Sunday, November 19, 2017

Honeymoon Day 23: Across the world in Singapore Airlines Business Class!

Honeymoon Day 23: Across the world in Singapore Airlines Business Class!

And off we go on the final leg of our crazy world-adventure that is this honeymoon. Our big event of today was the trip from South Africa to Singapore, traveling on the world-renowned Singapore Airlines, and in their business class to-boot! This was part of our grand travel hacking plan and we were able to get all of these amazing flights with airline points only. We were so incredibly excited to be trying this for the first time -- both Singapore Airlines, as well as their Business Class. Yay!!

But first we had to, once again, make the swift trek from Sandton, Johannesburg back to the Johannesburg airport. We woke up at 5am again after "training" to get up that early over the past 4 days on Safari... D'oh! I tried to get a little more sleep and we got up at 7am, and re-packed our suitcases for the final Hong Kong portion of our trip. We carefully packed things that we'd collected as gifts over the past few weeks (and continents?!) and then headed down for breakfast. After a short breakfast, we headed over to Sandton City mall to look for some South African stuff, I was really psyched to check it out but there wasn't a ton of SA stuff to buy -- just a few touristy shops and many American brands! Woolworths, as always, was epic -- I loved seeing all the Rooibos tea and Biltong and fun snacks and spice mixes.

Fun cheese and local jams at breakfast

Dried mango!!
I ate like half this plate

I love Woolworths!! Very similar to Marks and Spencers in England.

Biltong at the register

Funny stuff on the menu, like the "Boerie Breakfast Bun"

Then, out of nowhere I started feeling a bit janked... ugh... Sprite for the win?! Not sure what was up with all of that, prob all the food and many early mornings catching up with me. Oof. Anyway I wasn't feeling so epic at the mall, but Michal was extra helpful and we headed back to the hotel a little earlier to get ready to roll and give me a moment to get back to normal. I pounded a few sparkling waters and that was a great help! Oy. A little nuts to not feel 100% on the way out, and I was SO psyched for our special flight, I really wanted it all to be OK... (this story all ended well) :) I was still a bit blergh as we headed to transfer to the Gautrain and then continued to drink a couple of sparkling waters on the Gautrain too. Glad we simplified the transportation so it was easy to get where we were going and so on. By the time we got to the airport I was starting to feel a little better, though still in waves was a little jacked. Bah!! Again, we took advantage of all the travel prep we'd done in advance and were able to use our travel credit card/Priority Pass to get us into an airport lounge for free -- where I continued to drink lots more liquids. That was awesome, and about 3 hours after the initial gross-feeling-ness it was finally dissipating. Sweet. Back in business. Just in time to shop!

In the nice lounge thanks to our travel card, was good to sit in a cool area, relax, and have lots of liquids!
Funny pancake press/3D printer thing?! Looked fun but was too jacked to try it. Prob all for the best!
Shopping in the airport was super fancy and awesome, there was a Carrol Boyes store, a shop where a guest at our wedding had bought us some super nice salad forks! There was some really cool artwork and awesome african gifts there. We loved and picked out 2 pillow-case covers for the couch as a gift from my parents (they had given us some money to spend on the trip to pick out something special to bring home -- the pillow cases were awesome). We went to a few more fun african shops and there was way more cool South African stuff at the airport for gifts and to look at than at the mall -- so, glad I was finally feeling better!

We then headed to the airplane... the GLORIOUS AMAZING INSANELY AWESOME airplane!!!! OMG it was soooooo epic!!!!!!!!!! Biz-nass!!!!!! Man, our airline point-collecting effort REALLY paid off. This was so damn incredible and was going to be a total dream for the rest of the trip (we had collected so many points that we had managed to have the entire rest of the trip be on Singapore Business class -- this trip was Johannesburg to Hong Kong (via Singapore), and then the final leg from Hong Kong to San Francisco). This was just the beginning... and oh MAN we couldn't have possibly been MORE psyched. Just upon arrival and meeting the airline staff and seeing the layout... this was easily as fancy as United Polaris Global First (and this was Singapore Business, not Singapore First). It looked insane. Oh man oh man oh man.

I sat down in my HUGE awesome seat (that would later convert to a bed!) and the steward gave me a sparkling apple juice ginger thing (the "Royal Sparkle" - a sweet mix of apple juice with ginger ale and soda) which was awesome and sure did the trick. My good luck working in my fortune again, I started feeling completely better and truly back to normal really just as I sat down on the plane. It was awesome timing... I was able to FULLY enjoy everything and all the fun food and try everything and really enjoy the "activity" for today, which was the flight itself. (whew!) The food was crazy and looked amazing. I eventually tried a little 1/2 glass of champagne too... you gotta. :)

Putting up the seat divider as a joke, "Hey!"

All the buttons to play with!!!!
This is the life!!
Hey, nice Wall-E screen cap -- those shelves in Wall-E's truck/home sure have some nice models on them... :)
Holllly crap this plane. So awesome. The food was cray and the portions and pace were a lot better and at smarter intervals than the United Polaris flight we took out to Europe at the start of the trip (less rushed -- prob because this was literally the first month of the new Polaris service, and Singapore has been rockin' this Business Class thing for a LONNNG time). We had heard (and read on PointsGuy and other sites) about how incredible the service is on Singapore Airlines... and man, it sure was. The staff was amazing, attentive, but never "annoyingly so". This was a truly perfect experience. Of course, I spilled some satay sauce from the Singapore Chicken and Lamb Satay on my t-shirt almost immediately, about 20 min into a 12 hr flight. hahaha. Classic Jutan move.

Here comes lunch!!
Crazy duck breast to start: "Smoked Duck Breast on Cabbage-Apple Remoulade"
"Your choice of breads, ma'am"!!
Garlic bread
Mmm... beef stir fry. I chose the "Stir-fried Beef with Ginger and Spring Onion, served with Chinese vegetable and steamed rice."
Awesome desserts - Raspberry Cheesecake, Mandarin orange tartlette and white chocolate coconut cake
Cheese and fruit plate
This was an awesome lunch and also good food to take our malaria pill with -- we still needed to take those for a bit longer. This was absolutely fantastic.

A little while later, the staff came by to wish us a good honeymoon. Michal: "How did they know?!?" I had secretly told the airline booking agent that we were traveling on our honeymoon and they had added a special note to our reservation in advance (all three flights, in fact) that I had secretly not shown to Michal. After wishing us a happy honeymoon, they came back with an awesome presentation of a honeymoon cake they had made for us in advance!!! So crazy!!!! They had a funny bubbling display in a wine glass, champagne, Singapore Airlines playing cards, and a personal note with the date on it, signed by the Cabin Crew. Truly amazing!!! We weren't sure if the "bubbling glass thing" was a drink or not, so when looking it more closely the staff was concerned I might try to drink it... "Oh, that is for display, that is not for drinking!!!" haha.

Our awesome cake!!
That was SO special
With our amazing cake, I ordered a  TWG 1837 black tea with milk. "It's very fruity" said the stewardess, "Are you sure you would like milk?" What amazing service... seriously. I couldn't believe they know each individual tea that well to be able to recommend how to drink it. Insane. What a truly amazing addition this whole presentation was to our experience -- both on Singapore Airlines and for the entire honeymoon itself! Michal was just SO surprised. That rocked.

The seat-back entertainment TV system is awesome too and had tons of great movies on it. After a slice or two of our special cake, the staff helped Michal convert her seat into a bed and she took a nap. I watched a favourite, "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" again... man just SO good. I love that movie. The plane ride was so relaxing. I pressed my seat recline button (!!) and sat back and enjoyed the movie and some variety of tea and sparkling drinks. After the movie I spent time catching up on my notes for this travel journal. This was such a great movie, and so perfect to be watching it on this crazy cross-world adventure. I love the quote/theme of the movie: "To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life." The soundtrack is amazing too. Probably one of my favourite movies!

Nap time!!
You can also stretch out when your seat is in bed-format with the pillows, so you can relax and watch a movie as well

Writing this Travel Journal
This was so amazinggg!! ahh!!! I wrote my notes and enjoyed a very tasty Singapore Sling while doing so :) As per the menu: "Enjoy this 1915 classic -- a concoction of dry gin, Dom Benedictine, orange liqueur, cherry brandy, shaken with lime and pineapple juice, a dash of Angostura bitters and Grenadine." Fancy! I also later got a glass of Highland Park Svein scotch!!! Man!

I was clearly feeling much better now as I was trying and excited to try as many things as possible on this extensive menu. I had an Apple Bliss: "a tantalizing refreshment of apple juice and bitter lemon, mixed with 7-Up" which was glorious, as well as their super special Hot Chocolate: "A comforting mix of smooth rich cocoa and milk that helps reduce stress." It sure did!! That was absolutely delicious. They also brought me a few mini chocolate truffles to have. I went totally nuts. Lots of tasty stuff on Singapore Airlines... I was obviously feeling much better by now... thank goodness! I enjoyed it all immensely. After many hours of journaling and movies and trying all the snacks, Michal woke up and peeked over the seat divider -- "You got the hot chocolate too?!" She was not-at-all surprised that I had tried everything while she was asleep. Soon it was time for a short nap. I folded down the seat the full amount to a flat bed and had a very good sleep. Oh what a ride this was.

I woke up a little while later in time for a small breakfast of "Warm French Toasts with apricot banana compote and strawberry" which was perfect.

"How many snacks did you try?!"


Unknown said...

You won't forget that ride....😀

lost_in_woods said...