Over the next few days I am going to revisit my trips to Paris. And, I am going to start from at the beginning of the trip - the airport.
Each time we left from O’Hare Airport in Chicago. It was always a Friday afternoon. By the time we were over New York, we were having dinner. I always found it interesting that when you looked at the map of where the plane was, it always seemed close to some land, when you knew it was impossible being smack dab in the middle of the Atlantic. Those little visuals are probably for people like me and I should not even look at them and pay attention to a movie instead.
You see, I have a fear of flying over large bodies of water. Irrational, I know. But, I can’t fly over the ocean without the assistance of a prescription. So, you all know my weakness now. Leading up to the first trip I kept having serious anxiety attacks. Okay, we will call them what they are – panic attacks. Not pleasant and no matter how much I had a talk with myself, it didn’t work. So, off to the doctor I went. There was no way I was going to miss a trip like this.
The second time around, I thought I would be fine. I already made the trip once, right. Nope, didn’t work that way. Again, that little panic set in and off to the doctor I went again. I honestly don’t get it. I can fly to NY, California or Florida with no problem. As soon as someone mentions I will be over the ocean for a long period of time, my heartbeat increased and beads of sweat breakout on my brow (not a pretty sight). But there is an additional benefit to this medication. Not only does it calm me enough to fly over the water, but it also knocks me out. Since I am stuck on the plane for up to 10+ hours (could be more or a little less) I might as well sleep, right. And trust me; this sleep will come in handy because even though we left Chicago around 4:00 p.m. we will land in Paris at about 11:00 a.m. (losing about 6 hours in the meantime). Basically, we arrive when our body clock thinks it is around 3:00 a.m. or 4:00 a.m. But, since it is around 11:00 a.m. in Paris, don’t even think about trying to sleep.
The time change always threw me. But, I learned to basically count by starting with 11:00 p.m., which is the best time to call home. You aren’t waking any family at that time because in Illinois, it is around dinner time. I used that method to try and keep track. I usually give up within a few days.
Each time I went I was a chaperone of Junior and Senior high school students. My sister is a French teacher and takes students every other year. I’ve lost count of how many times she has gone. For me, next spring will be my third trip. The first trip my oldest went, the second, my middle child and next spring, my son and husband.
Back to landing in Paris. Well, the first time we went we switched planes in Zurich, Switzerland. We had to run and try and catch a type of subway car to make our connection. Luckily, we all made it, even with a few of the students being selected for a full search. The second time, we flew right into Charles de Gaulle. And since the students were too excited to sleep on the plane, they are a bit more tired than me.
The first thing we do after collecting our luggage is meet up with our tour guide, load onto a bus and are taken to our hotel. The day is just beginning from there.
Day 2 of my trip to Paris (which is actually day 1 in Paris) will continue tomorrow.
I am curious, do any of you have issues with flying? Ever been pulled aside in an airport to be searched?