In Paris at 3:00 AM we woke up to the very disturbing alarm. We had to get ready to leave the apartment by 4:30 AM. So we began by making a pot of coffee, talking a little about how we wished we could have stayed longer and wishing we were on our way to Rome instead of Germany. I couldn’t believe I was standing in the shower at 3:25 AM. Before too long we started gathering all the garbage, lining up the suitcases and packing up all computers. We had one last look out the window and said goodbye to the Eiffel Tower.
The car was waiting and we were now on our way to the airport in the dark. We looked out the windows at the quiet cafés, brasseries and bistros. The streets were deserted except for a few cars. This is so unlike Paris with the usual buzzing of fast-moving motorcycles, scooters, cars, buses and pedestrians. Everyone was tucked in and still obviously enjoying a sound sleep.
We arrived at the airport in about half the time it usually takes. We checked in, went through security and headed for the lounge at Lufthansa. On the way to the lounge we stopped and bought coffees and our last pain aux chocolats. We were greeted by a very friendly woman in the lounge who told us to help ourselves to their little buffet. They had coffee, tea, croissants and miniature pain aux chocolats. My husband ate the one we had bought outside the lounge and I put mine in the outside, zippered compartment of my carry on luggage. I just wanted to have a mini one and I wanted to save the large one for later.
The time passed quickly and before we knew it, the time had come to board and say goodbye to Paris. After about and hour and a half we arrived in Frankfurt, Germany. We were amazed at the size of this airport, it was tremendous. It was so big that people actually ride bikes inside the terminal. They use the collapsible ones and must have been pre-warned or knew from experience about the amount of walking required.
We had to find the “Z” gate having just landed in “A!” I can’t make this stuff up folks. We had a hike and a half but did have a little time to shop inside the airport for a few things.
When we were walking to the gate we had to go through German security. The gentleman said, “You have been living in France.” He turned the pages of my passport and was checking the dates which showed long-term stays over the past few years. I said that I had been on vacation. He repeated, “You have been living in France!” He said it four times. Eventually I caved in and said, “Yes, I have been living in France.” It was then that he stamped my passport and let me go through. How scary was this, it was very scary.
We found our way to the proper terminal at 10:15 AM. The flight was to leave at 11:05 AM. They were boarding already, we couldn’t believe it. That was because we had to go down two flights of stairs and exit the terminal. After a short walk, we had to climb the staircase up to the plan on the tarmac. This plane was truly the largest we had ever seen. It was a 777-200, felt like a transport plane and must have carried over 400 people.
Almost nine hours later, we arrived safely in New York. We went through security without any problem and quite quickly. Then when we were waiting for our last piece of luggage to come off the carousel, I saw the dogs. It was at that moment I remembered I had the large pain aux chocolat in my suitcase! The dog came right over to me and the suitcase, sniffed it and moved on. I guess he had a certain something he was looking for and not a forgotten pastry. It did make me nervous in any case.
Our car was waiting and drove us straight home. I have been busy unpacking, doing laundry, food shopping and whatever anyone would need to do after arriving home after being away for some time.
It has been absolutely beautiful here in New York with the weather unlike any March that I have known. The temperatures have been in the seventies.
I must apologize it has taken me so long to write, but I think I have felt a little short-changed by arriving home about 5 weeks sooner than we planned. I guess I would like to be writing about our escapades and adventures in the City of Light still on a daily basis. It has taken me a few days to come around and now we are happy to be back home in New York. We had a really wonderful and memorable time.