8/6/11 to 8/7/11 to 8/6/11 (Flying through time zones in the middle of the night)
Our flight takes off at about 9:10pm after a two hour delay and a 7 hour layover. I’m sitting next to a couple from Connecticut who knows one of my dad’s coworkers. Small world. They are sitting next to a Hawaiian lady. Our row doesn’t recline and my seat has the entertainment box. Thus, making me have one of the most uncomfortable seats on the plane. I can’t lean back and I have no leg room what so ever. My seat is also right next to the bathroom. Fun. I watch the end of No Strings Attached and I watch Arthur. I now have 6hrs to entertain myself. They serve me rice with brown junk all over it. It looks disgusting. I decide not to eat it. Instead, I stick to bread. I attempt to sleep, but it’s impossible since I can’t recline and because people keep hitting me on their way to the bathroom. I’m cold and my legs ache. I watch the miles to JFK screen and keep hoping they would magically fly by. I listen to music until we land at about 11pm. In total I have been up for 25 hours and have been traveling for 24hrs of them.
We land and customs harasses me about my two passports. I have to explain the purpose of them. My bag is one of the last ones off of the plane, which gave me at least 15 minutes of anxiety until I saw it. I used the restroom and went to another area of customs. They pull me to the side along with all of the other suspicious people. They thought the lady in front of me was smuggling drugs from Mexico. I get interrogated. They want to know why I was in Egypt. I explain and they finally let me go. I’m so happy to see my parents. It’s about midnight and we still need to drive home. I desperately want to eat and shower. I wound up going to bed around 4am bringing my grand total of being up for 30 hours after a week of very little sleep. Glad to be home!
Categories: Europe, France, NYC, Travel, USA
Tags: Air France, Airplane, Airport, charles de gaulle airport, Customs, Europe, JFK Airport, Paris, Plane, Summer, Travel, Vacation
I see my suitcase get unloaded. At least I know it made it to Paris. I take the shuttle to my correct terminal. I use the restroom and have to go through security. Their security is worse than New York’s. They wind up breaking the wheel on my carry on. That bag had lasted through a 12 day trip to Israel and a 9 day trip to Egypt (not to mention all my little side trips) only to break due to a careless security agent. Not cool. Time for my broken suitcase and I to explore the airport.
I look for my mom’s makeup first. They don’t have it. I then look for postcards. I buy some individual ones and a book of them. I also get a magnet, chocolate, and a mini Eiffel Tower. I want to buy a book on Versailles and another one on Paris, but I decide not to get them. I buy two pretty prints of Paris. I go to the food court, which sucks. I buy water and pita bread. I try to go to the lounge and get rudely denied despite having all the right cards to get in. Thus, I sit and wait in a chair for five hours. I eventually buy macaroons at La Maison Du Chocolat. They are expensive, but I hope they are worth it. I still feel sick and I am beyond exhausted at this point. I stop by Swarovski to take a look and to tell my mom I saw it.
They eventually begin to board us. However, we don’t get far when we find out that our plane has issues and we need a new one. No idea how long that will be. We switch to a different gate. I’ve been up for 15 hours after a week of no sleep and 14 of those hours have been spent traveling. I am tired and bored out of my mind. I decide to buy the Paris book to keep me awake. Two hours later we get a plane and board. Thank goodness because otherwise they were going to make us stay overnight at the airport and take a plane in the morning.
Categories: Europe, Food, France, Travel
Tags: Air France, Airport, charles de gaulle airport, Delayed, Europe, La Maison Du Chocolat, Layover, Luggage, Macaroons, Paris, Plane, Sick, Summer, Swarovski, Travel, Vacation
5 am. So tired!! Less than 4 hours of sleep. I get up and I feel awful. I feel so sick! All I want to do is stay in bed, but I have a ride and a flight to catch. I get to the lobby and my 6am ride is ready. The driver and Spring Tours representative are nice. The airport is chaos! My representative and a family argue back and forth in Arabic about security. Thank goodness I have the representative guiding me. He helps me change my seats to aisle seats. He also helps me fill out my forms. I tip him $5 and go through security. I see the men with the dark spots on their heads from praying too much. Sherif had told us about them. The dirt smudge from putting your head on the ground is considered a good thing.
I find a place to buy a water bottle, which was pretty expensive. I also find the lounge only to find out that they have free water bottles. They also have wifi. Yeah I get to do a 4sq Egypt check in. I use the restroom and don’t tip the lady. She’s mad at me. I figured I would use the restroom one more time before I boarded and would tip her then. However, not too long after the guy who runs the lounge runs over to me and tells me my flight is boarding. What! So early? Thank goodness he told me since the announcement was made in garbled Arabic. There is more security at the gate. Goodbye water bottles. We wait for the tram to take us to the plane.
My seat on the plane is small. Lovely. I have an Egyptian American teenage girl next to me. She’s working on history homework. I offer to help her and we spend some time chatting. She goes to school in California with her brother (who is sitting behind us). I watch Water for Elephants. I also watch No Strings Attached. I spill water all over myself, which is quite fun. I soak the blanket and my pants. We finally land at Charles de Gaulle Airport.
All my entrance tickets
Categories: Africa, Egypt, Travel, Trip with a Tour Group
Tags: Africa, Air France, Airport, Cairo, Cairo International Airport, charles de gaulle airport, Contiki, Egypt, Group Tour, Plane, Sick, Spring Tours, Summer, Tour Group, Travel, Vacation
July 30 2012
So sad that today is our last day in Paris. I really could have used another day or two.
We had breakfast in the hotel. I realized that I was seriously going to miss waking up and having a buffet of bread, cheese, and sweets. I took some bread for the plane. We checked out and began our search for the bus to the airport. We didn’t know if it was going to pick us up exactly where we were dropped off. We would up walking in a circle around the opera house. I saw the bus at the stop and picked up my suitcase and ran like the wind. With one bus an hour I was not missing it. My mom followed me and thankfully we wound up catching the bus. It was extremely crowded and somewhat stuffy. We both felt car sick.
We arrived at CDG and spent the next hour or so going through security. When I was at this airport the previous year they broke my suitcase and I had a 5 hour layover that turned into 7. I was in a part of the airport that was like a mall. There were probably 20 or more stores. That was not the case this time. There were only 2 stores and they were horrible. There were a couple of “cafes.” I spent some of the change I had and bought some macaroons and cookies for my students. My mom did the same (minus the student part). We were bored! We tried to get ourselves upgraded and the people working in the airport didn’t speak enough English to help us. O well. I used the restroom before we got on the plane and apparently my door didn’t lock correctly because a women walked in on me. Hopefully, I’ll never see her again.
We boarded our plane and the seat next to my mom was empty. We were praying it would stay that way. No such luck. A young girl (around my age) took the seat. The lunch/dinner was awful and I tried to entertain myself with movies. The pre-landing snack was actually pretty good for my mother, but not for me. Stupid nasty vegetarian meal. My mom basically had a grilled cheese sandwich. One thing that cracked me up on the plane was the kid diagonal from us stuffed their baby doll in a weird position into the seat pocket (see the picture below). Back to NYC and back to work 😦
Categories: Europe, Family Vacation, Food, France, Travel
Tags: Airplane, Airport, Bread, Breakfast, charles de gaulle, charles de gaulle airport, Chocolate, Croissants, Europe, France, Hyatt, Hyatt Vendome, Newark Airport, Paris, Summer, Travel, Trip with Mom, United Airlines, Vacation