Thursday, October 8, 2015

Two Tired Travelers

Pages from Jan's Travel Journal: May 2, 2015

I hadn't slept well, knowing that we had to be up early to say goodbye to our daughter. Before long, both Craig and I were dressed and ready to zip up our suitcases. There was a light tap at the door, which Craig opened to reveal a sleepy and smiling Darcy and Mathieu who were carrying cups of steaming coffee. That was such a sweet and thoughtful gesture! We sipped the hot brew gratefully and chatted a bit before heading out toward the elevator. The morning weather was very cool and still a bit damp, so we waited in the hotel lobby for our cab. Darcy and Mathieu had plans in Paris for the day, and did not yet need to check out of the hotel. 

When the taxi pulled up, we trundled our cases out and tried to hold back the tears as we exchanged hugs and kisses. We knew it would be almost nine months before we would again see Darcy and Mathieu. The Christmas holiday seemed a long way off. As usual, I was very quiet on the way to the airport. I was still trying not to cry while staring out the window at the receding sights of Paris.

The airport was, as always, teeming with tourists and taxis. There is often a bit of confusion about which line to stand in, but we soon had everything sorted out and made our way upstairs to await our flight. We were fortunate to find a small table and chairs near a little coffee kiosk. We nibbled one last pastry with our espresso as we talked about all the wonderful experiences we had enjoyed on our trip. 

The flight was long and uneventful, except for the inconsiderate seatmate to my left. She intruded constantly into my space, allowing her personal items to migrate toward my feet. She took up the entire armrest, often covering it with a pillow, which made it very difficult for me to use the buttons on the armrest. She repeatedly jabbed me with her elbow, and not once did she apologize or even acknowledge it. At lunchtime, the woman knocked her salad off onto my foot. I was very glad the lid remained in place! 

Our layover in Chicago was extremely long - six hours! Craig and Darcy had split the cost of a day pass to the Admiral's club, or whatever it was called. It was a treat to relax in quiet, comfortable surroundings. I felt as if I could have taken a nap! There was plenty of complimentary food and drink, in addition to a bar area. We read our books, watched the Kentucky Derby, and played a couple of games. At last, our flight was called and we knew we would soon be home.

We arrived in Wichita, exhausted, at around 8 PM. Craig took a photo of me in the airport. Our new terminal would be due to open very soon, and we knew we would never be in this one again. We said a fond farewell to the old terminal. It had served us well.

A very tired traveler.

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