Those that didn’t know I had the experience of a lifetime recently.
The amazing city that is LA, had the opportunity to have me grace it with my presence for two weeks and a day. Yes I frikkin’ did it. Tired with working the night shift and not having a life, I took myself off to Americana and it was bloody fantastic.
The night before I travelled I journey planned my trip to the airport. As this was a solo trip, I didn’t have anyone to accompany me, I don’t have a car and who has money for a taxi, really do I look like I have taxi money? I’m the girl that will sit on a train for 2 hours so I don’t have to pay zone 1 fares; so I was on a TFL tip.
It seems that TFL always wants to hurt me or let me down when I need it the most, because it seemed that the usually reliable Jubilee line (yeah right) wanted to act up and tell me that it didn’t want to operate from Waterloo so I was screwed. Cue journey planner sending me on a mission.
Now if you have ever been on your travels, you will know that your exit plan never goes as planned. Well thanks for letting me know that, because as I stood at my bus stop waiting for a bus that was supposed to have arrived 10 minutes earlier, thoughts of my plane departing without me haunted my brain.
When I finally did make it on a train, I got so panicky that I abandoned the idea of hopping on the Piccadilly line and stopping at the 30+ stations (well it felt like there was 30) and jumped on the Heathrow Express.
Let me tell you about the Heathrow Express. If you are travelling to Heathrow, take this train! Seriously, if you saw how fast I made it to the airport, you will never get on the Piccadilly again. I got to the airport in 15 minutes. 15 minutes I tell thee! TFL told me that this Piccadilly line would’ve taken me 45 minutes and with my fear of the plane leaving without me growing more intense, this was not an option.
I felt like a right VIP on this Heathrow Express train. There was so much space, air con and ambience music. Swish!
My flight was with Delta. Now I didn’t know how much of a big deal Delta was until I got to the airport and saw that they had their own entrance alongside Virgin. Cue that VIP feeling again.
A lesson I have learnt from being a first time flyer, is that when you book your tickets, you need to contact your travel agency and be on their case like 24/7 when they make a mistake with your name; because muggins here noticed that my Travel agency had made my amazing 3 singular names one longass name and though they told me that everything would be ‘alright on the night’ my names remained one longass name on my boarding pass. I’ve heard horror stories online, where people were denied entrance onto their planes because their names didn’t match the ticket, so yeah, I was ‘sckeeeered’. Throughout my checking in experience the fear that someone would take me to one side grew and grew and only intensified when I made it to the gate and I was pulled aside.
Random selection they tell me. Yeah funny that, I’m sure the Muslim first name and Nigerian second name made that random selection more easier. But those that know me know that I love a good rub down (don’t be dirty), I find the whole process strange and as long as it’s PG and above the clothes I’m fine. As I know my rights when my girl brought out this piece of paper and started rubbing it over my bag and up and down my body, curiosity took over me and I had to ask what it was for. To check for explosives came her response. See how quick the smile on my face left. After they realised that this Muslim Nigerian was not a terrorist. They let me through and I was able to sit down with the masses and wait until my zone was called. Living that Economy life.
I have not been on a plane for years, the last time I was on a plane was in September 1999, almost 16 years ago. Oh my God! I have not been on a plane for more than 15 years. Wow that makes me feel so old; I have been alive long enough to be able to say that now. *runs to a bucket to throw up* So as a person that has not been on a plane for *ahem* a while, I was very apprehensive about flying, especially on my own. But as I began boarding, the excitement that I was finally leaving the country and about to go to a country that I had always dreamed about visiting kicked in and all the fears I had were gone.
In all the movies, well rom-coms to be more specific (yes I watch them, what else is one to do on a Sunday afternoon?), you’re supposed to meet the man that you’re supposed to marry; so imagine my disappointment when my seat partner was a slightly plump Asian woman with a bit of ‘tude. Cue my heart breaking, no white dress and crazy ass first dancing for me now.
She wasn’t a very nice seat partner. I think I was on bad terms with her because when I entered the plane, after knocking out half of the passengers with my cabin luggage (look I haven’t been on a plane for 15 years, I didn’t think about turning my bag around or even putting it in my hands instead of it hanging from my shoulder); I had to take a few of my essentials out of my bag and doing so was taking time from her sitting her lard ass back on the chair. I could literally feel her eyes boring into my neck as I took my items out and placed them onto my seat.
As a person who has not been on a plane for a while, take off was a bloody nightmare. I thought my insides would explode and the way I gripped onto my seat… Lol kidding it wasn’t that bad though my stomach did flip and I did hold onto the chair in front of me it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Though you should have seen me when we hit some turbulence, I started praying and even accepted death. The thing that did get to me, was that the air stewards were so calm. It was an uncomfortable calm. I’m like people the plane is shaking, shaking! How can you be calm? My girls were still walking up and down the aisles with smiles plastered on their faces all like “Sir, Ma’am, would you like a drink?” Nothing.
Besides the small turbulence, the journey was fine. Though at times I had the unnatural feeling there was nothing underneath me, I quickly snapped out of it, sipped on Cranapple like it was going out of fashion (seriously why is this not a thing in the UK) caught up on some episodes of Gotham that I had missed out on whilst slowly dying on the night shift, watched Horrible Bosses 2, slept and gorged on the masses of food they kept giving me.
The smile that rose through my body after 12 hours when I saw the scenes of Cali For Nia below me slowly getting larger and larger and the realisation that I had finally made it was totally worth it all.
I was finally there. I was in LA Baby!!