Mom Wants A Diabetes Cure

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Parlez-vous Anglais? (Said about 50 times in one day)

Thanks to everyone for all the comments you left in my last post. You are all awesome support!!

Jeff, the kids, and I shared hugs and kisses goodbye. The kids were anxious to eat dinner in the airport, so without lingering some more, I walked alone through security and to the gate to take my 5 p.m. flight to France.

The flight was uneventful and smooth sailing for 6 hours (make note that there is a 6 hour difference between the East coast and where I was going). I had some good conversation with the couple seated next to me, ate a "French style" dinner, and read my magazines. I was so relaxed......

I was due to take a 7:45 a.m. transfer flight from Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris to the Marseille airport in the South of France where my friend would pick me up at 8:30 a.m.

After the plane landed, I got off with anxiousness and excitement. Voila! I was in France!! And I was also walking into a sea of people who got off of not only my flight, but another international flight as well.

Over 200 people were gathered in a crowd...their huddled masses yearning to breath free as they stood waiting to get their passports checked to get into the terminal. I felt like I was an immigrant on Ellis Island.

My biggest fear before taking this trip was missing my transfer. What if I got lost trying to get to the other terminal and missed it? Jeff helped to assuage my fears by looking up other flights and telling me I'd just catch another.

The time was now 6:30 a.m. For the longest time, no one was getting through. We were just standing and waiting. I kept checking my watch and saw the hand creeping closer and closer to the check-in time for my transfer.

Once we saw people were getting through, another passenger told me I was entitled to get to the front of the crowd since I had a transfer to catch. I shoved my way to the front of the pack, stuck my passport through a bunch of shoulders and into the window to get it checked out.

To make a 12 hour story short, here is what happened next:

-I found my way to the terminal where my transfer was, got through security, and was told I missed my transfer (no duh).

-I had to go back through security and ask for another flight.

-Another would be leaving in 5 hours at 1:15 p.m. Grr.... It was currently 7 a.m. and I had already been awake since about that time the day before.

-I sat and read a book for 5 hours and was proud of myself for making it this far without panicking.

-At check-in time, they said the flight to Marseille was cancelled and another would be leaving at 9 p.m.

-That is when panic set in. I was exhausted, hungry, thirsty, and almost started crying when I was told this.

-I had been calling my friend's husband on his cell phone to update him since Corey doesn't have a cell phone and I figured she might check in with him to see if I called him. BTW, each call I made cost me $45....Don't make credit card calls from a pay phone in France.

-Because of jet lag, I wasn't hungry when I had the time to eat something (to answer why I hadn't gotten something earlier when I had the time).

-They told me they could get me to another airport an hour away that had an earlier flight. I took the offer.

-I was in terminal D, but the airport woman said to go to terminal B to get my luggage (why it wasn't already in Marseille on the flight I missed, I don't know).

-The people in terminal B said my luggage was in terminal A.

-I finally got my luggage, found a bus that could transfer me to the Orly airport an hour away.

-I hopped on a later flight than the one I was offered, but at least I was on an airplane.

-After being awake for 24 hours, I met my friend at the Marseille airport with a big relieved smile and a big bear hug.

-I was happy she greeted me the same way since she was stuck waiting for me at the airport all day.

-We were stuck in 2.5 hours of traffic to get to her house, but I was perfectly content with that.

-I should've been to her house at around 9:30 a.m., but didn't arrive until 9 P.M.

You could say I got what I wished for when I said this in my previous post: I want to live outside of my comfort zone...to feel tense, nervous, unsafe...I want to feel some emotion for once.

But, I was so fucking exhausted that I could barely think straight and didn't know whether I was scratching my watch or winding my ass. I was completely numb.

No complaints from me though, that was for sure. I was still very very lucky to finally be in France.

There are a lot of pics to post, so over the next few days I'll post more, but here are some to start:

This is the port village of Cassis where Corey took me the next day:







11 Comments:

  • good Lord, what an ordeal!! I'm glad you made it there safe (disheveled, a little but safe!) And boy, those pictures...well that says it all! totally worth the trip from hell, I'm sure.
    I'm so happy for you, and I can't wait to see and read more.

    By Blogger Lea, at 11/18/2007 7:59 AM  

  • Good grief! Glad you finally made it safe and sound. I think this confirms my previously held suspicions that Charles de Gaulle is perhaps the worst airport in the world.

    Hope things have gone more to plan since and that you've been partaking of patisserie goodies like the ones in the last picture. They look yum!

    By Blogger Caro, at 11/18/2007 8:35 AM  

  • OH MY GOD! That is SOFA KING long! I understand. The flight to Taiwan is horrendously long--3 hours, then 13 hours then 4 hours plus all the layovers and if you miss one you are screwed. I AM SO GLAD YOU MADE IT and the photos look beautiful. I cannot WAIT for more stories and pictures soon! Thanks for the post. I've been so curious. And thanks for your kind words on my blog. You rock!

    By Blogger Amylia, at 11/18/2007 8:46 AM  

  • You made it though! Looking forward to hearing more about your time in France. Great pictures!

    By Blogger Colleen, at 11/18/2007 9:39 AM  

  • Yikers! That's a long trip made ridiculously longer.

    So glad you finally made it to France-- and can't wait to read more details.

    And, I love seeing your photos... though I think I gained about five pounds just looking at the bread and pastry snaps... yum.

    By Blogger Sandra Miller, at 11/18/2007 10:10 AM  

  • What a "I didn't know whether I was scratching my watch or winding my ass" journey!

    I am glad you got there in pretty much one piece!

    What are those trees? They look like midget palms...

    By Blogger Nicole P, at 11/18/2007 10:46 AM  

  • Holy crap girl! That's one helluva trip over there!! Sounds like that aiport in Paris is absolutely insane ....

    I'm so glad you made it in one piece though and wow, those pics made me drool for more!! I'm so glad you're home now too, but can't wait to hear more about your trip!! :-)

    By Blogger Jamie, at 11/18/2007 11:08 AM  

  • YAY! You're back!! Sounds like it was a pain in the arse getting there, but I CAN'T WAIT TO HEAR ABOUT THE REST OF YOUR TRIP!!!

    I'll be taking notes. Quill at the ready.

    By Blogger Kerri., at 11/18/2007 11:20 AM  

  • What a long trip! I'm glad you made it there and back safely. Can't wait to read and see more. By the way you were missed.

    By Blogger Jillian, at 11/18/2007 2:34 PM  

  • Wow, that's such a mess! I am so excited you got to go, though, and am really looking forward to hearing more about your adventure. What an experience!!

    By Anonymous in search of balance, at 11/18/2007 3:06 PM  

  • ...and nobody travels like Shannon. With such an ordeal most would have stomped off and been angry for such a long journey. Shannon though was smiling and happy and I knew she was a soul sister!
    Talk about jumping through the hops in flying colors! You deserve a medal!

    By Anonymous tongue in cheek, at 11/18/2007 6:33 PM  

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