The Journey Home (February 11, 2012)
Yes I know I’m a few days late on the journey home. When we headed to Paris there were 51 seats available on the plane back home. By the time we left there were 32 seats available. It’s amazing to me that 19 people booked a trip to Paris a week before they were scheduled to go. We woke up early in the morning around 7am and left the apartment at 9am. We took the Metro back to the airport. After walking the 10 minutes to the Metro station we tried to purchase tickets via their little machine. Well my card wasn’t accepted but my mom’s was but the machine would not give her any tickets. Thankfully, there was an actual teller there and I was able to purchase my tickets through him with my card. The teller told us though the machine said it accepted Visa or MasterCard it did not, so my mom had to purchase the tickets from them also. I was the first one through the turnstile then my daughter tried next and expected the gate to open but it did not (she didn’t realize that you just go through the turnstile). Since she didn’t go through but put her ticket in it wouldn’t let her through when she put it in again. By the way in Paris you need to keep your ticket to exit at the station you get out on. We managed to get her through the side entrance with the help of those nice tellers. We started to head toward the actual train and again you have to put your ticket in. Well this time my daughter got through okay but my mother had issues. She made it through (the gates opened on this one) but her luggage got stuck half way through and she could not pull it out. Finally after struggling some stranger put in their ticket and she pulled her bag and then he walked through quickly afterwards. We went down to the train and waited. Here is a picture I took of a woman waiting for the train. The train in the background is a double-decker train.
Somehow we got lucky and we got on the express Metro to the airport. It only made one stop in between our’s and the airport. We waited on line to get our boarding passes and I actually had to check one of my bags. The bag I purchased in Paris was to big and I could not take them both on because the new bag was not considered a personal item. We then went up to the boarding area that is closed off from the rest of the airport. We went through security up there and my mom had too many electronic devices in her bag and had to take them all out. Now my mom and I are both gadget freaks so upon seeing her go through the hassle I pulled all of my stuff out of my bag and put it in one of the bins. Here is a shot of our luggage.
My new bag is the one in the middle my mom’s is the blue one and my daughters is the giraffe bag (she loves giraffes). After this point there were no issues. It is amazing that regular people want to board with first class. There is a separate area for first class boarding and I saw a woman walk up and try to get on that way. She didn’t even have her boarding pass out or anything she was just going to walk on the plane. Once on the plane we had seats in the back but the flight attendants cleared the back rows and moved everyone closer to the front. (This meant we had to wait for everyone to get off the plane when we landed to get our luggage). We had a turbulent but uneventful flight and when we reached the states we cleared customs pretty quickly. Now my husband holds a green card and every time he enters the country they fingerprint him and takes his picture. The customs person asked my husband how many times he left the country in October. My husband has a horrible memory and flies so much that he was asking me how many times he left the country in October. Despite that they let him back into the good old USA.
My mom left us and went to catch her bus back to NY and my daughter and I waited for our flight back home. This flight had a lot of seats available and they had to re-seat people to rebalance the plane for take off. Once we took off the flight attendant said we could switch seats if we wanted. Of course there was on person in coach who asked her seat mate if maybe she could change her seat to first class just by going up there. (I thought to myself really are you that dumb). Well that was our journey home. Not eventful. This weekend I am planning on going to my cousins reception in New Jersey so we will see how that travel goes. I typically have issues getting out of LaGuardia Airport.