well, that may be a bit presumptuous ... but as I am inspired by the sparrow ...
yesterday I received my 3:00 a.m. wake-up call from monsieur JY and when he arrived, singing, at 3:30 I didn't know whether to choke him or hug him!
in any event, I abandoned mes petits chiens amid much last minute chaos (mad search for fr checkbook, alas non) and we departed. in gale force rains and wind. and pitch black. and Rag Mama Rag cranked up on the disc player.
with help from friends, I discovered a direct TGV from Angouleme to Roissy/Charles De Gaulle Aeroport in Paris. In fact there are several throughout the day. For those who'd like such information for my area, there is also a daily 7:00 a.m. train to Roissy/Charles De Gaulle Aeroport from Limoges. The train arrives in Terminal 2. There is a simple to find-and-take shuttle train from Terminal Two to Terminal One, should you need it (and if you are flying United Airlines to the states, you will). Use the above link to SNCF and be sure to type in Roissy as your destination. also fyi, the train ride is about 3 hours.
We arrived around 5:15 a.m. to a deserted station ... no open cafés or such. JY benefited from the coffee machine and I produced a 'nut bar' from my bag to complete his petit dejeuner! We loitered and laughed and did our little dance (as always) until finally he decided to collect my bags from the car. For a while there, I didn't know who would win out, JY or the winds ... he took it all in stride like the personal super-hero he is.
After he left, I found my way to the platform and boarded. I brought one bag of clothing and one empty suitcase ... my backpack with laptop and my traveling bag with complete with nouvelle vie sentiments!
When I checked-in, the United rep asked if I would prefer to streamline my itinerary (because I made last minute changes to my flight which used frequent-flyer miles, I had 2 stops before Portland) and I said absolutely. Unfortunately, she couldn't find an open seat so I left girding my loins for a very long day. On top of it all, I had lost my business class seating due to my changes and was facing all of these 'legs' with no leg room! (economy seating). So I wasted miles on better seating that I ultimately didn't experience.
Well, the first leg I was in Econ Plus, 2 seats to myself (on the plus side) and the food was shit ... absolute shit ... (on the downside). Lean Cuisine deserves a Michelin star compared to what I was served. And when did they eliminate free drinks from international flights? I paid $6 for the shittiest bottle of cloyingly sweet Chardonnay I've ever tasted.
When I landed at Washington Dulles, I had happy(er) news. Somehow that darling woman at Paris/CDG worked magic on my itinerary and instead of flying next to San Francisco and on to Portland and arriving at 12:17 a.m. ... I was confirmed for direct to Portland, arriving at 8:00 p.m.ish!! yay for me!
Within 15 minutes of this news, my flight was delayed an hour! *lmao* And then the juvenile couple with screaming baby twins from hell arrived in the waiting area .... and, upon boarding, imagine my glee at finding said couple seated in front of me. So, first I spent $9 (5 and 1/2 hour flights smack at dinner time no longer rate so much as a pretzel bag ... ) on a further piece of shit salad consisting of limp lettuce, diced cheese product, bacon 'bits'-read fako baco, and mush diced tomatoes .. and then I spent 5 hours sleeping fitfully whilst said couple passed the alternately screaming infants like batons at a marathon. Not once was a bottle or pacifier spied ... nor was a willing breast exposed for the sake of nearby passengers. We were all fit to be tied.
sigh. But I DID land at 9:00p.m.ish, was actually greeted at the airport for the first time in my life by my dear friend Kathleen who took me straight to her amazing beautiful old home in Portland and ensconced me in my own private and well-appointed bedroom and my own bath assigned to me ... the bed is a dreamlike cocoon of memory foam and down duvets ... the bath is stocked with luxurious personal comfort goodies. Unfortunately, only one bag arrived with me but the travel gods remained somewhat merciful and the one that arrived DID have my clothing ...
And so, 27 hours later, I put myself to bed. slept like an angel. awoke to the scent of freshly-brewed coffee. I'm now lounging and writing and wondering how long I can take it (the states) before I can finally return home.
because yes. not 24 hours here and I know that France is now home.