Florida Guide > Travelling
Flying to Tampa with British Airways
It never ceases to thrill me to know that we are crossing that huge pond, the Atlantic, on our way to our villa in Florida. For years we were avid watchers of ‘Miami Vice’ and the first time we drove round this amazing city we were just holding our breath, seeing familiar places and actually being there! Whenever we cross the Atlantic I always feel I am coming home, and this time we are flying into Tampa for the first time. I look out of the window and watch the beautiful blue sky with the puffy white clouds making extraordinary formations. Flying is a really amazing experience, and I am full of excitement at the prospect of our trip to our beautiful home in Orlando.
I watch as we climb steadily higher and higher, and then the seatbelt sign goes off and the drinks trolley arrives promptly. I order my usual tomato juice (boring, I know! ) and some iced water, and settle back to watch my first film. What bliss! I lean back in my seat, pull down the window shade, and prepare to be entertained. My first choice is ‘Valentine’s Day’ as I want an easy to watch and relaxing movie, and this one, starring amongst others, Julia Roberts, George Lopez, Shirley McClaine, Bradley Cooper, Patrick Dempsey and Jamie Fox fits the bill perfectly. A love story with a twist – intertwined romances and break ups which take place on Valentine’s Day – and just the sort of trivial nonsense I needed.
Before the movie finishes I see the trolleys being pulled up the aisle – lunch! The usual ‘chicken or beef’ is offered and I opt for beef. It is piping hot and quite delicious for an in-flight meal. Luckily the entertainment system is ‘on demand’ so I can pause and restart it when my meal is over. Unlike some flights we have had with other operators, this system works brilliantly. Service is quick and efficient, wine is offered, and the main course is followed by a delicious dessert – small but perfectly formed. Then it’s a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit to follow. Satisfyingly replete I return to the small screen, where my movie is just where I left it. Hmm, I could get used to this life! No cooking, no washing up, no telephone or internet, and a choice of great movies. What could be better?
My meal has left me feeling somewhat drowsy. We were up quite early so I am tired – the week before we left was hectic, with lots to do and many late nights spent packing and sorting everything out, as I always bring out numerous items for the villa. I am actually quite exhausted, so I finish the movie and settle back in my seat for a snooze. With a pillow at my head, and the seat reclined it is only a matter of minutes before I am drifting off to sleep. I don’t even hear the baby which is grizzling loudly a few seats in front of us!
An hour later I wake refreshed, and scan the entertainment listing. My next choice is ‘Dear John’ with that lovely little actress from Mama Mia, Amanda Seyfried playing the lead character. It’s a delightful, though sad, little romance, with overtones of ‘The Notebook’ and I am soon engrossed. Amanda Seyfried plays Savannah Curtis who meets the handsome soldier, John, played by Channing Tatum, at the beach. Of course they fall in love, but he has to go back to his unit, where they both write frequent letters. However, after the shocking events of 9/11 he decides to re-enlist, and they are parted again. A parallel strand is the Asperger’s Syndrome which afflicts John’s dad, who is obsessed with coin collecting. As the title suggests, love does not survive the long separation, and eventually John receives a heartbreaking ‘Dear John’ letter. Does it end happily? Well, I‘m not going to spoil it, but needless to say there are many obstacles in the way of their final happiness. I am pleased that during this time there are more trays of drinks brought round, to help us stay hydrated.
Well, with two films down I decide to do a crossword with my husband. We pore over the general knowledge questions and finish it before deciding we could do with a cup of tea. We amble down to the galley and the attendants are happy to make us both fresh cups of tea, which we take back to our seats. The aeroplane is half empty and beside us is a complete row of empty seats in the middle of the ‘plane so my husband moves across to give me room to lie down for another nap.
It' s jolly tiring, all this flying!
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Page added on: 2 October 2010
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The following photos have been submitted by our villa owners for this article.