Sunday, October 25, 2015

safe and sound

First, for those of you who read about Mexico on this site, all is well at the beach.  I talked to Fernando last night.  He reported that the house, gardens, palapa, plate glass windows, in fact EVERYTHING made it through the storm safely.  There was a lot of rain and wind, and the puestos and malecón are a mess but otherwise the town is OK.  Very good news given the scenario that was painted by the media.  We are extremely grateful that this storm spared us, Manzanillo, PV, and most villages along the northern coast.

Second, I finally got home from Paris Wednesday afternoon and, believe me, I was glad to finally be here.  The saga goes like this.

Tuesday morning we got into the taxi at 6 AM sharp and headed through dark and deserted streets to CDG.  The usual travel time is anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 1/2 hours (when I arrived it took that long), so we had allowed plenty of time ~ 4 hours start to finish, we decided.  Well, we got to the airport, went through check-in, passport control, security and were IN OUR BOARDING LOUNGES by 7:04 AM; 1 hour and 4 minutes, start to finish.

sunrise at Charles deGaulle airport
That included the miles one has to walk to get anywhere in that "it's really a small city" airport.  I sat and waited, downed a cup of coffee, read, listened to my book (Being Mortal by Atul Gawande ~ a MUST for anyone over 60).   The plane was due to depart at 10:40.  I finally got a seat assignment in ~ GASP ~ Business Class.  I was delighted!  Delta has these fully reclining seats that turn into a quite comfy bed.  I flattened it out, pulled the nice, warm comforter up and went right to sleep.  I managed to get in about four hours of shut eye.  I really wanted to take off my shoes but thought I'd never get them back on because of foot swelling.  But it was all very nice and comfortable.

Arriving in Cincinnati

Flying into Cincinnati was beautiful.  The trees are beginning to turn red and golden and the Ohio River sparkled through the city.  We arrived at noon, EDT and my next flight, to Salt Lake, was to leave at  3:30 PM.  Plenty of time to get through passport and immigration.  I rechecked my bag on to Sacramento and wandered through the very nice airport.  I found the departure gate and sat to wait.  Cait had sent a message that there were 40 available seats so I was a definite go.  BUT, there's always the unexpected.  Another flight to SLC was cancelled so ALL THOSE PASSENGERS who had actually PAID for a seat moved way up in the line and left me, and several other non-revs- behind in the dust.  Alas, the flight was actually 5 seats overbooked so I didn't have a prayer.  I got myself ASAP to the Delta "help" desk and a very efficient and delightful agent had me all set up in about half an hour.  She gave me a new routing to Los Angeles and then on to Sacramento.  She gave me a hotel voucher, a little goodie pouch with soap, shampoo, toothbrush and even a T-shirt that says Sky Team Delta on it.  I was completely set!  Next thing I knew I was here.

I called Mr. C to say I wouldn't be coming home until Wednesday afternoon.  I ate a bit and went to bed with the alarm set for 6 AM.  Since I was still operating in some other time zone, I was up and ready to do battle by 4:30.  Caught the 7 AM jitney back to the airport, found the boarding area and waited.  And waited.  Oops!  This flight had been delayed for mechanical reasons for almost 2 hours.  I did the calculations and discovered that I would have about 20 minutes to make the Sact'o flight and I had to go from one terminal to another.  Oh well, at least there are several flights to Sac from LAX and surely I would make one of them if we arrived too late.  So I just sat back and waited to see if I would make this flight.

Yes, no, maybe.  Flying non-rev is always a crap shoot unless you KNOW there are lots of seats.  I saw a couple of other would-be passengers who had also lost out on the SLC flight yesterday.  But we all made it on and off we went.  I got seated in an EXIT row which meant more leg room but I had to sit bolt upright for 4 long hours.  Please, no grousing allowed if you don't PAY for your ticket.  Now my only thought was would I make it to LAX in time?

The plane landed at 12:10 and the Sac flight left at 12:40.  The only dramatic thing that happened was tearing through the LAX airport  through the A terminal to the B terminal, waving my boarding pass at the agent waiting at the door of the aircraft.  I was the reason they were holding the flight ~ only about 5 minutes ~ and the other passengers glared at me as I took the last seat in the last row.  But I made it and I say, "Glare all you want!"

I made it home safely, my bag made it home a day earlier, and Mr. C was there to fetch us both.  All I wanted to do was lie flat for a few minutes to give my aching back a rest.

As promised, here are a few pix of the Paris apartment for your amusement.  Would I stay there again?  I might; it's quite space-agey but in such a wonderful area.  On the other hand, it's not really comfortable; it's quite dark ~ needs several more lamps and someone needs to replace the burned-out bulbs in the kitchen ~ and cold ~ only two of the 7 heat registers worked.  But it was only for a week and I can put up with almost anything for a week.  As I said, it's in a fabulous location and I would stay in the 8eme anytime!

entry hall

living room

TV, bookcase.  Got the TV to work once.  But it's Paris!  Who needs TV?

dining room

Kitchen; check out Gagganau and  check out the appliances in this apartment.  You need a pilot's license.
Eating nook in kitchen.  We ate, worked, read here; both heat and light in this spot.

Double shower with both overhead and hand-held nozzles.  Wonderful!

La toilette

Bedroom #1, twin beds.  Comfy and warm.

Bedroom #2, double bed (maybe queen?)  Very comfortable.  Nice bedding.

So that's where we were.  I took these photos with all the lights on in the evening so you can't really tell how dim the rooms are.

So now I'm home and a whole new set of issues are presenting themselves.  Tomorrow Mr. C goes to the hospital for cataract surgery.  Wednesday I have surgery on the pesky skin cancer on my leg.  But we both have every expectation that all will be well for both of us.  Kaiser has never let us down in the past.

Happy 9th Anniversary to this blog,  THE ALL OF IT 
I actually started it under the title THE TONSIL WAR on October 25, 2006 when Mr. C began treatment for tonsil cancer.   I decided on June 6, 2009 that the war had been won and we could withdraw the troops and write about something other than illness.   Eight and a half years later he he is alive and well and cancer free.  We are very, very thankful.


mary ann said...

Thank you - a delightful post. I am so glad that your other home is ok.

Liz said...

Susan, my dear-- so very glad that you are safely HOME. Somehow, no matter how great the trip, it's always wonderful to get home, n'est pas?

Really relieved that all is well on the Mexican Pacific coast! I was very worried, as it's the biggest honker ever to touch land in N. America. What a miracle that it didn't do much damage!

Congrats on your blog anniversary! So glad Mr. C is thriving!!!

In other news, I'm not so hot... will write you an email or call you at the end of the week with info...