Sunday, May 20, 2012

Overcoming obstacles to arrive in France in under 23 hours

It seems like we just got back from vacation not too long ago but here we are taking off again. This trip was more stressful than exciting. At least that is how it all started.

What a journey it was! When they changed our flight to 2 hours later, we started to freak out about missing our train connection in Paris. The next train, if there was room, would be over 6 hours later. The thought of waiting 6 hours after a 12 hour flight and being on the road for 16 hours was pretty much unthinkable. No way Jose. I would have preferred us to stay the night at a hotel at the airport and then take the next train in the morning. The problem was that it was a long weekend and there weren't many trains left to take. Unless of course you don't mind taking a train for 10 hours or so to get to the south of France. All the options were bad if we missed our train.

Half way through our flight, a guy collapsed to the ground one or two rows behind us. He wasn't moving at all but someone checked and I heard "he's breathing." At that moment, Jean-Louis and I were thinking the same thing. We're so screwed. There goes any chance of our connection. I mean we felt sorry for the guy but we knew he would have to leave with the paramedics first and there would be more delay. An announcement was made to see if there was any doctor on board. It was like one of those scenes straight from a movie. Of course, Tristan kept fighting me to see the man lying in the aisle. His curiosity went wild.

When we arrived, we had to take a bus to the terminal, then line up to go through immigration. Like always the airport was so disorganized and probably under staffed. The lineup was out the door and there were only three tills open. Typical. Then we had to wait for our checked-in bags. After about 40 minutes, the bags have still not arrived. It's as though they only had one guy bringing in all the luggage. If I could, I would have given him a hand myself! All the previous delays did not matter anymore when we still had to wait for our luggage. Ridiculous. It's as ridiculous as it was over 10 years ago when I first came to France. Nothing has changed.

When our luggage finally came, we grabbed them and we just ran. Jean-Louis' aunt was meeting us at the terminal and she knew the exact route we had to take to catch the train so that was helpful. We ran with all our lugguage: 3 check-ins, and 2 carry-ons each, Tristan's included. We had a push cart but when we had to cross the road, Jean-Louis dropped his luggage and lagged behind us. I swear we dropped luggage at the same place last time! I warned Jean- Louis about that as well. Then when we arrived at the elevator, we couldn't take the push carts anymore and we had to carry everything by hand. Oh god. We totally hogged the elevator and then we pressed the wrong button and didn't move for the longest time. Oh god. We made sure to avoid elevators after that. They took too long anyway. Then came more running and lugging luggage while pulling Tristan up and down escalators. It was so painful and dangerous and we were all sweating up a storm. Oh god. I almost had to drop all the luggage altogether. We finally got to the train and climbed in the first open door. It wasn't where our seats were but we just wanted to get on that train. The train controllers on the platform were asking us where we were going and where we were sitting. We told him and then he said that we were in the wrong section of the train and had to move. We asked if there was time and he said yes so we grabbed our stuff again and ran. Then he blew his whistle for the train to leave. What the hell!? So we just hopped into the closest train again with our massive load of luggage. There was obviously no time. The guy was probably just mean. We were all soaked in sweat and huffing and puffing. Five seconds later, the train took off.

We were on the train but it didn't end there. At the next stop we had to get off and move everything into the part of the train where our seats were. The train doesn't stop for long and we had to walk all our belongings about 80 meters. The TGV train is super long. It was our last run with luggage and once again we made it just in time. Omg. I was dripping in sweat and my shirt was soaked through. Our hearts were all pounding but it was finally over. We made it and we felt like champions. Oh yeah, did I mention that Tristan and I were recovering from the stomach flu from just few days ago and I didn't sleep at all on the plane? Champions.


Tairalyn said...

Wow you're one BOLD women to travel with baby!!! Good on you... I still don't have the courage just yet!

Fabulous Blog!
Congrats on the achievement of Top 30 Mama Bloggers in Vancouver... I too grace the list and feel so honored. Looking forward to meeting all you ladies come the Big DAY... Hope to see you there.

I would love to have you pop by Little Miss Mama and see where I like to call home. I promise the Tea ill be served steaming, along side a "did you see what she was wearing". Don't get me started on the Cupcakes here - they are always served with the PERFECT Cake to Icing ratio! Its pretty peachy over here!


Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds like a crazy trip! Just stopping by to say hello and congratulations on being chosen in the Top 30 Vancouver Mom bloggers. I'm on the list this year as well and hope to meet you at the June event! Lori

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