Welcome to my blog!

This is blog is about me dabbling with a little bit of everything, and not being particularly good at anything. And about the places I've been either on vacation or SAG:ing my husbands bicycle trips.

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Day 17 - Paris to New York - Thursday - July 18, 2013

Time to head home today. After breakfast we finished what still needed to be packed and headed out. We walked from our hotel to Gare du Nord. It was only a 15 minute walk, which we didn’t realize earlier, we could have walked here when we arrived in Paris. We took a train from Gare du Nord to Charles de Gaulle airport. The train didn't come in couple of minutes as the board said, nor was it the express train either. It took about 20 minutes before the train arrived and it stopped at every single stop and was packed when we got in.

We flew back on Iceland Air via Reykjavik. Their counter was not open when we got to the airport but was supposed to open in 10 minutes, that turned out to be closer to 30. Luckily we got to the airport on time, since the line-up was huge later on. Nor did the plane leave from the gate they told us. Hmmm there’s starting to be theme in here. . .  Charles de Gaulle airport is actually really nice. I have to say that the European airports puts American ones, especially JFK to shame. JFK looks so dirty and outdated. Going through the security check at de Gaulle was a breeze, no line-up at all, we just walked there and were checked right away. At JFK we would be still standing on line. And the reason for this is that the security was not right there where you check-in with everybody who comes to the terminal going through it, but it was on the wing where your gate is, so only the ones whose flight leaves from those gates will be screened in there. Why can’t American airports do that and avoid all that lining ups. Since we knew that Iceland Air doesn't serve (free) food on the plain we had our lunch there and brought a sandwich with us too.

The flight from Paris to Reykjavik went well, but this was the first time I've heard them ask if there was a doctor on board. That happened when we still had an hour of flying left. There was a doctor or some sort of other medical person, but I don’t think it was anything too serious. There was an ambulance waiting when we arrived to Reykjavik. We got off the plane and found our next plane. While they were checking our next boarding passes the lady said something to me, but I had a bit hard time of understanding her, but then it hit me. I've been asked to go through a separate security check. For some reason I've been pulled over quite often, more than others. Maybe I look like a very suspicious person, or maybe it is that my first name backwards is an Arab name, or maybe it’s just my good luck. Anyway, Jeff had to wait while I went to a separate room where they checked out my purse and carry-on and then I have to step up on a platform where they patted me down. We finally were able to board that plane and we took off. The flight was a bit choppy with turbulence, but nothing too bad. I felt like lots of the people on the plane were restless, getting up and down and the girl behind me kicking my seat, the guy on the window seat was opening and closing the shades all the time, he was the most restless. He couldn't figure out the TV screen and got frustrated with that too, luckily his daughter who sat next to him helped him out.

We finally got to New York. The flight from Paris to Reykjavik was 3 hours and the flight from Reykjavik to JFK was 5 ½ hours, plus about an 1+ of waiting time, so it’s a bit longer than the direct flight, but it also costs a lot less. We took the Airtrain to the car rental. For some reason Jeff’s name was not on the list of cars that were ready, but the car was there waiting for us. We started driving home and the rental car was making this weird grinding noise, like metal on metal. We were already on the Van Wyck and didn't want to turn back to get another car. Sometimes the noise was really loud and then it went away just to start again. We were wondering whether we would  get home OK without the car breaking down. We did, but it was doing it on and off the whole time. We had one happy dog waiting for us at home, but I don’t think she slept well while we were gone, since she’s been very tired.

P.S. When Jeff returned the car the next day and mentioned the problem to them, they gave him a free car rental since he is a good repeat customer.

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