Monday, April 02, 2007

France - Little Rock to Paris

I arrived at the airport about 2 hours before my flight (per the instructions) with one medium roller style piece of luggage to "check" and a very stuffed backpack to "carry-on". After checking the luggage I stayed in the "common area" of the airport so my wife could be with me before I passed thru security.

I was flying on an AMERICAN EAGLE out of terminal 3A. When we set down this is what we saw.

They are working on the brakes of the aircraft that appears to be the one I will fly on to Chicago. Not exactly the thing we wanted to see. We were watching them for over an hour while I waited to go thru security.

Finally the time came that I had to leave and pass thru security and proceed to my terminal. They are still working on this plane. Can you say nervous!

The time arrives for my flight and it is announced that it will be delayed. As I can no longer see the plane, I assume they are still working on it.

Finally we are allowed to board our plane. Thankfully not the one being repaired. The pilot said they were late because they had trouble getting out of Wichita, Ks. because of a severe thunderstorm. He said he would "gas on it" and make up most of the lost time and we could arrive in Chicago almost on schedule. He also informed us that we would see a celebrity at the airport in Chicago. The AIRBUS A380 would be on the tarmac when we landed.

I found the seat room in the smaller CR7 out of Little Rock to be ok so I figured the 767 from Chicago to Paris would be even larger. Wrong!

Now comes the "biggie" part. Actually taking off and flying in an airplane. I had nothing to worry about as I really found it a very pleasant experience.

We reached a cruising attitude of 37,000 feet and looking down on the clouds they appeared to be flat on top. We arrived in Chicago right on time and the AIRBUS A380 was still setting there. Can you say HUGH? Here is a picture I pulled out the internet.

I wasn't sure what to expect upon arriving but found I was just unloaded on a secure floor and just had to find my departing terminal and wait.

I love to observe people so I was having a lot of fun. I noticed a husband, wife, and their young daughter (about 10 years old). The daughter was on the other side of the parents and moving along but something just didn't look right. Then I noticed her legs were not moving and she appeared to be back on her heels. How could that be?
When she finally came in full view I noticed she had wheels on the heals of her shoes and was just skating along on them.

I had never seen anything like it in my life (you can tell I don't get out much). Seems they are quite popular and are called "Heelys"

Finally boarded my 767 to Paris and prepared for my 7hr and 15min flight. Claire, the young lady sitting beside me was from France, heading home for a two week visit before resuming her studies in the US.

Arriving in Paris after a very long day, we got off the plane and was put on a bus and drove around to "baggage pick up and customs". They apologized for the inconvenience and I was not sure we were heading to the place my son thought I would arrive.

The earliest train Zac could get to Paris put him there about 2 hours after my plane arrived. We figured I would not have to wait very long after I cleared customs. Customs went very quickly and I had nearly 90 minutes to wait.

Here I am in Paris, France standing in an airport not knowing if I am in the right place for Zac to find me and having no way of contacting him. Did I mention it was spitting snow. With my blood pressure getting higher and higher, he finally finds me and we hop on the train to ride into town.

After a 20 minute train ride and two METRO (subway) rides, we surface to the
streets of Paris. I took a picture looking each way for my first look of Paris.


Kerri said...

How exciting to have been to beautiful Paris, and seen a bit more of this big, wide world! I'm sure it was wonderful seeing your son again.
I'm glad your trip over went well. I like the way you showed us your first actually glimpses of Paris. Looking forward to more pics and stories!

Annie said...

You had no trouble on that plane after all, I see.

Anonymous said...

Used to be Annie Dailey here- if someone who knows how to reach Zac or email or something let me know.


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