Honeymoon: Day Fourteen – Do You Know the Way to San Jose

Someone once said that “Hell was like going on holiday with a group of Germans” or was that death… Whichever way, they were wrong. Hell (and indeed death) must be like going through the various layers of airport security… We woke up, there were teases that some Doctor Who stuff will be on the morning shows – but we needed breakfast, so we had it in the restaurant. We returned to our room, where we discovered that the teases would be for much later in the show – so we missed that…

We then proceeded to check out, arrange for a taxi and get ourselves to the airport. Luckily we were not flying British Airways, which was getting considerable flack for their Terminal 5 fiasco. No, we were on Virgin in Terminal 3. We arrived with plenty of time. There were two layers of airport security to get us through to the gates. You don’t have to take out your computer anymore, which was nice. We breezed through the first layer without having to take off our shoes (though belt, jacket and sweater had to come off.) Then came the second surprise layer, with the special machine to scan you shoes…

We made it into the duty free shopping mall, and headed straight to the booze. We wanted to pick up some Glenturret, but they had all the other brands of the Famous Grouse family. We ended up picking up a two-pack of Famous Grouse blended – which maxed out our allowance. There was also some taste testing going on at the Absolut bar, so we had a sip.

Off to the gate, but Jerry wasn’t done with shopping – so Ken sat just outside the gate, waiting to be let in, while Jerry continued to shop. Eventually the gate opened up, and Ken went in. The agent didn’t like the weight of the carry on, but it was explained that he was carrying for two. Instead of redistributing when Jerry arrived, nothing was changed. When Jerry arrive, she was subjected to harassment in the name of security – not that we haven’t already gone through that with airport security to get in the gate, Virgin has to do their own redundant bit at the gate (including proving that the camera worked (picture right).

Luckily, as part of being in Premium Economy, we got early check in and were served drinks on arrival – aboard the “Tinker Belle” (registration G-VBIG). Everything went well, until it was time to try to use the entertainment device – one of the best ways to pass the time on a ten hour flight. Unfortunately, Ken’s was broken (Jerry’s seemed to be working fine.) Even after rebooting our seat cluster, and even the whole plane (the problem seemed to be a little more widespread) it still did not work, and in the end even Jerry was having some issues. So ten hours of eating, listening to the iPod and dozing…

Finally, we were coming down the Pacific coast – always a nice sight to see. We arrived at SFO, but had to sit on the tarmac for ages before being allowed to approach the gate (guess someone was parked in our spot…) Once in the airport, things went smoothly. Immigration and customs was no problem. Ken’s sister (who we’d been in contact with since waiting to deplane) was waiting for us, and she drove us home. Oddly, we seemed to have brought some weather back with us as it began to rain…

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