Hello, finally an internet connection that works. In a nutshell, we’re having a wonderful trip, although the weather is about what you would expect for Wales in the fall, coupled with the shirttails of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Gonzalo, we’ve been kind of in and out of showers most every day. And, since this is supposed to be a food missive rather than a travel missive (which it sort of has been lately) I thought I’d do a quick food update, before I forget the details.
For the purpose of this issue, the worst of times refers to the meal we had on the airline on the way over. The start of the trip was kind of halting. Actually all the logistics of getting to the airport were fine, and we were even able to benefit from MFO’s little sheet of paper that got her TSA Pre-approved. Shoes, belt, pants stayed on, only laptop and cell phone out of cases. Not bad. With the usual Dulles walk about, after a brisk walk of seemingly miles, we arrived at our gate, and met the rest of the travelers for our trip. More new friends along with re meeting old ones, or I guess is should say previous fellow travelers.
It was not a full flight for Manchester, and mercifully both of us were on adjoining aisles with nobody next to us, and in fact, MFO was the only occupant of her row. The center seat in my row was empty. As part of our planning for the trip we had “upgraded” to that nebulous class of seats called: “economy plus” or something that gives you a little more room for your knees and tray tables, which in fact it does and is well worth the fairly nominal price.
So I settled back ready to enjoy the flight as much as possible. Soon after takeoff, I got out my Bose headphones, ready to connect to the entertainment system, eager for that first drink before dinner. The first indication of not the best of times was when I touched “music” on the touch screen and got a screen full of “Selection Not Available” avatars in the classical music menu. Tried, jazz, pop, R&B, all same stuff. About this time the attendant came trudging down the aisle with her cart, and when she got to our row, I asked her about it and got a reply of “Oh, we don’t have ANY music channels anymore”. Huh? Yes, so many people have their own devices that we discontinued it. Well, lady, I don’t! Out of luck there. At any rate I would like a Scotch on the rocks, please. Admittedly, it has been a while since we’ve done international flights, but I swear then the drinks were complimentary. Nope, $5 and we accept (only) major credit cards. This was anticipated as the thoughtful folks at Cole Travel included two drink chits in our envelope. So armed with the slip I was presented with a plastic of ….Dewars. Um, do you have anything else? No sir that’s all the scotch we have. Fine, no music, a pedestrian scotch, and no warmed nuts. Fine. Cold nuts in a bag would have been nice, so we broke out some of the ones MFO purchased at the airport for probably twenty dollars a pound.
I was going to surrender my second voucher to dull the frustration, but before I could do that, the rumbling cart re-appeared and I was quizzed: “chicken or pasta”. I took the former and MFO the latter. Well, I don’t enjoy complaining although I do it well, but what followed was the absolute worst excuse for a meal any airline has had the audacity to set before me. Exactly as presented (or rather chucked on the tray):
Which looked like this after unwrapping everything
MFO’s Pasta like material appeared as
Despite a gallant attempt, I honestly could not eat the chicken. You know that texture that results from cooking with steam (in like a Combi oven?) kind of spongy, bread like stuff? Even so, it was so tough I couldn't cut it with the plastic tools they gave us. I had to unceremoniously hold it by hand, and bite it and even then it gave up reluctantly Two bites and back to the plastic tub. awful.
I passed the time by watching a couple of movies, “Chef” which was kind of a foodie movie, and then a rather odd one called the Grand Budapest or something like that.
Anyway, we finally landed, and we knew we were in a different country
So off we went to tour, our first stop being Chester
And lunch in a recommended Pub, the Brewery Tap, which i had researched. Nice Job.. feeder...
There's nothing like it at home.. Wise travelers that we are we knew to get the menu at the bar
I ordered a version of "bangers and Mash" and ti was pretty good.
More to come, as wireless becomes available... oh yes, within our packed bags were the necessaries to be