Can I start out by first saying that OMG, that was a LONG, BORING, TIRING flight, and what in the world was I thinking when I decided to save $500+ by making two connections - one in a totally different country - instead of one?
So, my flight out of DFW was canceled, which I thought for a second would mean the cancellation of my entire voyage. There we were, sitting in line on the tarmac, when the pilot informs us that we are 22nd in line to use the runway. 22nd!! My mind starts to calculate the time in my head...22 times at least 3 minutes per plane to take-off, plus an additional minute or 2 to taxi there...whoa...that's like at least an hour and a half, yo! I patted myself on the back at that moment for allowing myself a 3-hour layover in Philadelphia to make my flight to London. I'll have plenty of time...I'm brilliant! Ten minutes later, the captain comes on again and says, "Folks, I've got some bad news..." which, of course, provokes an inward sigh from the entire plane. "I've been flying for over 16 hours now, and FAA regulations only permit me to fly [some-odd number] of hours , and waiting here will push me beyond my allowed flying hours, so we're going back to the gate"...and outward sighs/moans/expletives commence. I stay pretty calm, knowing that I can always try to reschedule my flight, but as my brilliant self booked an entirely different carrier from London to Paris, I was pretty much stuck with taking that flight and knew my options were limited with changing it. So, I check the numbers on the boarding pass card that I usually toss in the trash, and give US Airways a ring while we head back towards the gate. My quick thinking pays off and I get a flight out of Dallas just 2 hours later and avoid the mad, angry rush for the gate when we get back, as passengers try to frantically get to their destinations. I feel a little guilty for my wily move, but nonetheless content. I'm still praying that my flight makes it to Philly in time to catch my next flight - this new flight from DFW will only give me 40 minutes to make it to my London flight on time - and that's if there are no further delays!
It's a miracle, but we somehow made it to Philadelphia with nearly one hour to spare before my next flight. I even had time to make a desperately-needed pit stop to release my ginger-ale-filled bladder and had time to cool off at the gate before piling onto the 80s-inspired vessel.
Arriving in London was another story...I had to go through customs, get my luggage and get on and off a train before checking into my flight. The new and (thankfully) improved Terminal 5 was beautiful. I couldn't help but fall in love with the Chanel, Tiffany, Dior and Starbucks-lined halls and wonderful assortments of food-stands and restaurants. I had just enough time to grab a bite (dumplings and japanese rice) at Wagamama, which I hadn't visited since my first trip to London more than 5 years ago. The weather was perfect, too - at least mid-70s, bright and sunny.
So, 4 planes, a train, a coach and 27 hours later, I made it to Paris. It was a great day in the city - people were people-watching, sipping coffee on the terrace, couples were making out on a bench in the park and tired business folks were resting in the grass and soaking up the sun. Ah, Paris.
Thursday's a holiday, Friday is a bridged holiday and Monday is another holiday, so Gui and I are planning to spend some time in the city, taking in the amazing weather and doing things that Parisians do. I'm happy to be home!