Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Trip... The Pics... The Blog...

So we're back. Nobody stopped us and they even let us back in the US!!

Hubby and I took off for a trip to France, August 8 - 18. I kept a journal, but I honestly was disconnected. Didn't even take my cell phone.

So over the  next few days, I'll blog what I wrote. I'll include some pics he posted on FaceBook. Unfortunately (spoiler alert), his laptop died overnight 4 days before we left. He was NOT pleased. So I have pics up till that time; I'll have to post others as we go through them. 

Aug. 8, 2013 - I'm just doing the first day; I have to get pics for the rest of it, and I don't want to bore you to death!

At O'Hare Airport - my first full-body scan. Security was chaos, and it was hot in there; even the TSA folks were droopy. Lunch @ Starbucks on the way to the gate. Travel to O'Hare the usual stroke-inducing lunacy. I don't care how much I would get paid...NO way would I work anywhere near there!

As we wait in the Air Canada terminal for our flight to be called we notice these little "power pods." Groups of chairs with electricity/USB ports alongside. Except that there's only one of the three which is actually plugged in. The number of people tied to their electronics is amazing. And they weren't happy that the pods weren't hooked up. Hubby kept singing "Air Canada" to the tune of "Oh Canada." That's what you get when you grow up on the border of Calgary, I guess! 

There were 3 Mormons talking about their mission trip experiences. Two were young men and one was a flight attendant who asked one of her colleagues to join them. It was a recruiting event, apparently. Our flight was called at about 3:40 p.m. CST. 

On the plane, spent an amusing time watching people try to get BIG  bags into SMALL overhead bins. Just check the bag, fer cryin' out loud!! There's a finite number of square inches in the space, and no amount of shoving and cursing will expand that space or shrink your bag. It's otherwise a beautiful day for the trip. I carried my Namaste mini-messenger bag, which I got at the TKGA show. That was my carry-on, and not only was it the smallest carry-on I'd ever taken, it carried all my stuff!! Had passport, wallet, meds, shawl, knitting, Kindle, was great! 

The announcements were initially in French, and all I caught was "Chicago" and "Montreal" so I was happy we were on the right plane! We flew across Lake Michigan just north of Benton Harbor, just missing the other lakes. There were computer screens in the seats in front of us, and we were able to 'track the flight' or pick movies, etc. We tracked for a while, and it was interesting. We went above the clouds once we'd passed the lake, and to me, it was turbulent, but as long as they were still passing out hot coffee, I'm guessing THEY thought  it was smooth sailing. I'd forgotten how blue and brilliant the sky was once you got to about 31,000 feet. 

We cudgeled our brains trying to think of the lake between Lake Michigan and Lake Erie!! The turbulence got a bit worse and, NO -- it doesn't help equating it to a bumpy road. A bumpy road is on terra firma - we were very far UP. 

It was Lake HURON. Geeze. 

At 6:14 p.m. Montreal time, we landed. Ears popped profusely. What's true in the US is true in Canada. Airport food is (1) boring; and (2) expensive. Dinner for me was a chicken salad. Hubby had a pizza. I have GOT to get out of that food rut! 

At 8:35 p.m., the gate attendant, in (to my ears) a perfect French accent chides Hubby for having a US passport. Our last name is French. VERY French. We just laughed. We had bulkhead seats with a bird's-eye view of First Class. Which is the way to go, by the way, if money is no object. THEY had individual seats that slanted toward the center of the plane, and they had the ability to lay down to sleep. Bulkhead seats had no foot-rests, so that was interesting. I wasn't sure how to sleep sitting up. 

They did pass out free earbuds so you could watch movies on your screens. Mine was "Sunset Boulevard" and Hubby's was "North by Northwest." The audio was iffy, but it kept our minds occupied. The flight time was about 6 hours. I did move around a little, and we took the camera case and flopped it beneath my feet so I could raise them up just a little. The shawl came in handy. 

I did something totally stupid. I mean REALLY TOTALLY STUPID. As you may remember, my youngest brother (Bro-2) died on July 27. We had the usual solemnities and also started the estate process before we left. And the last day before we took off, my other brother (Bro-1) and I hunted down my nephew, who was in a psych unit (it's a whole other novel, so we'll just abbreviate), to get him to sign some papers, and then whizzed over to the lawyer's office. The estate is in the next state over...nothing is easy. 

Anyhow, the TOTALLY STUPID thing was that I mis-counted my heart meds. I mean, I miscounted to the point where I only had enough for HALF the trip. Nothing I could do about it in mid-air, so we figured we'd solve the matter once we got to Lyon. 

Yeah, I know. I should've checked. And we DID check. We ran through our checklist and it was "Meds. Check." Instead of "check the meds!" 

Not sure HOW we were going to figure it out; made for an even more sleepless night. 

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