We weren’t surprised to be taken to the airport by one of the lovely neighbours but there was a lots of excitement to follow! First, Heathrow Terminal Two has been transformed starting with the easy drop off, through the automated check-in, security and the quiet and spacious departure lounge. The Perfectionist Cafe breakfast was a disappointment, however – not quite perfect yet! Plus there is a very long walk to gate 32 – but it was nice being able to board as soon as the gate opened and not stand in a long line. The United Airlines Economy Plus seats were comfy and spacious. The flight wasn’t full, lanother surprise! We took off on time for the 9 hour flight to Houston. Unusually there was a cloudless sky almost all the way – despite the snowstorms in the NE USA. So where are the snowy wastes of which we had such good views – Greenland, Canada or even USA. We were at 36,000 feet and the outside temperature was -56 degrees F. The biggest surprise of all was that we could check in all the way to San Jose, Costa Rica, luggage included. Apparently this innovation is exclusive to Houston and United! It meant that we did not have to pick up our main bags on arrival in Houston and walk the yellow dotted line to check them in all over again. It was also pleasant to be greeted as ‘Visitors’ rather than ‘Aliens’ ! Final surprise – it was raining in Costa Rica – and has continued off and on so far!