Monday morning was spent cleaning the flat and washing the linen for 7 people – not an easy task to do in a few hours. We had a car pick up at 11am to take us to Heathrow and we arrived at the check in about an hour later. The check in process took quite awhile as we are booked on 4 separate bookings and they had to check visas for everyone, check the luggage in etc. Fortunately that all went through without a hitch and we had about 2 hours to kill in the BA lounge before our flight.
We boarded on time for our flight to Nashville. One of the things I always do is check to see my seat works before we take off and I did that as usual to find that it wasn’t working. I told the cabin crew and they called an engineer to come and fix it but he wasn’t able to resolve the problem. The cabin service director (CSD) was extremely apologetic and kept saying ‘You’re our most important customer on board today and we have to make a plan for you’. Even the captain knew about my seat issue and he told the CSD “I can’t believe the seat doesn’t work for the guy who flies the most with us on the plane today. You better make a plan to sort it out”! No pressure on the CSD. To be fair they were very apologetic and after take off they offered that I could use a First class seat when I wanted to sleep. However, amazingly after we took off the seat suddenly started working again. It is clearly an intermittent fault because by the time we landed the seat wasn’t working again.
The flight was 9 hours into Nashville and was pretty uneventful. S, M, O & K were not traveling in the same class as me, H & C but they were impressed that they got served pizza and magnums mid-flight. We landed in Nashville at just after 5pm (Nashville time). Immigration is immediately you walk off the plane (it seems only one international gate at Nashville airport for international flights). It took some time for O & K to get through because they had to go separately whereas we all went together as a family.
6 pieces of our luggage arrived before O&K got through and then we waited and waited and waited. It was S’s suitcase that wasn’t arriving but just as K came through immigration, his suitcase came off as well (basically 2nd last one). We were picking up a van but S & M had the bags on trolley’s so they had to use the elevator to get downstairs. They never arrived and eventually panic set in when we realised they had gone awol. Communication seemed to have been lacking as to where to meet us but finally one of them thought to go onto WiFi and send a whatsapp and we found them.
We are staying in downtown Nashville at Hotel Indigo just for one night and we were in the hotel at around 7pm. It did take me about 15 minutes to park the van though. It is so big it is quite ridiculous. It is actually a bus not a van. We have an extra row of seats to pick up waifs and strays. We could fit another family in the van with us as well.
We decided to try and keep ourselves going we ought to walk around the downtown area. O has been to Nashville before so she directed us to the Honky Tonk area where we walked around and marveled at the home of country music. Each pub/restaurant had live music pumping out of it. Very vibrant but after 20 minutes or so we were feeling overpowered and headed to try and find a restaurant that was quieter for dinner. We did eventually find that as we headed back to the hotel. Nice place, good food, good service. A little slow in bringing the food and we were tired so by the time bought it we were ready to eat and then head to bed.
Unfortunately Helen and I were awake at 3am and from our whatsapp conversations O & K weren’t far behind that either. Hopefully breakfast isn’t too far away as I’m feeling pretty hungry given I have been up for 4 hours already!
Until tomorrow …
P, O (she blatantly sucked up to me which is worthy of being moved up for that alone), C, H, K, SM (they got lost in Nashville airport and if you’ve been to Nashville airport you might appreciate how difficult that is to do!)