Sunday, May 22, 2011

Our Second Anniversary Trip to Italia!

On May 4th we embarked on our first trip to Europe together as a couple (my first trip to Europe period).  I've never had any interest in traveling to Europe, in fact, it's the LAST place I wanted to go because everyone's already been there and we could totally go when we're older.  But the hubs really wanted to go and made a good case and so as a compromise I agreed to go so long as we went to Italy, which is where my great grandparents lived prior to immigrating to the US.  So flights were booked and off we went!
This trip could not have come at a better time for me.  Work has been such a crazy stressful mess, I have never needed a vacation more.  We originally booked coach tickets but when we arrived at Dulles in DC to make our connection, the thought of spending 9 hours in coach suddenly became less appealing.  After a bit of a debate, we went to the gate agent and asked that they upgrade our tickets to business class.  I'm so glad we spent the airline miles, it was an overnight flight and it really helped me to unwind and rest at the beginning of our trip.

Here's Darryl and I enjoying wine at the bar at the Red Carpet Club.  Notice the lady behind him at the bar looks like she might die.  Totally didn't notice that when I took this picture.  D is fiddling around with our new awesome camera we bought for the trip.  I have no idea what kind it is, nor have I bought a digital camera since 2004, so perhaps I'm easily impressed.

Our seats were at the bulkhead in business class so we got to peep into first class.  I've never seen business or first class on a long haul flight.  I'm usually so far back in coach I'd need binoculars to see the better classes of seats. 

The first class pod style seats were so close I could touch them.  Darryl wasn't impressed with the plane, it was older.  Both Darryl and I have done a few trans-Pacific flights and we took it for granted that they use the best planes in the fleet for those flights.  Still, this United plane was WAY nicer than the craptastic Continental plane we took back to the States and even though we weren't on one of the sleek high tech planes that Darryl usually flies on to China, Business Class on such a long flight kind of rocked my face off.  We've upgraded to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean but this was way better.

Here's my little glass of bubbly at my seat.  There were like 10 levers, it was a total mind-f***.  Darryl had to explain to me how to operate my seat like 4 times and was visibly embarrassed as I tried out the various stages of incline.  I made quite a scene.

Darryl is clearly too refined for my antics.  After pillaging the free newspaper cart and the amenity kit (socks, eye mask, ear plugs, toothbrush and paste, and Murad hand lotion) I checked out the sleeping amenities.  No ratty questionable looking pillows and threadbare blankets.  A pillow with a legit case on it and a quilted white duvet which came presealed in plastic. 

After our pretakeoff bubbly, we were served warm nuts.  The stewardesses were also super good with the concept that my champagne glass should never dip below 25% full.  After all that bubbly, I headed to the lavatory and found that everything is better in Business Class, even the lavatories.  In addition to the normally expected items they had pomegranate hydrating mist for your face, pomegranate lotion, and mouthwash. 

After my little trip to the ladies room it was time for dinner.  Our first course was a veggie spring roll, salad, a roll, and of course more champagne.  The flight attendants were the most pleasant employees of United that I have ever encountered to date.  We were the youngest people in Business Class (something I didn't notice until I pointed out to D that all the people in First Class were old) and the flight attendants kept making a fuss about how cute we were.  They also greeted us as Mr. and Mrs. XYZ (which threw me for a loop, how do you know who I am lady?  Then I realized she was holding the manifest and knew who was sitting in what seat, I'm slow, I know).

Dinner was beef short ribs and roasted vegetables (and of course more champagne).  Dessert was ice cream and grappa.  Then I reclined my seat and finished watching Country Strong (terrible movie) and then laid back and caught some sleep.  The flight attendants were like ninjas, my sleep was a bit fitful since I'd had so much to drink I didn't take a sleeping aid on the plane so I didn't sleep as well as I could have, but every time I woke up and drank my water, rolled over and went back to sleep, the next time I woke up my glass was mysteriously full again.  Ninjas I say.
First Course
Morning came and we were treated to a lovely continental breakfast, I cleaned up a bit, and it was time to land in Rome! 

On our next installment, navigating ourselves from Roma to Firenze called "Italian Trains Confuse Us".

1 comment:

The Waspy Redhead said...

Love that you're recapping your trip! I NEED to experience biz or first class, I've only ever flown steerage. Also, I watched Country Strong on our return flight - hated it.