When you finally get to head home to America, it’s just pure excitement building from a few days before. And whatever the conditions are, it never matters, cause you’re on your way home, right?
WELL… I had a bit of a hiccup.
My flight left from Paris at 11:30, so I took a train that left Nantes at 5:50 am. The plan was to arrive directly at the Charles Degaule Airport at 9:10, no problemo. WRONG. The French trains do this weird thing where they’ll get delayed, WHILE you’re on them. So I’m halfway through my journey when I hear some mumbled French “lkjdfoidkl 55 fdladfklsaon.” My lil’ ears perked up and I asked somebody next to me if what I think I heard, happened. Yes, DELAY. And it didn’t end up being 55 minutes. It was more like an hour and a half. -_____-
I finally get to the airport and I’ve got 2 huge 50 (plus a lil extra) pound bags and 2 sizable carry ons and I’m try to hustle through this aiprot as fast as possible. I head over to Terminal 2 to try and find my check in (since that’s where the train let me off) only to find out I’m in terminal 1, a 10 minute shuttle away. Again, more lugging of bags and at 10:45 when I finally reach my check-in they said “No way, Jose.” And so I cried. I could not stop myself. I was sweating and my arms were on fire from carrying all my bags and now they’re telling me I can’t go home… until TOMORROW. More tears.
So what does a broken hearted/shell-shocked 23 year old do in a crisis?
Call her dad of course.
I woke my sleeping parents up fairly early to try to 1. help me calm down and 2. start a new plan of attack. They set me straight and I spent a solid chunk of time checking with almost all the airlines I could find to see if there was another flight home soon that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. (Besides wanting to just BE home asap, I was getting home a day before I would drive with my parents to DC for my cousin’s wedding; hence some extra importance to getting back that day) Alas, that wasn’t going to happen. So, new plan: stay in Paris that night and take the flight the next day. I’m super thankful for my dad having to do a bunch of traveling for work because he helped me book a room at the Sheraton that is actually IN the Paris Airport. Once I got checked in, I threw my bags down and cried again for another couple of minutes. Then I smiled and got my mind right. I could no longer control all the crazy events of that morning, I survived the hard part and had a new plan I got to spend the evening doing whatever I wanted in Paris.
I took a train from the airport into the city and hit one of the last big stops I missed from my previous trips: The Sacre Coeur. Sight seeing with people is awfully fun, but being able to wander around on your own and just go with whatever you’re feeling is a pretty great experience too. I put my map away and decided to wander in the general direction of the Church and LOVED it. Lots of shops and seeing little details I probably would have missed. Eventually making it to the Basilica, the Sacre Coeur was gorgeous. Huge and impressive. Climbing the steps all the way to the top gave me one of the best views of the city. I made sure to spend a couple more minutes up there to just breathe and be thankful that the back half of the day was turning out so right after the front half of the day was so wrong. Talk about making lemonade out of lemons, right?
After Sacre Coeur, I explored the Montmarte District and walked myself down some random side streets. Snagged my last French pastry. Continued to the Spanish District to window shop and enjoy my last crepe for dinner. I made sure to get back to the hotel early so I could relax and get a good night sleep after the drama and excitement of the day. I also made sure to get up EXTRA early the next morning to check-in and get through security. It took every minute of the 3 hours I planned for.
Once I got on the plane, I knew it was finally downhill from there. A quick 9 hours later, I got a huge hug from my Mom in Cincinnati. I spent about 30 minutes at home unpacking and repacking my bag and then jumped in the car with my parents to get halfway (4 isn hours) to DC. The fun never stops! But there is nothing, NOTHING, like being back in your own country and around the people you love.