Years ago during the era of the big trans-Atlantic ocean liners, The French Line had as its motto: “Getting There is Half The Fun.” Fast forward to July 9th, 2015, when I left Palm Springs for my annual visit with my friends in Paris, France.
I was suppose to have just an ordinary airline trip from Palm Springs to Paris. I was to leave at 8 am in the morning, fly on United Airlines to San Francisco, change planes for Newark, New Jersey, then continue on to the City of Lights with an arrival at 10:55 in the morning.
I arrived at the airport at 6:30 am to begin this yearly ritual of going to Paris for three weeks. What began as ordinary suddenly turned into the extraordinary. New adventures all of a sudden and for the next 24-plus hours turned into more of the adventure I wrote about in my blog a week or so ago.
First off. an announcement was made that said my plane would be a little late in taking off. That announcement then turned into a two-hour delay due to mechanical problems. Then that turned into an additional 30 minutes.
We were told to go to the airline desk where, after waiting forever, I was told that all my connections were lost. They then issued me new travel documents.
I really was so distraught by this point, I didn’t look closely at the newly issued tickets. I merely took off for the first part of this unexpected adventure.
I was to leave the airport and take a taxi to Los Angles International Airport. They issued me a voucher for $250 to give the taxi driver. I had to pick up my suitcase which had already been checked on the old tickets. Once I got it back, I headed for the taxi stand. I gave the voucher to a driver and we took off as fast as we could to LAX, a two-hour freeway trip from Palm Springs.
Upon arrival, the driver informed me my ticket for the next leg of my trip, LAX to Dulles Airport in Washington D. C., gave me exactly 17 minutes to get on the plane.
I presented the ticket to a curb-side checker. He called a supervisor. They put me in a wheel-chair and as if we were out for some long-distance race went though check-in, security, and everything to indeed make it on the plane at the very last minute. I doubt if anyone had ever made such a fast connection.
On the plane I was ushered to my seat with haste and the plane took off. I could hardly believe I was headed to Washington D. C.
About one hour into the trip, a gentleman in the row across from me suffered a heart attack. A stewardess made an announcement over the PA asking for any nurse or doctor on board to present themselves. Two doctors showed up and they turned the seats across from me into a miniature hospital, with oxygen tubes falling down to the unfortunate patient. They saved him but with quite a bit of excitement going on near me.
That bit of adventure got settled and that is when I decided to check my new ticket from Dulles Airport to Paris–which I had not done due to all of the unexpected excitement and adventure. My eyes blinked in disbelief. The Paris connection in Washington was taking off at the same time as my arrival. I mentioned this meekly to a stewardess who had just played nurse in the medical emergency. She blinked as I told her my unusual story so far. She then had the pilot relay this to Dulles Airport.
Believe it or not, in spite of para-medics in the aisle coming to take the heart-attack victim away I was escorted onto the waiting plane like a movie star with all eyes on me.
Nothing unusual happened on the flight except I wondered what on earth had happened to my checked suitcase. Also I had a driver who was supposed to meet me in Paris to take me to my friends’ house. I decided I could not think of such things. I should just blot such things from my mind until I got to Paris.
Two miracles happened. My suitcase appeared in Paris (how I will never know) and, via my friends in Paris, the driver had been found and rescheduled.
So in spite of all the unexpected adventure, I did arrive at the home of my friends not too worse for all the adventure. Other friends took us out last night to an excellent restaurant where we celebrated my arrival in Paris.
Today we went to the open-air market and my annual visit officially began.
So as I have said before, adventure is where you find it. Sometimes it may find you as it did via this trip to Paris.
My very best to you and I’ll keep you up with my adventures from here in Paris to later on in Istanbul and Venice. Thanks for following me on this topsy-turvy trip.