it had to happen.
one flight too many (flight 10 of 10 is due to leave LATER THAN EXPECTED but at least it is DUE to leave….bear with us)……
(this was flight 9 of 10)
an arrival in Manhattan (well, JFK is strictly nowhere near manhattan but we digress) at 10.25PM last night.
and a flight due to leave (as we said, DUE TO LEAVE) at 7AM this morning.
so – what to do in the meantime?
it looked awfully cold and d e p r e s s i n g to wait at the airport (and everything was closing).
we *thought* about the movie Jet Lag (which we like very much) and so walked over to the Hotels Information Desk just to see if the interweb had been wrong – that there was actually a hotel close enough to buy a room, have a shower, something to sip in the way of hot tea, perhaps an hour’s sleep and then back to the airport for the flight that was DUE TO LEAVE at 0700 hours.
plus (if you recall the Plot of Jet Lag) the opportunity to reassess one’s life while talking intently with foreigners is always interesting (although the days of fickle youth are long gone with the idea of sharing a hotel room with one, despite the promise of free Clarins products and a lovely swimming pool – neither of which looked on the menu at the Days Inn which was either 5 mins away by taxi or 15 mins by something-called-a-shuttle).
so we thought we’d have an adventure instead.
because we like those.
and we are trying to be a bit prudent with cash flow so we took the A train from Howard Beach and curled up on top of our Manhattan messenger bag (luckily the left luggage at JFK stays open all night – which was lovely as we’re Very Tired at carrying around the silver samsonite now).
arriving in Manhattan on the A train and getting out at West 4th at midnight is sort of fun.
especially when one remembers that the Washington Square diner is open 24/7 as the americans close it (or all night, if you’re european or antipodean).
it was fun to sip coffee and write and read a slim tome.
and then – well – it wasn’t so fun – because we were Awfully Tired – so we decided a Walk was in order and then (almost an hour later) we found ourselves in Times Square (gosh).
that was fun.
but it was still only 1AM and we had until (well, you get the idea)……….and then we checked the Boarding Pass that the lovely people at Virgin Atlantic had given us in London to “check us through to Los Angeles” (yes, they said it in an English accent – ange-elle-ease which was sweet – at the time) and saw that the flight had been changed to 9AM instead of 7AM and didn’t appear to be under the care of Virgin Atlantic anymore despite that being the brand on the ticket and – well – that’s when we started to feel quite droopy-in-spirit.
more walking didn’t change our now quite dispirited mood so we got a yellow cab (the concept of the A train after midnight is Not A Good Idea) and arrived back at T4, JFK (it takes about 50 mins in good traffic – of which there is never any in manhattan).
as our ticket said “Virgin Atlantic” we waited at the Virgin Clubhouse which was advertised as opening at 4.15AM (no, we were not flying business class on this leg – sadly – but we thought they might be helpful with the snafu with flight times/carrier changes).
not to put too sharp a point on a very pointy sharp feeling of despair – They Did Not.
9AM is not that far away now (it’s 5.32AM over here).
you were Very kind to listen to all that.
and the cafes just opened so we’ll grab a non fat latte and a banana and all will be well.
fresh clothes also helped. as they invariably do in these circumstances.
to turn the whole thing around.
may we show you our photographs from our intensely delicious last few hours in London yesterday (was that only yesterday?) because we had the most Loveliest time.
a London park is Most Lovely with a chill in the air and a cloche hat on the head.
we *always* pop into Heywood Hill whenever we’re in town because Nancy Mitford worked there and it’s a most splendid bookshop.
as we were about to leave (yes, there’s a little bell on the door or perhaps there was purely in the imagination – that does happen) we stopped, fished around in the manhattan messenger bag and took out a postcard for The book and said “quite casually” –
oh! we almost forgot…..Hay House is publishing this in February….
and they took the card (a little gingerly but kindly in that Very British – let’sjustseeifsheisaweirdpersonorOneOfUs sort of a way) and smiled at the cover and then nodded (briskly) and we ran likethewind.
not fast enough to hear crisply modulated tones chuckle:
Splendid. Good for you.
which we’re sure were Entirely in our Imagination.
then there’s always Fortnums.
and a chandelier on St James’
and beautiful weepingly lovely statues.
close up of weepingly wonderful statue (near Buckingham Palace)
one definitely needed to pull the wood coat closer at this point.
the sad beauty of the Princess Diana memorial walk is rather lovely.
and then there was a Mad Dash across town and we caught the tube and then a train and then a plane and finally ended up in Manhattan (or as near as JFK can get to the actual island).
it’s 6.59AM now and we appear to have been BUMPED *shudder* by Mr. Expedia *grrrrrr* from Virgin Atlantic (which is why they could not help us despite their brand being on the ticket) and we wait for the 9AM flight back to Los Angeles.
which, yes, will be flight 10 of 10 in the past 16 days.
but it has been the most MARVEL(L)OUS experience.