Monday, March 18, 2013

Two Midnights

Who would have thought that you could have two midnights in one day, but I did.  We got up early Sunday morning to head to the airport in Paris and start our trip home. Like all good travelers we got there a few hours early. Jesse's flight was an hour earlier than Barbara's and mine - she flew to London to Philly to DFW. We flew straight home. Upon arriving at the airport things went downhill fast. We got in line to check our baggage and get our boarding pass - the line was ridiculously long. Then a take-charge American Airlines lady in a dandy long blue pea coat and who had rather trim ankles moved us over to another long line of people going to DFW and formed two other new lines going to Miami and one to NY. The lady sent Jesse off to British Airways. It turned out that AA was having computer problems. We stood in that line for the next three hours before getting our boarding pass and standing in line for customs and several other lines before boarding our plane, which of coarse was late.  The whole thang was quite stressful, but we had met quite a few people before getting on the plane - as one lady said, we were like family. The people watching was grand, but would have been better had we been sitting in a comfy chair.

The flight itself was nothing to write home about. Who wants to hear how we packed ourselves in to a plane like obedient sardines?  The movies were shown on very small screens very far away. So we had a glass of wine and did our best for the next ten hours. Because I had the window seat (short legs) I watched the land (when I could) as we flew. And we flew over lots of snow covered areas.  Of course I expected snow over the Way North and Canada, but as we came down into the States, there was still lots of snow through the Great Lakes and down into the Midwest. I'm sorry for you folks.

We landed in DFW about 10:30 PM Paris time. We spent the next hour and a half in lines again going through customs and such. It was interesting as other people from other planes joined us. Many had come from warmer climates and were dressed accordingly and sporting sunburns compared to us in our sweaters and jeans. When we finally popped out at the international arrivals gate to meet Barbara's husband it was midnight in Paris.

Barbara and I hugged and went our separate ways here. I had several hours to wait on Jesse's flight. She had already been through customs in Philly and said it was equally as inefficient as DFW. By the time I picked her up and we drove two hours to WF, it was midnight in Texas. I could barely keep my eyes open. I fell into bed and slept hard until 6 AM when I had to get on the road to Duncan. For some stupid reason I had made myself an appointment with the doctor for Tuesday, but they wanted my blood on Monday morning - early. Well, let me tell you, I barely had any to give. That poor med-tech was sweating more water than I was giving blood. He had to milk my  hands for the few drops that he got. Fun.

It was sure nice to get home and get a shower after my two midnights and plane flights.  However, I feel a bit off my feed today.
This photo was taken on our last day. I thought it was appropriate.


The Blog Reader said...

I was so wounded in the military, that I probably can never go to an airport again. It took us 24 hours to get to Arabia.

You'd get up at 5am to be at the Mobility processing line by 6am. They then checked all your stuff, passports, rifle, chemical warfare gear, shots, etc, etc.

Then you were quarantined in a large room with no access to family or people handing you things that were forbidden, as you were just inspected and proved clean.

At around 5pm they took you to a C-5 or C-141, and then you sat in the school bus for an hour, because the crew was never ready for passengers on time.

We always had to air refuel over Maine. Yes Maine, it's actually a shorter trip to Europe over Chicago, but NOOOoooo... Even with Air refueling we had to go to Frankfurt where we were again quarantined in a large room.

Finally about 3 or 4 hours later, we were off to Arabia. Which you can't fly their direct for all the warring nations. No, we had to fly west to France, then down the Swiss border (the swiss didn't allow us to overfly) then east to Cyprus, then south to Luxor, Egypt, then Arabia.

I used to crawl on top of a baggage pallet and try to sleep, but it was no use...

Anyway! I hope you enjoyed your vacation, and that you got to say bonjour and bonsoir and all that. The picture looks like café au lait but maybe it's just milk of magnesia...

Jo Castillo said...

So glad you are home, looking forward to the stories. :)

Bag Blog said...

I can't even imagine all the line-waiting you did in the military. A friend sent me photos of her son as he flew out of Maine for his deployment to Iraq. He was being quite silly in the photos - probably making the best of a bad situation. That is not a bad thing - I tend to get silly too. Thanks for your service to our country.

Bag Blog said...

Thanks Jo. I plan on getting started with the stories soon - and the pics.

Buck Pennington said...

Jess looks very wistful (or maybe pensive) in that photo. That's a VERY good pic.

Your horror story about the flying day could be Exhibit A in my "Why I'll Never Fly Again" dissertation. I really do want to get back to Europe once again before I die, but the negatives outweigh the positives by a large margin.

Now it's off to read today's post.

Bag Blog said...

Fly British Airways - they seem to do a better job and are more comfortable. American Airlines pretty much peed in the whiskey with me.

Sometimes I get lucky with a photo - and Jesse is easy to photograph - unlike me. Several times Jes took a pic of me and then fell over laughing.

The airport or the gulag - choices, choices... said...

A lady at work told me she figured out the best way into and out of Paris! She fly's to London, and takes the train to Paris and then back to London for the trip home. "They have the chunnel now!" she says. ha. Well duh, I forget about that.

I have to admit I really enjoyed the trains when I was in Germany. It was easy to hop on a train, and in no time you were in Amsterdam, or Munich.

Buck Pennington said...

I've flown BA and they WERE great. Virgin seemed to do a better job than the US flag-carriers, also.

Bag Blog said...

Your friend may be right about flying into London.

Years ago, we flew into London with a big lay over before going on to Italy. We took the Gatwick Express into London and did as much as we could before catching our flight - what a whirl-wind trip that was!