as we now blog in the States
no longer Japan
So we set off on the first of July with a 5.30 am arrival of one of south London’s ubiquitous Data Cars booked through their app which is highly efficient. We positively glide through early morning London and thoughts of an extra half hour in bed surge into the head but never mind it’s good to be in good time isn’t it? Terminal 3 seems to have fewer people than Southend with its stags and hens a couple of weeks ago and we breeze through bag drop and security and discover a new delight.For many years Dee has had a bank account that offers airport lounge access as a perk – one we’ve never taken advantage of, partly through our just-in-time scrambled arrival at airports, partly through it being buried away in the small print and needing to be activated. With a couple of hours to spare on this occasion we check it out spurred on by one of Dee’s colleagues who swears by them.
Oh what a difference from grabbing a sandwich in Pret or even a glass in the champagne bar! We check in expecting to have to pay for me as a guest but no one asks for any cash. A brilliant buffet breakfast is available for free and a full English can be purchased. The Number 1 Lounge is part of a chain and well worth signing up to. After breakfasting (or should that really be “after breaking fast”?) we repaired to the lounge area to read complimentary newspapers and magazines. We could have played pool or table football, watched a movie in a ten seater cinema or chosen a spa treatment
What a restful, restorative way to start a journey after what is always, whatever one’s best intentions, a bit of a KBS to get to the damn airport.The screens tell us to proceed to the gate so we leave our cocoon and re-enter the now rather busier terminal. Although billed at a Virgin Atlantic flight it is operated by Delta. Seats were comfortable, flight was very empty and it was utterly unmemorable which I guess is what you need in a flight. The one remarkable aspect was that the attendants seem to have been recruited for their ability to resemble Kathy Bates in Misery or Lotte Lenya as Rosa Klebb. You thought twice before asking these guys for anything.
Welcome to America! Terminal E at Logan airport is a familiar location – we even filmed there in 1994 – and while a few things have changed like the new electronic visa waiver ESTA programme which everyone without another form of visa has to complete before flying, some things it seems never will. Of the thirty booths where you can have you fingerprints checked and your photo taken only five were in operation so as usual the early arrival time of the flight (30 minutes in this case) are soon eaten up in the immigration hall. We stood in line for 75 minutes before being welcomed to the USA and being allowed to go and collect our lonely baggage. Lonely? Well you see US citizens go through seamlessly and had all long since lit out of the baggage claim area.
We were first in Boston at the time of the Big Dig which caused massive disruptions but now complete does enable you to get in from the airport with commendable speed. The driver dropped us off at the apartment we’d rented in Dartmouth Street, we negotiated the somewhat cryptic instructions for gaining entry only to be told that we could drop our bags but the cleaners were running late and could we go away for an hour or so. Bags and jackets deposited we emerge into a 33 degree Boston boiler, decide to turn right toward Newbury Street and find the Met Bar where in a very pleasant downstairs bar big screens were showing Argentina squeeze past Switzerland. So we settled in with a beer, checked our phones and found an email from our friend Jack Foley – desperate to find out where we were. His wife Robin had to go to New York next day for a few days and this would be our only chance to see her. So Jack told us to stay put and he and Robin would join us to watch the USA game due up next. Well we watched that and then repaired to a table on the street to take dinner and commiserate on the USA team exit. As you can see close friendships were restored after a nine year absence and Dee obviously said something that Robin found hilarious. You can also see that we stayed there until it got dark. So having been told at 1:30 to head out for an hour or so we finally made it back about ten hours later.
And so – after showing Jack and Robin our home for the next week and having a last one for the road – to a very comfortable bed in the Back Bay.