24 February 2011


Just back from a quick trip to London.  It's a nice trip to do for a number of reasons.  The 7 pm departure from SFO is a great time to leave to minimize jet lag because I sleep after the meal because it's the right time to sleep, It's easy to get into Central London, and there's always something to do.  On this trip, I had the chance to experience one of the updated 777 United planes.  I was upgraded to business class, so I had one of the flatbed cubicles.  It pretty much is the same as the equipment used on the 747 flights.  It seems a little denser than before because the configuration is 2-4-2 (used to be 2-3-2).  And because the 777 is smaller than the 747, it just feels a little more tightly packed.  A nice thing with the configuration is that there is a mini-cabin between the business galley and first class of two rows (just like the old 777).  These rows (6 and 7) are the ones to select.  I sat in row 8 on the outbound and it was right next to the lavatory and galley with much more traffic (especially if you are trying to sleep).  On the return, I had row 7 and it was much nicer.

London was great.  It turned into a group thing at the last minute.  I had the shortest stay of everyone, but it seemed like a longer weekend.  The first thing I did was try out a dessert bar (the only one in London, I think).  Londoners haven't figured out dessert bars, so they are still experimenting with offerings.  I was the only one ordering at the time, so the young guy who was the chef explained what he was doing as my desserts were being assembled.  The place was called William Curry Chololatier, located in Belgravia.  It was a nice experience.

I also fit in a brief visit to the Tate Modern, to see part of the Great Turbine Hall covered with sunflower seeds, or what look like sunflower seeds.  They are actually made of porcelain, individually crafted by several artisans.
I also visited the reconstructed Globe Theatre.

After that, I met up with my friends at a floating pub, then off on a little self-guided Harry Potter walk.  The day ended with a nice dinner.  ANd then back to SFO the next day.  Other than a two-hour delay on departure, a very nice short 10k-mile trip.

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