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By now many folks have seen the United Airlines media blitz about the new level of service called Polaris. My flight back from Hong Kong was one of the inaugural flights. It looked so nice! The business and first class seats were decorated with upscale bedding embroidered with the Saks Fifth Avenue logo and the passengers could cuddle cute polar teddy bears. I wanted one! But they were all taken home by the passengers at the end of the flight.img_7965 Even we pilots were given the new fancy bedding for our rest break. Below is a photo of my bunk after I made the bed. (We have a private sleeping room with 2 bunk beds inside the cockpit of the 747). But where were the teddy bears? I would slept so much better if I had been given a stuffed animal, too. Where do I complain…? :)

The pilot meals reflected the new level of fanciness, too. I’m not a fan of melon and prosciutto but look how pretty my appetizer is, complete with the little “dots” of balsamic vinegar and a candied walnut.img_7967

Nom nom. The new deserts looked amazing (I took a nibble of each to confirm they tasted good, too :) ). The little chocolate cake on my crew meal was decorated with tiny golden flecks. img_7969United did a great job ramping up the level of luxe for business class; and the flight attendants worked hard to make it all come together, despite some ground service snafus at the station. But it’s always tricky the first day of any new service. The passengers seemed to like it, and as the pilot I was glad I got to experience it from the “front office”.

Dumplings, Lanterns, and Views--a Day in Hong Kong

I have not layovered (this is a verb!) in Hong Kong in a long, long time. I love the city, it’s vibrant, beautiful, and the food is fantastic. 

Views at breakfast from the 40th floor of the Renaissance Harbourview:


I’m a dumpling lover…yum. These are 3 shrimp and 1 pork. I love to make a sauce of hot chili, vinegar, and soy. They’re sitting on a bed of arugula, which I don’t think is too Chinese…is it?

I walked all over today. I loved how these lanterns looked juxtaposed against the modern skyscrapers. Anyone who has been to Hong Kong knows that it is a city of old and new, contrasts upon contrasts.

The Imperial Palace at Golden Hour and the Bowl of Awesomeness

After a nice long break this past month, I’m back to flying. This time I returned to Tokyo. I love Japan–the people, the food, the scenery, all of it. And I love Tokyo. Beneath that frenetic exterior, you can feel a deep calm.

On my layover I ignored my exhaustion and went out walking on a muggy early August evening and arrived at the Imperial Palace at golden hour. The glow of the setting sun was reflected inside the double bridges there. It was so beautiful. 


Emperor says, “Stay off my lawn…”

After walking about 4 miles, I wandered into a “mom and pop” place on the way back from the palace. Narrow staircase up to second floor. No English at all and that was fine. The menu had pics!! Plus beer is a universal word! The ramen was spicy and the bowl was lined in dried seaweed sheets–what a great idea! Mixed them into the broth and they softened and flavored the broth. NOM NOM!


In the clear

Awesome views of Alaska and Russia from “the office” on the crossing today! Looking forward to my end of a long workday glass of wine.

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