Our flight was terrific. Departing at 7 p.m. Saturday night, we were offered pretzels/peanuts aroud 7:30pm. At 8pm, dinner was served. We had a choice of bbq chicken (touching green beans and mashed sweet potatoes) or pasta, a salad and roll, 1 piece of cheese with a cracker and a tiny brownie. After dinner, flight attendants served coffee/tea. After dinner, I unzipped my Speedo backpack that was jammed under the seat in front of me and pulled out my full size pillow, sporting the "Eat, Sleep, Swim" pillow and tried to fall asleep. About 3 hrs after dinner, just as we began to get some decent sleep, flight attendants came around with breakfast. Blueberry muffin, Biscoff cookie, tiny oj (grade school size) and if you are lucky, a refreshing wet-nap to cleanse your face and hands. BTW, there was a great selection of movies on your private screens. Karen and I really enjoyed watching the movie "Win Win," a family movie about a middle aged wrestling coach, a critics choice winner. They have at least 20 movies to pick from, tv shows plus music and HBO. Just as we were sleeping again, the PA came on and flight attendants started selling duty free items. A+ on the landing.
The airport was a rat race. It took at least 1 hour to clear British Customs--and it was very warm in line (bring water). Our Customs official was cool when he asked why we were here. He said "good luck." The lines were similar in length to the Buzz Lightyear attraction at Disney World. Leaving car rental, our directions weren't the best and we didn't have a map or gps. We ended up in a town called Eastry, where Karen and I went into the post office (also a party store and newspaper shop) and met a new friend. When he found out I was there to swim the Channel, he said his buddy was a longtime Channel Swimming Association (CSA) observer named Keith Jeffries before going overseas last year. The store worker said, "one minute" and disappeared into a tiny back room. He produced a little gift bag, carrying an engraved mini silver plate, given to him as a gift from his friend Keith. The plate was given to Keith for one of his swims he had officiated and the store employee was very proud. He also had the brochure for the November CSA Dinner and Awards party. He wished us luck and we bought a map.
Deal was just 15 min away. Deal is quaint. Cute shops, closed on Sunday's mostly, the water was beautiful. We saw some recreation swimmers doing the backstroke. The beaches are all rocky and Karen already has quite the collection. Our house in Deal is quite charming on the outside. Houses are stacked on top of the road, like where the Weasley's live in Harry Potter. We have a teal door and shutters. We spent 1.5 hrs at the grocery store (you must pay to park there Monday through Saturday) and stocked the fridge. The kitchen is very narrow, as is the kitchen table. The kitchen table is like an outdoor wood patio set, with bench seating. We have two bedrooms and a bath on the second floor and a bedroom and bath on the third floor. We bought meat, fish, chicken, pasta, veggies, fruit, peaches, snacks, granola bars, bread, lunch meat, juice, pop and water. If we take our street, and walk 2 block easts, we hit the North Sea/Straits of Dover. There is a pier, not Santa Cruz length, but nonetheless, very busy. We saw groups grilling chicken and corn on-the-cob on mini grills on the rocky beach. Some set up tents and chairs. We cooked hamburgers, green beans, salad, bread for dinner. We plan to head to Dover in the morning to check out the swimming.