In January I was finally rostered a new destination – Houston!
Since I’ve upgraded to working in business class I’ve been solely on the A380, and with only around 30 destinations it’s easy to get rostered the same places each month. Houston only switched over to the 380 at the beginning of December so I was excited to be going somewhere new!
The flight is I believe the longest we have (along with Dallas) and clocks in at over 16 hours! That’s a very long time to be on a plane – not counting the hour or so before that we’re preparing everything onboard!
On most US flights the route takes us over the North Pole, and the view is always incredible. I’ll never get sick of seeing beautiful snowy peaks and sunrises and sunsets.
The flight itself was a tough one. A full cabin with lots of demanding passengers, wanting to eat everything and anything we had onboard, meant that we didn’t stop for the entire time. We do get a break in our CRC (crew rest compartment; tiny bunk beds enclosed in a tight space in the back of the economy cabin) but what with babies crying, people talking loudly and toilets flushing constantly, it’s hard to get much rest even with earplugs and eyeshades!
I always wonder just how many steps I walk on these never-ending US flights!
We landed into IAH late afternoon, and even after being awake for hours and hours, most of us managed to make it down for dinner. Luckily we didn’t have to walk too far and although it was Saturday night I was far too exhausted to stay for more than one glass of wine!
The next morning we had arranged to meet bright and early to explore NASA, which is located not too far from our hotel. By the time everyone showed up we’d been hanging around for nearly 2 hours and at a total of 10 people, were 6 more than originally planned! Nevertheless, we booked 2 big hire cars and off we went.
Thanks to our GPS we arrived in less than half an hour without getting lost, and the first thing we spotted were these babies!
The Rocket Park is at the entrance to the Space Centre.
A Boeing 747 with a Space Shuttle on top!
Apparently some time this year the Space Shuttle will be made into an attraction and you’ll actually be able to go inside. Shame it wasn’t open yet!
We headed on inside, where there are loads of different attractions to visit.
A lot of the attractions are interactive as well which was great! They were all done so well and really really interesting.
The entrance ticket also includes a little train ride which takes you to the mission control room, where the actual missions are controlled from.
It also takes you to see the Saturn V rocket, which is the most powerful rocket ever built and operated. At over 36 stories tall, it’s hard to portray just how huge it is! It’s also one of only 3 left in existence.
It’s so big it was impossible to get it all in one picture!
All around the edges of the room were lots of placards with information about all of the space missions and the astronauts who’d been on them. It was so informative and we spent a long time walking around and reading all about it.
Once back in the main centre we watched a few short films all about life in space, living on the International Space Station and that kind of thing. We also got the chance to see the cockpit from one of the of flights into space! You couldn’t quite sit inside the cockpit though which would have been fun!
We actually spent most of the day at the Space Centre, as there was so much to do and see there. I’m so glad we managed to make it and I’m happy I got to see a new destination as well 🙂
The next day our wake up call wasn’t until early afternoon, so there was time for a typical American breakfast before a trip to the mall. I tried biscuits and gravy (for any of my English readers, not what you’re thinking!) which is a Southern speciality! A kind of scone-like savoury cake/biscuit, with “gravy” which was a white sauce, nothing like you’d have on a roast dinner!
I may also have splurged a little bit on a new handbag at Michael Kors whilst at the mall…thankfully Houston has such a thing as “tax returns” 😉
The flight back to Dubai was a breeze compared to the way over. Less than half full in business class, our passengers had dinner and slept all the way through til breakfast, so we had plenty of time to chat over cups of tea in the galley. A selfie or 10 may have also been taken, however I won’t be sharing those on here 😉
The crew was one of the best I’ve had in a long time, and we honestly had the most fun on the flight. All in all, a great trip!
P.p.s. As much as I love receiving comments on here, and I do try and reply to everyone, please stop asking about my salary! It’s not particularly polite to ask somebody you’ve never met how much they earn. With a little research online it’s not hard to find information regarding pay.