April 26th is finally here. After flying into Ft. Lauderdale yesterday, we begin our third Transatlantic cruise this afternoon. But first, speaking of flying, we were given TSA pre-check status at IAH. I can get used to that! No taking off shoes, no taking our electronic devises, no taking out and showing your 1-quart bag of liquids. Just sail on through! This happened because we are frequent flyers on United and MA got us on the list.
The 2 1/2 hour uneventful flight left Houston about 10am. We bought our own sandwiches in the terminal because we didn't want to give United the luxury of selling us lunch. Flying is no longer fun because airlines don't provide food services to coach passengers (without charge). We have friends who flew 9 hours to Hawaii. No food. Of course you can select something from their in-flight menu and pay for it. Just not the same. PS: The cokes we had were still free!
MA loves to tell her Pan Am stories of preparing hot meals, actually serving individual plates, taking out trays first, then following up with the entrees, all in coach! Of course she also remembers carving Prime Rib to order in First Class, taking breakfast orders including eggs however you wanted them, and spilling tomato juice one time on this lady's white business suit.
It took Hyatt Place 45 minutes to get a van there to pick us up, but the rest of the stay with them is as always quite nice. The highlight of our overnight here was getting together with our great friends, Bill and Sam, whom we met last year on another cruise. They picked us up at the hotel and took us to their high rise apartment overlooking a yacht club and the Atlantic Ocean. What a view!
Sam fixed a platter of cheeses and real Italian salami with grapes and mixed nuts. But that wasn't dinner! We were to be their guests at a great local Italian restaurant, Cafe Vico. We were joined by another one of their friends, Bob and we all had a hilarious time of great conversation, stories, fantastic Italian food and of course the company. Bob is the only other US person MA has ever met who speaks flawless Spanish with a zero accent! He is a retired teacher and has lots of stories to share about his adventures.
All in all it was a great day with a special thanks to Sam and Bill for the terrific Bon Voyage!!