Wednesday, April 13, 2016

It's 4:37 a.m. and Guess Who's Wide Awaaake...

As I tend to remember the most recent experience, shall we start with the end of our trip to France?

Michelle drove us to Charles DeGaulle (CDG) airport in plenty of time for her to make it back home and not have to do needlework or read a book in the parking lot of rush hour traffic on the A13 periphique.

We had a 7:10 p.m. Air France flight home.  When we checked in online we were told we could board at 5:15 which they later pushed back to 6:15 p.m.  We got to CDG a little after 3 p.m.  What do you do for 2 or 3 hours at an airport?  Well...

We checked the two roller bags and got our boarding passes.  I had a $190 voucher from Air France's partner Delta.  Could we use this to upgrade to Business?  "Oh," we were told, "you have to ask Delta, our air partner." 

Off to see the Delta lady.  She checked; Business was full.  "Okay, I said, "How about free admission to  the sky lounge then?" I asked.  "Oh, no - the voucher is strictly for a ticket on Delta." 

We have never flown Delta in our lives (that we can remember) and don't have any plans to do so. 

We were invited to sit in the Reserved For Cripples area to wait for the wheelchair person to take us to the gate. 

Bringing the wheelchair was a stroke of genius if I do say it myself.  The wheelchair guy pushes me in an Air France chair; Richie pushes mine with the two carry-on bags both of which weigh enough to re-sink the Titanic, no ice berg needed.  Bonus points:  CDG is so huge, so convoluted, that we would still be wandering around looking for baggage claim were it not for the chair pusher.  Up elevators, across expanses, onto another elevator and down.  Repeat several times.  There are separate elevators for wheelchairs and attendants only and they are all one-chair sized. 

But first we had to do Security where something on my person set off the alarms three times.  In France they don't use a wand, they use their gloved hands, but:  it's a woman for women, male for guys.  They are not shy.  She went where no stranger has gone in quite some time.  Let alone a lady.  I began to wonder...maybe she's going to offer to buy me a drink when I'm cleared?

Finally it dawned on me that it was the artificial hip!  This after handing Richie my watch! And preparing to do battle about handing over my wedding ring.   AF has got those machines trigger tight. 

The nice man pushed us to Gate 22 and departed, after showing me the about-every-three-gates Smoking Areas!  CDG admits people still smoke in this day and age!  Believe me this would be headline news at LAX or DFW.  Granted, they are glass cages, approximately 10 ft. long by 4 ft. wide, with a rapid air exchange system.  At one point there were five women in there with me.

Richie found a liquids shop - various coffees and styles and beer taps.  He got us a couple of large ones and we had a nice relaxing sit before going back to the plane and, after a 10 minute wait, boarding. 

To Be Continued... we did a lot of things in France and I made notes about them all.  When I get through with Our Adventures in France, you will go out and actively cruise for frogs to kill.  I promise you.

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