We flew to Dubai on Thursday 21 December 2017 to join Mike and Gretchen for our first Christmas in a warm climate. Our first non conventional Christmas. We did have one Christmas out of the UK in 2000 when Mike was in his gap year working for Mark Warner in Val d’Isere.
All the Smiths and Holts were there, but the star of the group was Granny Jean, then in her eighties. She had skied as a young lady in the days when you climbed the mountain in the morning, carrying your skis over your shoulder. After struggling to the top, you had just the one run down to the village. Then to the tea dance! There were no ski lifts in those days.
But I digress.
Andy was the driver. A great friend of Brian Kelly. Andy has a big Merc and it was easy to pour Jane into the front seat. Earlier, when I told Andy that I needed his registration number for Virgin check in, he knew it meant we were favoured Virgins. Turn left to Upper Class is the cry. So as we approached Heathrow’s Terminal 3 we watched carefully for that left turn and the ramp which took us straight to check in. Gretchen had done her stuff. We were expected and our luggage was whisked away within minutes.
Assistance arrived rapidly to take us to the Upper Class lounge where we were fed and wined while we waited for boarding. The upgrade must have been as a result of our celebrity. No. It was all down to Gretchen’s influence. We were delighted and when it came to boarding we were on first and seated before the rush.
After 6 hours and some snoozing we were above some of the Dubai sights – the Burj al Arab and the nearby sky scrapers. Soon after landing the assistance personnel did a great job getting Jane from her seat and into the wheel chair and whisking us through immigration. And there was Mike waiting for us.
His smart Audi Quattro awaited us and we were soon on our way to the Le Meridien Hotel on Jumeira Beach.