Friday, July 14, 2017

Some Rules Never Bend

Pages From Jan's Travel Journal: Saturday/Sunday, June 3 & 4 2017

Imagine the excitement of the three of us - me, Craig, and our granddaughter Janey as we arrived at our local airport for our big adventure. We were all looking forward to 3 1/2 weeks in France with Desmond! And now imagine the shock of being told that you will not be allowed to board the plane because your passport is due to expire THREE MONTHS FROM NOW! Craig was turned away as Janey and I stood there in horror, all of our plans crashing down around us. We were so stunned that we were unable to react. We said goodbye to Craig, who promised to follow us as soon as he was able, and as we were going through security the reality hit me like a ton of bricks. I was practically sobbing as I made my way through the line. Janey tried to comfort me as best she could. I squared my shoulders and decided that this unfortunate plot twist would not ruin our vacation.

Janey turned out to be an excellent traveler. She was adept at reading airport signs and following directions and she helped tremendously. Our flights were back to back with no layover: Wichita to Houston, Houston to Chicago, Chicago to Paris. We were delayed at the gate in Chicago and had just five minutes to make it across the terminal for our connecting flight. That plane was completely full, and we were seated in the middle at the back. There was a lot of turbulence, but Janey took it all in stride and remained completely unruffled.

We were very happy to meet up in Paris with Desmond after we made it through the long line at border control and retrieved our luggage. Des had thoughtfully brought along coffee, pastries, and sandwiches for our bus ride, as there were no trains running between Paris and Orleans that day, due to maintenance. 

At last, we reached Desmond's apartment and were able to put our luggage away and have a bite of lunch. We greeted Azur, gave him some treats from America, and then walked to the old part of town to show Janey around a little. She was in awe of the beautiful architecture and happy to see for herself the lovely town where Des lives. It felt good to get out and walk for a while after the long travel day we had endured.

Welcome to Orleans!

Janey on the bridge. 
We decided to have a barbecue since it was such a lovely evening.  Janey helped with setting the table and even tried to clear a path in the overgrown courtyard. Just as the sausages, turkey, and potato puffs were almost done, Chris and his parents arrived to say hello. We insisted that they join us for dinner. Des quickly prepared more food. We had a fun meal together outside in the cool evening air. I was happy to meet Chris' parents, Marilyn and Rodney. They had to leave just before dark because they were biking. Des, Janey, and I cleared the table and carried stuff upstairs. Later, we ate incredible desserts. They were decadent little cheesecakes with a chocolate crust and topped with ganache. By then, we were exhausted, so we unpacked and went to bed.

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