We boarded the plane without incident and were herded to our seats. We were on the plane and were grateful. Our seats were under our behinds and that was a definite plus. They were not, however, upgraded seats. I sure hope we can get our money back or these are the most expensive luggage fees ever!

They spoke to always in French and then in French accented very difficult to understand English. First thing different about takeoff is that there was a screen telling us ground speed/altitude/and outside temperature. That was sorta cool. It flipped back and forth between metric and our system so everybody could like it.

After we were airborne, drinks were served. Apparently, the French have a greater respect for wine and champagne than Americans. Or they are less profit driven. Or the cost was included in the bill to start with. But what happened was that I didn’t feel good enough to try a drink so I had water. They gave us each a small bag of pretzels so I gave mine to Dick.

A menu was passed out letting us know what our choices for dinner were going to be. Salmon or chicken.

We were barely finished with that when we were asked if we wanted the fish or chicken. And then BAM, there appeared a tray with our dinners. Dinner was cole slaw, which had a tangier dressing and dried cranberries included in it. The chicken was in a wine sauce and with pasta. We were again offered a drink, and again I stuck with water. They passed a basked of rolls. Included was a wedge of brie cheese and dessert was an orange and cranberry pound cake.

After dinner they were pushing some brandy.

It was barely nine o’clock, but I was pretty near exhausted. And I was also freezing. I tried my best to get warm under by bankie and snuggle into my pillow that was at least as thick as four two-ply tissues together! Then they came by offering more drinks. Dick got a coffee and we then hit some turbulence and at least his dinner tray was still in front of him and he didn’t spill the coffee on himself.

They collected the trays and then dimmed the lights. Available for our entertainment were a variety of movies in their original languages along with some TV programming and many other “gifs” which I assume were You Tube things of some sort or another. There was also music available.

All I really wanted to do was sleep and so that’s what I tried to do. I’m sure the entire area of the plane was sick of my coughing because I sure was. I eventually fell asleep.

We apparently hit more turbulence and the pilot announced over the PA that we were now to remain in our seats. The turbulence did not wake me; the announcement about it did.

They eventually turned out the lights and it was night time inside and outside the plane. Next thing I know there was light. I thought the world had started but no, it was morning and time for breakfast. While the cart thing went past us and up to the front, I got out my computer. It told me it was 2.09 AM for me. Breakfast trays were plopped down in front of us and I opted for coffee this time. If I’m to be awake at 2 in the morning, coffee will be involved. There was a blueberry muffin sitting in a bowl and I took that out and put the coffee in there, just in case there was turbulence. I quickly drank my orange juice to try and stop coughing and it worked. I ate most of the blueberry muffin and ignored both the plain yogurt and mixed fruit cup. I’m just not that interested in food at 2 AM.

I played solitaire and we continued on toward Charles deGaulle airport. Eventually, the little screen with our speed, altitude, and temperature showed once again and we could see our descent and imminent impact with Earth.

You may have noticed I didn’t mention ever getting out of my seat. That’s because I didn’t. The first thing I needed was a bathroom. Apparently, the French aren’t as interested in that as Americans are. In Atlanta, we were on a concourse with perhaps 10 gates. There were two bathrooms in that area.

We walked. We walked some more. I have no idea what gate we landed at, but we were heading to concourse F which was apparently in a different country. We walked and walked and I kept looking for the international pictures of bathroomness. Finally, there, in bright orange so I know we hadn’t missed any earlier, was a bathroom.

I lunged for the door and opened onto a room with enough area to hold a party and one toilet. I locked the door and used the room to my great relief. I met Dick outside and he said there was another room. A few steps farther down the hall would have looked more familiar. Apparently I picked the handicapped bathroom, but no one was waiting when I got out, so I guess it was okay.

We kept walking, hiking, traversing the country looking for concourse F. The signs were clear- it was ahead – and then we ran into the strangest thing. We had to go through a scanning thing again. Our shoes did not have to come off, but coats did. Computers out of bags and then the woman looked at my ticket and passport and put them in the bin. I asked for my passport back and she said no. I was not happy with it out of my possession but there was nothing else to do except panic and God knows I’ve been getting good at that.

We cleared that and then went forward toward the big F and there was another line. We had to be stamped through by the Border Police. I had no idea I was to get a stamp in my passport for being in an airport, but we did. Luckily, that line wasn’t too long and we made it through. I got some pictures with Gned and some French stuff.

We were finally at Concourse F and arrived at our gate with hours to spare. Now we wait. But this time, we have seats.

I did ask Dick in the middle of the night since we didn’t have tickets to Vienna when we checked our luggage, did he know if our luggage was only going to Paris or if it would follow us all the way to Austria. He just laughed and said, “Oh, why not?” We will be checking when we have someone here at this gate.

 

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