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  • Deborah Kade

Scottsdale, Arizona to Dublin, Ireland


Scottsdale, Arizona to Dublin, Ireland

I’m calling this day “So.... what else can happen!” “Really!!!!!?????”

The day started with the drip to my container plants not working. My tomatoes and lettuce are ready to be harvested so I hated to lose them. Our good friends Sharon and Bennett will come to our aid and water them. Thanks!

We live in a gated community where the guard calls up to the house whenever we have a guest. Not this time! Our driver to the airport was waiting outside for us and we didn’t know he was there. We also have two driveways. The first driveway gets you to the garage while the second driveway gets you to the front door. Well, that is after you climb the steps and go through the courtyard. Michael finally got a text telling him the driver was waiting outside.

Problems continue once we reach the airport.

We had free first class tickets to London but we paid for the tickets from London to Dublin. That meant two different confirmation numbers. Michael thought the problem was corrected but we soon learned it wasn’t.

Of course, they can’t fix the problem at the airport. Michael calls reservations again. He is speaking to someone whom really doesn’t speak English and at some call center who knows where in the world it is. After Michael asked to speak with a supervisor, he was put on hold never to speak to anyone. So, Michael decided we just had to bite the bullet and do the best we could.

That meant we could only check our bags through to London. Here is the problem. We now must fill out a landing card in London; go through immigration border check; pick up our bags; go from terminal three to terminal five and recheck in for the flight to Dublin. Sounds relatively easy.....

Oh, I forgot to mention the flight was delayed by over an hour taking off from Phoenix.


Everyone in Phoenix marveled how calm and collected we were. As Michael said, “These are the joys of traveling!” There isn’t anything to be done so you can only go with the flow. Yelling, screaming, shouting, etc. will get you nowhere.

Enjoyed the first class lounge in Phoenix. Will spare you the food details as I will bore you with what they served onboard. More variety! Also, writing was something to do while waiting for dinner to be served.

The Bar

Ciroc Vodka

Johnnie Walker Blue Label Scotch Whiskey

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon

Tanqueray No. Ten Gin

Bacardi Carta Blanca

Glenlivet Small Batch Whiskey

Baileys

Otard XO Cognac

Cointreau

St. Austell Tribute Pale Ale

Selection of lagers

Apple, orange, tomato, cranberry juice and a selection of traditional and modern drinks (Wehat are traditional and modern drinks?) My list is probably different than yours.

Champagnes and Sparkling Wine

Kirk Royale

A sparkling apéritif combining Crème de Cassis (a black currant liqueur)with Champagne

Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle, Champagne, France

Grand Siècle is the prestige curvée of the House of Laurent-Perrier and is named in honor of the “Sun King”, Louis XIV, whom presided over an era known as the “Grand Siècle”or “Great Century”. This multi-vintage Champagne is created from grapes sourced from 100% Grand Cru vineyards in the twelve most prestigious villages from a blend is 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay

Camel Valley Cornwall Brut 2013, Cornwall, England

Regarded by top critics such as Matthew Jukes as the finest wine estate in England. Camel Valley, as its name suggests, is located on sun drenched soles close to the Camel River in North Cornwall. The 2013 Cornwall Brut is a blend of 40% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir and 30% Seyval Blanc with only the free run juice being used for vinification before bottle aging on lees for three years

Jacquart Rosé Mosaïque, Champagne, France

Champagne Jacquart has a long tradition of making Rosé Champagne and highly regarded winemaker, Florian Esznak, has brought a new energy to the brand. This cuvée is a blend of 50% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Meunière which spends a minimum of three years aging in the cool cellars of Reims before release.

White Wines

Chablis Premier Cru Vaillons 2014,Jean-Marc Brocard, Burgundy, France

Vaillons is one of the finest of the premier cru vineyards, located to the southwest of the sleepy town of Chablis. The steep southeast facing slopes are situated on Kimmeridgian soils that impart a delicious minerality to the wine and provide the perfect counterfoil to the citrus and orchard fruit elements of the Chardonnay fruit.

Babich Black Label Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand

Babich have been making wine in New Zealand since 1916 and this 100% Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from their finest vineyards in the prestigious Marlborough region on the South Island. The grapes were quickly crushed and pressed into stainless steel tanks with a small portion of juiced fermented in old oak barriques to contribute to the weight and complexity of the wine.

Delheim Wild Ferment Chenin Blanc 2016, Stellenbosch, South Africa

High on the Simonsberg Mountain above Delheim you can experience the unique sight of the sun setting on two oceans looking down the Cape of Good Hope, while on the slopes below, the Chenin Blanc vineyards cover the hillside. Winemaker Reg Holder has used a combination of tank and barrel natural fermentation followed by lees contact to give this wine a beguiling mixture of freshness and complexity.

Red Wines

Château Lynch-Moussas 2009, Sème Grand Cru Classé Pauillac , Bordeaux, France

The early history of Lynch-Moussas is inexorably intertwined with that of the Lynch family, originally from Ireland, and particularly Comte Jean-Baptise Lynch who was a powerful politician and landowner in the 18th century. After his death in 1835,his large estate was divided into Lynch-Moussas and Lynch-Bages.

Esk Valley Pinot Noir 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand

This wine is a blend of fruit from both the upper reaches of the Amateure Valley and the Southern Hills sub-region of the Wairau. The soils are a mix of stony river and glacial deposits in the Awatere and heavier clays in the Wairau.

Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Shiraz 2015, Stellenbosch, South Africa

New World Producer of the Year International Sommelier Awards 2015

The family run Kleine Zalze estate is located just outside the provincial town of Stellenbosch and is farmed according to environmentally sustainable methods. The 2015 vintage was outstanding in the Cape with good winter rains leading into a perfect growing season which delivered excellent flavor development in the fruit.

Dessert Wines

Rustenberg Straw Wine 2016, Coastal Region, South Africa

Rustenberg was founded in 1682 and is perfectly situated in the Simonsberg Valley, Stellenbosch. This luscious sweet wine has been made by the passito method of drying ripe grapes on straw mats in the sun until the grapes are raisined and the sugars are concentrated.

Warre’s 2000 Colheita Tawny Port

Complex, sweet, nutty flavors offer an admirable after dinner glass.

Dinner choices:

Pre-appetizer

Antipasto of marinated artichoke and stuffed peppadew

Starters:

Halibut ceviche verde with avocado, tomatillo and olive

Wild mushroom vol-au-vent

Sweet corn velouté with crème fraîche and smoked paprika oil

Fresh salad leaves with your choice of balsamic vinaigrette or Thousand Island dressing

Main courses

Marrow roasted fillet of beef with rutabaga au gratin

Barbecue glazed Chilean sea bass with sautéed spinach, horseradish and chive mashed potatoes and roasted jus

Linguine with veal and pork meatball, Nonna’s tomato gravy and shaved pecorino

Pearl barley risotto with watercress, green asparagus and seasonal garden fresh vegetables

Salad of herb roasted prawns and heirloom panzanella with Meredith Dairy feta cheese and red wine oregano vinaigrette

Desserts

Lemon curd bar

Apple butter cake

Vanilla ice cream

Cheese plate

Middlebury Blue

A good balance of salty and sweet, a little bit sour, with barnyard, caramel and wet hay notes near the rind contrasting nicely with the milky, creamy interior and the slight peppery, briny bite of the blue

After reading that description, would you try this?

Cave aged Gruyère

A refined yet intensely flavored unpasteurized cheese with tender consistency that melts in your mouth

Double Crème Brie

This soft, ripened cheese is made from fresh cow’s milk

Fresh fruit

A selection of biscuits

Yes, in first class they give you pajamas. Very soft and comfortable! When ready for sleep, the attendant made up the bed with a mattress pad and a duvet. So comfortable! It wasn’t long before I was fast asleep.

Breakfast

Starters

Chilled fruit juice

An energizing fruit smoothie of raspberry and mint

A selection of yoghurts

Special K cereal

Fresh seasonal fruit appetizer

A wide selection of breakfast pastries and rolls

Main courses

Traditional English breakfast of scrambled eggs, pork sausage, grilled bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes and hash brown potatoes

Cream cheese scrambled eggs with Rösti potato, wilted spinach and pork breakfast sausage

Dark chocolate pancakes, with vanilla ricotta, chocolate sauce and pistachio

Beverages

Teas: in 1706 Twinings started selling fine teas in England. Back then, the most popular drinks in England were coffee, gin and ale. Although tea had been drunk in China for thousands of years, it had only just been imported to England. More than 300 years later, the passion for tea continues.

The Full English- English Breakfast

Pure Camomile Infusion

Thoroughly Minted- Peppermint Infusion

The Earl- Earl Grey a Chinese black tea with a hint of bergamot

Elderflower and Blossom Darjeeling

Jasmine Petals and Pearls- Green Tea with Camomile

Citrus Ginger Twist- Ginger Infusion

Coffee- freshly roasted and ground, de caffeine do, espresso, or cappuccino

Did we make up any time? No! And... upon arrival into Heathrow, they made us circle around due to heavy traffic around Heathrow.

Once we finally landed, we started to taxi to the gate. Did the pilot go straight to the gate? Oh, no. We looped around in a circle and ended up at the point where we first started. We pulled into the gate and then they had a problem with the jetway. We waited for a good 15 minutes or more before it was fixed. Thankfully, first class is let off first. One lady was going onto India. I’m positive she missed her connection, though.

Thank goodness we had “fast track” which kept us out of the extremely long general lines at border control.

I thought our luggage might be coming out when we reached baggage claim. Oh no, we waited 30 minutes for our bags. Thankful we have “the tile” so we could tell where our bags were.

Next, it was off to the Heathrow Express to go from terminal three to terminal five. Signs are everywhere pointing you in the right direction. There were quite a few people also directing you where to go. If you can read, you can’t get lost. When we checked the board, it said our train was next and it would be arriving in 6 minutes. Not too bad. Just as our train was two minutes away, an announcement came on to tell us our train was delayed.

When we finally arrived at terminal five, there wasn’t a line for check in. Yeah!!!! Something positive!

Even with all the delays and disruptions, we still had time to enjoy going to The Club. Had my first of hopefully many scones and clotted cream. For me, I always look forward to a bowl of soup. Every year I say the same thing: “the soups are so delicious they should have a cookbook with all the different recipes. I know I would purchase the cookbook.” Today, I had the farmer’s country vegetable. Yummy as usual.

They have changed the way you go through border control and security. They take a facial scan. Actually, it makes the process go faster. The boarding pass has a bar code which is connected to your picture. Sounds simple. (Remember how our day is going). Well, when Michael went through border control, the person directing people told Michael to take off his glasses for the photo. I never heard that so I had my picture with my glasses on. When Michael tried to board the flight to Dublin he got held up as they couldn’t connect the two pictures. After going through four different scans, someone asked him if he told worn his glasses when going through border control. Once Michael took off his glasses everything was fine.

Terminal 5


It is approximately an hour flight from Heathrow to Dublin. London was a warm 55 degrees and it was partly sunny. Dublin was colder and it doing the “Seattle drizzle”. The locals have their hoods up while the tourists have umbrellas.

Flying into Dublin



Air traffic delay flying into Dublin, too. Unique to deplane onto stairs. Where are the jetways? This terminal didn’t have jetways.

Took a taxi to downtown Dublin. We are staying at the Westin. In the morning we will rent a car. Coming back to Dublin for the end of the trip.

Daffodils and forsythia blossoming along the road ways coming into the city. Pansies are planted in containers. Spring is starting.

Shower time and then off to bed.

Not going to buy an Irish Sweepstakes ticket tonight. Hoping to have the luck of the Irish on our side now that we have arrived.

Don’t feel sorry for us with all our mishaps. We are on vacation. We don’t have any plans set in concrete. We are taking it as a new adventure.

Good night from Dublin!


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