It’s all about the journey, right?

I had to remind myself that we were on our way home more than once over the course of today’s trip home. American Airlines managed to schedule our flights from Paris to Dallas then from Dallas to LA so close together that it was a mad scramble trying to to get through customs then get our bags rechecked go back through security and still make it to our flight to LA. Memo to American Airlines: you really need more than an hour to accomplish all of that at Dallas Fort Worth (or be in marathon shape, which it so happens we were!). Anyway, we made it with about five minutes to spare. Our bags may be another question but at this point they are full of mostly dirty laundry, so who cares?

We bid a bittersweet farewell to Paris this morning. It was a crazy week certainly, but it was also a lot of fun. We really enjoyed staying in Roissy, and having those extra days did allow us to pack in more fun adventures and generally soak up the ambiance that is Paris. It always strikes me how our reentry to the real world is so jarring: you go from mellow vacation-mode into high hysteria travel-mode so quickly that your head spins, and international travel just adds a whole extra headache to the process. Travel right now is extra bad – so many people are still trying to get back from wherever they were when the volcano erupted that the airports are just that much crazier than usual. We saw that everywhere today. So it goes. On the flight from Paris to Dallas, we had decent seats in the back of the plane, next to each other. Our seats from Dallas to LA are middle seats with Chuck one row ahead of me (extra punishment apparently from the volcano gods). The good news is he doesn’t have to worry about anybody kicking the back of his seat on the flight and I don’t have to worry about the jackass in front of me putting their seat back for the entire flight (this happened for the ENTIRE ten hour flight from Paris to both of us – a mother and daughter were the offenders. Grrrrr. I have a theory that they need to fix the economy seats in upright positions only – no reclining. Don’t like it? Don’t fly!).

We have decided for our next trip to go to Tahiti – just the two of us – for our tenth anniversary. But here’s a weird fact to ponder: Chuck has a funky track record. Of the five times he’s been to Europe, two times involved extraordinary events. He was in Paris on 9/11, and again was overseas when the volcano erupted. 2012, which will be our tenth anniversary is also the year the Mayan purportedly claims the world will end. I’m just saying.

I’m typing this coda to our European volcanic tour on the plane from Dallas to LA, using the GoGo wifi service. It’s $12.95 for the duration of the flight – not cheap but what the hell, it’s pretty fun and it’s the end of the trip.

So here’s to our 13 day trip to Europe that turned into 19 days.

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