Time to check out of the hotel and have one last breakfast. The group from Louisiana will be flying on to Amsterdam. Everyone else is going home. There is a mix up with the boxed breakfasts and they are given to our group when they were to go to the Louisiana group. Therefore, we get two breakfast meals.
We arrive at the Paris De Gaulle airport to Heathrow to catch our British Airways connecting flight home. The weather is still a little stormy, brief showers on and off.
Boarding the flight is not until 9:30 am., we are too early so we go upstairs and chill. I did not get what I wanted for breakfast and there is a McDonalds right across from our lounge seating. I am suddenly hungry for a Egg McMuffin. The ordering is totally automated. You place your order at these computer stations, pay there too, and then wait until your number is called. Faster, but very impersonal.
I get a window seat on this flight. It should only take about 45 minutes, but because of the stormy weather we have to circle the airport another 20 minutes. This delay costs us precious time. We have a connecting flight to catch home.
Security checks almost costs us that flight home. My bag and another girl's bag were earmarked for additional security checks due to overage of fluids. The security officer was slower than molasses, and I ended up throwing out all of my travel samples, just to get the heck out of dodge. Lesson learned: whenever you are in doubt about these fluid regulations, just get rid of any unnecessary items before you fly, will save you a lot of misery.
We finally clear security and make a mad dash to the boarding terminal. We had to get on escalators, elevators, trains you name it. Even on the train we had to wait until each car was checked by security. Minutes were ticking by quickly. Prayers were being sent heavenward. We all just wanted to catch this flight home.
Two minutes to spare we arrive to the relief of the others in the group who were anxiously awaiting our arrival. All seemed to be going smoothly until I get to the boarding area. I am the last one in line and hear, Ma'am you cannot take that bag on board, it is too big, you have to check it in downstairs. Panic goes through my mind. Downstairs where? Does she mean all the way back from where we came? Thank God, no, there was a airline employee sent to meet me and take my bag as I was boarding.
Our group once again is seated in the tail of the plane. I intact am in seat 36 D literally across the aisle from the seat I sat in coming to London. One girl sat in the exact same seat.
Then over hear over the intercom comes the announcement, we are not able to taxi down the runway yet, due to a bag being loaded into the plane. Oh I bet I know whose bag that is. Well, I told my classmate, at least I know it made it onto the plane. LOL
The flight home always is murder, just like a car ride. Seems like you will never get to your destination. There is no way to really make the 10 hour flight go faster, even watching movies and getting up are little consolation. Another strange thing because of the time changes, the Monday lingers on 6 hours longer for us-a time warp of sorts.
We land and as we are leaving the plane I look at a passenger ahead of us, could it be? There is a lady that looks a lot like my 28 year old daughter's 4th grade teacher, Dana Davis. We lock eyes and she recognizes me. It is her with her 4 children-3 high school age and 1-junior high. Small world. We talk and catch up on life while we are walking to immigrations. Her husband is a CEO for Texas A&M. They have been living in France for the last 2 years, but still have a home in College Station.
All of our loved ones are waiting for us to get out of the security area. Slowly we pop up and get to go home. So good to see my husband. Check in with our daughters and my mother by phone. Good to hear their familiar voices too.
Looking back and reflecting, I had an amazing journey. Challenges and all I would not have wanted to miss any part of this experience.