The Norwegian Flight
It's always funny to look forward to something for so long and and then it absolutely meet every expectation you had about it. That was the entire journey over here for us.
This was the first time we did not have to do the dirt cheapest budget option that you just sort of stick your headphones in and can't wait for it to be over. All because of Norwegian finally being able to offer flights from the US to Europe.
We flew first class to L.A. which was both of our first times taking a flight like that. It was fucking great. It's just as great as you think it will be. It's awesome to be able to board first. The big cooshy seat and the oversize padded armrest is the best. It's so great to be in your seat with a cocktail in hand while all the other people in coach are still stumbling on, back to the 34th row fighting for overhead bin space. That was a bonus I didn't realize would be so great -- sitting in the first few rows of the plane and being able to get right the fuck off when the doors opened.
We landed in LAX and what a fucking airport. So crazy and confusing. We took a shuttle over to the international terminal and unfortunately had to go to the ticket desk outside of security. That didn't end up being so bad though. At first we were standing in a long line at the Norwegian counter, but within minutes they opened up a "Premium" desk and we got in and out of there. Upon reaching security, we were told to go to the "Premium" boarding line, which meant we avoided the huge crowds there.
And then we were able to enter the promise land: the lounge.
The lounge was actually better than I thought it would be because I wasn't expecting the service. Every single person we encountered was so friendly and helpful. It's like once you're inside you're treated like a total VIP. It's an adult playground where everything is free and everyone loves you. We settled in a row of Eames loungers and then hit the buffet -- really fucking delicious. There was fruit and nuts and salsa and chips and salads and soup and a few hot dishes that were all really good. There were several beverage bars stationed all throughout the lounge, as well as a really beautiful full bar where you could get any sort of coffee drink you wanted or any sort of cocktail you wanted.
The bathrooms were super nice and they had shower suites that I wasn't expecting. An attendant leads you to your suite and then lays out a fresh bathmat and towels for you. There's a toothbrush, a shower cap, a hair dryer, a big mirror and lots of toiletries. It felt so good to be able to refresh for the next round.
Boarding the Norwegian flight was the only thing that sucked ass. They called the Premium section first, which was great. But then they loaded us all into the jetway and we had to stand there for ten minutes in this metal tube that was being baked by the California sun with no airflow. It was fucking awful and we were all dripping with sweat. I didn't see the point of doing that or what it accomplished aside from loading the plane full of sweaty, pissed off passengers.
It immediately melted away once we were settled in our seats, but was just a shitty start.
The seats were really nice -- we were in our own row of two and the seats were big and wide. They reclined extra far and there was a foot rest that popped out. Your tray table comes out of your armrest as does your T.V. screen so you are not impacted by the person in front of you.
A flight attendant immediately came around offering juice and water before takeoff and we all got large comforters to snuggle into.
The T.V. screen was a touchscreen and on it you could see the full drink and snack menu, and could also order from it. That was really fun and they had a huge list of things to choose from. Shortly after takeoff they came through with a full beverage service and then about an hour in they came through with dinner.
My dinner was fucking delicious. I had a steak and it was legit -- like a delicious, well cooked juicy steak that was the perfect texture. It wasn't like microwaved mystery meat. It was fucking yummy. It was served with fresh as fuck green beans and potatoes and it was all in this buttery, but perfectly light creamy sauce. Even the little side salad was so fresh and the olive oil they gave us to drizzle was delicious. There were three little macarons for dessert and they were just as good as any you'd get from a proper bakery.
After dinner they blacked out the windows and turned off the lights and everyone pretty much went to sleep. I still fantasize about a lie-flat seat because even with the incline and the foot rest, it was still hard to sleep. We dozed in and out and then about two hours before landing they started bringing up the lights and unfading the windows in stages to replicate the sun coming up. It was sort of funny, but pleasant.
The breakfast they served was also fucking delicious -- a little deli box with some cured meats and a thick slice of turkey, a slab of motzerella and some cheddar, a hard boiled egg and then a roll with butter and jam + a fruit salad. And coffee, of course.
Landing in London is just about the most delightful thing ever. From the first moment, you experience the British charm and hospitality -- everyone at the airport was so friendly. All the guys at passport control, the man at the desk who sold us train tickets -- it's all just real human interaction complete with jokes and actual conversation. Not like a robot cashier who hates their job and doesn't want to aknowledge you as a person. They're all just so goddamn pleasant.
The airport is so easy to navigate, the train ride was great and then we easily caught a bus to our host's house in south London. His neighborhood was so darling and so quiet that it felt like you were walking through a movie set. It was so fucking charming, I've never seen anything like it.
His place super quirky, but totally comfortable and stylish.
Kris ended up chatting him up a bunch and learning that this area of London had been heavily bombed and there was even a bomb that went off at the end of street and basically made the entire row of houses jump. So now every few years they resettle and large cracks in the walls appear that have to be repaired. There's a church a few blocks away that was used as a bomb shelter and one night it was directly hit and everyone in the bomb shelter died. The church was completely blown out, but the shell of it remained and it still original with the inside having been rebuilt. Can you imagine living amongst that sort of history?