Day 2: Flight To Africa

March 15, 2009

I’m here!

Not sure if this post will go up, but if you’re reading this it did!

Wow, nothing is more humbling than stepping onto the soil of a new continent. Going about daily life, you think things around you are so important, but it all gets put into perspective when you realize you’re just one human being in a species of billions all trying to survive. Chilling!

My flight left at 10am and it’s now midnight here and I’m late for bed! I can’t believe two days of my life are just gone! But despite all the sitting, they have been fun (mostly because of the fun meals ;) ) One of the other Lipton journalists – Kelly, a food writer for TreeHugger.com – happened to be seated across the aisle! We got to chat a lot, which was fun. 

I also managed to sleep for 2 solid hours on the second flight.

Sleep mask + earplugs + blanket + horizontal recliner + exhaustion = REST

I felt so much better after my nap.

But before I could nap, I had to eat again! I feel like this trip has just been meal after meal, but the meals have all been between 4 and 6 hours apart, so I have been somewhat hungry and ready to eat. Just not as ready as I would have been if I’d eaten less at the previous meal :mrgreen: The meals also come at the beginning and the end of the flights, so that makes the spacing odd too.

As our “lunch” appetizer, we had more of those yummy (chilled) mixed nuts. I had a tiny 1 oz pour of white wine and a sparking water while I watched The Office in the sky!!!!

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I guess my breakfast was the muesli meal I had at 5am, so this lunch came around 11:30.

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First was a smoked salmon plate (yay!) with some mixed greens and a seedy roll.

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The salmon was excellent, but the best pat was the tiny dots of lime jelly + curry mayo!! Such a unique and delicious combo. I ate all but one of the salmons and the whole roll + salad. I love first courses and tasting plates!

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I didn’t eat much of this entree. A few bites of beef and risotto and all the asparagus. It wasn’t the best on the trip..

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And I traded my roll for another flax-covered one!

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For “dessert” I turned down the Caramel Chocolate Cake (which everyone said was amazing) for a cheese platter. I was just in the mood for cheese and since I didn’t eat much of my entree, I wanted something more substantial. OMG – the goat cheese was sooo good! I ate it like a piece of pie! The one in the back was cumin flavored, which I didn’t care for (I only like cumin in Mexican and Indian meals). The blue cheese was pretty good too.

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Good thing I turned down the cake because they passed out chocolates after lunch! I couldn’t resist a Dutch dark chocolate

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[2 hour nap + 2 hours of Foodservice paper writing here!!! Guess I didn’t just eat after all]

Near the end of the flight we were served a “Warm Snack,” which turned out to bed the best meal yet!!!!

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This couscous was awesome – dried fruit, beans, almonds! I ate it all (sans the 2 round onions!).

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And then another fun thing – a big fig and two dates!!

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And the most fun of all – a rice pudding topped with pineapple and pistachios and almonds. I had no idea what this was and took a taste and broke into a smile when I realized it was a desserty thing :)

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Laslty we had Smoked Chicken with Avocado Cream and Fried Cherry Tomatoes. I just had some of that and some of the roll and all of the left-hand stuff.

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We landed at 8:15 Africa time. After a long visa line we met our driver who took us to the hotel. He said you can see giraffe’s in the wildlife park near the airport that we passed! Too bad it was dark.

The hotel is nice and comfortable.

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I was delivered MORE wine upon arriving!! I took a few sips to say I did but I’m wined out.

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And finally, here’s me after nearly 30 hours straight of travel and no sleep!

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I just took a nice hot shower and am glad I got the internet working – I was able to chat with my mom, which made me feel better :) I’m slathered in bug repellant just having gotten clean again.

Kelly and I are meeting for breakfast around 9. I think we’re going to stay around the hotel tomorrow because our other group members are arriving throughout the day.

Just heard the news: GO DUKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

1 BethT March 15, 2009 at 3:56 pm

What airline(s) served all that yummy food? Impressive!

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2 Snake March 15, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Two things, surprisingly food-related:

1) Chevre is the best cheese that there is of any kind, hands down. We bought a chevre every single day we were in France for Christmas (with my mahhhm, Tahhhm and Saaaaira).

2) I just discovered dates about a month ago. I love sweet things to death. Cake, brownies, candy, whatever — especially chocolate. But whenever I eat something like that for dessert, 30 minutes later I want to eat some more of it. If I eat a date, however, and chase it with half a liter of selzer or so, I’m totally and completely satisfied. Is it the fiber? Low glycemic index? I have no idea.

-Snakey Snakelton

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3 Beadie @ What I Ate Yesterday March 15, 2009 at 4:01 pm

Yay!! So glad you arrived safely! Rset up!! You have a few big days ahead of you!!

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4 Sharon March 15, 2009 at 4:05 pm

Oh wow, glad you made it safely, that is so exciting

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5 Caitlin March 15, 2009 at 4:05 pm

Wow your trip sounds absolutely amazing so far! (and it is barely begun!!)

Enjoy and stay safe :)

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6 VeggieGirl March 15, 2009 at 4:12 pm

SO GLAD YOU MADE IT!!!!!!

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7 WEEKLY BITE March 15, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Wow, what a food spread! Glad you arrived safely!

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8 littlediva March 15, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Wow!! I haven’t really read in a few weeks, other than just popping on quick for a break from work. What is Kath doing in Africa? I saw something about touring Lipton. Sis she win a contest or something? Fill me in! I LOVE world travel!!!

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9 laci March 15, 2009 at 4:16 pm

I’m loving the flax rolls, nuts, wine, chocolate, dried fruit and cous cous dish! Congrats for making the sucessful trip! Sleep up lovly! :)

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10 WendyF March 15, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Glad you arrived safely. You have an exciting week ahead of you.

BethT : Thats KLM business class meals. They pretty much feed you the moment you sit down until you land. They are very good. In economy it’s chicken or pasta :-(

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11 Alyssa March 15, 2009 at 4:29 pm

I’m so glad you got there safely! It must be so surreal to be in such a different environment with different animals and natural surroundings. I hope you have an awesome time!!!!!

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12 Jess' food Coma March 15, 2009 at 4:29 pm

You look beautiful after 30 hours of travel!!

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13 Liz March 15, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Glad you’ve arrived safe and sound–and such yummy food along the way–excellent!

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14 Jen March 15, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Wow, that is the most impressive airplane food I have ever seen! What airline(s) did you fly? Glad to hear you arrived safe and sound – sleep well!

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15 Justy2003 March 15, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Yay you made it!
I’m impressed with the food they served on the airplane…looks like restaurant food! Yum!

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16 Justy2003 March 15, 2009 at 4:37 pm

littlediva-
Here’s Kath’s post announcing her trip to Africa thanks to Lipton!
http://www.katheats.com/tea-travel/

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17 sue March 15, 2009 at 4:37 pm

wow i never thought i’d be so envious of airplane food!

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18 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) March 15, 2009 at 4:40 pm

Mmmm, the food looks so good!

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19 Meaghen March 15, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Yay you arrived safely! The food you have had all looks so delish!!! Hope you get a good night’s sleep! Can’t wait to see some pictures of Africa!

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20 HangryPants March 15, 2009 at 5:00 pm

I just read both of your flight recaps and want to comment on everything, but I will refrain. The trip already looks magical! I love TreeHugger.com! Have fun and be safe. :D

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21 Pixie March 15, 2009 at 5:15 pm

I do 36 hours of non stop travel at least once a year if not twice in ECONOMY!! So needless to say I’m so jealous of your business class travel..Sigh! :) Food looks yummier in that class too..have fun in Africa… that’s so great you got to do this! :)

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22 K March 15, 2009 at 5:16 pm

Cute socks!! They must LOVE airing The Office on airplanes because Michael Scott has kept me company before as well!

Glad you made it safely!! Enjoy every single minute you’re there!!

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23 Leah A. March 15, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Glad to hear you made it safe and sound! I am so jealous of your flight! What airline? It makes me want to fly business class all the time!

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24 Kori March 15, 2009 at 5:24 pm

The only thing better than The Office is The Office at 35,000 feet! Glad you made it safe and I must say your skin looks radiant after 30+hr of travel. I usually look all dehydrated from all that recycled air! Must be the antioxidants in all the vino ;0)

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25 Bec March 15, 2009 at 5:26 pm

Sooo much yummy traveling food, and you’ve just been on planes, lol.

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26 Susan March 15, 2009 at 5:29 pm

That’s the best airplane food I’ve ever seen!!! I don’t get stuff that good in most restaurants! :P

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27 Mara @ What's For Dinner? March 15, 2009 at 5:54 pm

SO glad you made it safely!!! Its just the start of what’s sure to be an amazing adventure!

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28 Sarah March 15, 2009 at 6:14 pm

I fly often and have never had food that looks half as good as all that! (Maybe because I’m always in economy?)Very impressive!!!

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29 Erin March 15, 2009 at 6:47 pm

Woot, you’re in Africa!!!

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30 Maggie March 15, 2009 at 7:16 pm

You have had the BEST airline food I’ve ever seen :)

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31 Katy March 15, 2009 at 7:19 pm

Here is a question for YogaDownload people – I was able to subscribe to the 20 min YogaDownload sessions through itunes – and I can then select which episodes I want. I don’t see anywhere that specifies the level (beginner, intermediate, etc), but I assumed #1, #2 and so on would be similar – so I downloaded Yoga for Runners #1 thinking it would be for a beginner – and it was HARD (for me anyway – who is a beginning beginner). Does anyone know how to tell which sessions would be good to try first?

Thanks!

Katy

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32 sarah (ghost world) March 15, 2009 at 7:21 pm

wow, looks luxe!

30 hours without sleep . . . an interval i am very used to (and HATE!). you look much better than i usually do at the end of it! can’t wait for the next installment — so glad you’re able to post!

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33 Lisa March 15, 2009 at 7:53 pm

Whoa – so jealous of business class now!

I’m glad that your travels were safe and tasty.

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34 Kelsey March 15, 2009 at 8:04 pm

fun fun food – the duke comment = great post (word math)

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35 Angie March 15, 2009 at 8:04 pm

Glad to hear you made it there safe and sound. Looking forward to more trip updates. You are fortunate to be able to experience all of this. And that airline food? WOW I have never seen such awesome stuff.

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36 zestycook March 15, 2009 at 8:04 pm

Great to hear you made it! Food looks amazing.

zesty

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37 Amandas March 15, 2009 at 8:12 pm

that food looks tasty, thanks for keeping us readers informed as you continue your adventures!

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38 thepinkpeppercorn March 15, 2009 at 8:14 pm

Soooo cool!!! Yay, the post made it too :)

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39 Jaclyn March 15, 2009 at 8:16 pm

Glad you got there okay–and looks like you’ve already had some great foody adventures! Can’t wait to hear the updates on your trip–everything looks amazing so far! :D

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40 Juliet March 15, 2009 at 8:17 pm

Love the blogging from the airplane. :)

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41 Elina March 15, 2009 at 8:20 pm

Wow, what a world of difference between flying coach and business. Your meals actually look like real food! :)
Rest up! Looking forward to reading your updates :)

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42 melissa (fitnessnyc) March 15, 2009 at 8:28 pm

After I flew business class a few times, I wondered how I would ever go back. It is so nice. But back I have gone, I think it’s better not to know what you are missing haha.

I am glad they are spoiling you. You deserve it, enjoy every second of your trip.

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43 Heather March 15, 2009 at 8:46 pm

Katy – On the top of the print-out pose guides, it tells you the level of each class. Also, on the square that you choose which session you want to download, it says the level. Hope this helps!

YAY!! Glad to hear you made it ok!! It’s so nice to be able to get some feedback from your trip while you’re there. I’m sure you’re glad to have internet access too… makes you feel a bit more connected to this side of the globe. Hope you sleep well tonight!

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44 *Andrea* March 15, 2009 at 9:27 pm

hahahaha the bears are adorable matt!

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45 Sarah (Tales of Expansion) March 15, 2009 at 10:06 pm

wow, i’ve never heard of such luxurious flying in my life. and all that food is incredible and decently healthy, too! so. so. so. so. JEALOUS.

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46 Sara March 15, 2009 at 10:29 pm

Glad you made it there safely! I cannot believe all the awesome food your getting on the plane! What airline is that??

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47 amber March 15, 2009 at 10:49 pm

Looks like a great trip so far!

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48 yadi March 15, 2009 at 11:11 pm

terrific post – love your dedication and effort you put into this… Matt too! Enjoy!

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49 Katherine March 15, 2009 at 11:24 pm

The airline food looks SO delicious! I love the variety and it seems healthy for the most part which is not common on most airlines!

mmm wine. I had a smoothie in a wine glass tonight…think i might have to have a real glass of wine tomorrow night!

Matt: I like your posts – you are funny :)

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50 Caroline March 15, 2009 at 11:41 pm

Impressive airline food!

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51 Jen A. March 15, 2009 at 11:46 pm

I am so jealous of your food! When I went to France and India this past summer, in economy, the food was blerg. My sister came home from France ahead of me and got bumped up to business class, and there is definitely a huge different in service and food. They kept bringing her warm chocolate chip cookies!! :)

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52 Kath March 16, 2009 at 12:22 am

Hi Guys! Wendy is right it was KLM Business Class. I think it was a combo of the airline and the class that made the food so good. I’d never flown any class other than economy before, so it was quite a pleasant surprise! And it’s going to be hard to go back to economy the next time I flight abroad on my dime :( (Unless I can justify Biz again!)

Katy,
If you go to Yogadownload.com, you can read all about the classes and see the levels there.

Kath

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53 Jessica March 16, 2009 at 12:56 am

ohhh I never see cous cous in restaurants and I LOVE cous cous!! have fun on your trip kath, you looked great for having traveled for 30 hours! haha!

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54 Sarah (lovINmytummy) March 16, 2009 at 1:12 am

Who knew you’d be eating so gourmet on this trip…and on the plane, no less! Glad you made it safe!

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55 Lisa March 16, 2009 at 7:09 am

nooo… GO BINGHAMTON BEARCATS!!!

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56 Lara (Thinspired) March 16, 2009 at 9:51 am

How can plane food look so good?! Glad you’re there safe and everythings sounds like it is going smoothly so far!!

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57 littlediva March 16, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Thanks Justy2003!!!!

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58 Lauren March 16, 2009 at 5:48 pm

Hear hear for gourmet airline food!

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