Flight to Paris - 5/1/2016
Today Jenny and I began our trip along with Sarah and the Ohio University Marching Band to Europe. This was the
beginning of our ten day visit to France and England. To get all of the 110, friends and family to Paris takes eight
routes through five different cities on four different airlines. Jenny, Sarah and I were flying on American Airlines.
The first leg of our journey to Europe was from Columbus to Philadelphia. We arrived at Port Columbus early in the
afternoon, but our 3:40pm takeoff was delayed due to bad weather. The delay would make our layover in Philly very brief.
Once we landed in Philadelphia we ran from what seemed like one end of the terminal to the other. I lost track of
Jenny and Sarah. When I was seated on the plane I kept an eye out for the other two. We were not seated next to
each other, but they were in the cabins behind me, so I was able to see them and make sure they made made it onboard as they
made their way past me to their seats.
We left rainy Philadelphia for the long flight to Paris. This was my fight international flight. The seats were
larger and I had more leg room than the other flights I have been on. We were also served a real meal during the flight
and even a small breakfast before our morning landing in Paris.
With Jenny and Sarah seated elsewhere in the plane, I was surrounded by strangers. This was also an overnight flight so
I kept quietly to myself while many of the passengers tried to sleep. I relaxed and enjoyed the flight. Luckily
I had a window seat. During the night I looked down at the city lights as we traveled along what I assumed was the east
coast of New England and Canada. I also saw what I thought was the soft glow of the Northern Lights. Several seats
away I saw another beautiful sight, a very lovely caramel skinned lady. The flight crew was giving her more than her fair
share of attention. I did not recognize her. I wondered if she was celebrity in Europe.
The crew began to serve drinks. As passengers were being served in the seat ahead of me I could see that some of them
were getting wine. I thought I might have a glass of wine myself. I continued to watch the interactions with the
passengers and flight crew and noticed that no money or credit cards were being exchanged. Free wine, cool! Once I
was offered a drink I asked for white wine. Soon after they began to service dinner. I chose the chicken meal which
turned out to be very good. I think this was the first complete meal I had on an airplane since 1986 when I flew to Las
Vegas. After the meal we were served a second drink and I choose the red wine this time. After the fine meal and two
glasses of wine I was feeling really good. I was relaxing, sitting in a comfortable chair, embarking on a week’s adventure
on a new continent and not a care in the world. I found myself staring at the beautiful lady several seats away. I
was smiling the entire time I was watching her. I thought to myself, “Sarah, I found your new mom”. Life is good.
The sun rose over the English Channel and the Normandy coastline as we made our decent into Charles de Gaulle Airport in
Paris. We were due to arrive just before 8:00am. Once on the ground we did not stop at the terminal. We walked
down a flight of stairs and boarded a bus for a short ride to the terminal. This was the first time I’ve ever had to do
this. We gathered our luggage, went through customs and joined up with the rest of the 110 group.
Now we were ready for our introduction to Paris, the City of Lights.
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