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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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September 19, 2009

Bonjour from Paris!

Well, I made it to Paris with no mishaps aside from having to open my suitcase to show them my little bottles in their little bag. I didn't realize that not only are you limited to 3 oz. bottles in a quart size bag, but you have to remove them – don't know why seeing them on the x-ray isn't good enough – I suppose cause they can't see the plastic bag...and since a blog without pictures is like something, here are a couple from Dulles - one of my plane and one of the main huge terminal.

 Anyway, we left right on time and arrived in Paris almost half an hour early. The Charles deGaulle Airport appears to be as large as Huntington! I had to take a shuttle from the terminal I arrived in to the terminal I will depart from and it was, I'll bet, a two mile trip!

I have to say, now that I'm an experienced world traveler (two trips!) I already have an opinion about the airlines. Does that surprise anyone! But in my book, Virgin Atlantic wins hands down over Air France. I don't know how old the plane was – maybe not too old – but it sure didn't seem very “fresh” - the upholstery seemed kind of dingy, etc. But I can live with that (even though Virgin's is a nice bright red and tan interior). What turned out to be fairly awful was it was a huge plane with 9 seats across – 3 blocks of 3. And I was in the middle seat of my 3-seat block and the seat right in front of me was apparently broken or else the prime minister's wife was sitting in it, cause it was always leaned back, even on take off, and after dinner I guess she decided to grab some zzz's and slammed almost back into my lap. Plus it was right on the wing, and I think the heat was actually on. I got up fairly early in the flight and walked to the back of the cabin and it was nice and cool back there. So after an hour or so of having her seat in my “space” I extricated myself which was almost an acrobatic maneuver, and walked around for awhile again, had a nice conversation with another woman, and finally ended up sitting on the floor in an empty space. I wasn't going to stay too long, but then I decided to go get my phone and listen to some of my favorites and I ended up not going back to my seat until about an hour out from Paris. So I was glad I had the nerve to be my usual weird self – it was much more comfortable.

But the flight itself was fine – nothing scary to worry about. Once we got here it took 1-1/2 hours to get from the plane, through customs, and to the other terminal. We landed at 5:30 a.m. and even at that hour, there were hundreds of people going through customs. Once I got to my departure terminal, I had a jar of delicious yogurt and a chocolate croissant with a cup of tea and now, aside from being pretty tired (I think I've walked about 50 miles!) I am a content traveler. I can't post this from the airport which is disappointing but I'll get it posted this evening.  And now a couple pictures from the Paris airport and the only thing that proves it's Paris is the chocolat sign. :)


Christopher said...

Woohoo!! Glad to hear you made it safe and sound, and yes, VirginAtlantic trumps all others in my view, too! Enjoy your trip... I'll check in here daily ;)

Anonymous said...

Mama!! So glad to hear you're there safe and sound. Hooray! Keep us posted, okay?

vrmichie@hotmail.com said...

So happy and relieved you're this far along. Sent you an email yesterday but I didn't receive a notice that you'd posted this and I'm thinking maybe you can do your blog but not email so that's why I'm using the comment section to communicate. Now my next big worry is whether everything in Florence is ok so I hope you'll be posting again soon. I'll keep checking whether I get emails from you or not. You're such a plucky ducky!! xoxo, Chinch

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