Wednesday, May 29, 2013

May 28 pack it up and move it out, back to the USA

Our host Carsten bicycled over in the rain for our checkout, arriving at the apartment at about 8am. We chatted for a few minutes, thanked him for everything and he kindly called us a taxi, which pulled up in front just moments later. Bags packed in the trunk Susie and I headed off toward Charles deGaulle airport in moderately reasonable traffic. (Cost was comparable to a "shared" shuttle service. We've had mixed results with those in the past.)

After some searching we located the BA check-in desk; in fact it's located in the bowels of the airport on the lower level right next to the car rental desks. I suppose the French are still smarting over that Hundred Years' War thing.

Our bags disappear down a conveyor belt, we have our boarding passes and make for passport control, ultimately finding our way to the lounge (Cathay Pacific this time), where we hang out until time to board for London.

Once at Heathrow -- after a quick 45-minute flight -- we are shunted through a chaotic security mess in Terminal 5, and eventually pass through with flying colors. Ominously, our flight to Boston isn't on the board -- and when we get to the lounge the services rep informs us that we should be in the B wing of Terminal 5. The new international Terminal 5 is in fact three separate buildings A, B, and C, all connected by an underground tram. Security is in building A and, as we were to find out, if you have to return to building A from B or C you have to, now get THIS, go back through security!

And return we did! Our gate was changed somewhere along the line and so we packed up and headed out for building A. But how to get there?

Fortunately, we found a BA rep who was helpful AND informative: she suggested taking the elevator to the -4 level -- the tram is on the -2 level and there was only one elevator that went to level -4.  Once on level -4 we would find a long passageway connecting the buildings under the tarmac.

So we did. It was a tad spooky; a long straight hall lit by ultraviolet lights, and as we walked along it became clear that we were the only ones down there.

Anyway, once we arrived upstairs we settled in to the BA lounge in A building and awaited our departure.

The return flight was uneventful, the champagne delicious and the food tasty. I even opted to watch a couple of movies: "Gangster Squad" and "Oz."

We landed about 20 minutes late, at just a little past 8pm, and Susie's brother Dick was there to meet us and drive us straight home.

A wonderful trip and the operative word here is "wonderful." Seeing old friends and having new experiences made us realize how truly luck we are.

Life is indeed short. We went to Paris.

Wish you could've been there.

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