San Francisco – day 0 (getting there)

A 6:30am pickup from home to get to Heathrow, with a long dark and rainy journey by car before the day has even really begun.

Having boarded the VS19 from Heathrow to San Francisco I read half of ‘Love and Other Near Death Experiences’ by Mil Millington (author of Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About). I have a terribly short attention span on planes, and in between watching the best Virgin Atlantic’s TV-on-demand service had to offer me (Clerks II, Miami Vice, Extras, The IT Crowd, …) I tried the onboard ‘CD Jukebox’. Highlights included:

  • Anthony and the Johnsons, I am a Bird Now – eerily wonderful, though not exactly easy listening. ‘Hope There’s Someone’ is still the outstanding track on that album,
  • Audiobullys, Generation – Highly dissapointing. Espectially “shot me down”. Don’t get me wrong, I love repetitive glitchhop as much as the next guy, but it’s not flying music. I did give the rest of the album a chance, but there were too many predictable rhyming couplets for my liking. The only entertainment was trying to guess the next line.
  • Coldplay, X&Y – I know it’s not cool like Coldplay. I still say it’s not a bad album though.
  • Green Day, Bullet in a Bible – the live album I’d not heard of. There is a place for live albums. Ben Folds Live, for example, is stunningly good, but this is like sing-a-long-a-green-day, and very bad.
  • Green Day, American Idiot – Now we’re talking. I’m not a part of a redneck agenda.
  • Ian Brown, The Greatest – ooh. Retro fun.
  • The Killers, Sam’s Town – not heard the whole album before. Some good stuff here.
  • Nick Drake, Bryter Later – oh yes. After the Killers we had scrolling action between Krrish through to Nelly Furtado, … and then this. Great stuff.
  • Nirvana, Nevermind – double yes.

I also, as always, spent some time walking around the plane taking photos out of the windows. Great views of the Rocky Mountains.

Wing Ice Look at the view Rocky Mountains Glint

I then turned my laptop on to catch up on some podcasts. Without really thinking where I was I found myself reflexively searching for available wireless networks (there were none) before realising it’s probably frowned upon. It’s a shame. Wireless would really have made the time pass very easily. Trains and planes would make perfect mobile wireless hotspots.

Sigh. I know it’s worse going East, but I hate flying transatlantic in either direction. Jetlag is like a nights missed sleep without even having a really good party to show for it; being cooped up in a metal tube being fed rubbish is not my idea of an enjoyable 10 hours. I spent most of the flight looking forward to landing, stretching my legs and chilling out.

San Francisco - The view from my window

Arrived at the hotel (the Hilton on O’Farrell St) and had to admire the view for a while. Now I need to eat.

7 replies on “San Francisco – day 0 (getting there)”

  1. VS19 (and VS20 on the return) are Virgin’s two best routes….. you *have* to find a way to do the return leg in style. Upper Class on either of those routes is just magical.

    Can’t you mortgage a room in your flat or dig out some embarrassing material on your manager or something?! Get that upgrade!

  2. You fancy pants Londoners and your Upper Class transatlantic flying experience. There’s a Premium Economy as well right? Is that just legroom?

    I did at manage a bulkhead seat on the way over, which made a difference (especially given I’m 6’4″). I’ll try fluttering my eyelashes a bit harder or something.

  3. Hmm, some nice music. You’re right that Hope There’s Someone is the best thing on I am a Bird Now, if not out of his entire canon. With you on the Audiobullys. They seem like the sort of thing that people that love Popworld, and think they’re cool, would like. Pants.

    Oh, and Nick Drake and Nirvana – a winning combination!

  4. Weird… thought I’d replied to this!

    “You fancy pants Londoners and your Upper Class transatlantic flying experience. There‚Äôs a Premium Economy as well right? Is that just legroom?”

    Premium Economy is nice (a bit more booze, a bit more legroom, a quieter cabin, chance to sit upstairs on osme 747s, etc) but I wouldn’t spend my own money on it.

    Upper Class, however, is just a totally different world. I still wouldn’t spend my own money on it but it makes a sufficient difference to the flying experience (and one’s ability to be productive at the other end) that my usual meek self disappears when I think there is a sniff of being allowed to book it!

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