Historical Romance

Historical Romance with an Inspirational Touch

Thursday, July 01, 2010

My Trip(s) to Paris (Day 1)

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?


  1. my hubby doesn't like to fly so we seldom do. I like to travel but only experience a little nervousness over water-I do a lot of praying though when we hit bad weather. My dad died in a private airplane crash when I was only 5. I have been searched at the airport and so was my almost 90 year old mother because I guess she looked like a terrorist! lol...

  2. I am so sorry to hear about your father, Lin. I guess that would make you a bit nervious flying. Sometimes I am surprised by who is searched, but I guess one never knows.

  3. I remember my flight to Europe...I thought I would sleep. Ha! I even took a Tylenol PM and still couldn't sleep. I was on the aisle so I didn't feel private but doesn't it seem like as soon as you finish eating one meal, it's time for another? We ate dinner, then everyone lined up for the bathrooms so there was always someone standing beside me. Kinda hard to sleep with that going on! Then, about the time everyone got seated again, they rolled through a snack cart. Again, line for the bathroom. Then came breakfast...another line. I survived, though!

  4. Stephanie, I did notice that when I was awake there was a lot of activity. You would think in the middle of the night there would be a lot more snoozing and less moving around. However, the seats are not the most comfortable thing in the world either.

  5. Oh, I'm sorry you have such a bad time of flying over oceans. And when I was pregnant, I got stopped at every checkpoint! I wanted to yell, "trust me, it's just a baby in there!"

    Looking forward to hearing more about Paris. Ooh-la-la!

  6. Jill, I had to chuckle at you being stopped while pregnant. I am sure it was not funny at the time.

  7. Amy, I take the pills whenever I fly. Something about giving up complete control of my whereabouts to a total stranger that gets me. :) The first time I flew to Guam, I actually became claustrophobic from all the hours of water-that was before I saw the movie where Tom Hanks went down and was stranded on an island alone...

  8. I tend to get a little antsy when we fly, though my trouble comes on smaller, regional flights. Overseas doesn't bother me nearly as much. As a matter of fact, our flight back from London a couple years ago was one of the best times I've ever had. We got bumped to first class on Virgin - all the food and champagne they served bore the Queen's standard...we had a pretty great time.

    What I find funny is that I NEVER used to get nervous. I flew several times a year and it never occurred to me to be anxious. As I get older, though, I find that I'm a little more on the nervous side.

    We'll be flying with our 6-month-old for the first time in a few weeks, and I'm so preoccupied with all the logistics of flying with an infant that I don't have time to be nervous about the flight itself. LOL!