Tuesday, June 5, 2018

France – Heading Home – 4/13/2018

Another lovely breakfast in the ancient wine cellar below the Millesime Hotel. Then back to our rooms to finish packing. We always carry an extra ripstop nylon bag with us so we can add a carry-on for the trip home if we buy gifts, etc. The good news: everything fit into our two carry-on rolling bags plus Larry’s backpack and my carry-on computer bag. No checked bags, thank goodness.

We went down to the lobby to settle our bills and wait for our airport transport. Another surprise: we had the same driver who picked us up when we arrived. Somehow, it felt comforting, like we were seeing another friend.

Larry and Bob both commented about how awful Paris traffic was. They agreed they were glad they weren’t driving in it. The motorcycles racing in and out of crazy traffic made the situation even more scary.

We arrived at De Gaulle, located the Norwegian Air terminal, checked in, went through security, and then found our gate. The boarding process was the usual hurry-up-and-wait we have come to expect. At last on the plane, we were relieved to see our equipment was a Boeing 787 Dreamliner as on our flight when we arrived.

Au revoir to France.

This time, our seats were near the back of the plane, but they were comfortable. The personal entertainment systems—with free access—provided quite a few choices. I was happy I had brought my noise-cancelling headphones. Larry brought a few sets of earbuds, so he loaned Bob and Bernie each a set for the return flight.

I had seen nearly all the movies I was interested in, so I listened to my iPod and read a book on my Kindle Fire.

Once again, we were served meals, included in the price of our tickets. Not great, but satisfactory.

We arrived in Los Angeles on time. The plane taxied for what seemed like several miles to a building far away from the main terminals. It looked like the same one where we boarded the plane for our departure flight.

Then, we followed the same routine as on our previous flight but in reverse: recover our bags, deplane, walk down the long, winding ramp to the ground floor, board busses. They took us back to the main terminal.

We found ourselves in one huge area. Instead of the separate customs areas we had seen on previous trips, everyone on international flights is now processed together in the same area. The result is several long, long, long lines.

We were routed to computer terminals where our faces were photographed, then to others where we scanned our passports. Then we moved onto another set of terminals were our passports were compared to the photos. And on, and on.

We finally approached the last long queue where our passports would be stamped. Bob and Bernie moved ahead, but we were rerouted to the opposite end of the building where those with foreign passports had been processed, Then, we waited, and waited, and waited.

Bob and Bernie finished and waved as they passed by our area.

One by one, the people in our queue approached the desk. One officer manned one station for all of us waiting in line. (The other area where Bob and Bernie went had several officers working.) So, our line didn’t move very fast.

It took nearly an hour just to get through this part of the process. Finally, two more officers opened additional stations.

Two-and-a-half hours after we landed, we finally reached the lobby, where Bob and Bernie’s grandson, Clayton, had been waiting. What a sight for sore eyes!

The trip home in the van went well, and we finally arrived—tired and on overload with the memories all our wonderful experiences.


  1. Yep, now I know I can't do those flights anymore. Glad you made it home safely.

  2. The flight was okay, but all the walking and waiting once we got on the ground took a toll.

  3. True empathy,don't do much with my passes anymore

    1. We both remember when flying was the most fun of anything. No more. Sad.