It’s All About the Journey
Travel can make use of a lot of familiar clichés but is rarely cliché itself. So let’s get the cliché ball rolling with, “It’s all about the Journey”. That comes in really handy when your journey includes some unexpected pleasures and surprises. We often joke with our guests that a journey from Hawaii always begins with a five-hour flight, so we have learned to embrace long trips as part of the miracle of traveling across the continents and oceans that we once only pictured in geography class.
Getting Our Money’s Worth
After the short hop from Kona International to LAX, we used our newly acquired membership to the Admiral’s Club to catch a quick morning snack and a beverage. Fresh fruit, milk, coffee, and the bran and granola cereal we brought from home kept us on track for the next leg to DFW, a mere three hours. That’s where the Admiral’s Club really shined. With an eight-hour layover, we needed a place to cozy up, eat a healthy snack, have a nap, and get away from the hubbub of the terminal. Although we didn’t use either, it was nice to know that we could have used an exercise room and had a shower. We were impressed with the complimentary and healthy food choices on offer and, as a bonus, one of our revolving seat mates dropped a couple of premium drink coupons on us. American sells a 30-day membership for $99 and it turns out it is quite a bargain.
Taking the Good with the Bad
So the moment arrived and we boarded an American Airlines 787 for the first time in DFW for the 9 ½ hour flight to Santiago. First impressions aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. At boarding, what stood out the most was the basic layout American chose to outfit their new flying ship with. Rather boring looking business class pods gave way to narrow nine across economy seating that made the main cabin extra leg room seats incredibly tight and undersized for all but the smallest passengers.
Thankfully, once you got past the frugal cabin American chose, the plane itself was impressive. With over-sized luggage bins, over-sized windows with automatic dimming, ambient lighting, improved air quality, and a quiet cabin, Boeing appears to have brought a great product to the market. We just hope it doesn’t end up with the uncomfortable workhorse reputation of the 757.
It Ain’t Over Till the Fat Lady Sings
We expected to be in Punta Arenas for the writing of this first post, but an on time arrival into Santiago and ensuing breeze through customs and immigration was followed by a three-hour mechanical delay for our Sky Airlines regional flight. We were in line to take off when we got the news. A new plane and crew change was actually handled quite well by the staff. It’s funny how the update announcements in Spanish sounded pretty much the same as in English. Of course, the aria did finally arrive and we slept through most of it.
A picture is worth…..
So imagine a cute pine and birch cabin set in the Patagonia forest with a cozy wood stove. Now imagine a glass of Chilean Red Wine, Chilean Sea Bass, and Chilean BBQ Steak. Now imagine arriving at the airport and having your host gather you up, even though you are 3 hours late, and whisk you off to this little gem. Then take another look at the picture. Boy were we happy to be so well cared for. If you ever come to Puerto Arenas and you need a port in the storm, La Casa Escondida awaits.