All great travel seems to start with a casual conversation…
My friend Dani and I were out for a walk one evening and we started talking about travelling. We came home from that walk and announced to our husbands that we were going on a trip together! Originally we were going to go to France and Germany, however once we started to plan we decided to stick to one country (France) and two destinations (Paris and Brittany). Travelling with the kids means that we needed to slow down our travel plans!
The trip started out just fine. We were up a bit earlier than we normally like, but we made it to the airport and out of Grande Prairie without a problem. We boarded the plane in Edmonton…and then the fun started! After sitting for about an hour in the airplane, at the gate (which is a whole lot of fun with two 18month old girls and a 3 year old!), we were un-boarded. We all piled back into the airport just in time for the fire alarm to go off. Apparently there was a small fire in the engine of our plane! We never ended up evacuating the airport, thankfully, but we were delayed for almost 4 hours in Edmonton. This meant that we long-missed our flight from Toronto to Paris.
The flight from Edmonton to Toronto should have been uneventful, however Calais must have caught a little bug. I was in the bathroom with Kacela when Randy came and traded me for Calais saying that she had to go to the bathroom. No sooner had I picked up Calais than she threw-up ALL over me…in my mouth, in my hair, down my shirt, and all over the bathroom door and floor! This kid had been on dozens of flights before and had never gotten sick (and she’s been on many flights since without a problem!). The flight crew was fantastic helping us get all cleaned up. We headed back to our seats, Calais changed into her spare clothes, I changed into Dani’s tank-top, and we settled back in. About 10 minutes later, Calais threw up again!! Thankfully this time it was just on herself. The poor girl disembarked the plane in Toronto wearing her sister’s spare pants as capri’s and her sister’s spare dress as a shirt! To make matters worse, when we got to the baggage claim area in Toronto we were told that we would not be able to get our bags as they had already passed through customs security screening.
I just about lost it!! But we did manage to get our bags!
We got in line for a shuttle to our hotel only to be told that it was going to be about an hour and a half. By this time it was 11pm. We opted for a taxi!
We settled into our hotel only to find out that the hotel didn’t have a restaurant! So our first real meal of the trip was soggy pizza and greasy chicken wings.
We got to bed, after our unimpressive meal, by about 12:30pm.
At 9am someone came waltzing into our hotel room. It was the cleaning staff. We shoo’d him away but he had already awoken the girls. Things just kept getting better and better!!
We managed to convince the receptionist to let us have a late check-out, thankfully!
At 2pm we hopped on a shuttle back to the airport for our 7pm flight. The silver lining of our extended layover was that my Aunt and 2 of my cousins brought us lunch at the airport! We had a great visit, and there was more than a few people whose mouths were watering over our delicious, non-airport procured meal!
I’d like to say that our flight from Toronto to Paris was uneventful, and it was…almost. Nothing exciting happened until we were getting ready to land. Off in the distance we could see another plane that was at about the same altitude as us, and it kept getting closer. Before long we were ascending again, rather than descending. Our pilot came on to tell us that we were getting too close to the other aircraft so he made the decision to abort our landing, circle the city and then try again. I guess the airport controller was on lunch at the time!! This was a minor little thing, but something completely random that just added to the list of other random happenings on our trip!
24 hours and a little bit after we were initially supposed to arrive, we finally landed in Charles de Gaulle. Tired. Jet lagged. Ragged.