Weekly Update – Heathrow Arrivals and Other Realities

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Greetings from Barcelona.  I’m at the start of a 2+ week holiday in Europe and working my way into decompression mode.

I’m traveling with my friend “The Princess” and we are here for preliminary touring before joining a 12 night Grand Mediterranean cruise on NCL Spirit.

Decompression is something that takes a little bit of time, based on my experience.  One does not merely land and end up in vacation land (or at least not in my world).  I’m still wrapping up loose ends on projects and trying to slowly unease the tension from my body.  Couple that with jet lag recovery and it’s a full-on process.

Still, I’m easing in.  We flew British Airways First over from Houston to Heathrow followed by Club World from Heathrow to Barcelona.  I’m going to let The Princess write the review of BA First since I’ve flown it so many times before.  (Like her virgin flight on Cathay last fall, this also a first-time effort.)

I’m just happy to be here.  Not my best flight ever.  Not my worst flight ever.  My standards have shifted over the years.  I was more disappointed to land at Heathrow Terminal 5 and then discover that we were flying out of Terminal 3, not Terminal 5 as anticipated. So NO Concorde Room.  NO Elemis Spa (despite my booked massage appointment).  NO extra time to enjoy my connection.  Blech.

I sometimes expect all my Heathrow arrivals to be like this.

Or this.

Unrealistic, right?! It doesn’t stop me.

I set myself up for disappointment.  I expected a certain upscale experience.  And then I didn’t get what I “paid” for with my miles.

Still, I got my BA burger today.

BA Burger, no bun

BA Burger, no bun

And cava sangria.

Cava sangria the size of my head.

Cava sangria the size of my head.

I got a nice suite upgrade.  With treats.

Suite upgrade with welcome treats.

Suite upgrade with welcome treats.

I’m in freaking Barcelona.

All is okay with the world.

It was one of those weeks in my life.  SO much to do to feel like I could leave for vacation and still have things in balance (especially since I traveled all week).  I shared my last minute travel changes to fly Qatar on my way home.  I planned my summer reading list for the cruise.  And I mourned a sad event at my beloved Erawan Shrine.

This coming week will take me out of Barcelona and off to Provence, Florence, Pisa, Rome, and Naples.  By this time next week I will have ingested about 30,000 calories, walked miles and climbed hundreds of steps, and met a ton of new people (one of my favorite parts of cruising).  I’ll try my best to stay connected but make no promises as I navigate my first vacation in my current professional life.

I hope your end of summer is as (potentially) pleasurable as mine.


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About Jennifer Moody

Jennifer is a management consultant and avid volunteer. Her career and volunteer duty travels have helped her log top-tier airline and hotel status annually for the last nineteen years. In addition, she embraces the opportunity to maximize her vacation time by planning extracurricular trips that have taken her to over 60 countries and 48.5 US states. Once an "every week" road warrior, she now only travels around 100 days a year. She resides in her native Fort Worth, Texas where she enjoys cooking, gardening, sewing, needlepoint, wine, and playing with her Border Collie/Great Pyreness mix puppy Harley Quinn.

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