Day Ten (Sun. July 19, 2009)
I woke up about 5 minutes before the wakeup call in a panic that they simply “forgot”, and that it was 9 a.m. When the phone rang I calmed down and started to get dressed for our long trip home. It was almost too easy, at this point in the trip to assume that those silly French people didn't rank being "on time" or "rushing" as highly as we Americans do... thank God I was wrong. It was 7 a.m. in France, 1 a.m. at home in the US.
We took our bags to the Cobblestone streets to drag them the ½ mile back to the train station, it was hot, I was hungry and the damn wheels on my bag felt like they were sticky. Dan harassed me continuously for not moving faster, and warned that if I didn’t hurry we would be stuck in France until the end of time. I felt a drip of sweat run down my forehead as we finally arrived at the train station. We managed to get onto the right train headed in the right direction and arrived at the airport where we had to get on another train to get to the terminal.
In the line for airport security and passport control, Dan had finally grown tired of my sluggish pace and decided that he would wheel my big suitcase so that we could maintain our frenetic pace. The first step he took he groaned, “Jesus Christ what the hell is wrong with your bag, I can barely move it!” A very satisfied smile crept across my face as he turned the bag over to reveal that the cobblestone streets had completely ruined the wheels on my bag, and distorted their shape so drastically that it was virtually impossible to tell that they had ever actually been wheels.
Feeling very high and mighty about my “told-you-so” moment with the suitcase, I led us through baggage checks as we ate our last croissant breakfast with pepsi. We arrived in our terminal an hour early, and much to my delight, never had to take off our shoes to go through security.
The Plane left the gate 30 minutes late and took off another 30 minutes later. At least I think that’s when it took off, Dan and I both slept through take off and woke up when the “ding” signal to use electronics came on. A nice little half hour nap.
When food finally came around I was starving. I choose a creamy pasta dish. MISTAKE. It was overly salty, and really, consider this: where is the cream coming from? How do I know it’s fresh? Answer: I don’t, and it’s not. But I ate it anyway because I was hungry and afraid of passing out. By the time the next snack came around I had already thrown up in the disgusting plane bathroom. I didn’t eat or drink anything else for the 8 and a half hour flight to Philadelphia. It was definitely the low point of the entire trip. Lower than the nasty bathroom I had to pay to use in Brussels. But I suppose I did see 3 movies I had been waiting to view.
When we landed, I was so happy to be on the ground in Phili.
The trip dragged on as our flight back to CT was delayed an hour. Once again Dan and I were in a rush because he wanted to make it to his 7 p.m. soccer game. When I sat down in the driver’s seat of my car I was very happy to be home.
We went to bed around 11 after being awake for 22 hours. The trip was over, and I was really excited to be back where bathrooms are free and clean, where you can get a cold drink. Where people shower on a daily basis and wear deodorant, where water tastes like water, where the dollar has value and most importantly: where I would be going on another vacation in less than 7 days.