Yes, I am serious. Butterblogger is traveling again. Even I am now starting to feel like my vacation time is excessive. But really, it’s all the government’s fault – they pushed us to implement an EMR, so some of my days off were rolled over into this academic year. Then I compounded the problem by clustering every day into an eight month period, which results in me seeming to travel a lot (which I guess I am).
You know what else this means, my dear readers? It means a break is upon us. After this voyage (which also includes some conference time) you probably won’t hear much from me for another 5 months. So we must make the most of this grand journey across the ocean. I will stop first in London, and then continue on to Germany for my conference and some time exploring the country.
But first, we must get there, and this morning at 05:30 anybody searching me would have found me racing single-mindedly toward the Flint airport, where I flew … west?! Yup. To go east I first flew west to MSP, from whence I connected back to JFK. It sounds crazy, but I got a great deal, which is my primary means of justifying it.
The first flight left at 07:30 so I slept through most of it. When I got to MSP I had the opportunity to catch up on a few of my pre-trip errands. I had a long list of things to do last night, and a few of them got pushed out to today. One of those was activating my international service with Sprint. (My choice of cell providers is frankly disastrous, and I keep threatening to leave them.) Usually the service costs a few bucks for the time I am abroad, and it cuts calling in half to $0.99/min and drops data to $20 per Mb. Still crazy prices. Anyway, I rarely ever use my phone without a local SIM, but I like to have it in case of emergency.
Well today I got a pleasant surprise. Sprint now offers free texts and 2G data in UK and Germany. And calls home are $0.20 per minute. On top of that, Sprint will now let me call home for free over WiFi. With these two changes I may not need to get a local SIM card. The data will probably be painfully slow, but might be enough to cover my needs. At least for the couple days in London it will certainly be sufficient.
The flight from MSP to JFK was good. We flew on a 717. Boeing inherited this aircraft design when they took over McDonnell Douglass, and it’s a great plane. Sadly it didn’t sell enough and has since been discontinued.
We got lunch. You read that right: Lunch. I went with the crispy chicken salad. The chicken wasn’t actually crispy, but the salad was good, with a sesame dressing redolent of sesame oil. It came with grissini (you can’t see those in the picture) that really just made me want to go back to Torino. There was also a chewy, very aromatic, molasses clove cookie that was just frankly delicious.
After all of this flying in first the wrong, then correct, direction I finally arrived at JFK for my long layover.
The Virgin Atlantic lounge is wonderful. Contemporary and elegant, they offer delicious cocktails, impeccable service, and a lovely view.
The English onion soup was beautifully balanced.
The ribs and wings were great
And the ginger tea hit the spot.
And that, dear readers, is my plane. I’m about to board. See you all on the other side!