My husband is about to turn 60 and when I asked him what he wanted for his birthday he said, “I want to go to Germany”. Mike was made in Germany but born in America. His mother was 6 months pregnant when they came to America to start a new life. Mike spent many summers in Germany when he was growing up and continued that tradition until around the time that we got married. This is my third trip and I love the country, it’s so incredibly beautiful, lush and green. The architecture is stunning, in Germany they don’t tear down old stuff they celebrate it, which is completely different then how we treat buildings in California. Mike speaks fluent German so it makes me feel so comfortable knowing there is no language barrier I have to worry about.
The only living relatives Mike has in Germany are his Uncle Bernd and Aunt Raja. They were very pleased to hear we were coming and began making plans right away. One of Mike’s gifts was an upgrade of our plane tickets to business class on Air Berlin. They do not have First Class on Air Berlin so Business is the top of the line. Neither Mike nor I have ever really flown first class or business class with the exception of our recent trip to Canada. However that trip was so short, all first class really got us was bigger seats. But traveling business class on Air Berlin meant that we got a ton of perks.
When we arrived at LAX airport we were able to check into a special lounge with a ton of free food and alcohol. We had about an hour to kill until our flight took off so we enjoyed a martini and a snack.
The excitement was killing us to get on the plane and see what business class had in store for us. Naturally we got to board first and we were greeted with a glass of champagne as soon as we sat.
Our plane ended up having to sit on the runway for awhile because the weather was suddenly very cloudy. Honestly the weather seemed fine so I didn’t totally understand what the hold us was all about. But honestly it was no problem, we had so many things to investigate in our little pods we were totally entertained. First we spent some time familiarizing ourselves with the many buttons that control your seat. The seat moves forward, tilts back and can be reclined all the way back until it becomes a flat bed. It also has a massage function for your back and butt to keep the circulation going after you have been sitting for awhile. Next we perused the many pages of the menu, looking over the several wine choices as well as what we were going to have as an appetizer, main course and dessert.
Holy cow, this is how the other half lives, and it is pretty amazing!
Once the plane finally took off the flight attendant brought us our pre dinner drink and a bowl of warmed up nuts.
Mike’s allergic to peanuts so I got double.
Then it was time for dinner so I chose the Grilled Shrimp in a mango and red pepper salsa for an appetizer and the Chicken Cacciatore for dinner along with a couple of glasses of red wine, a Syrah and Grenache blend. All of the food was surprizingly good, as was the wine, especially for airplane food. Dinner was followed with either your choice of Vanilla Panna Cotta or a cheese plate. We both chose the cheese plate, because European’s will never let you down when it comes to cheese. To go along with the cheese we ordered a shot of Grappa to close of the meal. Mike was in heaven it’s hard to find Grappa in a restaurant in California let alone on a plane.
After dinner I watched a funny movie and started another but soon discovered I was getting quite tired. I reclined myself to a fully flat position and slept for six restful hours. I’ve never been that comfortable on a plane in my entire life. When I woke up I pushed the little button for the flight attendant and there she came with my breakfast. I didn’t even have to tell her what I want, such service! Before I knew it we were landing and I can honestly say that although I was glad to be starting my vacation, I was a little bummed to be ending the plane ride.
So what were the negatives of this 1st class experience? Well unfortunately we will be back to Economy on the 11-hour flight home, not enough air miles to pay for the upgrade on the way back. I really enjoyed this amazing experience doing something I am not wealthy enough (or really just to cheap) to do. I will say that now that I’ve seen how the other half lives and I am totally ruined. I think I will blog about my experience on the way home so we can compare. I imagine it will be quite amusing.