With my daughter’s U.S. passport in hand, it was time to get back to Germany and my family as quickly as possible.
My Return To Germany After A Short Night In LA
For the avoidance of doubt, this trip took place in July 2021.
After arriving in Chicago on Austrian Airlines, I flew United to Los Angeles, enjoying some cheese enchiladas but sleeping through the flight and arriving late into LAX.
At home, I checked on the garden (thankfully, it was holding up despite the summer heat) and got my work done for the next couple days, trying hard not to re-adjust to the Pacific Daylight time zone for less than 24 hours. As dawn broke, I sat outside in the cool of the morning and enjoyed a cup of coffee.
Shortly thereafter, I was off again…first up to San Francisco (hence the restaurant and coffee reviews), then over to London on United. Staying up most of the night meant I was now tired as it approach evening time in Germany.
As we took off, I enjoyed beautiful views of the city of San Francisco out my window.
Remember, this was last July (2021) so we’ve seen an improvement in meals since then, but I ordered beef short ribs, served with Asian BBQ sauce, broccolini, and jasmine rice. The meat was very fatty and therefore flavorful, though with no dessert or appetizer I was still hungry and asked if there were any fish meals leftover.
A flight attendant was happy to oblige and I soon was enjoying lunch #3 (if you count the fish tacos I had at Yankee Pier), a seared cape hake with beurre blanc sauce, baby boy chow, sautéed peppers, green beans, and lemon risotto. This was far better than the beef and remains one of my favorite meal offerings in United Polaris.
Polaris bedding is excellent and I slept for the next eight hours undistributed (with the air vent open at full blast).
I woke up about an hour outside of London, where a flight attendant noticed I was stirring and brought some delicious hot coffee (she made it extra strong which makes a huge difference) and breakfast, which included fruit, yogurt, a croissant, and egg whites with potatoes, sausage, and tomato.
The crew was just superb on this flight…London-based, but mostly American. I was offered some snacks when I got up to the use the lavatory (“Would you like some snacks for the road? These will just be thrown out.”) which I appreciated (though I did not take anything).
It was a gray day in London Heathrow and I had only about an hour to make my connection (though since we landed 20 minutes ahead of schedule, I had some breathing room).
I scampered through the arrivals hall, all the way back to the UK border, cleared security for connecting passengers, then headed over to the gate for my SWISS flight to Zurich (sadly, British Airways was not operating its Heathrow – Basel service at the time).
The flight was already boarding when I arrived and I took my seat onboard in the first row of economy class (thanks to my Star Alliance Gold status).
It appeared our A320 was being provisioned for power outlets, but they had not been added yet.
I ordered some bircher muesli onboard from Sprüngli, which really hit the spot and was a far better substitute for the Yoplait yogurt I left untouched on United.
SWISS charges for most food and drink in economy class on flights with Europe, but still offers complimentary bottled water and chocolate.
We landed to a humid day at Zurich and pulled up to a remote stand.
My family was waiting and we were soon on the road back to Germany.
It was indeed a whirlwind trip to California, but I’m glad I went. We recently received a package from Heidi’s mother that had been sent via Deutsche Post…six weeks earlier. I do not leave important documents to posts offices or even freight forwarders like FedEx or UPS anymore.
Reaching town, we sat down for coffee and ice cream…it was nice to be back in the routine.
This is part of my summer in Germany trip report.