US here we come.
Dear All, here's some of my American travels.
Shlepping around my lap top was a great idea in my head BUT the heat and the travelling meant I hardly unpacked it.
The journey out was an early start, 6.30 a.m. arriving in New Orleans in the dark. We had a taxi driver - we being Ollie and me - who talked Southern for us, he said he put the accent on for tourists.
I had already had the misfortune of shoegate so arrived in ur fancy hotel wearing slippers. My old comfortable sandals had crumbled underfoot. The rubber had rotted, so I was flopping through the airport in First Class blue slippers that the first class travellers get along with their first class pyjamas. Ollie and I were in club class, one down. No pjs but champers on tap and stewards and stewardesses who bent over backwards to make sure we were comfortable. The poor crew were in cattle class.
Eight of us travelled together, picking up three runners in different locations. Two camera men, one sound man, a director a producer and a PA. Ollie and I made up the octet.
The thing about club class is the intimacy of strangers. You get the bed, the stretching out, you get the napkins and condiments, but there is only a thin plastic screen between you and the other travellers. The air hostesses pressed the button to let down the screen to hand over tea, coffee, lunch and breakfast but it fell to me to press the button to put the screen up again. I felt rude doing it.
I'd met up with Olly in the club lounge. My cardigan zip had beeped through security. Fast tracked through, although the big security dame nearly pulled down my trousers as she searched me for anthrax, heroine and oversized bottles of feminine wash....
I'd eaten a bowl of milky porridge to get me from Heathrow to Chicago, the mere thought of it gives me goosebumps, tastes great but the dairy rips my stomach lining.
Walking to find Olly near the Kids Zone felt like I had a pebble lodged in my sandal sole. That' when I discovered my leather sandals were no more.
Olly and I caught up with each others lives, we boarded t 11.20. Aisle seat 19J. I asked three hostesses to provided me with first class slippers and gave my dead leather sandals to one who held them between her fingers like they were a bad smell. She discarded them. I had my lovely soft floppy size 8's to flop around in.
The fight took seven hours, and we are six hours ahead. I spent endlessly counted the difference on my fingers. I watched 'Cinderella'. which made me cry, and a bit of 'Horrible Bosses 2'. I kept jumping to the flight map. When we flew over Ottawa Ontario I was amazed at how small the world felt. Strange I had slept and eaten my way over seven seas into another continent. We were set for Chicago.
I ate the plane food. 3 prawns, salmon salad and two pieces of cheese with crackers.I slept and woke to finger sandwiches and a scone. I ate one and only smelt the rest.
This trip is all about food food and more food.
Olly and I left club class together. We had to collect our very heavy baggage - which had been allowed because we were travelling fancy - and then go through the security rigmarole again in Chicago.
The windy city airport was rammed. Noisy and rammed with people. It took us so long to get through customs and security that we just made the plane as it was boarding.
It couldn't have mattered less as the pilot was late to board. Then there was a crackling thunder storm, and then we had to wait for a slot to fly. Two hours late we arrived in N'awlins.
THE BOURBON ORLEANS, 717 ORLEANS STREET, the most beautiful hotel in the French Quarter, I was in room 303. A lovely cool room with a downstairs and a bedroom and bathroom up stairs. Lots of complimentary shampoos and soaps, flannels and towels. Every room has little notices for saving energy and water.
I unpacked, as we were staying for more than one night, hung my wardrobe in the 'closet', fell into bed and was asleep before you could say 'Trad Jazz and funerals'.
So begun my Southern Adventure.
Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes