  From there we grabbed a quick lunch, and continued walking to Piccadilly Circus-almost a mile.  Along the way, we stopped at several stores, as well as a tiny Christmas market.  Once in Piccadilly, we went to the Cool Britannia store-a new fave of mine for just about any London souvenir.  Anne was especially interested in finding what we dubbed "William and Kate crap"--you know, the junk souvenirs to share with family and friends of the upcoming nuptials of the future King of England and his bride-to-be.

From Piccadilly, we walked up Regent Street, to a favorite restaurant of mine, Strada.  We rested our dog-tired feet and had a glass of wine, before heading back to the hotel to meet for dinner.  The one Flight Attendant that did not join us for shopping decided to stay solo and not come out with us for dinner.  We walked a couple of blocks to a lovely little Indian restaurant, where Anne and I were able to enjoy our new William and Kate drink coasters.  A little tandoori chicken and spicy vindaloo later, we made one last stop for a beer at the pub on the corner--for a nightcap on a perfect day.

The next morning, our hotel pick-up to return to the airport was at 9:30.  (Not too early, perfect!)  Once at the airport, we were all given seats in Business or First Class because we were deadheading home.  (Have I mentioned that this was a perfect trip?)

I ended up at home Christmas Eve afternoon, so Norm and I had that night together (which is when we exchange presents).  We had Christmas morning together, before I had another assignment to fly.  It was the perfect ending to a perfect London layover.  I could not have handpicked a better crew, a better layover city, or a better day spent in London with my crew!

Diana and Dodi Memorial at Harrods

The perfect crew: Jessica, Debbie, Anne, Amy, Jason, Sherry and Sarah


On the walk to Piccadilly

Harvey Nichols Department Store

On the walk to Piccadilly

At the Cool Britannia store in Piccadilly

Jessica, Sarah, Amy, Sherry and Anne taking a coffee break.

Sarah bought Russian nesting dolls at the Christmas market
and shows off the tiny tenth doll!

Jason and Jessica

Piccadilly Circus

Piccadilly Circus

Piccadilly Circus

Lower Regent Street

Anne and Sarah on the Tube.

Jason on the Tube.

The view from the hotel room--see the London Eye?
(blue ferris wheel, middle left)

Sherry, Sarah, Jason, and Amy trying to decide on dinner.

Me and Anne, with our "William and Kate crap."

Jason, Sarah, Sherry and Amy at the pub.

Me, Jason and Sarah at the pub.

Sherry and Amy at the pub.

My meal in First Class--a vegetarian lasagna with fresh sage and feta cheese.

A toast to our perfect trip!


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December 27, 2010 at 7:49 PM delete

Paris! London! Fabulous! But how about this desert layover where some flight attendants went swimming in a lake. Check out the Naked Truth to see what happened (no, it's not naughty):