Monday, February 26, 2007
We are traveling "Economy" on the way over and "Business First" on the way back. Economy was interesting... we were lucky that no one sat in the middle seat... because we benefited from the wee bit extra space. Leg room was fine for someone like me with short legs.
Of all the things to forget... did I not forget my 80gb iPod - its crammed full of new tunes... audiobooks... podcasts... movies... and old favs that I always go back to. Oh and the playlist my life pulled together for me. All I have is my 512mb shuffle and my PSP... I say all humbly because that is still a heck of a lot!
I also brought a few books and picked up Monocle which is a tremendous read. They pitch it as a monthly global briefing and organise their content around "abc" : A for Affairs... B for Business... C for Culture... D for Design... & E for Edits. The content is fab... snippets of great things happening around the world. Its not another trendy clothes-pimp... its more like the Economist for the NyLon crowd. Kept me... with my notoriously low attention span... happy for hours and I'm only half way through.
Grateful to the Soos for a loan of his Bose Quietcomfort headphones (original 1s) - they do make a difference when flying. Dulls the roar of economy and sound great too with the shuffle and the PSP.
When I started the shuffle on "shuffle"... the first track played was the "I love you" track from Music has the right to children which was a nice wee surprise.
I have to say... however... that the music to Loco Roco doesn't improve with great headphones... but slowly drives you mad. Great game, though!
I did watch some of Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on the inflight movies which reminded me of my we'ans. Also caught an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond which was particularly funny and reminded me of Olly.
The flight itself was fine. A wee bit turbulent at times but otherwise pretty good. Didn't feel like 7 hours... I have to admit. The visibility from the window was fantastic... and I snapped away a good few view on my digital camera.
The light was lovely... and I was able to get some good shots. Normally all I see when I fly is clouds but I was able to see a lot of land this time. Not sure what the land was... but was glad to see it!
Everything kind of changed as we flew over New Jersey. Everything seemed bleaker... and more brown. Very industrial with lots of amazing shapes... including a faint view of the Manhattan skyline. I need to go there... preferably with Olly.
We landed smoothly and managed to circumnavigate through customs. For a first impression of the US (this is my second) the chap with the gun was pretty grumpy. The chap I met on my previous visit reminded me of Sulu from Star Trek. He was nice.
Newark Liberty is a fab airport. Spacious and clean. Comfortable with some great shops to keep you busy while you are waiting. Can't wait to check it out on the way back.
Picked up a monster jeep from the car rental place. Needed a 4x4 because snow was forecast. Great motor... GMC, I think. The road was pretty straight and easily driven... although I didn't get a shot this time.
Another lasting impression of the US is how bad their radio is. No one brought any CDs... so we had to endure classic rock or cheesy soul ballads all the way from Newark to Malvern. Painful. Best tune of the journey was "Step On" by The Happy Mondays. Fab!